Honda is getting serious about giving its unibody truck and SUV models the bold, truckish appearance needed to appeal to a certain subset of automotive consumers. The recently face-lifted 2021 Honda Ridgeline arguably marked the brand’s first step in this direction. Still, it seems Honda believes it needs to kick things up a notch to properly compete with the likes of Subaru’s Wilderness line of vehicles and Toyota’s TRD and Adventure models, which is surely why the brand is revealing its forthcoming Trailsport trim line.
Honda fails to expand on which specific models it plans to apply the Trailsport moniker to. Even so, the above teaser video gives away the Passport mid-size SUV will likely serve as the Honda vehicle that debuts the Trailsport line. That said, we’d be shocked if Honda didn’t extend the Trailsport trim to the three-row Pilot SUV and Ridgeline pickup. We wager it’s only a matter of time until the CR-V and HR-V get the Trailsport kit, as well.
What does the Trailsport trim entail? Well, if you’re hoping for additional off-road hardware, then prepare to be disappointed, as Honda notes the Trailsport will initially arrive as simply an appearance package that features more rugged styling, additional protective cladding, contrasting interior stitching, and easy-to-wash all-weather floor mats.
That’s not quite the same ballpark as competitor’s offerings. For instance, the just-announced Subaru Forester Wilderness gets a slight lift, beefier Yokohama Geolandar tires, and a lower final drive ratio for better low-speed off-roading.
In the coming years, burlier all-terrain tires, full-size spare tires, improved ground clearance, off-road-oriented suspension tuning, underbody armor, and improvements to the all-wheel-drive system are due to find a home on—some—Trailsport models. These bits would theoretically put certain Trailsport-equipped on par with what a number of competitors offer. That’s all down the road, though. For now, look for the first Honda models wearing the Trailsport badge to go on sale this fall.
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