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.
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