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2020 Honda Passport vs. 2020 Honda Pilot: What’s the Difference?

2020 Honda Passport vs 2020 Honda Pilot

The Pilot and the Passport are Honda‘s two remarkably similar midsize SUVs. While the vehicles share the vast majority of their parts, they’re differentiated by one main thing: seating capacity. Whereas the Pilot, a great minivan alternative, has three rows of seats and room for up to eight passengers, the Passport has just two rows of seats, offering room for up to five passengers.

Below, we’ll compare these vehicles in a number of categories to highlight their main differences.

Exterior

In terms of appearance, the Pilot and Passport differ just a tiny bit. Up front, the Passport has a blacked-out grille and a slightly different bumper. Along the sides, the Passport uses black trim, and the Pilot uses chrome. Around back, each vehicle has a unique taillight design, and the Passport has a black trim piece across the lift gate. See the 2020 Honda Passport models for sale near you

In terms of size, the Pilot and Passport share the same 111-in wheelbase. To make the Passport, Honda shortened the Pilot by 6 inches: The Pilot comes in at 196.5 inches long, while the Passport measures 190.5 inches. Both vehicles are 78.6 inches wide. The Passport has a slightly taller suspension setup and sits between an inch and an inch and a half taller than the Pilot, depending on whether the Passport is equipped with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. See the 2020 Honda Pilot models for sale near you

Interior

The Pilot and the Passport share every interior part they can, so their dashboards, center consoles, seats and door panels are identical. This isn’t a bad thing, though, as this interior is highly functional and loaded with storage solutions. The only real difference takes behind the second row, where the Pilot keeps a third row of seats capable of seating up to three passengers across. The Passport has just two rows of seats for a maximum seating capacity of five.

Given the Pilot’s added length, it offers a little more cargo room than the Passport. The Pilot offers 46.8 cu ft behind its second row and 83.9 cu ft with the second row folded flat. The Passport, by comparison, has 41.2 cu ft behind its second row and 77.9 cu ft with the second row folded. So the Passport is smaller than the Pilot, but not by much. Each vehicle also has clever storage compartments located beneath its rear cargo floors.

Mechanicals

The Pilot and the Passport use Honda’s excellent 3.5-liter V6 engine, which makes 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. The Pilot uses a 6-speed automatic transmission in its LX, EX and EX-L trims. Its upper-level Touring and Elite trims come with a 9-speed auto, which gets you paddle shifters and a few different traction modes as well. Every trim level of the Passport comes with the 9-speed automatic transmission.

The lower trims of the Pilot and the Passport each come standard with FWD, though AWD is optional. The Pilot’s touring and Elite trims and the Passport’s Elite trims come standard with AWD. With the 9-speed transmission and AWD, the Pilot is rated by the EPA at 19 miles per gallon in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving. The Passport is rated at 19 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined when equipped with AWD.

Technology & Features

As they share virtually all of their interior components, the Pilot and the Passport use the same infotainment systems, the same active safety features, the same storage compartments and more. Each vehicle is available with heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, sun shades integrated into the second-row door panels, a power lift gate, wireless charging capability, a sunroof and more. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come on all but the base trims.

Family-friendly features specific to the Pilot include a Cabin Talk public address system that let parents riding up front get the attention of kids riding in the back seats. There’s also a power-sliding second row, a rear-seat entertainment system and a large panoramic sunroof.

The Pilot and the Passport both come standard with Honda’s suite of active safety features, which includes automatic emergency braking, radar cruise control and lane-keeping assist. Automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and rain-sensing windshield wipers enter the fray on upper trims. Each vehicle performed well in crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Pricing

The 2020 Honda Pilot starts at $32,770 for a base LX model with FWD and tops out at $49,340 for a loaded Elite model with AWD, though there is a Black Edition appearance package that brings the Pilot’s max price to $50,840.

The 2020 Honda Passport starts with more standard features than the Pilot and thus has a starting price of $33,110 for a basic Sport model with FWD. Fully loaded, the 2020 Honda Passport Elite, which comes standard with AWD, costs $44,900.

Conclusions

The difference between these vehicles really comes down to one thing: seating capacity. Deciding between the Passport and Pilot is simple. If you want a third-row seat, get the Pilot, which offers seating for up to eight passengers, or seven when fitted with second-row captain’s chairs. For what it’s worth, the Pilot also comes with a little more cargo space and some more family-oriented features than the Passport. If you don’t need the third row, though, the Passport is probably more your style, and it’s a little less expensive. Find a Honda Passport for sale or Find a Honda Pilot for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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