GM rival Honda plans to take on the upcoming midsize Chevy Blazer midsize crossover with a new midsize crossover of its own. According to people familiar with the Japanese automaker’s plans, Honda’s upcoming rival to the Blazer will be called Passport and will slot between the compact CR-V and full-size Pilot.
A Name With History
Much like upcoming Chevrolet Blazer, the Honda Passport name has a past: the original Passport was a variant of the Isuzu Rodeo, and was Honda’s first SUV sold from the 1994 through 2002 model years. Much like the Blazer, the Passport was discontinued in favor or more fuel-efficient offerings.
In that regard, the Blazer and Passport names have more in common than would initially appear, as both names previously graced body-on-frame SUVs with off-road capabilities – a quality that is not expected to apply to the new Blazer or Passport.
The Passport is expected to offer two rows of seating and be roughly six inches shorter than the Pilot, which measures in at 194.5 inches – on the shorter end of full-size, three-row crossovers. Six inches shorter would put the new Honda Passport at 188.5 inches long.
By comparison, the new Chevy Traverse, which competes head-on with the Honda Pilot, measures in at 204.3 inches – a full ten inches longer. Meanwhile, the GMC Acadia, which will form the basis of the 2020 Blazer, measures 193.6 inches in length. We have reason to believe that the future Blazer will have a similar or perhaps the same length as the Acadia.
As such, Chevy has a considerable space advantage over Honda’s offerings when it comes to the midsize and full-size crossover offerings.
Rumor has it that the new Honda Passport will be based on a shortened version of the Pilot platform and be build at its plant in Lincoln, Alabama. As such, Honda will base its midsize crossover offering on a shorter version of its full-size crossover.
Chevrolet is doing exactly the same thing, as the future Blazer is expected to ride on the short wheelbase GM C1 platform shared with the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5. The longer wheelbase version of the same architecture, meanwhile, underpins the full-size Chevrolet Traverse, along with the Buick Enclave.
The new Honda Passport will enter a rapidly-growing midsize crossover segment that was created by the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano and Hyundai Santa Fe (now called Santa Fe Sport). For Honda, the Passport will be the brand’s fourth crossover in the U.S. market that’s been shifting towards utility vehicles and pickup trucks and away from sedans.
Chevy’s lineup will be similarly positioned with four crossovers, from the subcompact Trax, compact Equinox, midsize Blazer and full-size Traverse. In fact, both the new Blazer and future Honda Passport will likely reach the market around the same timeframe as 2020 model year vehicles… at which point the battle for which model will capture the minds and hearts of the car buying public to sell more will commence.
Mainstream Crossover Utility Vehicles - June 2018
|Jeep||Renegade||Compass, Cherokee||Grand Cherokee||Wagoneer / Grand Wagoneer 1|
|Hyundai||Kona||Tucson||Santa Fe Sport||Santa Fe|
|Volkswagen||T-Roc 2||Tiguan Limited||Tiguan||Atlas|
|Mitsubishi||-||Outlander Sport, Eclipse Cross||Outlander||-|
1 - Future or expected model.
2 - Not (yet) available in United States market.