Honda’s latest Pilot, unchanged for 2014, is a still-popular midsize SUV that has been marketed by the Japanese company for over ten years. Sales last year were over 125,000 units, placing it second in sales for Honda behind the CR-V, which happens to be the best seller of any SUV. The Pilot is manufactured in Lincoln, Alabama.
Recently I jumped at the chance to test a new Pilot that was painted Obsidian blue and was equipped with a gray leather eight-passenger interior. All Pilots have three-row seating, and I crawled around in the back of the Pilot watching a DVD on the rear entertainment system (9” screen). The ten-speaker surround sound system is great, as are the seats throughout. This Pilot was dressed up with several other options such as moon roof, dual heated power memory seats up front, power tailgate, navigation/backup camera, and XM satellite radio. The heavy equipment content was due to the fact that this Pilot was the Touring model with an M.S.R.P. of $42,250.00, including freight.
All Pilots come with a 3.5 liter V-6 with 250 horsepower and 253 lb. ft. of torque. Fuel economy ratings are 17-city and 24-highway, with a 20 mpg combined figure. The four-wheel-drive Honda has a five-speed automatic transmission with the shift lever on the dashboard, something I enjoyed. The console is uncluttered, and is actually pretty broad with the emergency foot brake under the dashboard. Lots of storage is included within the console.
Styling of the Pilot has been unchanged in this second generation vehicle for quite some time, and will be changed in the 2015 model. It does not offend anyone; but is not sensational in any respect. The blue paint was excellent, the grill bold and substantial, and dual chrome exhaust finishers adorned the rear of the vehicle. Wheels were six-spoke 18” alloy rims with Michelin Primacy MXV4 P235/60R18 all season radials.
As mid-sized SUV’s go, the Pilot is pleasant to drive. Guidance, ride, visibility, and road noise are on target for a premium brand. I would be inclined to look hard at the Pilot if shopping for a vehicle in this segment.