2010 Pilot New Car Test Drive
The Honda Pilot is a mid-size SUV, a crossover that uses carlike unit-body construction and suspension for better fuel economy and handling. We found the Pilot a well balanced vehicle with good carrying space, nice road manners, and decent comfort.
An eight-passenger Honda Pilot can handle four adults and four kids easily. It has useful cargo space beyond the third-row seats so you needn't fold any seats down to fit a week's worth of groceries. And with six cupholders in the second row alone, eight door cargo pockets and the ability to carry a 4x8-foot sheet of building material flat inside, finding a place for everything isn't an issue.
The majority of Pilots are all-wheel-drive models that allow another 1000 pounds in tow rating and provide better acceleration and climbing in snow. However, with the same tires and brakes, they don't stop or change direction any better than the front-drive version. If you don't tow near the maximum and live in temperate climes, the Honda Odyssey offers more room and similar flexibility and features for about the same tab as an equal-level Pilot.
In footprint and operation the Pilot is one of the most efficient eight-seat crossovers around, and offers models suitable for hard-core outdoor adventurers who define camping as a sleeping bag to those who wouldn't consider adventuring unless there's a Four Seasons within an hour's drive. And if you ever get tired of it, 95 percent of a Pilot can be recycled.
The Pilot was completely redesigned for 2009 and continues into 2010 with essentially no changes.
Honda Pilot comes in four variants with few options. Each model is offered with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (4WD). All mechanical and safety components and systems are identical across the range. Navigation comes only on top-line models, and the rear-seat DVD entertainment system is available only on the top two trims.
Pilot LX ($27,895) comes with cloth upholstery, front and rear climate control, steel wheels, five-speed automatic, Hill Start Assist, flip-up hatch glass, intermittent rear wiper/washer, power windows/locks/mirrors, tow hitch, tinted rear windows, automatic headlamps, cruise control, center console, visor extensions and illuminated mirrors, tilt/telescoping steering column, four front seatback pockets, six reading lights, reconfigurable cargo area, 60/40 split-folding second and third row seats, trip computer, seven-speaker system with 6CD changer and MP3 jack. Pilot LX 4WD ($29,495) adds the Real Time 4WD system.
Pilot EX ($30,745) upgrades with three-zone climate control, alloy wheels, security system, heated body-color mirrors, roof rails, fog lights, chrome exhaust tips, HomeLink, conversation mirror, eight-way power driver seat, XM radio, and exterior temperature indicator. Pilot EX 4WD ($32,345) includes the all-wheel drive system.
Pilot EX-L ($33,845) upgrades with leather upholstery and wrap for steering wheel and shifter, heated front seats, four-way power passenger seat, moonroof, a noise-reducing laminated windshield, and an auto-dimming inside mirror with rearview camera display. A rear-seat DVD system with 115-volt AC outlet is available ($35,445). EX-L 4WD ($35,445) adds Real Time 4WD.
The Pilot Touring model ($37,045) trims out the EX-L with a power tailgate, driver memory system, chrome side trim, signals in outside mirrors, trailer pre-wire, parking sensors front and rear, voice-recognition navigation with rear camera/Bluetooth/interface jog-dial control, second-row window shades, 512-watt 10-speaker audio system and USB port, and time/speed functions added to the trip computer. Rear-seat entertainment is optional, but treated as a separate model ($38,645). Touring 4WD ($38,645) is also available with the rear-seat DVD ($40,245).
Safety equipment on all Pilots includes front and front side airbags, three-row side-curtain airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist (electronic stability control), four child-seat LATCH positions, active front head rests, and eight adjustable headrests and shoulder belts.