Best & Worst Honda Passport Years

We've ranked all Honda Passport models for each generation so you can avoid picking the worst Honda Passport years and pick the best instead.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll break down the latest Honda Passport generations, revealing the best Honda Passport years to buy and the worst years to avoid.

Our analysis draws upon robust data and reviews from reputable sources such as NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and Edmunds, ensuring that our recommendations are well-founded and trustworthy.

With a special focus on each Honda Passport generation, we delve into yearly reliability, safety, technology, common owner-reported problems, recalls, and average resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Honda Passport Generations

The Honda Passport first made its debut in the early 1990s as Honda’s venture into the SUV market, initially introduced as a part of a collaboration with Isuzu. It was designed to cater to the growing demand for sport utility vehicles, offering both utility and off-road capability combined with the comfort and reliability expected from Honda.

Below is a brief overview of the Honda Passport generations from 1998 to the present:

2nd generation (CK58/CM58/DM58)1998-2002
3rd generation (YF7/YF8)2019-Present

Recognizing the differences between each Honda Passport generation is key, as these distinctions can greatly influence a buyer’s decision.

Honda Passport Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When it comes to evaluating the best and worst years of the Honda Passport, our rankings and categorizations are based on a multitude of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

This graph consolidates ratings from the aforementioned sources, providing a holistic view of the Honda Passport’s performance across different years.

Honda Passport Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

This table organizes Honda Passport model years into best, neutral, and worst years groups, based on extensive data analysis.

GenerationBest YearsWorst Years
2nd (CK58/CM58/DM58)20021998
3rd (YF7/YF8)2021

By “Neutral Years,” we mean those model years that haven’t distinctly stood out for either excellence or poor performance, maintaining an average position in reliability and satisfaction.

Factors like NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints can significantly reduce a vehicle’s reliability rating, suggesting potential safety concerns and quality issues.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years for the Honda Passport.

Best & Worst Years for Honda Passport 2nd Generation (1998-2002)

Honda Passport 2nd generation 1998 model
The 1998 Honda Passport

The second-generation Honda Passport, introduced in 1998, represented a significant step forward in Honda’s foray into the burgeoning SUV market of the late 20th century. 2002 is the best year for the second-gen Honda Passport, while from 1998 to 2001 are the years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2002

The 2002 Honda Passport emerged as the best year for the second generation, addressing many of the earlier models’ defects.

It came equipped with a 3.2L V6 engine, capable of producing 205 hp, paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission, offering a balance between power and efficiency.

This model year boasted improved fuel economy, with an average of 15 city/20 highway MPG, making it more competitive within its segment.

Trim levels were refined to enhance the overall driving experience, including the LX, EX, and the luxury-oriented EX-L, each offering incremental upgrades in comfort and technological amenities.

Notably, the 2002 Passport incorporated advanced safety features for the time, such as dual front airbags and anti-lock braking systems (ABS), which had been revised to address the failure issues noted in previous years.

The Worst Years: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001

The Honda Passport years to avoid, 1998 through 2001 faced considerable challenges, primarily due to reliability and safety concerns.

The early years suffered from significant brake system issues, including ABS failures that compromised safety, excessive oil consumption and erratic performance, and transmission problems that led to rough shifting and decreased durability.

Structural integrity was a critical issue, with frame corrosion leading to recalls, particularly concerning given the SUV’s off-road positioning.

The accumulation of these issues, alongside the recalls for the engine wiring harness and ABS problems, underscored the 1998-2001 Honda Passport models as the least reliable within this generation.

See NHTSA 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Honda Passport recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Honda Passport 3rd Generation (2019-Present)

Honda Passport 3rd generation 2019 model
The 2019 Honda Passport

The third-generation Honda Passport, reintroduced in 2019, featured a more modern aesthetic, updated technology, and improved performance capabilities compared to its predecessors.

The best years for the third-gen Honda Passport span between 2021 and 2024, while the years to avoid are 2019 and 2020.

The Best Years: 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024

The best years for the third-generation Honda Passport, spanning from 2021 to 2024, showcased the model’s maturity in terms of technology, safety, and performance.

Equipped with a robust 3.5L V6 engine across all these years, producing 280 hp and paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, these models offered a smooth and responsive driving experience. Fuel efficiency stood at an impressive 20 city/25 highway MPG, making it a competitive choice for its class.

Safety features were significantly enhanced, and the Honda Sensing Suite became standard. This suite includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist systems.

Trim levels were diversified to cater to various customer preferences, ranging from the well-equipped base Sport model to the luxurious Elite trim, offering features such as wireless phone charging, a hands-free power tailgate, and premium audio systems.

Technological advancements were evident in the integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an 8-inch display screen, and improved connectivity options, making these years highly sought after for their balance of performance, comfort, and tech-savviness.

The Worst Years: 2019, 2020

The third-gen Honda Passport years to avoid, 2019 and 2020, encountered several teething problems, particularly related to the electrical system and forward collision avoidance features.

Early adopters reported issues with the auto idle-stop system, which could be erratic, and there were instances of intermittent brake activation due to malfunctions in the forward collision avoidance system.

Recalls during these years focused on critical areas such as inoperative rearview cameras, fuel pump failures, and instrument cluster display malfunctions.

Consequently, while still offering a solid foundation in terms of performance and capability, the 2019 and 2020 model years are generally considered less desirable compared to the subsequent improvements realized in 2021 and beyond.

See NHTSA 2019, 2020 Honda Passport recalls and complaints.

Honda Passport Resale Values

See the graph below to see the Honda Passport’s average resale values across different years.

Honda Passport Average List Price


Now that we’ve gone through the Honda Passport’s history, our recommendation leans towards the 2002 and 2021-2024 Honda Passport models as the best years for the reasons we specified in the respective sections. They are simply the best Honda Passport years.

Furthermore, the 1998-2001, 2019, and 2020 models are the worst Honda Passport model years recommended to avoid due to their initial teething problems.

Which year of the Honda Passport do you think offers the best value for its price?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.