• Oct 17, 2011
Cars.com recently lined up seven new vehicles for a $37,000 SUV shootout. The 2012 Chevrolet Traverse, 2012 Dodge Durango, 2012 Ford Explorer, 2012 Honda Pilot, 2012 Kia Sorento, 2011 Mazda CX-9 and 2011 Toyota Highlander all squared off against one another in a range of evaluations, including a one-day highway drive and family testing.

If you happen to be the deductive type, you may have noticed that the list above includes a fair number of genuine crossovers. Vehicles like the Chevrolet Traverse and Mazda CX-9 bear little resemblance to the body-on-frame bruisers of old, and even models like the 2012 Explorer and 2012 Durango have evolved out of their traditional shells.

But when the dust settled, it was Honda's 2012 Pilot that took top honors thanks to its high level of amenities, spacious interior and clever storage solutions, despite the fact that reviewers found issue with road noise and exterior styling. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that the 2012 Explorer tied for sixth place with the 2012 Sorento. Ouch. Head over to Cars.com to see the full evaluation, and vote for your favorite in our poll.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 174 Comments
      narcszm
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Maybe I should have packed a sports bra to wear while driving the Durango. Its more traditional SUV-like ride was definitely bumpier and more trucklike than many of the car-based crossovers we tested. Need I go into more detail?" http://www.motherproof.com/images/uploads/VarelaSuburban.jpg Yes, more detail please. You don't look like you need a sports bra....
      dohc73
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yay, I was right!! and LOL about the Exporker.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        Credibility: You have none.
        merlot066
        • 3 Years Ago
        Because you took an extensive test drive at a Ford dealer? No? You're just talking out of your ass again? What a surprise! I took one on a long test drive and it was awesome. The V6 was strong and had a nice exhaust note. The design is sharp inside and out (unlike most other competitors, especially the Pilot). It's overall an awesome crossover. I didn't have a chance to take it off-road (as most people never do) but as far as on-road manners are concerned it's great.
        Chase Gildersleeve
        • 3 Years Ago
        What exactly are you basing that opinion off of?
      adam512
      • 3 Years Ago
      they all have their strengths PILOT = most roomy HIGHLANDER = Best interior EXPLORER = Best exterior looks DURANGO = Most powerful CX-9 = Best Drive Sorento & Traverse = Nothing that good but not rubbish
        sweeneyp
        • 3 Years Ago
        @adam512
        um....what. Have you ever driven any of these/read the article??? I own a current gen highlander and can tell you the interior is nowhere NEAR as good as the others. Toyota used way to much easy to scratch plastic. But I can tell you its definitely one of the fastest. HP does not mean everything (refering to Durango when equipped with V8 (pathetically slow with v6)). Yes it has the most HP on paper, but it weighs a ton. I can tell you from experience and from Car & Drivers test numbers that the highlander is faster than the durango and the other vehicles in this review. So you definitely got those 2 backwards there
      Alsson Mata
      • 3 Years Ago
      the pilot should be dead last in my opinion. horrible design, cheap interior , and underpowered.
        blatinotop4u
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Alsson Mata
        Well it shows how much you know. Underpowered, cheap interior, horrible design??? What do you drive? Motorweek did the same test for SUV's under 37K this past Saturday and Honda Pilot was #1 as well. Explorer came in at the bottom with Sorento and Highlander.
          shawnandt
          • 3 Years Ago
          @blatinotop4u
          Motorweek and Cars.com are partners, I would expect them to be consistant.
        Osama bin Larry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Alsson Mata
        Yep, I was able to get any Honda I wanted for wholesale cost thanks to my trainer. I like Hondas a lot, I know they're great cars but wouldn't have been my first choice if I were to buy a new car. Anyway, the first car that came to my mind was the Pilot, as soon as I sat inside it, I immediately wanted to get out, I didn't like it at all.
      mbukukanyau
      • 3 Years Ago
      As a Buyer in this class and car nut, I ended up with a 2012 Traverse.. Its the best all rounder, .. Yes, I drove all of them, including HEMI V8, and the Mazda 9, Buick etc... When it came to practicality as a Mommy Mobile, Traverse beats em all.. Hands down, its got power, not too much, drives like a car, top notch technology, great pricing and waay more interior space than anything else.. especially in the leg room and trunk. Pilot is tiny comparably... The 100,000.00 miles warranty is also a plus..
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        [blocked]
          LEDfoot
          • 3 Years Ago
          And the Pilot helps suport the yakuza?
      LesPaul1
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about test driving the Honda Pilot before saying jumping on the domestic bandwagon and saying the Durango and Explorer are better. I've been in the new GC and it seems really nice, so I'm sure the Durango is great as well. I've also been in the Pilot which is a great crossover. In the end, it doesn't matter what you fanboys think because tens of thousands of readers & consumers will know the Pilot won this comparo. It is the superior crossover.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LesPaul1
        [blocked]
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      Figures that they'd be on honda's payroll.
      Dan J
      • 3 Years Ago
      If I want a book review ill consult these clowns. For a car review ill listen to a car person. I dont know how, why, or when english majors with no passion for cars were somehow gifted the job of car reviewers. Not to mention all the guys are queer as 3 dollar bill and the women are blimps reincarnated.
        grahamvk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan J
        "Not to mention all the guys are queer as 3 dollar bill [sic] and the women are blimps reincarnated." Seriously, Dan? Why not keep your comments to cars and try to avoid trashy and demeaning comments?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan J
        [blocked]
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Holy crap are there a lot of crybabies in here. So "your" pick of SUV lost. Big goddamn deal. Get over it. Stop trying to accuse so-and-so of bias or bigotry or some other nonsense. It just might me that *GOSH* someone else holds other values in a vehicle higher than you do. I highly doubt that any of you whiners have tested these SEVEN vehicles back-to-back. Heck, I'd be willing to bet that most of the very people complaining about how Car A was higher than Car B haven't even driven every single one of these rides.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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