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With SUV Sales Going Places, Honda Finally Renews Its Passport

2019 Honda Passport

Ya know how you're supposed to renew your passport every decade? Maybe eight years late is better than never. Honda is finally renewing its own Passport, some 18 years after the automaker ditched the nameplate, on Nov. 27 at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Teaser images and a short video released today confirm that the 2019 Honda Passport, like its forebear, remains an SUV — but similarities beyond that are anyone's guess.

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Honda promises the new Passport will be "designed, developed and manufactured in America" and represent "a more personal, powerful and off-road-capable SUV." Indeed, a teaser image shows four doors, roof rails and a prominent liftgate spoiler, while a torrent of dust obscures other details as the SUV barrels up a dirt road.

When the Passport launches in early 2019, Honda says it will slot between the CR-V and Pilot in its SUV lineup. That indicates likely competition with mid-size SUVs like the Nissan Murano, Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Edge — or Bronco, whenever that turns up.

2019 Honda Passport

If you barely remember the original Passport, we can't blame you. Honda sold it from the 1994-2002 model years, but the automaker has little claim beyond the nameplate. Essentially a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo under a onetime joint program between the two automakers, the Passport employed the body-on-frame construction in vogue among the SUVs of the 1990s. (En Vogue, by contrast, was among those SUVs' tape decks.) Given how the vast majority of today's utility vehicles employ car-based construction, don't be disappointed if Honda eschews the Passport's original underpinnings.

Related: More 2018 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

Cars.com is your first-class ticket to coverage of the Passport's big unveiling on Nov. 27, so be sure to check back in with us then. And for anyone who fancies a Rodeo comeback, don't lose sleep waiting for it: Isuzu abandoned the U.S. passenger-vehicle market in 2008.

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