GET READY TO STAMP YOUR PASSPORT TO ADVENTURE AS WE HEAD INTO YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK WITH HONDA
No matter what life brings, there is always an adventure to be had. Whether you’re running from a hungry bear in the woods or fighting a grocery store mob for 80% off kale; there is something interesting always happening, somewhere. But for those little life moments when things just seem too out of control and an escape is needed, there is always a Passport to adventure waiting.
Exploring beyond the modern confinements of downtown traffic and freeway congestion, Honda invited us up into the woods of the Sierra National Forest to get a taste of what their new mid-size Honda Passport crossover symbolizes. As we arrived into the quaint Fresno International Airport, a Honda representative optimistically handed us a pair of keys to our own private Passport that would soon usher us into the mountains near Yosemite National Park. With an hour and half scenic drive through the Sierra National Forest, we arrived to a picturesque camp ground radiating with several luxury Airstream trailers at a place called Auto Camp. Now this is what I call camping.
Opening up the demographic of the Passport, we can relate to its targeted consumer, designed for people that don’t quite need three rows of Honda Pilot comfort, but want something a little bigger and more powerful than the compact Honda CR-V. Not too long ago we went deep into the red rocks of Sedona in Arizona with a Passport – we also found some fun mud as well. This was when we discovered the capabilities of it incredible all-wheel drive system noted as i-VTM4 or Intelligent Variable Torque Management that can shuffle power from wheel to wheel depending on which trundle requires the most traction. This i-VTM4 system works in conjunction with its Intelligent Traction Management system that can allow to select between difference terrain modes of Snow, Sand Mud, and Normal that automatically figures out how much power application and traction it needs to apply to each specific wheel depending on the scenario. With an advanced all-wheel drive system such as this, there really is no need for that old-school four-wheel drive system once featured on the original Passport in the 90’s.
While we may be up in the woods where the Wi-Fi is weak, our adventure didn’t stray too far from the asphalt. Time was precious and we wanted to make the most of it. With temperatures in the low sixties and Yosemite National Park just an hour away, we wasted no time to get out and explore. If you’re a National Park junkie, then you must be like us and never leave home without your National Parks Passport – obviously we needed to get the picture of our passport with the Passport. The scenery of Yosemite quite literally takes your breath away. Without wondering too far from the internments of the parking lot, we took in the serene stillness of this magical place. And it’s a good thing we did to, because the next day our walk through the woods had me begging for cell service so I could order an Uber Helicopter.
Despite my delicate performance, hiking 2 miles over 7,000 feet above sea level dying for a snack and a nap, the Honda Passport and its thriving 3.5-liter V-6 was far more energetic than I could have ever been. Utilizing the same performance from the Pilot and Ridgeline, the 280-horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque just scooted right along at the call of the throttle. Its nine-speed automatic, regardless of being carried over from other Honda products, was updated in the Passport for optimal performance. Left to its own devices, it’s a happy-go-lucky tranny that’s well-polished in its cues. By a push of a button, we switched the gears into sport mode when the roads got twisted and we started to see a sassy side to the transmission as the revs climb higher encouraging a certain level of behavior as we gripped the steering wheel for a firmer application.
With pricing starting at $31,990 for their entry Sport, the Passport fits all types of lifestyles – whether you’re trying to find that secret waterfall, locate that favorite lake to go kayaking on or just taking the kids to explore this place we call Earth. With the comfortable confinements of a crossover, spirited performance to tackle any road and an incredible all-wheel drive managements system that will literally get you out of a rut, it just goes to show the destination is only part of the adventure – the journey is just where it starts.