Is the Honda Pastport the no-frills SUV buyers asked for?

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Honda Pastport Honda

Honda jumped on the April Fools Day bandwagon this morning with the neon, 1990s-inspired Pastport option package for its Passport SUV, which fits an interior that is not only retro inspired, but a full-on time warp. Did buyers ask for this? Well, they sort of did.

Enthusiasts have been lamenting for years that new cars have been getting too complicated. A touch screen here, satellite-connected thing there, a power seat that goes how many ways? It’s too much. Cars need to simplify. Not Ford Model T simple, but we can rewind a bit. Honda decided to rewind about 25 years.

Didn’t the automotive world peak with blocky automatic shifters, coin holders (when did those go away?), cassette tape players, and not a single button on the steering wheel? We don’t have to give up the luxury of air conditioning that blows cold consistently and a sound system that actually has stereo output in order to reconnect with the car while driving.

Whether or not we want to be reconnected to a mid-size SUV is up for debate, but that is not to belittle the Pastport. It is the option package few would actually order but folks have been asking to see for years. I personally hope Honda calls our bluff and builds a few. I know I am guilty of saying I would buy a stripped-down new car. So Honda, do I need to line up financing?

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