Do these crossovers bring their top game to the snow and ice?
While the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure and 2019 Honda Passport are different vehicles that complete in two different classes, they will be cross-shopped as well. Why? Simple: both vehicles represent the most capable vehicles in their class, and both drive exceptionally well off-road (for crossovers). Despite a $7,000 – $10,000 difference, they both inhabit a similar space.
What compelled us into testing them back-to-back was the rare opportunity to drive both on a snow and ice course. We attended the Rocky Mountain Redline Ice Encounter driving event. This took place over two days in the snow-covered hills of Winter Park, Colorado and the frozen lake in Georgetown, CO. Driving courses were set up to test vehicles (equipped with snow tires) in difficult driving situations.
2019 Toyota RAV4 Powertrain
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure has a 203 horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 184 lbs-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. It’s hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission that feeds all four wheels via a slick
Multi-Terrain Select system. It adds torque vectoring to the rear end while allowing up to 50% of the power to be sent to the rear wheels. It also has settings for mud, sand, rocks and snow. So far, the system has proven adept at challenging traction situations.
2019 Honda Passport powertrain
The 2019 Honda Passport is a completely different animal. The
2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure and 2019 Honda Passport are both built to be more athletic off the beaten path, but the 2019 Honda Passport is bigger, more powerful and more expensive than the RAV4. It has a 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 280-hp and it makes 262 lb-ft of torque. The whole thing is connected to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
It weighs around 3,700 lbs and our test model’s MSRP was $38,800 fully loaded. While that is pricy, you can get a well featured model for less than $35,000.
All of the mechanicals are directly out of the larger Honda Pilot. Still, despite its smaller size than its brother, the Honda Passport is estimate to weigh over two tons.
It has a well-sorted and easy to use i-VTM4 (Intelligent Variable Torque Management 4), this AWD system features Normal, Sand, Snow, and Mud settings. Push a button, see a graphic on the center display and select it. Easy peasy and very effective.
Our 2019 Honda Passport Elite test vehicle came out to $44,725 as tested. While not a bargain, it’s well within the class of vehicles it competes against.