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2019 Honda Passport

Starting Price: $33,035 | Price Yours

Above Average: Interior room, off-road ability, ride and handling, standard driver-assist features

Below Average: Price, narrow rear door openings, weak fuel economy, high cargo floor lift-over height

Consensus: A smaller, more off-road friendly version of the Pilot offering great interior room, handling and power, but also a steep price tag.

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2019 Nissan Murano

Starting Price: $32,415 | Price Yours

Above Average: Interior styling, front seat comfort, fuel economy, powerful V6 engine, eclectic styling

Below Average:  1,500-pound tow rating, missing some high-tech features, eclectic styling

Consensus: The Murano is a futuristic 5-passenger SUV with lots of power, good fuel economy and an upscale interior well suited for urban commutes, but not off-road adventures. 

The 2019 Honda Passport is built off the Honda Pilot platform, and as such shares most of its mechanical and interior styling. However, the Passport gets a more aggressive exterior, better suspension and steering tuning, more ground clearance and more capable off-road ability. The optional i-VTM4 all-wheel drive system features torque vectoring for improved cornering on dry pavement, and a multi-mode terrain setting for off-road adventures. The 3.5-liter V6 delivers 280 horsepower and is mated to one of the smoothest and most responsive 9-speed automatics we’ve tested. Acceleration is impressive, and the idle start/stop system’s operation is nearly imperceptible.

Inside the Honda Passport there is generous headroom and hip room, as well as a pretty big cargo area. However, the high cargo floor means you’ll have to do some heavy lifting to get stuff in there. The Passport’s interior is comfortable in all the right places, although the rear doors don’t swing out wide enough, making it more cumbersome to fit in things like a child safety seat. Standard driver assists such as automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, give the Passport a leg up on many competitors, but also bumps up the base price.

The 2019 Nissan Murano offers car-like ride and handling in a rather expressive 5-passenger SUV. Interior room isn’t as generous as in the Passport, but it is more than enough for carrying all but the tallest passengers. The interior has a decidedly upscale feel, with bright hues, fancy dash and door inserts and a number of high-end features such as a panoramic moonroof and Bose audio system.  

Powered by a 260-horsepower V6, the Murano’s performance is every bit as capable as the Passport’s, but its CVT transmission permits better fuel economy, especially on the highway. Nissan has added stepped technology to the Murano’s CVT, making it perform and shift like a geared transmission. Unfortunately, the CVT is one of the reasons why the Murano’s tow rating is a paltry 1,500 pounds.

Honda Passport Advantages

The Passport offers more ground clearance and true off-road ability. It also offers features like wireless charging not available on the Murano. The Passport’s interior is more accommodating, as is its cargo bay, and it has more horsepower and a greater tow rating. Honda’s full suite of advanced driver assists comes standard on every trim, and the Passport also holds its value much better than the Murano.

Nissan Murano Advantages

The Murano offers a more car-like ride, with a more luxurious appearing interior. It also offers features not found on the Passport like a panoramic moonroof and power tilt/telescopic wheel. Thanks to its CVT transmission, the Murano gets better highway fuel economy than the Passport. It also has a slightly lower base price and, unlike the Passport, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the base trim.

Similarities

Both the Passport and Murano come standard with a powerful V6 engine, offer the option of all-wheel drive and can be equipped with advanced driver assists such as lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control. Both come with standard automatic emergency braking and attain a 5-Star government crash test rating.

Final Recommendation

If you’re all about style, comfort and ease of use, the Murano feels like a more civilized choice. However, the Passport is a newer design, comes with more standard driver assist safety equipment and can be taken off the beaten path without worry. The Murano will get better fuel economy on the highway, but the Passport handles better, offers more ground clearance and has superior resale figures. It also offers more interior room, making it the better choice for families or friends on the go.

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  2019 Honda Passport 2019 Nissan Murano
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 3.5-liter V6 3.5-liter V6
Horsepower 280 hp @ 6,000 rpm 260 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 262 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm 240 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 9-spd Continuoulsly Variable
Fuel Economy 22 mpg (20 city/25 hwy) 23 mpg (20 city/28 hwy)
Also Available AWD AWD
Specs    
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5-Star 5-Star
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 111.0 inches 111.2 inches
Overall Length 190.5 inches 192.4 inches
Width 78.6 inches 75.4 inches
Height 71.6 inches 67.8 inches
Turning Diameter 39.5 feet 38.7 feet
Headroom, Front 40.1 inches 39.9 inches
Headroom, Rear 40.1 inches 39.8 inches
Legroom, Front 40.9 inches 40.5 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.6 inches 38.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 62.0 inches 59.5 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 61.9 inches 58.8 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 115.9 cu. ft. 108.1 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 41.2 cu. ft. 32.1 cu. ft.
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