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
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesTahoe Restoration Act of 2015 IntroducedCongressman Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduced legislation to address catastrophic wildfire and invasive species threats
Roseville Location for New Placer County Assessor's OfficeRoseville, CA - To better meet the needs of the public, the Placer County Assessor's Office is pleased to announce the opening of its newest office, located at 10810 Justice Center Drive
California Fires Update Summary (7.31.15)California Fire Updates 2015: Today, 8,000 firefighters are battling 18 large wildfires in California, including several that are on the National Forest and nearing full containment.
Placer Valley Sports Complex: Who's Designing It?Placer Valley Sports Complex, Inc. has reached its first major milestone in the building and development of its brand new, state-of-the-art Regional Sports Complex in Roseville.
25 Year Old Arrested as Arson SuspectThe Placer County Sheriff's Office arrested David Petrashishen, 25 for arson following Sunday's fire in Elverta.
California Statewide Fire Summary (7.30.15)California Fire Updates 2015: Yesterday afternoon and evening fire activity in Northern California significantly increased as temperatures hit the triple digits and the winds became very gusty.
Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (7.30.15)Roseville, CA - Weekly crime report digest update for Roseville, July 30, 2015.
State Moonlights as SlumlordIf a recent study to determine the safety of 29 state-owned buildings tells us anything, it's that the state is a terrible landlord
Community Foundations Fund Senior Nutrition ProgramsAuburn, CA - Thanks to additional funding, Seniors First will soon expand a program established to provide homebound seniors with hot meals and daily social interaction
Hot Pink Fun Run in Roseville to benefit Placer Breast Cancer FoundationRoseville, CA -- The Placer Breast Cancer Foundation is hosting the eighth annual Hot Pink Fun Run event in Roseville.
Air Quality Alert in Placer CountyThe Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control District are issuing a joint air quality advisory to notify the public of the potential for poor air quality
Roseville and Lincoln to Host Senior Softball-USA Western NationalsThe 15th Annual Senior Softball-USA Western Nationals (SSUSA) will take place August 3-9 at Foskett Regional Park in Lincoln and Maidu Regional Park in Roseville
NEWS: In Case You Missed It