2020 Honda Passport vs. 2020 Subaru Outback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/20

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, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Passport the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 106 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Outback has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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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

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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’ 2019 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 16th in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.

Engine

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The Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 98 more horsepower (280 vs. 182) and 86 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 176) than the Outback 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 20 more horsepower (280 vs. 260) than the Outback XT’s standard 2.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Passport is faster than the Outback 2.5i:

Passport

Outback

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

86.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/20

An engine control system that can shut down some 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.

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

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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

The Passport stops shorter than the Outback:

Passport

Outback

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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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 Base/Premium’s standard 65 series tires. The Passport Touring/Elite’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Outback Onyx Edition XT/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 Base/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

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The Passport has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Outback doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

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 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Outback.

The Passport Elite AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Outback Limited XT pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

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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

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The Passport has 6.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Outback (115.9 vs. 109).

The Passport has 3.6 inches more front hip room, 3.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, .1 inches more rear legroom, 2.5 inches more rear hip room and 4.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Outback.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Passport’s rear seats recline. The Outback’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Passport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Outback with its rear seat up (41.2 vs. 32.5 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. 75.7 cubic feet).

Towing

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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 3500 pounds. The Passport AWD offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Passport has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Outback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Outback’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Passport Elite’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Passport to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Outback doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

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/Onyx.

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 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

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

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