The 2012 Honda Pilot derives its power from a 3.5L V6, which delivers 250 horsepower. It comes mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The 2-wheel-drive Pilot provides 3,500 pounds of towing capability, while the 4-wheel-drive version can haul up to 4,500 lbs.
Honda contends the Pilot's frame has more high-grade steel than any other vehicle the automaker builds. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Pilot its "Top Safety Pick" and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Pilot its highest safety rating of five stars for both front and side impact collisions.
The entry-level LX style is only available with standard factory equipment. However, the standard equipment list is a lengthy one, and includes front and rear power disc brakes, remote entry, power windows and locks, hidden storage well in the cargo area and lift-up glass hatch on the tailgate, standard on the LX and the EX.
The mid-level EX adds available power front seats with heated leather trim. Also, drivers will enjoy the large power moonroof with a diffuser to minimize exterior noise while it is open. The EX also comes with an upgraded stereo, which for 2012 includes 7 speakers, Bluetooth and 2GB of music storage. To further appease rear passengers, the EX also provides a tri-zone climate control system with humidity control and air-filtration.
The top end Touring style adds front seat memory, as well as heated exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals. Most appealing, however, is the addition of the voice-activated Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with integrated rearview camera, which is standard on the Pilot Touring class and now optional on the EX-L. Rear passengers now get a standard rear seat entertainment system.
The EX-L and Touring models also get a powered liftgate that can be opened at the touch of a button.
The Honda Pilot has long been a can't-go-wrong option in the three-row crossover segment. The third-generation model launched in 2016, and its combination of a roomy, well-built interior, strong engine, and competent handling chops made it appealing to families.
But that doesn't mean it was perfect. The Pilot's nine-speed automatic transmission was prone to incessantly hunt for gears, and there were some infotainment-related complaints to speak of. None of these problems were total deal breakers, mind you, but Honda still needed to address these issues.
Enter the 2019 Honda Pilot. It may not seem all that different at first blush, but with fresher styling, as well as numerous tech and powertrain revisions, Honda's well-rounded Pilot is better suited to duke it out in the highly competitive three-row crossover class.
The Good New transmission tuning for the 2019 Honda Pilot's nine-speed automatic provide smoother launches and gear changes. Updated infotainment system is responsive and features the return of a volume knob. Handling is composed and competent for a big crossover.
The Bad The transmission still hunts for gears from time to time. The big 20-inch wheels on Elite models yield a choppier ride. A 360-degree camera is not available.
The Bottom Line The 2019 Honda Pilot is one of the best three-row crossovers in the business gets even better.
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