Three crossovers go in – only two complete the challenge.
All-wheel drive is a staple feature in modern crossovers, and many buyers choose one over an ordinary car for their capability, as well as their practicality. Cars like the 2019 Honda Passport, Ford Edge and Nissan Murano all come with available all-wheel drive. However, they’re not all equal when it comes to capability. Which one is the best? Tommy finds out in another TFL slip test.
This three-way shootout sees each crossover work for grip using assembly line rollers. The car parks on top of the rollers which are placed under random wheels, and it’s up to the all-wheel drive system to work out how best to route power for optimal grip.
The 2019 Honda Passport is the newcomer to the group. This all-new model is based on the larger Honda Pilot, with the same powertrain and all-wheel drive system. While the Passport shares its wheelbase with the Pilot, it’s significantly shorter in its overall length. While that helps the car’s departure angle, we’re more interested here in the i-VTM4 system. Short for “Intelligent Variable Torque Management”, the system comprises a cast-alloy housing at the rear axle. While the system can send power front-to-rear at any given moment, the electro-hydraulic clutch packs in that housing also help manage power to each of the rear wheels. Apart from simply braking a spinning wheel, the system can also direct power to the wheel with more grip.
Unlike some traditional all-wheel drive systems, the 2019 Ford Edge comes with what’s called “All-Wheel Drive Disconnect”. In 10 milliseconds, the car can detect whether it needs to engage or disengage all-wheel drive. Under normal driving conditions, it’s a 100 percent front-wheel drive vehicle. Some all-wheel drive systems send at least some power to the rear wheels under most conditions. However, should you need it, it can also allocate all its power to the rear wheels.
The 2019 Nissan Murano engages all-wheel drive as you’re pulling away from a stop or doing some cornering. However, under light load in normal conditions, it will run in a front-wheel drive configuration. Unlike the other two, the Murano also mates up to a Continuously Variable Transmission.
All three cars fared decently well on the two-wheel slip test. That test simulated a loss of traction one the left front wheel and the right rear wheel. On the three-wheel slip test, the Passport and Edge also managed without much difficulty. The Ford Edge relied on its traction control system to pull the car off the rollers, but it completed the test once the system figured out how to work with the available grip.
The 2019 Nissan Murano, on the other hand, struggled on the three-wheel slip test. Despite multiple attempts, the all-wheel drive system just kept spinning the wheels on the rollers. Of all the cars, the Passport’s i-VTM4 all-wheel drive system managed the tests with the least difficulty.
Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more slip tests coming soon!