Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
HOME

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




Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.


Comment / Share on Facebook



Placer County News Headlines

Dead & Company: Perfect Dose of Party Unity Wheatland, CA- With 105 degrees in the forecast, it's going to be a hot show. Weather aside, Dead & Company continue racking up one incredible performance after another

Baby Boomer Festival and Expo in Roseville on August 13thRoseville, CA- The Baby Boomer Festival and Expo is scheduled for Saturday, August 13th at the Placer County Fair and Events Center in Roseville.

Treating Addiction: Placer County Seeks New ApproachPlacer County is developing a new approach to addiction treatment that treats addiction as a disease, and coordinates addiction services across county departments

Sierra College's Tech Ed Skills on ABC's BattleBotsRocklin, CA - Sierra College Mechatronics Professor Tony Osladil and his former student Jeff Gomez were invited to be on a team for this summer's BattleBots

Honda CR-V remains popular compact SUVRoseville, CA- The CR-V offers responsive handling, a comfortable ride, ranks near the top in safety testing, gets good gas mileage (27-34 mpg), and is extremely reliable.

One-Armed Softball Phenom: Part 2Recently, you may have read the first of two columns featuring 17-year-old Katelyn Pavey, a one-armed, fastpitch softball phenom

Surplus Water: Placer County Water Agency Plans SaleThe Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors has approved a resolution that allows for the transfer and sale of up to 20,000 acre-feet of surplus water

Roseville Flash Crime Report (7.23.16)Roseville, CA- Weekly crime report digest update for Roseville, covering the period of July 14- 22, 2016.

Kings Beach Project Wins National AwardKings Beach, CA - A cornerstone project that is transforming the North Lake Tahoe community of Kings Beach's downtown has been given a prestigious national award

Roseville Hospital gets Suessical VisitRoseville, CA- It isn't every day that storybook characters come alive at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center.

Nevada City Shines Best at Night Nevada City, CA- Nevada City's charm shines more brightly at night. At least that was the takeaway following a midweek date night with my wife.

Rubio's Opens New Restaurant in Roseville August 4thRoseville, CA - Rubio's Restaurants, Inc., the popular fast casual chain known for uniquely delicious coastal cuisine and popularizing the fish taco, has announced the opening of a new location in Roseville


NEWS: In Case You Missed It