Getting into a Honda Passport just became more expensive even though Honda hasn’t increased the prices of its mid-size SUV.
Although specific trim prices haven’t risen, the entry-level price for the five-seat truck has effectively climbed because Honda has opted to drop the front-wheel drive EX-L version.
Making all-wheel drive standard means the base Passport is now the AWD EX-L, a model that costs $42,395 including the obligatory $1,295 destination fee. Cars Direct notes that move results in consumers paying $2,700 more than before to get onto the bottom rung of the Passport ladder. That news comes only a year after Honda deleted the Sport trim, resulting in the cheapest 2022 Passport costing $5,080 more than the most affordable 2021 version of the truck.
In terms of size, the Passport slots into Honda’s North American range between the freshly overhauled CR-V and the seven-seat Pilot. But the Pilot, which is scheduled to get its own makeover next year, is more affordable than the Passport, and starts at just under $40,000, in part because it is available in front-wheel drive form. Cars Direct suggests that the Pilot will push past the Passport on price when the new car arrives in 2023.
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A Honda spokesperson reiterated that it had form for this kind of maneuver, having also pulled the front-drive option from the Ridgeline pickup truck series two years ago. The Passport and Ridgeline aren’t the only Hondas that became suffered instant price rises as a result of disappearing variants. Honda’s decision to drop the LX trim from the CR-V range when the new 2023 model arrived increased the small SUV’s entry price by over $4,300.