2019 BMW X6 vs. 2019 Honda Passport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X6’s optional 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.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X6 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 X6 offers an optional Surround View Cameras 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 X6’s optional 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 X6 and the Passport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

The X6 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 X6’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Passport’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X6 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 X6’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 rated the X6 first among midsize premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Passport isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 X6 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (302 vs. 280) and 33 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 262) than the Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The X6 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 165 more horsepower (445 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 X6’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Passport doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The X6’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 X6’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 X6 has larger standard tires than the Passport (255/50R19 vs. 245/50R20). The X6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Passport (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 265/45R20).

The X6 xDrive50i’s optional 275/35R21 front and 315/30R21 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 X6 xDrive50i offers optional 21-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 standard on the X6 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 X6 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Passport’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The X6 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 X6 offers an optional 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.

The X6 offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Passport doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X6’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the Passport (115.5 inches vs. 111 inches).

Towing

The X6’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Passport’s (6000 vs. 3500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The X6 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 X6 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

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite, the X6 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The X6 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 X6 and the Passport have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X6 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 X6’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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X6 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Passport doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The X6’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 X6’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 X6’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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