3/4 Front Glamour 2012 Honda Pilot

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Expert's Rating

5.0Excellent

MPG 18 City / 25 Highway
Pros
  • Smooth highway ride
  • Good handling for SUV
  • Refined transmission
Cons
  • Questionable instrument cluster design
  • Awkward navigation controls
  • Boxy front end design
Honda's impressive reputation is built on a decades-long history of well-made, reliable transportation aimed at buyers who value practicality over flashy style or breathtaking performance. The Pilot fits that philosophy well. Although not the liveliest-driving vehicle in its class, this generously sized hauler is a decent pick for people who want a solid-feeling SUV with convenient features, plenty of space and good all-weather capability.

Introduction

The Pilot is well-suited to families who need to carry big groups of people and tote furniture and other bulky items on weekends. Although the Pilot’s carlike construction limits its ability to handle heavy trailer towing or serious off-roading, it’s nonetheless well-built and sturdy for normal street use. Families will appreciate Pilot’s standard three-row seating for eight, which offers plenty of room for four adults and four children. For homeowners and do-it-yourself types, Pilot’s interior can haul 4x8 sheets of building materials flat with the seats folded. The Pilot also makes a good alternative to minivans; it has similar cargo and passenger room but tops most minivans by offering the added capability of available all-wheel drive.

In addition to all-wheel-drive versions, The Pilot is also offered with front-wheel drive. Either way, all Pilots are powered by a 250-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 with a 5-speed automatic transmission, a combination rated at up to 25 MPG on the highway, using recommended regular-grade fuel. Buyers can choose from four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. For 2013, the LX gets a number of features that were previously only available on higher trim levels. Included among these are Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Bluetooth Audio, automatic climate controls and a rearview camera.

The LX also includes a seven-speaker audio system with subwoofer, an 8-inch information display screen and a trip computer. The EX model steps up with a tri-zone automatic climate control system with humidity control, power driver's seat, satellite radio and alloy wheels. The EX-L brings luxury features, including leather seats, heated front seats, power front passenger's seat, moonroof, power tailgate and an optional navigation system or DVD rear entertainment system. The Touring model is the top version. It includes a navigation system, ten-speaker audio system, DVD rear entertainment system, corner and backup sensors, and 2-position memory seats. Aside from the LX model’s newly-added extras, Pilot is essentially unchanged for 2012.

Overall, the Pilot is a solid choice for buyers seeking a sturdy SUV that can carry plenty of people or cargo. Available all-wheel drive provides confidence-inspiring security in rain or snow, while luxury models smooth off some of the Pilot’s utilitarian edge. Competitive prices, a healthy roster of standard features and Honda’s history of strong resale value add further luster, making the Pilot well worth considering.

Which Style To Buy?

2012 Honda Pilot
Starting price
$18,995

2012 Honda Pilot EX

Recommended for: Buyers who want a little more comfort and style without breaking the bank

The Pilot EX expands on the LX model, adding niceties such as a power driver's seat and a tri-zone automatic climate control system with humidity control. Also included are satellite radio, a 2 GB CD library, alloy wheels, and body-colored door handles and side mirrors.

2012 Honda Pilot
Starting price
$18,995

2012 Honda Pilot EX-L

Recommended for: People who want luxury features but don't need the ultimate Pilot

The EX-L model adds luxury touches to Pilot while still economizing on a few top-level features. Included are leather seats, heated front seats, power front passenger's seat, power moonroof, power tailgate and an automatic-dimming rearview mirror. EX-Ls also make available additional tech features, offering as options either a navigation system or a DVD rear entertainment system.

2012 Honda Pilot
Starting price
$18,995

2012 Honda Pilot LX

Recommended for: Midsize-SUV shoppers seeking all-round utility at a reasonable price

This is the base-model Honda Pilot but it’s always been far from ‘basic’ – even before getting more standard equipment for 2013. The Pilot LX has a wide array of comfort and convenience features, including: air conditioning, automatic climate control, tilt and telescope steering column, cruise control, power door and tailgate locks, and power windows. Complementing these is a strong set of tech equipment, including a seven-speaker audio system with subwoofer, an 8-inch information display screen, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Bluetooth Audio, USB connection, trip computer and a rearview camera.

2012 Honda Pilot
Starting price
$18,995

2012 Honda Pilot Touring

Recommended for: Buyers who want all the style, convenience and luxury possible in a Pilot

The Touring model is the top Pilot version, adding to the EX-L’s features a navigation system, a 10-speaker audio system, DVD rear entertainment system, corner and backup sensors and 2-position memory seats.

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