Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Honda Pilot Test Drive



 The current generation Honda Pilot is already over 4 years old, and its classic/conservative design is aging pretty well.
Small changes done last year did improve things as well.

This is mostly targeted to families, while the very similar (but smaller) Passport seems more intended to outdoor single types.

So there is nothing aggressive looking about the Pilot. Which is just fine.

 Same thing inside. Everything is laid out in a logical manner.
Everything feels solid and well put together. Like in all Hondas.
Except, for my taste, the whole thing feels more like a Minivan interior than an SUV.
which, I guess, doesn't matter to most families...

The seats are comfortable. (But things could even be better if the headrest could be adjusted forward.)

The stereo system in my Elite model was fantastic and one of the best I have heard.



 Rear seats are roomy. Even the 3rd row is actually OK. (Except the floor is pretty high back there)




While there is nothing wrong with the interior, it doesn't feel upscale.
Which was probably not Honda's goal almost 5 years ago. But these days, new models like the Kia Telluride have interiors that can at least match luxury car brands at the same price as the Pilot, or even less.

The interior is really nice for the $32 000 base price. But my test model was over $48 000.
For this price, I would expect things to be a bit fancier...

 The first thing I noticed when first driving the Pilot, was the thin steering wheel and the very, very light steering.
But after a couple of days, you realize that everything is fine. The steering is light but actually quite precise.
And quite a pleasure on the highway.
 The ride is mostly very smooth. But somehow, struggles a bit on rough roads. Where bumps are felt a bit too much.

The transmission was perfect during my weekly drive. Always smooth and very quick to downshift on the freeway when needed.

Since the Pilot still has a big 3.5 Liter V6, it is of course smooth and quiet. Although around town, the V6 is actually not much quieter than the great 2.0 Liter from the Accord or RDX.
Acceleration was always fine.

 I do not have 5 kids, so a big 3 row SUV is not something need or usually drive.
But they make great camping companions. And the Pilot did not disappoint.
Inflatable mattress and tons of stuff had plenty of room with all the seats folded down.

 One thing that was quite annoying was the stop/start system.
Which was not as smooth as in many other cars. At least you can turn it off. Although you do have to do this every time you get into the car.

 The Honda pilot is rated at 19/26MPG.
There was no way to get 19MPG in the city. The best I got was 16.
Which is what you usually get in a big 3 row SUV with a big 3.5 Liter engine...

But I had no problem averaging 30MPG on freeway trips.


The Honda Pilot is still a great choice if you need a 3 row SUV.
It also comes with a peace of mind associated with Honda products.

But if you don't need all these seats, I would really recommend the Acura RDX. Which similarly equipped, is not really more expensive at all.
(I think the RDX has a nicer steering and even smoother ride.)





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