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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q8 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Honda Passport doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The Q8’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.
Both the Q8 and Passport have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q8 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Passport’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The Q8 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies 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 Q8. But it costs extra on the Passport.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Q8’s standard Hill Descent Assist allows you to creep down safely. The Passport doesn’t offer Hill Descent Assist.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q8 Prestige 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 Q8 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard Top 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.
Both the Q8 and the Passport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Audi Q8 weighs 768 to 1046 pounds more than the Honda Passport. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q8 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Passport last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2019.
The Q8 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 Q8’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Passport’s (12 vs. 5 years).
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Q8’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Passport’s camshafts. If the Passport’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.
The Q8’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 55 more horsepower (335 vs. 280) and 107 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 262) than the Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6.
As tested in Motor Trend the Audi Q8 is faster than the Honda Passport:
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
Regenerative brakes improve the Q8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Passport doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The Q8 has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Passport (22.5 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the Q8’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Passport:
The Q8’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.
For better traction, the Q8 has larger standard tires than the Passport (275/50R20 vs. 245/50R20). The Q8’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Passport (285/45R21 vs. 265/45R20).
The Q8’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series 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 Q8 offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Passport’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.
The Q8 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 Q8’s wheelbase is 7 inches longer than on the Passport (117.9 inches vs. 110.9 inches).
The Q8 Prestige handles at .83 G’s, while the Passport Elite AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Q8 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Passport Elite AWD (26.9 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s).
The Q8 has .7 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear legroom than the Passport.
The Q8’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Passport’s (7700 vs. 3500 pounds).
The Q8 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 Q8 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 Audi service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 42% lower rating, Honda is ranked 23rd.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite, the Q8 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The Q8 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction 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 Q8’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Passport’s parking brake has to released manually.
The power windows standard on both the Q8 and the Passport have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Q8 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 Q8’s front and rear power windows all 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 Passport’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
The Q8’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 intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
A manual rear sunshade is optional in the Q8 and power rear side window sunshades are standard in the Q8 Prestige to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Passport doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
The Q8’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 Q8’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Passport’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.
The Q8 Prestige offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Passport.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Q8 second among midsize premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Passport isn’t in the top three.
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