2019 Honda Passport vs. 2019 Subaru Outback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Passport deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Passport’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Outback’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Both the Passport and the Outback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 66 percent more Honda dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Passport’s warranty.

Reliability

The engine in the Passport has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Outback have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 23rd in initial quality. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

Engine

The Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 105 more horsepower (280 vs. 175) and 88 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 174) than the Outback 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 24 more horsepower (280 vs. 256) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 247) than the Outback 3.6R’s standard 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Passport’s fuel efficiency. The Outback doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Passport’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Outback doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Passport has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Outback (19.5 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Passport has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Outback doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Passport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outback:

 

Passport

Outback

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Passport has larger standard tires than the Outback (245/50R20 vs. 225/65R17). The Passport Touring/Elite’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outback (265/45R20 vs. 225/65R17).

The Passport Sport/EX-L’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outback 2.5i/2.5i Premium’s standard 65 series tires. The Passport Touring/Elite’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Outback Limited/Touring’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Passport has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Outback 2.5i/2.5i Premium. The Outback’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Passport has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Outback doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Passport’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the Outback (110.9 inches vs. 108.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Passport is 5 inches wider in the front and 4.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Outback.

Chassis

The Passport uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Outback doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Passport has 7.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Outback (115.9 vs. 108.1).

The Passport has 3.6 inches more front hip room, 3.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 1.5 inches more rear legroom, 2.3 inches more rear hip room and 4.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Outback.

Cargo Capacity

The Passport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Outback with its rear seat up (41.2 vs. 35.5 cubic feet). The Passport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Outback with its rear seat folded (77.9 vs. 73.3 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Passport’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Outback doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Passport Touring/Elite’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outback doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

The Passport’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Outback’s (3500 vs. 2700 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Outback is only 2700 pounds. The Passport offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Passport Touring/Elite’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Outback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Passport’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Outback’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Passport the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Outback can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Passport Elite’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Outback’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

When the Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Outback’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Passport Elite keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Outback doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Passport has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring.

Both the Passport and the Outback offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Passport has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Outback Base/Premium doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Passport Touring/Elite has a 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Outback doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Passport is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Outback doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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