Crossover and SUV shoppers will have another stamp to earn in their shopping passports next year. That’s because Honda plans to revive the Passport nameplate next year for a new, Alabama-built crossover slotted between the company’s compact CR-V and the mid-size three-row Pilot.
The model set to go on sale in early 2019 won’t share much more than its name with the original. According to sources within Honda cited by Automotive News, the revived Passport will be a five-seat, mid-size crossover similar in size to the likes of the Nissan Murano and Ford Edge. It will likely share its underpinnings with the larger, eight-seat Pilot and is set to be assembled in Lincoln, Alabama.
The Passport is expected to bow at November’s Los Angeles Auto Show.
Honda dealers sold a version of the Isuzu Rodeo—built, ironically, at a Subaru plant in Indiana—badged as the Passport during the first SUV boom. That original Honda Passport was a five-seat, truck-based SUV sold from 1994 to 2002. It was discontinued in favor of the more car-like Pilot, which offered seating for up to eight passengers.
Fifteen years ago, automakers were scrambling to offer SUVs and crossovers with three rows of seats as shoppers began to flock away from minivans. Today, the sedan market is shrinking in favor of five-seat crossovers, which could work in the revived Passport’s favor.