Compared: 2022 Honda Passport vs. 2022 Honda Pilot

Are you deciding if you need two or three rows of seats in your next mid-size SUV? Read how Honda’s Passport and Pilot compare.

Nick Kurczewski | 
May 23, 2022 | 4 min read

Honda Passport & Honda Pilot compared above each otherHonda

The 2022 Honda Passport and Honda Pilot are popular mid-size SUVs that deliver the higher ride height, roomy cabin, and large cargo hold that car shoppers want in a modern and versatile family vehicle. The two-row, five-passenger Passport has a slightly more rugged image, thanks to the newly restyled and more aggressive front grille and bumper for the 2022 model year. Alternatively, the three-row Pilot is geared towards driving comfort and seating versatility, with room for up to eight on board.

These two Honda SUVs ride on the same platform and come standard with front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive is available or fitted as standard on higher trims. Each is powered by a 3.5L V6 that provides a stout 280 hp and works in cooperation with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

When compared side-by-side, which of these Hondas is perfect for your SUV needs and budget? We’ve broken this intra-Honda rivalry into three main categories to answer this very question.

2022 Honda Passport vs. 2022 Honda Pilot: Price

When it comes to the three-row Pilot, you have seven trims to choose from. The base, eight-passenger Sport starts around $39,000 with FWD; AWD is a $2,000 addition. Starting at around $46,000 for the Pilot TrailSport, traction at all four wheels becomes standard. The top two trims—the opulent almost $51,000 Elite and the $53,000+ Black Edition—offer captain’s chairs in the middle row which reduces the seat count to seven, though it makes accessing the third row a little easier.

No matter which of the three Passport trims you choose, there’s only room for five on board. There’s no entry-level Pilot Sport trim equivalent for the Passport, so the lowest price is the around $39,000 EX-L, which costs less than a comparable EX-L Pilot (AWD is $2,100 extra for the Passport). Additionally, that sibling discount applies to the off-road-ready $43,000+ Passport TrailSport AWD and luxurious $46,000+ Elite AWD trims.

Keep in mind that each Honda midsize SUV comes standard with an 8 inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and tri-zone climate control. How heavy you want to get with options—such as heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, hands-free power liftgate, and available Wi-Fi hot spot—depends on your driving demands and budget.

Honda Pilot interior seatsHonda | Pilot

2022 Honda Passport vs. 2022 Honda Pilot: Interior

The Passport delivers adult-friendly space in its two rows of seating, and you get an expansive 41 cu.-ft. of cargo volume behind the rear seatbacks. Need more space? The Pilot offers 47 cu.-ft. (46 in the seven-passenger trims) of room behind its second row and 16 cu.-ft. when the third-row seats are in use. If you routinely plan to travel with a full complement of friends and family, the three-row Pilot is the smart choice.

The winner here comes down to whether you prefer more instantly accessible cargo space or the extra seating afforded by a third row. We’ll give a narrow win to the Passport since it comes standard with wireless charging (an option in the Pilot) and three USB ports versus two in the base Pilot Sport.

Honda Passport steering and front displayHonda | Passport

2022 Honda Passport vs. 2022 Honda Pilot: Fuel Economy

Getting the most from your next SUV doesn't mean spending a fortune at the fuel pump. The Passport and Pilot return about average fuel economy figures for midsize SUVs, yet the larger Pilot holds a small advantage in either front- or all-wheel drive configuration.

Despite extra room for passengers and their gear, the FWD Pilot delivers the best fuel economy with an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway. This compares with the FWD Passport's 20/25 mpg. Adding AWD to either SUV makes only a small dent in mileage, with the Pilot coming in at 19/26 mpg and the Passport at 19/24. One lone outlier is the off-road-themed Pilot TrailSport that returns 19/25 mpg.

In terms of which is the better SUV, these two Hondas offer two intriguing choices in a Honda showroom. It's close, but numbers don't lie.

Matched trim-to-trim, the two-row Passport costs less to purchase. However, while it gets pricey in its upper two trims, the Pilot's added seating flexibility, slightly better economy, and lower starting price give it an edge in overall practicality.

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Nick Kurczewski

Nick Kurczewski is a freelance automotive journalist based in the New York metro area. With approximately 20 years of experience, he has covered all aspects of the car world, from the pit lane at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to car shows around the world, and a Zamboni lesson in Lower Manhattan. He’s also adept at providing helpful car advice and steering people towards the ideal car, truck, or SUV for their driving needs.