Honda Passport

Released in 1993, the Honda Passport was a mid-size Sport Utility Vehicle produced by Isuzu, as Honda's first entry in the United States' truck market, and was in fact only sold in the United States. Built and designed exclusively by Isuzu, who sold it as the Rodeo, the Passport was seen by Honda as an easy entry into the growing SUV market in the United States. Essentially, this was an SUV wagon version of the Isuzu pickup truck, similar to the Jeep Cherokee and the Mitsubishi Montero Sport. Reviews were lackluster, calling the design a bit behind the times as a crossover and inferior to the more refined trucks such as the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The year 1996 saw the removal of the entry-level DX trim, making room for the Honda CR-V, which was much better received. The Honda version was discontinued after 2002, replaced by the Accord-based Pilot. Isuzu decided shortly thereafter to discontinue not only the Rodeo, but also the Axiom. This lead to the removal of all Isuzu-designed passenger vehicles in the US. Prior though, the Passport was part of a growing partnership between Isuzu and Honda in the 1990s, in which Isuzu supplied Honda with SUVs and Honda supplied Isuzu with cars – in particular the Isuzu Gemini and the Isuzu Oasis. The Passport sold quite well in the regions of the United States such as the Pacific Northwest against competitors such as the truck-based Nissan Pathfinder. However, Honda dealers today exclude the Passport from guaranteed trade-in value promotions, implying that the resale value is weaker than most other Hondas. This of course is directly because the is nothing more than a rebadged Isuzu. Buyers would have been much better off to hold out for a real Toyota, which would have been superbly built and would hold its value quite well.