Honda Passport: Which Should You Buy, 2020 or 2021?

Most significant changes: Base models add touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

Price change: $200 to $600 increase

On sale: Now

Which should you buy, 2020 or 2021? 2020, unless you’re shopping the base model

As the Honda Passport SUV enters the third year of its current generation, Honda is bumping up the standard audio system. For the 2019 and 2020 model years, the two-row SUV’s base Sport trim level had a 5-inch audio display without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Other Passport trims (EX-L, Touring and Elite in ascending order) upgraded to an 8-inch touchscreen system called Display Audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Related: What’s New From Honda for 2021?

For 2021, the 5-inch display is now gone and the 8-inch display standard on the base Passport Sport. If you’re shopping for the Sport, the move may come as two steps forward and one step back: The SUV’s Display Audio system lacks a tuning knob or physical buttons, instead adopting touch-sensitive panels adjacent to the screen — an unintuitive layout that cost the Passport points in our recent Mid-Size SUV Challenge. We aren’t alone here: Recent J.D. Power research indicates consumers also want physical controls. If you want real buttons and a tuning knob, all else be damned, the base stereo in the 2019-20 Passport Sport has both.

Still, it’s a safe bet the larger screen and smartphone integration outweigh the negatives on the Passport Sport, whose price increases $600 for 2021. Other trim levels are up $200. That means the 2021 Passport Sport runs $33,710 with front-wheel drive, with EX-L ($37,730) and Touring ($40,600) models scaling up from there (all prices include destination). Optional all-wheel drive adds $2,000, the same as before, while the range-topping Elite trim ($45,100) comes standard with AWD.

The 2021 Passport is on sale today.

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