2017 Honda Pilot – Test Drive, Review, Ratings, Specs

16Pilot_071_Swift Driving while Seating 8

The Honda Pilot appeals to families that need high occupancy on a tight budget. The idea is certainly not new though. Its first iteration dates as far back as 2002 and has since then; been well appraised for its family practicality, reliability and enticing price point. Though less expensive compared to the more traditional mini-van approach, the Pilot’s still got all the features and amenities to satisfy big family needs.

By now, cross-overs have gone so far mainstream that everyone and their mothers are driving one. Some are flashier than others, but the Pilot speaks Honda design language, and that’s simplicity and low key. The third generation Pilot debuted 2016 attempts to extract even more room in the cabin space by stretching out its wheelbase and and overall length. And second row seats have the option for mounting two captain seats, or a row seat increasing the occupancy count from 7 to 8.

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The overall looks are kept up to date, and the general visual form factor is curvacious and stylish enough to blend in with the expectations of modern design society.   Despite the large size factor, the Pilot’s proportions are well maintained to create an overall slim and sleek figure to the naked eye from far away.

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Performance on a Budget

For 2017 the Pilot gets a 3.5-litre, 24-valve, Direct Injection, SOHC, i-VTEC® V6 engine producing a generous 280 horsepower and 262 lb.ft of torque across all models. Transmissions are offered in either a choice of a 6 speed or a 9 speed automatic offered exclusively in the highest Touring trim. Included as part of the Touring model is steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Honda’s proprietary Grade Logic Control that adjusts throttle and vehicle acceleration control for steep hill climbs or descends. To top that all off, all trims come with AWD configuration and traction control management for increased responsiveness and handling.

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The Pilot puts a bold statement on its driving performance with smooth and cushioning acceleration from standstill and that’s backed by its V6 and seamless gear shifts by the 9 speed transmission gearbox. There’s no hesitation when pushing the Pilot even at upper highway speeds and its upper engine tone range continues to suggest full confidence in power. There’s a sense of driving charisma around corners as well. Steering precision is on point and the Pilot holds fairly well together around the bend with minimal fuss.

All in all…

Our Touring tester model tips the scale at $51,290 which is a bit more than what most families want to afford. But you do get pretty good treatment inside out that includes enlarged 20″ wheels, blind spot monitoring system, engine start stop technology, Honda Satellite Navigation, LED HID Headlights, leather seats and the 9 speed automatic gearbox. Lose the big wheels and a few tech features saves you a bit that opts you in on the lower EX-L model with its price at $45,890.

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With all that said, making the move to a cross-over is an excellent alternative to the mini-van. There’s no shortage of space with the ability to seat 8, and there’s plenty of power to work with offered by its V6 engine.   It’s easy enough to drive on a daily basis and with room to spare for a bit of driving enthusiasm. When it comes to family functionality, there’s just no need for over-extravagant features. Rather, simplicity is key, and the Honda Pilot does it best.

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Specifications

  • Vehicle : 2017 Honda Pilot
  • Model : Honda Pilot Tourig
  • Vehicle Type : Cross-Over
  • Seating Capacity : 2+3+3 or 2+2+2 (2nd row captain seat configuration)
  • Powertrain Configuration : AWD
  • Engine : 3.5-litre, 24-valve, Direct Injection, SOHC, i-VTEC® V6
  • Transmission : 8 speed automatic

Pros

  • Modern styling
  • Roomy cabin space
  • Excellent fuel economy for its size
  • Engaging driving experience

Cons

  • Bland looks and materials