If you’re shopping for a new two-row SUV for the family, you’ve got plenty of options here in the states—options like Ford’s 2020 Edge and Honda’s new Passport. Both are roomy. Both are practical. Both carry over 2019 IIHS Top Safety Picks. But where their similarities end, their vast differences begin. Let’s take a peek at each to see which crossover you should welcome to your garage this year.
Starter vs. Bench-Warmer
Like a heavily scouted, all-state high school football star, the 2020 Honda Passport is an impressive specimen. It’s 190.5 inches long, 78.6 inches wide, 72.2 inches tall and offers 8.1 inches of ground clearance. Passport’s competitor, the base 2020 Ford Edge SE, is 188.8 inches long, 75.9 inches wide, 68.3 inches tall and provides 8 inches of ground clearance.
Superior ground clearance and a peppy V6 help the Passport accelerate past the Edge when taken off the beaten track. The new Passport has a trusty motor that won’t quit; its base 3.5L V6 engine makes 280 horsepower and pairs well with a standard 9-speed shift-by-wire transmission (and paddle shifters). It’s the ultimate QB-coach duo. The 2020 Ford Edge features a standard 250-horsepower twin-scroll 2.0L I-4 turbo and 8-speed transmission.
The addition of a multi-mode terrain dial, which Honda dubbed the “Intelligent Traction Management system,” allows Passport to tackle snow, mud, sand and just about anything else thrown its way. A refined four-wheel independent suspension provides splendid maneuverability on rough, rock-padded roads. With a trailering capacity of up to 5,000 pounds*—the 2020 Edge can only tow up to 3,500 lbs.—the 2020 Passport doesn’t even break a sweat when work gets difficult.
And when it comes to cargo, Passport is more capable of carrying a team to victory. Honda Passport offers 100.8 cubic feet of max cargo volume* and 115.9 cubic feet of passenger room. The 2020 Edge has room for just 73.4 cubic feet of stuff and offers 113.9 cu. ft. of space for riders. Watch the video below to further see how last year’s Edge and Passport models compare off-road.
Honda Sensing vs. Co-Pilot360™
The Passport is standard with the Honda Sensing safety suite. This includes enhanced safety and driver-assist technology like Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control. Base Ford Edge models offer a similar array of safety tech, plus auto high-beam headlamps, but don’t include standard adaptive cruise control. Honda’s SUV is a bit better thanks to its inclusion of ACC.
Other nice tech additions that put Honda ahead of Ford is the inclusion of remote-start and a larger base infotainment touchscreen (5 inches vs Ford’s 4.2-inch display).
Designing and manufacturing the all-new Passport was easy for Honda engineers. It’s based on the best-selling three-row Pilot, just with a slimmer frame and, of course, two rows of seats. Still, the Honda Passport stands on its own merits—mostly being a rugged SUV capable of tackling those off-the-grid adventures us Ohio and Indiana Midwesterners crave. And that’s why it’s our recommended midsize crossover.
*Maximum towing capacity for AWD trims is 5,000 lbs. Maximum towing capacity for 2WD trims is 3,500 lbs. Towing requires accessory towing equipment. Please see your Honda dealer for details.
*Based on SAE J1100 cargo volume measurement standard plus, where applicable, floor space between seating rows and seats in their forward-most and upright position.
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