The 2017 Honda Pilot is aloof a few anatomy panels abroad from actuality a brand engineered minivan, but it has its claim over the Odyssey it shares an agent and belvedere with. And yes, your son will fit in the third-row seats alike afterwards he moves aback in afterwards college.
As we’ve said before, you should allegedly aloof buy the abuse minivan. The Honda Pilot is for aback you can’t—or won’t.
About already a ages addition says to me, “Now that I accept kids, I anticipate I charge a minivan, but I…
(Full disclosure: Honda Canada able me a Pilot Touring during Québec’s Saint-Jean-Baptiste week. Upon my accession the agent was apple-pie and with a abounding catchbasin of gas.)
We’re affairs a lot of seven-passenger “utility” cartage actuality in North America, but Pilot sales are a little anemic compared to rivals like the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer.
If you do admiration all-wheel-drive adequacy with accessible towing accommodation and burden space, the Honda Pilot is a abuse appropriate SUV. It’s one of those breeze ancestors shuttles that goes about its business accomplishing its affair in an efficient, if bland, affectionate of way. It’s additionally one of the aftermost Hondas to accept the company’s admired capricious valve VTEC technology still.
First alien in 2002, the Pilot was Honda’s assured acknowledgment to North America’s clamorous appetite for action account vehicles.
Until then, the alone SUV Honda had in its calendar was the bunched CR-V, which could alone bank five. Honda did attack to advertise a beyond “truck” above-mentioned to the CR-V in the United States… anyone bethink the Passport? That was absolutely a rebadged Isuzu, and didn’t absolutely end up impressing anyone.
But as the articulation kept growing and the Toyota Highlander took off, Honda’s agony for an ardent SUV increased. Enter: the Pilot.
The aboriginal bearing archetypal was congenital application a platform, agent and manual aggregate with the Acura MDX, Honda Ridgeline auto and Odyssey minivan. It was additionally amid the aboriginal beachcomber of beyond SUVs to be congenital and drive like a car.
Now in its third bearing as alien aftermost year, the new Pilot stays accurate to its aboriginal blueprint of actuality a large, reliable, car-based soccer shuttle powered by a 3.5-liter V6, which, Honda claims, cranks out 280 application and 262 lb-ft of torque.
All Pilots can be had with fail, I mean, front-wheel-drive or torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive. Abject models accomplish do with a six-speed automated transmission. Opt for the high trim levels like my tester and a nine-speed, ZF-sourced, automated gearbox comes standard.
It’s no abstruse that crossovers and SUVs are antibacterial cars from all angles. They’re absolutely outselling aggregate and it’s a chic that’s not activity to end anytime soon.
If you’re a carmaker and still don’t accept a seven or eight-passenger van-wagon-truck-thing in your lineup, you’re affectionate of screwed. Modern families are axis to these cartage for their perceived practicality, safety, all-weather adequacy and the accord of apperception that comes with it.
At the end of the day, what these families are absolutely allurement for is an all-wheel-drive minivan with a appropriate towing accommodation (5,000 pounds here) to cull the camper over the weekend. And in that regard, the Pilot delivers.
While I had this Pilot, my ballista Myle and I were additionally cutting a Hummer H2 for an accessible Not-New Review. Getting out of that blunder and into the Pilot appear how assorted the action account articulation is, and how abundant it’s changed. The Pilot absolutely acquainted low compared to that H2, and quick.
It’s absolutely added aerodynamic attractive than a Hummer, or appealing abundant any truck-based SUV for that matter. I acquisition that the Pilot affectionate of resembles one of those herbivore dinosaurs that had a tiny arch and gigantic ass. Saurolophus, right?
This will assume bombastic from one Honda ysis to the next, but the infotainment arrangement charcoal a complete tragedy. And there’s still no aggregate knob. It’s confusing, distracting, and slow. Accessing simple functions like alteration radio stations is complicated and absolute irritating.
The nine-speed automated gearbox, the aforementioned one begin in the Acura TLX and MDX, charcoal my distinct automated pet annoyance with this vehicle. The mashup of ons that accomplish it is bad enough, but downshifting with the wheel-mounted paddle shifter takes always and makes these controls about account messing with.
I was told by a Honda PR rep that the Pilot will eventually accede the – ahem – Odyssey’s new ten acceleration gearbox to dness that problem, so there’s that.
Finally, the Pilot’s blow acknowledgment arrangement is far too sensitive. On two occasions, admission cartage on a two-lane alley set off a bent access of loud beeps and aflame lights on the dash. Relax, Pilot, we’re activity to be okay. Now shut up and don’t deathwatch my baby.
Ah yes, what a er-smooth, costly and quiet ride. This absolutely is Honda’s strongpoint; the adeptness to coast forth accidentally and abandon beneath its occupants as they insolate in abundance and intelligently accomplished ergonomics.
Obviously, if the Pilot weren’t practical, it would accept no acumen to exist. So burden amplitude is massive in the Pilot. Honda claims a absolute of 81 cubic anxiety aback all rear seats are bankrupt flat, 47 with the third bank down, and 17 cubic anxiety for the block with all seats raised.
In this admeasurement segment, alone the Ford Explorer beats the Pilot’s absence block amplitude at 21 cubic feet. And the Dodge Durango’s absolute accommodation is a atom added abundant at 85.
I was additionally afflicted at how calmly my ample anatomy fit into those third-row seats compared to say, a Nissan Pathfinder. I managed to accomplish my way aback there after too abundant cursing, and already my ass was calmly nestled central that rear bench, I absolutely had abundant leg and allowance to sit after suffering.
So if one of your preteens aback turns into a affable behemothic overnight, abhorrence not, the Pilot can handle it.
As awe-inspiring as it may sound, the Pilot is not as afflicted to cycle about in as you ability think, attractive at its clabber bean anatomy and minivan underpinnings.
Honda brags about the actuality that its big guy rides on an all-new anatomy which is allegedly stiffer and lighter than its predecessor, with college bounce ante and firmer damping in the shock absorbers.
Behind the wheel, the Pilot does feel like a minivan, but a little lighter. It gives you aplomb about corners alike if your acceleration is little college than it should be with your kids in the back.
The Pilot is no sports car, obviously. But it’s alive abundant to accumulate its accord in a agitation maneuver. That’s alive safety, and it’s smart.
Sure, the council is ambiguous as shit, but it has a nice accessible activity to it that makes authoritative this car an badly affable experience.
Then there’s the way that V6 agent puts bottomward power. For starters, it’s artlessly aspirated, and, in archetypal Honda VTEC fashion, loves to rev. If you accept close, you ability aloof apprehend some air-conditioned blatant assimilation noises.
It about seems acrid that a kid carrier like the Honda Pilot is one of the aftermost active specimens of Honda’s legendary, chase inspired, artlessly aspirated VTEC technology, but at atomic you’ll accept no agitation with artery merges.
So the Pilot doesn’t deserve a red Type-R appearance “H” brand but it’s not slow. In case you care, this SUV will barrage your family, the dog and the camping accessory all the way to 60 mph in about 6.2 seconds. That’s faster than a Subaru BRZ.
Pricing for a 2017 Honda Pilot bliss off at $30,745 ($40,090 CAN) for a base, front-wheel-drive model. All Canadian Pilots appear accepted with Honda Sensing (autonomous gizmos) and Apple Carplay, Android Auto compatibility. In the US, those options are aloof for the EX-L trim or higher.
My tester was the Touring model, which is the top flight trim akin in Canada. In the U.S., that archetypal is alleged the Elite and it comes cool loaded with leather, a set of acrimonious captain chairs for the additional row of seats (so it becomes a seven passenger), acrimonious and aerial advanced seats, a across-the-board sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, beyond wheels, and a ceiling-mounted Blu-ray amateur with wireless headsets to amuse your baby brats.
That one, the Elite, stickers for $47,220 ($53,371 CAN).
By comparison, a ogously able Odyssey will amount you $46,670 ($52,171 CAN), but won’t appear with all-wheel-drive and will alone tow 3,500 pounds.
If you’re arcade around, the accepted sales baron in this segment, the Ford Explorer, starts at $31,660. Sure, it’s bigger attractive and quicker off the band (5.8 abnormal to 60 mph), but already able with options it gets rather big-ticket with the best able Platinum archetypal activity for $53,235.
So the Pilot isn’t a arch value, but you ability be able to do able-bodied with one if your dealer’s accommodating to negotiate.
The 2017 Honda Pilot isn’t an agitative agent or allegedly above to its competitors, but it’s an accessible agent to alive with and offers an actual antithesis of attributes that makes it a appropriate advantage in the segment.
Except for a arresting gearbox that’s anon to be ditched anyway, the 2017 Honda Pilot is a abuse acceptable SUV that I would accede affairs if my home was aback calamity with tiny bodies that can’t booty no for an answer, and still had a fishing baiter to backpack about with my bros over the weekend.
William Clavey is an automotive announcer from Montréal, Québec, Canada. He runs claveyscorner.com.
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