The Honda Pilot is designed for drivers that want the power, ruggedness, and cargo capacity of a sport utility vehicle (SUV), but the comfort and features of a family vehicle. The balance of these two types of vehicles is emphasized in the Honda Pilot EX model, which features a DVD player and six-disc CD system as standard features.
One of the most remarkable features of the Honda Pilot is the handling and performance. The Pilot's design incorporates elements used in minivans and sedans. The end result is the Pilot handles almost as well as a car, which is unusual in an SUV of its size. The 3.5-liter, six-cylinder engine provides enough power to keep the Pilot moving at a good pace, negating most of the acceleration issues found in similar-sized vehicles.
The Honda Pilot is a well-rounded, versatile vehicle compared to similarly-featured family cars. The Pilot might not quite have the same raw power or off-road capabilities of some utility-oriented vehicles or pickup trucks, but it has enough to perform some limited towing and go off road. At the same time, the interior features are very similar to a family minivan, which makes it a good compromise for a family vehicle.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 3.5-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Honda Pilot LX, Honda Pilot EX
The largest change in the 2005 Honda Pilot was the addition of a more powerful 255 horsepower 3.5-liter, six-cylinder engine. The Pilot has better acceleration and handling compared to older models. In addition, the Pilot received a larger fuel tank, improved power steering, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and a revised instrument panel.
The Honda Pilot is sleeker and more contoured than most Honda SUVs. The all-season, 16-inch tires on the Pilot give excellent traction under all driving conditions. The Pilot has eight inches of ground clearance to allow for it to perform well in limited off-road conditions. The Pilot EX has a roof rack for additional storage, but this feature is not present on the Pilot LX.
The Honda Pilot has a large interior that can be given over to passengers or cargo space. Boasting 90.3 cubic feet of storage space with the passenger seats folded down, the Pilot can carry large loads with ease. The cargo space is reduced to 16.3 cubic feet when all of the passenger seats are in use. This should be enough for most situations, but usually consumers need to fold down at least one seat if they need any significant amount of cargo room.
The entry-level Honda Pilot LX has a fairly typical CD player and radio as the standard entertainment system. The Honda Pilot EX, however, boasts an impressive array of entertainment luxuries. A DVD player, six-disc CD player, seven speakers, subwoofer, and Element antenna are all standard features of the Pilot EX.
Performance & Handling
The Honda Pilot shares more of its design with the minivan and sedan than an SUV. As a result, despite the size of the Pilot, it handles very well compared to similar vehicles. It accelerates a little more slowly and handles a little less cleanly than the Odyssey or Accord, but it is an easy to drive vehicle despite its size. There is a noticeable difference between the Pilot and a car but not to the same extent typical of most SUVs.
The Pilot, while similar to the Odyssey and Accord, is still a more powerful vehicle. The construction and suspension used in the Pilot are fairly heavy duty, which allows it to be useful for some towing and off-road driving. It does not perform these tasks quite as well as a more utility-oriented SUV, but it is good enough to serve the needs of most drivers.
The Honda Pilot has dual airbags for the front seats. Anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, engine immobilizer, and traction control are standard features on all models. The Honda Pilot received a five-star safety rating in front and side collisions from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA).
EPA Fuel Economy
Honda Pilot: 15/20 mpg city/highway
- Large interior that can be used for passengers or cargo
- Excellent driver visibility for an SUV
- Comfortable ride
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
- Fairly limited towing capacity
Provides a good range of comfort, cargo capacity, and power that allows it to function as a good family vehicle.
If You Like This Vehicle
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