When introduced in 2003, the Honda Pilot offered drivers the usability of a minivan with the rugged good looks and some of the off-road abilities of a traditional, body-on-frame SUV. For 2016 Honda Pilot received a complete redesign, ditching the boxy-looking exterior in favor of a more rounded, elegant shape reminiscent of its big brother, the Acura MDX.
The exterior of the 2016 Honda Pilot is all new. Gone are the sharp lines and squared off edges. In its place, designers favored a more modern design, giving it a look more in line with other vehicles in its class. Up front, the PIlot shares a strong family resemblance to the Honda CR-V, with a large, polished grille connecting a pair of wraparound, led-trimmed headlights. The side profile of the 2016 Pilot looks a bit more anonymous, appearing vaguely similar to some of its competitors-the Hyundai Sante Fe and Nissan Pathfinder. around back, the Pilot features a much more upscale look; it wouldn’t be surprising to see an Acura badge attached to its sculpted hatch. Dimensionally, the Pilot features a 1.7-inch longer wheelbase and 3.5-inch longer overall length, but weighs an impressive 300 pounds less than the previous model.
The interior of the new 2016 Honda Pilot also received a substantial redesign. The previous generation’s interior was utilitarian in both look and feel, featuring a near vertical, hard-plastic dash board covered in a sea of buttons an knobs. Honda designers smoothed out the lines and simplified the look. The new design looks much more elegant, and more at home in the midsize crossover segment. One notable feature, or lack thereof, is the transmission selector. In place of a traditional column or console mounted shifter, the 2016 Pilot features a push button gear selector, similar to that found in Acuras of late.
Honda also dramatically reduced the number of buttons, replacing a large amount with their corporate touch screen, which makes use of capacitive touch inputs in place of traditional radio controls. The intrerior is also substantially larger, thanks in large part to the increase in length. Honda now claims it is possible to fit a full size cooler behind the third row of seats. Speaking of the third row, it also features more room, allowing full-sized adults to travel in relative comfort. In the second row, the Pilot now offers a pair of captain’s chairs in place of the traditional three-seat bench. To keep all these passengers happy, the Pilot offers an impressive number of USB ports and power outlets for charging mobile devices, as well as an available panoramic roof.
Powertrain Detailed specifications for the 2016 Honda Pilot have yet to be released. However, the Pilot features the same direct-injection 2016 V6 found in the MDX, connected with either a six-speed or available nine-speed automatic transmission. In the Acura, the engine produces 290 horsepower, and 267 lb-ft of torque, so power in this application can be expected to be in the same ballpark, give or take a few ponies. The V6 mill offers Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), allowing it to run on three cylinders for reduced fuel consumption. This set up can be connected to either the front or all four wheels, with an available all-wheel-drive system that engages the rear wheels with a set of electronically-controlled clutch packs. Fuel economy data has yet to be released, but buyers can expect a substantial increase over the current Pilot’s 18/25 MPG rating, especially if they opt for the upgraded nine-speed gearbox.
2016 Honda Pilot Price and Release Data
Pricing for the new 2016 Honda Pilot has not been disclosed yet, but when it hits dealer lots in the summer of 2015 it’s likely it will carry a higher price tag than the current model’s $29,870 starting price. With an all new exterior, redesigned interior, and the latest in Honda’s powertrain technology, the Honda redesigned Pilot looks to provide buyers with all the features Pilot fans have come to love, as well as added style, comfort, and refinement.
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