2003 Pilot New Car Test Drive
Honda took its own sweet time getting its first family-size SUV on the market, but a couple of minutes behind the wheel of the 2003 Honda Pilot makes it clear that every moment was well spent.
The all-new Pilot brings Honda virtues to a new class of vehicle. The interior packs eight seats into an overall package so short that the EPA considers the Pilot a compact SUV. However, its competition will be the world's midsize SUVs. The Honda Pilot offers more cargo space than the Ford Explorer, GMC Envoy, and Toyota Highlander.
The Pilot also sets the pace dynamically, with a 240-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 and the same crisp, predictable handling that have made the Honda Odyssey minivan and Acura MDX SUV hits.
All Pilots feature Honda's patented VTM-4 electronically controlled full-time all-wheel-drive system, a 240-horsepower V6 engine, and a five-speed automatic transmission.
Two models are available: LX ($27,360); EX ($29,730).
LX offers a range of standard equipment including air conditioning, cruise control, AM/FM stereo, in-dash CD player, driver and front passenger front and side airbags, power windows, mirrors and door locks.
The EX raises the ante with standard aluminum alloy wheels, synchronized front and rear automatic climate control, a powerful seven-speaker stereo.
Option packages include EX with leather interior trim ($30,980); EX with leather interior trim and rear entertainment system ($32,480); EX with leather interior trim and navigation system ($32,980). Prices do not include a $460 destination and handling charge.
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