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2024 Honda Passport

The good, bad & dealbreakers.

The 2024 Honda Passport TrailSport has a lot going for it. From the off-road trimmings to the general design, there's a lot to like. However, there are some not-so-great things as well. Here's a look at the good, the bad and, in my book, the dealbreakers.

What is the 2024 Honda Passport TrailSport?

First, let's take a quick look at this trim and what's new for 2024 on this two-row SUV. The TrailSport gets an enhanced off-road-tuned suspension and trail-ready all-terrain tires. It also has TrailSport badging and more off-road-looking cladding.

New for 2024, you'll see an available Black Edition that sits at the top of the Passport lineup, and there is also a new HPD Package that adds a unique grille, black fender flares and 20-inch wheels (on EX-L and Black Edition).

There are just three trims for 2024: EX-L, TrailSport and Black Edition.

The good stuff

The looks of the 2024 Honda Passport TrailSport are handsome - especially with the $455 Sonic Gray Pearl paint. It has a nicely upright stance, which translates into good visibility without making it too difficult to get in or out of the vehicle. The orange accents included with the TrailSport trim are a nice add - from the embroidered badging on the seats to the stitching accents on the steering wheel.

Overall fit and finish for the Passport TrailSport are well done, with solid touchpoints and upscale materials. There is a small amount of black lacquer, but it's thankfully not on high touchpoint areas.

The heated seats work well, and my husband and I appreciated the dual front climate controls. Though we didn't carry rear passengers during the test period, it's worth noting rear-seat passengers get their own climate controls as well - which is a nice treat.

The interior design is also well done. From the placement of the cupholders to actual buttons for the HVAC, there are several thoughtful features - including a volume dial. The screen is well integrated into the dash, and menu items contained within the screen are large icons that are easy to see and touch while driving.

Cargo capacity is generous with 41.2 cubic feet behind the second rows, and it increases to 77.7 cubic feet if you fold the second rows.

Finally, I'll say the 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine is well powered and provides smooth and peppy acceleration.

The bad stuff

Wireless charging continues to be a huge pain point for me. I do not understand why an automaker would include a feature (any feature) that doesn't work. Yet many do in the form of wireless charging. The system in the 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport is bad. Not only does your phone slide around on the hard plastic, but it overheats your phone.

Here's a weird (but thankful) twist. Even though you have wireless charging available, you must to wire in to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. This is where I would insert the head-slap emoji. One, if you're going to have wireless charging, you should also have wireless CarPlay/Auto. And if you're going to have wireless charging, it (obviously) should work. So, I bypassed the wireless charger during the test week, and I find it to be a waste of space and money.

This will be an eye-of-the-beholder thing, but I'm not a fan of the dinky digital info display between the analog gauges or the graphics used on the infotainment screen.

But here's where we get into the dealbreakers, and there are two of them.

First, the adaptive cruise control shuts off below 25 mph. If you aren't familiar with ACC, this is the system that lets you take your foot off the gas and brake, and the vehicle will modulate your speed based on the cruise control you set and the speed of the vehicle in front of you. So, if it slows down, you do, too. I like this on long drives, so I don't unconsciously speed. But I also really appreciate it in stop-and-go rush-hour traffic. And that's where this system in the Passport doesn't work. As someone who lives in a city and sits in a lot of frustrating stop-and-go traffic, I want this especially at speeds lower than 25 mph.

The second dealbreaker: The seats. We were about an hour into a 3-hour drive, when my husband wiggled in his seat like he had to pee. I asked if he was alright, and he looked at with a cranky expression and said: "These seats are f*cking awful." He's not wrong. They're stiff and unyielding, which makes long drives particularly miserable. We both got out of the car when we got to our destination and immediately started stretching and hopping up and down. Maybe they would soften after breaking in, but in the meantime, they're not great.Lest you think this is unique to Passport, I had a similar issue with the Honda HR-V. So, if you tend to like Honda seats, maybe this won't be an issue for you.

The bottom line

As with any car on the market, there are a lot of considerations. Safety, reliability, fuel economy, horsepower and comfort are all things that might make the "must-have" lists for different buyers. So, it's very important that you know what your list consists of then do a solid test drive. If seat comfort is a biggy for you, I strongly recommend that you do more than the defacto 10-minute loop around the dealership. A lot of dealers these days will let you do a 24-hour test, and if you're dealer doesn't, then I'd recommend you sit in the car while doing your negotiations, rather than going back inside to sit at a desk.