2016 Honda Pilot wraps a stylish new form around its family friendly function
We last saw the Honda Pilot that second generation model was looking a lot like the Japanese answer to the Hummer H2.
I mean the eight passenger SUV was a reliable and pretty practical choice for really large families.
But the boxy militaristic style was starting to look a bit dated and off-putting to drivers who were cross shopping the Pilot.
With the likes of the Toyota Highlander, the Nissan Pathfinder, and other much more modern large SUVs.
Enter the 2016 Honda Pilot.
Of course it's got the requisite increases in size and volume that you'd expect from a major update to a large SUV, but it's also packing a new exterior design that makes it look smaller and more approachable than the previous model ever did.
Of course, that means that this new Pilot ends up looking a lot like those HIghlanders and Pathfinders that it competes against, but while style is important to this segment, I don't think that's at the top of the hierarchy of needs for the large SUV driver, so I guess that's okay.
Now, under the hood we're working with Honda 3.5 liter V6 engine.
That's gonna use variable cylinder management technology, so when you're just coasting on the highway and don't need all 280 horsepower, it can step down to just a three-cylinder setup to save you a bit of fuel.
We've also got an anti-idling system so when you come to a stop at a traffic light or a stop sign it can shut the engine down to save you a bit more fuel.
Now put 262 pound feet of torch through either a 6 speed automatic for the mid and base model or a 9 speed automatic for the top trim elite model that we're in right now.
That nine speed's going to use a really weird sort of push button shifter system here that takes a bit of getting used to, but saves a little bit of interior space for activities, I guess.
Now in addition to just looking smaller than the previous model, this new Pilot is actually a lot lighter.
Use a lot more high string feel.
SO it ends up being around 300 pounds lighter than the previous mode depending on which options you have.
Now combine that with 30 more horsepower or revised suspension setup, better steering, and better transmission programming.
And you get a large SUV that feels a lot more nimble than the previous model.
I would be able to drive it back to back with the old one earlier this year.
And believe me, the difference between the two generations is striking.
But even though it's more nimble than before, it still feel s a lot like a dad wagon.
There's no getting around the mass of this vehicle.
But it's smooth and it is pretty quiet and pretty comfortable.
And I don't really think driving dynamics are really high on the hierarchy for the large SUV buyer so I guess that is alright to.
When it comes to driver aid tech 2016 pilot inherits a lot of cool tricks from the acura line products particularly the MDX SUV which it shares a platform with.
For starters we've got this lane departure warning system that will notify you when you drift across the line.
But you push a button and it turns on an assistive steering system that will actually use the electronic power steering the help keep you in your lane.
When you're driving along and you kind of feel the steering kind of working to hold you in the middle of the lane Additionally we have got adaptive cruise control on this fully loaded model but only down to about twenty miles per hour.
Go any slower than that and it will shut itself off but it at highway speeds it does a good job of maintaining a safe distance automatically with the vehicle ahead of you.
And rounding out the safety tech package we've got a four collision warning system and rear cross traffic alert.
We also got either a blind spot monitoring system on Honda's lane watch camera system, but you can't get both.
You have to choose between the two technologies which is a bit odd.
But all in you've got a lot of really neat features that are going to keep you from crashing into things when you drive around in this really big SUV which is great.
For a parent that's transporting a vehicle full of children, safety tech, infotainment, and amenities are going to be at the top of that pyramid of needs.
Fortunately, the 2016 Pilot is doing really well in all of those respects.
Let's start on the dashboard.
We've got Honda's new eight inch capacity of infotainment system.
It's powered by a version of Android, though you wouldn't know it by looking at it.
It's version 4.22.
This system is gonna be about a half a generation behind of what we saw on the 2016 Accord specifically because it doesn't support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
Now what it does support is a full [UNKNOWN] of digital media sources and a new navigation system that is powered by Garmin, maps and running algorithm.
Cross he board, it's a very good system and very responsive.
I like what they're doing here.
Now, the Pilot packs a lot of really cool features that you don't really think about when you're buying a vehicle.
For example, USB ports.
The Pilot's got two of them down in the front, a 1.5 Amp and a 2.5 Amp, the latter of which is capable of fast charging an iPad if you need to.
You've also got one in the center console.
And if you up for the rear seat entertainment, you get Two more fast charging ports in the back that are gonna make sure that everybody's gadgets are charged and ready to go.
And speaking of rear-seat entertainment, a drop-down screen that folds down from the roof.
Up in the front, we've got a Blu-Ray drive that can send video to the back, and out back we've got an HDMI port for plugging in things like game consoles or portable media devices.
The 2016 Honda Pilot starts at around $ 30,000 for the base LX model and it caps out at $ 46,420 for this fully loaded, elite, all-wheel drive with rear seat entertainment [UNKNOWN].
Now whether you're talking about performance, technology, or just plain curb appeal, I think this new Pilot is better than the old one in pretty much every measurable way, and a return to Honda's position near the head of its class.