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Click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Honda Pilot

After reading what Honda R&D Americas Inc. Chief Designer Dave Marek has to say regarding the 2009 redesign of the popular Honda Pilot CUV, we sense that he might not think of the boxy model as his team's best work. We've heard our fair share of comments regarding the new Pilot's design, many of which are less than flattering. It seems as if Marek has heard the same detractors, and he explains away some of the more controversial elements, such as the floating front grille. Marek says of the grille, "[it] was a case of taking something that was on something else... and kind of massaging it to fit. On the mockup, [it] looks good. When you actually manufacture it, oops! That's actually what happened. It's hard to foresee." He follows that statement with, "I think when (the '09) is out on the road, people will appreciate it." Reading between the lines, it sounds like this may be a design of which he's not particularly proud. Thanks for the tip, Robert!

[Source: Wards Auto]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      THe new Pilot looks better than the CR-V, Ridgeline and new Accord and better than just about everything Toyota makes. Its not all that bad in my eyes. Want ugly think Tundra!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Plop the grill from a typical 'Nissan truck' in there and it looks like a Nissan X-Trail. Boy, does the design ever remind me of the Nissan X-Trail(never sold in the USA, no longer sold in Canada).

      The X-Trail has been the best selling SUV in many countries. Is that why it looks like it does?

      Typical Nissan truck grill
      • 7 Years Ago
      I did a quick Photoshop of the design:


      What do you think?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the design is good- but 2 peeves:

      1: The older Pilots had a column shifter, which sucked. the 09's have it in the weirdest place I have ever seen, and I'm pretty sure that sucks too.

      And 2: The front is mangled. Have you seen Honda's optional grille on the Pilot? It's worse than Acura's Toucan grille.
        • 7 Years Ago
        i heard that along with the *new* push button start technology and *new* direct injection technology, cars are soon going to have a *new* option of column mounted shifting for automatics....
      • 7 Years Ago
      It seems like Honda has been having a lot of problems getting the grills right on its North American models. The grill on the new CR-V, new Accord, 09 TSX, and 09 RL are absolutely horrible.

      However, the 09 Euro Accord (TSX) and the 09 JDM Honda Legend (Acura RL) somehow got pretty good looking grills.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "[it] was a case of taking something that was on something else... and kind of massaging it to fit. On the mockup, [it] looks good. When you actually manufacture it, oops! That's actually what happened. It's hard to foresee."

        I actually can't believe the above words came out from Marek's mouth. Oops, who's the retard that hired this guy? I think he's doing much more harm to Honda than what Bangle did to BMW.

        Speaking of first year art student designs, I've actually seen better highschool designs than the new Pilot. What a shame.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's not so much the outside that I have an issue with, it's what's inside. I haven't made my way down to the Honda dealer as of late, but the inside of the Pilot (in any trim) looks downright cheap. The interior design isn't doing anything for me either. I totally understand the need to free up center console space, but isn't there a more eyeball/ergo friendly way to do it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well, is any parent going to say, "Yeah, my baby is kind of ugly."?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh and my Pilot's air conditioner isn't working after 53,000 miles. Please read above quote.
      • 7 Years Ago
      (cough-damage control-cough)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think Honda made a HUGE mistake by giving the new Pilot a boxy, traditional SUV-type shape. Sure, it's very functional, but you also have to remember that the target market for this vehicle (soccer moms and suburbanites from Agrestic) is extremely image-focused.

      Crossovers are THE hot thing right now. Not boxy ones, but the sleeker crossovers like Acadias, Outlooks, Enclaves (never thought I'd live to see the day I'd see young families buying Buicks, and I'm in my twenties...but they're selling), CX-7s, CX-9s, etc. Swoopy crossovers are the new SUVs of suburbia, and everyone just has to have "a crossover" to replace their SUVs, which of course had replaced their minivans earlier.

      Even though the Pilot really is a crossover underneath, it doesn't look like one. It looks like an SUV. SUVs are old news.

      I'm convinced part of the reason the CR-V is selling so well is because of the fact that it looks like a crossover. Honda had the perfect opportunity to do the same with the new Pilot. Now they're stuck with this atrocious, outdated looking vehicle for at least the next six years. The power of missed opportunities...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sorry, but Honda has really lost it's way as far as design. Look at the horrendous snouts on the new Acura's as well as this monstrosity Pilot to see what I mean. A car should not have to "grow" on you. Adios Honda, until you can do something with your design staff.
      • 7 Years Ago
      One of the worst excuses for a SUV ever. If Honda needs a actual car designer, they should contact me, and fire those clowns they have.
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