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SUVs are a foundational aspect to family living and the spontaneous road trip, but they shouldn’t be limited due to size or one’s aspirations. A five-passenger mid-size SUV, the Honda Passport is acclaimed for its perfect size and off-road theme. Filling a gap between the small CR-V and the larger Pilot, the Honda Passport packs unequalled capability for adventure, with versatile storage space, dynamic handling and abundant in-vehicle technology. 

 

As another mid-size SUV, the Nissan Murano competes with the Honda Passport. Although the two SUVs are built around similar guidelines, it is essential to compare the two different experiences that the Honda Passport and the Nissan Murano offer.

 

Style

Winner: Passport/Murano 

Based on individual interests, a clear winner is hard to determine for the Passport or Murano. The Passport was made to integrate family-friendly, athletic and modern looks. The Murano was built with the urban driver in mind, with a sleek and elegant feel.

 

Engine

Winner: Passport

Based on a newer engine architecture, and boasting much more horsepower than its Nissan counterpart, the Passport’s capabilities are class-leading. While the Murano lays claim to a slight fuel-efficiency edge, the Passport boasts better ground clearance to better protect the vehicle’s undercarriage from damage by rocks or uneven terrain. 

When equipped with the required accessory towing package, the Passport maxes out at 2,268 kg (5,000 lb). The Murano only offers a mere 680 kg (1,500 lb) towing capacity. Because of this, the Murano’s ability to tow a trailer of ATV’s and extract another vehicle stuck in the mud is severely limited.

 

Technological Connectivity

Winner: Passport

When it comes to our phones, tablets and laptops, we always need to charge them and wifi is often unavailable when on the road. But, many of us with SUVs also have children – multiplying our needs for fast and easy connectivity. Both the Passport and Murano contain Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, yet the Passport contains four USB ports compared with Murano’s two. Not available with the Murano, the Passport accommodates a standard wifi hotspot and wireless charging.

Safety 

Winner: Passport

Comparing any Honda Passport model to the Nissan Murano Platinum, the safety features of the Honda Sensing Suite and the Nissan Safety Shield are quite the same, but that’s the problem. All Passport occupants are well-protected, a key feature included in Car and Driver. Most of Murano’s Safety Shield 360 features are limited to the Platinum trim. 

The Passport puts more control in the hands of drivers by providing paddle shifters, a feature not offered by the Murano, to help keep the driver’s hands on the steering wheel and sustain the engine in the sweet spot of the rev range. 

 

Exterior

Winner: Passport

Built to excel at both off-road adventures as well as urban commutes, the Passport’s exterior is perfectly functional for every aspect of motoring. With a bumper skid garnish and black wheel arches, the Passport provides a rugged design quite different from the Murano’s sleek styling, which is lacking in off-road features and protections.

In addition, the Passport provides an auto-levelling function to offer drivers better visibility on off-road inclines. Oftentimes it is the little things that make the most difference in our trail adventures. Providing auto-dimming side mirrors that include power-folding technology and a unique capless fuelling system to simplify the process of refilling your vehicle, the Honda Passport’s exterior adds a level of ease that the Murano lacks. 

 

Off-Road Readiness

Winner: Passport

Thanks to the Passport’s Intelligent Traction Management,  drivers are more equipped than ever to handle all kinds of road and off-road conditions. Consisting of Snow, Mud and Sand modes to complement the pavement-oriented Normal mode, drivers can find the Passport has optimal traction and dynamic performance that, according to trucks.com, provides effortless shifting. The Murano does not give the comfort of adaptability to off-road capability. Lacking a similar feature, the Murano does not aspire to take to the trails.

 

Versatility 

Winner: Passport

Whether you’ve been driving on the highway, within the city or on the rocky trails, sometimes driving is just noisy. Even though it’s loud outside, you shouldn’t have to blast your music to cancel out the noise, compromising the opportunity for conversations. Because of the Passport’s Active Noise Cancellation and acoustic glass on the front doors, interior noise is kept to a minimum – a feature unavailable in the Murano. 

While in the Great Outdoors, sometimes the only source of power available is your vehicle. The Passport provides a 115 volt power outlet to provide electricity and power a range of compatible devices. Like the Passport, the Murano features three 12 volt power outlets but lacks the heavy hitter power outlet. 

Maybe you have a vehicle full of passengers, or maybe it’s just you and your partner going for a weekend in the mountains. Either way, manually folding and unfolding seats is just a pain. Passport owners enjoy the added convenience of cargo-mounted buttons to fold the 2nd-row seat. The Murano’s manual release levers require more effort than the Passport’s quick-release buttons.

Pricing

Winner: Murano

Starting prices of the Passport Sport comes in at $43,911, the EX-L at $47,511 and the Touring at $50,911. The lowest trim of the Murano, the Murano S, prices at $32,448, while the Murano SV starts at $38,948, the Murano SL at $43,148, and the top trim, the Murano Platinum, at $46,198. When comparing these models, the Murano does come in at a lesser value for all trims. However, taking into account the spaciousness and full-service safety provided in all trims of the Passport, the extra money is worth the peace of mind and comfort.

 

Honda Passport Awards

“Best Midsize SUV of 2019” by Car and Driver

“Best New Car for 2019” by Autotrader

“Top Rated Midsize SUVs for 2019” Edmunds

 

Category Honda Passport Touring Nissan Murano Platinum 
Pricing $50,911 $46,198
Fuel Economy (City / HWY) 12.5/9.8 L/100KM 11.7/8.5 L/100KM 
Horsepower 280 hp @ 6,000 rpm 260 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Safety Honda Sensing Suite Nissan Safety Shield 360 
Features Wireless Charging, Wi-fi Hotspot, 4 USB Ports, Apple CarPlay, Andriod Auto, Wifi Hotspot Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 2 USB Ports
Cargo Volume (Behind 1st Row) 2,854 L 1,840 L
Cargo Volume (Behind 2nd Row) 1,430 L 880 L
Overall More power, more space, More Connectivity Less power, less space, less connectivity

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