• Jan 29th 2008 at 8:22AM
  • 49
click above to view more high-res pics of the Honda Pilot Prototype

We were there when Honda trotted out its Pilot Prototype in Detroit, and our snoozy first impression is apparently what the public at large is feeling, too. Sales of the current Pilot have dropped off by nearly 25 percent, so Honda's feeling the pressure with this redesign. It doesn't bode well, then, that the Pilot's new duds leave the buying public unmoved. CNW Research polled several hundred drivers from LA, Chicago and Detroit, and many respondents found the 2009 Pilot a yawn to behold. Nothing about the newly-squared off exterior struck a chord, which is unusual for a new design. Usually, something distinctive garners attention, but the exterior design only earned a 7.5 point score on CNW's 12-point scale, off at least a point and a half from what most new vehicles do. We found the Pilot's freshening a little boring, but mainly the headlights leave us very unnerved, like trying to stare down a bird of prey.

[Source: Inside Line]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      The new Honda Pilot looks boring. It's beginning to look more like a minivan. When I went to preview the Pilot on Honda's web page, the "sketch" of the car looks pretty nice. It almost looks sporty-like. For those that have not seen the "sketch", you can check it out here; it's the last picture.
      • 7 Years Ago
      From that front facia alone I can think of a lot of adjectives, but boring wouldn't be one of them...
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Honda CR-V has the ugliest nose on the planet, but it does not seem to have hurt sales. I think buyers of this thing will be conservative and will not mind conservative styling.
        • 7 Years Ago
        OTOH points made elsewhere about Honda not having a more car-like crossover like the Edge and upcoming Toyota Venza are well taken.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The butt of the thing is horrid and everyone knows/knew it. Wait till everyone sees how bad some of the controls are inside. I for one will be shorting HMC stock come March or so. Wish i had shorted it upon departure from the company. Would have made a pretty good return.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The problem with Toyota and Honda, and to a much lesser extent, Nissan, is that they've crossed over from "boring" to flat-out "ugly."

      Toyota definitely started it and Honda is quickly following suit. It seems like the designers have no originality, so they take a boring design, blow it up so it looks like an obese version of its former self, and then throw in a bunch of completely random cut lines into the sheetmetal that make so sense and ruin the continuity of the design. Example: new Accord sedan's back bumper.

      I think back to Toyotas and Hondas of 10 years ago, and while they were a little boring, they could usually look okay equipped the right way. Today, there's no helping monstrosities like the Venza, new Accord sedan, new Tundra, etc. short of gouging your eyes out.

      Let's just hope Mazda keeps bucking the trend and keeps coming out with great designs.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Japanese had to go to more style, because the Koreans can now do "boring" cheaper. I would also differ, and say that Nissan is the one who has used the most noticeable styling tricks of the three. Mazdas are the sharpest and youngest, but are way down the sales chart from Toyota, Honda, and Nissan.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The only person who I ever knew that owned a Pilot bought it because it had a nav system. This was a boring person and she bought it just for the nav system! These are the kind of people who buy this.

      Yes, the stick emanating from the dash is fugly and unnatural. The blue seats and highlights on the dash are necessary amongst the sea of beige. It's the only standout point.

      And re: minivans, this thing is at its core, a minivan. Just throw it in a rock tumbler and you'll see it's really an Odyssey.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think it's that bad. I kind of like it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Was hoping for so much more with the new 09 Pilot redesign. It just doesn't do a thing for me. Not exciting, no "wow this looks great", just a real crash landing on something they could have made great. Was waiting and waiting to see what Honda would come up with. What a let down.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What, Honda designs a boring ugly car? Get out...
      • 7 Years Ago
      The key to this CUV is that the competition is better already. I think all three of the GM Lamda's are better inside and out. The Mazda CX9 is better looking for sure on the outside and will be more fun to drive. I think it is very funny that Honda with this and Toyota with its ugly Highlander think that they will still be successful. Perception is changing very rapidly...much faster than I ever thought it could. I would be even willing to say the new Ford Flex is cooler and better. At least it is an edgy design. This thing looks like a rehash of the old one and I am glad it is keeping the ugly appliances rolling at Honda.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The squareness of the vehicle is the problem. In an attempt to make
      it look more adventurous it seems Honda has copied The Jeep
      Liberty and Dodge Nitro which are both butt ugly vehicles. I thought Honda was going to make the new Pilot look like the Acura MDX
      • 7 Years Ago
      The whole outside is just ... boring. The current model looks much better IMHO. This new model is bland, bland, bland. The side cargo window looks very small and inset compared to the current model, which makes the whole vehicle look smaller and more cramped.

      I also don't like how the sides front and rear bumpers are blended with the quarter panels. I know they're going for more of a crossover look, vs SUV look, but personally I much prefer the styling of the current model's wrap-around bumper ends, along with the matching bulge along the lower half of the doors.
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