The 2019 Honda Passport, a new mid-size SUV based on the bigger Honda Pilot, has earned a Top Safety Pick rating in testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety — if it was built after June 2019, when its headlight systems were revised.
The Passport earned top marks in all crashworthiness tests by IIHS, which have toughened for 2019 with the added requirement for Top Safety Pick of an acceptable or good score (out of good, acceptable, marginal or poor) in IIHS’ new passenger-side small overlap frontal crash test.
The Passport also got the top score of superior (out of superior, advanced, basic or none) for its forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, which is standard on all trim levels as part of the Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistance tech package. IIHS said the system avoided a frontal collision from 12 mph in track testing and reduced the collision speed by an average of 12 mph in the 25-mph test.
Top Safety Pick is the lesser of two awards given by IIHS. The new two-row SUV missed out on the agency’s top award, Top Safety Pick Plus, because its two available headlight systems fell short of top “good” score, which is required for the Plus award. Both available headlight systems, which include automatic high beams, scored a notch lower (acceptable), which qualified the SUV for a Top Safety Pick. And that score applies only to Passports built after June, when the LED and partial LED headlight systems were revised; headlights before that time scored a poor rating, and Passports equipped with those units are not rated as Top Safety Picks.
See how the Passport stacks up against other mid-size SUVs in IIHS testing. Among the Passport’s mainstream two-row SUV rivals tested, neither the 2019 Ford Edge nor the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee qualified for a Top Safety Pick award, but the Passport fell short of the Top Safety Pick Plus designation earned by the redesigned 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe (when the Hyundai is equipped with the best of its available headlight systems).
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The Passport is one of eight 2019 Honda models to earn IIHS crashworthiness awards. Also Top Safety Picks are the Pilot, Odyssey, Ridgeline, Accord, CR-V and HR-V, while the Insight hybrid sedan earned a Top Safety Pick Plus.
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