Honda has reportedly stamped the papers for a return of the Passport nameplate on a crossover, set to sit between the CR-V and US-market Pilot.
According to a report by industry journal Automotive News, the two-row SUV will be around 15cm shorter than the current three-row Pilot reserved for the North American market. It’s expected to go head-to-head with the Hyundai Santa Fe and Ford Edge/Endura.
The article, which quotes a source referencing conversations with dealers, says the car will be shown at a dealer meeting in November this year ahead of a Los Angeles motor show reveal. It’s expected to hit the market in 2019.
There’s no doubt Honda Australia will be keen to get its hands on the car if it’s built in right-hand drive. The company has previously expressed a desire to add a bigger SUV to its lineup, but the Pilot has remained firmly off-limits.
Above: The last Honda Passport, sold in the USA
“It’s no secret that large SUVs and pick-ups are big opportunities,” Stephen Collins, Honda Australia director, told CarAdvice in May 2017.
“At this point in time, and for the foreseeable future there is no right-hand drive option for us to fill those gaps.
“Pick-ups and large SUVs – as much as they might be on our shopping lists – there’s nothing available to us. It doesn’t mean we don’t continue to chase that opportunity,” he said.
“We’re constantly in talks with our parent company on what the opportunities are, and clearly there are opportunities.”