Honda has taken their once-upon-a-time utilitarian, box on wheels, Pilot, and has dramatically transformed it into a sleek hunk of metal eye candy! The fully redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot has quite literally crossed over. The Japanese automaker is offering more in their latest incarnation–power, technological features, practicality and styling.
Honda’s largest SUV family member has a really strong resemblance to its smaller and stylish cuz, the CR-V. Longer (3.5 inches), lower (1.2 inches), slimmer (nearly 300 pounds less) and more athletic-looking, the three-row family hauler is aesthetically pleasing front to back. The Pilot now sports a sultry silhouette, sleek optional LED front headlamps/daytime running lights and rear standard LED taillights that kind of resemble one another, along with flared wheel arches and a sloping roofline.
Inside the Pilot lies an interior that is completely family-friendly but is this surprising? Upscale soft touch surfaces, careful attention to details, great visibility all around. The crossover’s cabin embodies understated modernism and can be configured as a 7 or 8-passenger ride, with an adult-welcoming third row. And speaking of third rows, the Pilot offers integrated door grab handles to allow easy access to it. All of the Pilot’s comfy seating tilts, slide and when you need to fold the rear seats, just the press of a button will do the trick (on the EX-L trims and up). The crossover offers generous head and legroom and backseaters can also quite comfortably fit their footsies under the seating in front. There are more cup holders and nook and cranny storage spaces than you will probably ever need. Honda has also given some thought to Moms and their handbags. The Pilot’s center console can nicely accommodate larger bags hidden in, or placed on top of its sturdy roll-top cover. Another nice feature is the hidden compartment in the floor of the rear cargo that bumps up storage capacity area.
As far as the cabin’s tech do-hickies, the dash has an attractive and sleek looking infotainment touchscreen that comes in either 5 or 8-inches depending on the trim. One nitpicky thing regarding the Pilot’s more simplified infotainment screen is the lack of those run-of-the-mill knobs, that so many folks are so used to having. Granted, the Pilot’s volume control is on the steering wheel but having a traditional knob, you can more quickly reach for when you want to give your spouse a piece of your mind, just makes life a smidge easier. One more thingy, the touchscreen is pretty smudge prone and this might drive some neatniks right to the edge!
Hitting the road in the Pilot is a satisfying experience. All 2016 Pilots have a 3.5-liter V6 engine that cranks out enough oomph at 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Despite its size, the Pilot is pretty agile and surprisingly car-like which is a plus during parking maneuvers. The crossover’s cabin is quiet and the ride is very solid and smooth as it soaks up roads thumps. While taking tight turns, the Pilot is impressively composed and offers more than adequate acceleration when tackling merging onto a highway. The Pilot’s improved fuel savings now stands at a not shabby 22 mpg combined, 19 city/27 highway with front wheel drive and the six-speed. The front wheel drive and nine speed version offers a combined 23 mpg and 20 city/27 highway.
Offering a suite of class-leading safety features, the Pilot comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. Stepping up in the Pilot’s trim levels brings such safety gotta-haves as the blind-spot warning system, front and rear parking sensors. The Honda Sensing package is available on higher trim levels and this includes a forward collision mitigation system with auto braking, road departure intervention, and lane departure warning. The bumped up trims can bundle such safety pickings as the Honda LaneWatch blind-spot camera, blind-spot warning with cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control.
The family-friendly, comfy, functional and stylish 2016 Honda Pilot is just the right crossover for those broods that want creature comforts on wheels, sans the minivan stigma.
The Honda Pilot‘s starting price slides in at $29,995. Want more info? www.Honda.com/Pilot