Honda Pilot remains a strong choice as mid-size SUV
At first glance, it's hard to believe this beefy-looking sport utility vehicle is viewed as a midsize crossover. Sitting tall and with nearly three inches added in width during its second generation remodeling, one would swear that the Honda Pilot rests on a truck frame.
And maybe that's the beauty of the Pilot - looks can be very deceiving. Even if it doesn't have the same type of handling capability one comes to expect from the many sleek crossovers that now inhabit the road, for a fairly big SUV the Pilot is hardly truck-like, even if its boxy and upright exterior appearance suggests otherwise.
This is the ninth year for the Pilot, a midsize SUV that comes standard with three rows of seating and can accommodate eight people. Back in 2003 it was the first SUV that was a car-based model in this category, although that's no longer the case.
The Pilot remains among the industry leaders in this segment. But the competition is tougher than ever. Vehicles like the Dodge Durango, Ford Flex, Mazda CX-9, Chevrolet Traverse and Dodge Journey are serious rivals.
There have been some telling changes with the 2012 Honda Pilot, whose last major redesign came in 2009. The exterior features a front end with a restyled bumper, headlights and grille. Interior changes include a more colorful, appealing dashboard, additional gauges, and Honda ditched some of the cheap plastic.
Still based on the popular Accord, the Pilot delivers a solid combination of utility, comfort and relatively high quality features that honestly reminds some people of the popular Honda Odyssey mini-van.
All four Pilot models share the same engine, a 3.5-liter, V6 that produces 250 horsepower and has 253 pound-feet of torque. The performance is not overly impressive and doesn't match some of the competition. The Pilot goes 0-60 in 9.1 seconds.
Still, for every-day use the Pilot provides the basic necessities. Although now more rugged in appearance than ever, don't plan on any off-road adventures. The towing capacity is 3,500 pounds with the two-wheel drive and increases to 4,500 in four-wheel mode.
The Pilot possesses some car-like qualities, so it continues to deliver a comfortable ride on most road surfaces. The Pilot scores near the top in many safety aspects. Gas mileage has increased the past few years and now averages 18-25 mpg.
The sticker price for the four-wheel drive Touring model, which includes a top-tier navigation and DVD entertainment system in the back seat, is relatively high at an estimated $39,370. Yet the LX model, which also comes standard with four-wheel drive, can be purchased for around $28,620.
The Pilot previously received criticism for its smallish third seating, which most owners probably lay flat and leave unused. The third row seating has increased in overall size, but it's still not very suitable for adults.
However, the second row offers supportive seating with good head and leg room. The Pilot's cargo space ranks high and really opens up when the third row goes down. There is an abundance of storage bins that give the Pilot some suitable family versatility.
The Pilot has considerable competition, but remains a good buy. It's good to excellent in practically every category and has the Honda's good name and resale value going for it as well.
2012 Honda Pilot
* Performance: 3.5-liter, V6, 250 horsepower
* Mileage estimate: 18-25 mpg
* Price: $28,620 to $39,370
* Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain 5 years/60,000 miles; corrosion 5 years/unlimited
Print This Article
Placer County News HeadlinesProposed Auburn Costco Terms Under ReviewAuburn, CA -- The Placer County Board of Supervisors will review key financial terms Tuesday for a prospective ground lease agreement with Costco Wholesale Corp. that include a company contribution to help
Indigenous Peoples Days in Rocklin March 19-22Rocklin, CA--Sierra College's Native American Club, the New Legacy Committee, the Sierra College Press and Heyday Books will cosponsor a four-day event: Indigenous Peoples Days during its Yomen Weda or Spring Equinox Festival
Beth Gaines Announces Re-Election BidROSEVILLE- Small business owner and State Assemblywoman Beth Gaines (R-Roseville) announced her bid for re-election to California's Sixth Assembly District.
Roseville Company Partners in $39 Million Apartment CommunityBased in Roseville, USA Properties Fund Inc. debuted the Mayfair Court - a 93-unit apartment community at 65 McCreery Avenue in San Jose on March 6.
Placer County Water Agency Meets Stewardship CommitmentsManaging California's complex water storage and delivery system is a never-ending balancing act between supply, demand, and environmental considerations, especially during a severe water shortage.
Safeway and Albertsons Announce Merger AgreementSafeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) and Albertsons announced today a definitive agreement under which AB Acquisition LLC ("AB Acquisition") will acquire all outstanding shares of Safeway
Roseville Crime Report Digest (3-6-14)The Roseville Police Department crime report digest March 6, 2014.
Plane Crash in Placer County UpdateA plane crash approximately 3-4 miles south by south east of the Truckee Airport. The decedent is 55 year old Darla Farnell.
Placer SPCA Seeks 2014 Hero Awards NominationsRoseville, CA - Placer SPCA is seeking nominations for the 2014 Hero Awards, to be presented at the 13th annual Funny Bones Comedy and Awards Night on Friday, April 25.
AAA Funds Supports Roseville Fire Museum and Roseville Firefighters CharityThe AAA Roseville South Branch Office is providing $2,500 each to the Roseville Fire Museum and the Roseville Firefighters Charity.
Rocklin Crime Report Digest (3-6-14)The Rocklin Police Department's weekly crime report digest for the period of February 25, 2014 to March 3, 2014.
Roseville Physician Elected to TMPG Chair of the BoardChris Palkowski, MD, has been elected chair of the board of directors of The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG), the governing board of the largest medical group in the nation with 8,000 physicians serving 3.4 million