2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Honda Passport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Passport doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X5 has standard Active Protection, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Passport doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X5. But it costs extra on the Passport.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Passport doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5 offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Passport only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The X5’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Passport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 and the Passport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The X5 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Passport’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Passport’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Passport.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the X5’s engine. A rubber belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Passport’s camshafts. If the Passport’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 7 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 55 more horsepower (335 vs. 280) and 68 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 262) than the Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 176 more horsepower (456 vs. 280) and 217 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 262) than the Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Passport doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The X5’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Passport doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The X5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Passport are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the Passport (265/50R19 vs. 245/50R20). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Passport (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 265/45R20).

The X5’s optional 275/35R22 front and 315/30R22 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Passport Touring/Elite’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Passport’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Passport doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X5 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Passport doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Honda doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Passport.

The X5 has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Passport’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Passport (117.1 inches vs. 111 inches).

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Passport (8.7 vs. 8.4 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the X5 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Passport doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X5 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Passport can only carry 5.

Cargo Capacity

The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Passport’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The X5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Passport’s (6603 vs. 3500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Honda Passport is only 5000 pounds. The X5 offers up to a 7209 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The X5 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Passport uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the X5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Passport. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 48% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Passport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the X5 and the Passport have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X5 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Passport prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X5’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Passport’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The X5’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite.

The X5’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Passport’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The X5’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Passport doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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