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 HeadlinesSubaru BRZ: An Old-School Sports CarThe 2015 Subaru BRZ, a sports car smartly designed for driving enthusiasts who want to own a light, agile car that can provide that elusive fun factor while also looking cool.
California Statewide Fire Summary: King Fire over 80,000 Acres Firefighters are concerned on the King Fire that this may shift the direction of the fire pushing it back to the South
PCWA Board Declares King Fire EmergencyCalifornia Fire Update: Auburn, CA- Critically important power generation, residential, maintenance, and storage facilities of the Placer County Water Agency
Roseville Fundraiser Raises $18,000 for Upcoming MobilePackA local effort to pack 500,000 meals for malnourished children around the world recently raised nearly $18,000 at a dinner fundraiser
Steinbach Tackles Paranoid SchizophreniaHe began hearing voices in his head at age 15. It started with hearing a man and a woman. They were good voices.
King Fire Forces Air Quality AdvisoryCalifornia Fire Update: The Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control District are issuing this joint Air Quality Advisory to notify the public of poor air quality conditions due to smoke from the King Fire
Sierra College Slashing Annual Water Use by 30 PercentDrought Watch: Rocklin's Sierra College Expected to Decrease Annual Water Use by 30 Percent
Rocklin Claims 26 Million Gallons of Water SavedDrought Watch: City of Rocklin claims a savings of almost 26 million gallons of water by removing some landscape grass, shutting down water parks.
KidsFirst and The Rite Aid Foundation PartnerRoseville, CA -- KidsFirst is the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Placer County, operating three Counseling and Family Resource Centers in Roseville, Auburn and Citrus Heights
California Statewide Fire Summary (9.19.14)California Fire Update: Cooler weather allows progress on King Fire and containment of Dog Bar Fire.
King Fire Threatens PCWA Power SystemCalifornia Fire Update: The King Fire is seriously threatening the PCWA power generation and PG&E transmission facilities.
Golf Tournament Benefits Roseville's Outstanding Teachers' FundRoseville Firefighters will hold their 23rd annual Benefit Tournament on Monday, Oct. 13 at Timber Creek Golf Club in Roseville