2012 honda pilot

Monday, March 7, 2011

Any appearance changes to the 2012 Honda Pilot would be minor alterations to the grille and front fascia, perhaps to the taillamps, and maybe to the wheels. They would fall under the heading of a mid-cycle freshening for a Pilot design introduced for model-year 2009.
That’s when Honda replaced the soft-looking first-generation 2003-2008 Pilot with a squared-up, broad-shouldered rig meant to conjure the tough attitude of an old-school, truck-based SUV. Actually, Pilot traces its underskin architecture to the Honda Odyssey minivan. It has car-type unibody engineering in which the body and frame form a single unit. That’s in contrast to the heavier-duty body-on-frame build of a truck-type SUV such as the Chevrolet Tahoe.
Comparatively lightweight unibody design benefits fuel economy and handling and is what makes Pilot a crossover. Most crossovers have sleeker styling – see the Toyota Highlander — but few manage to fit so roomy a third-row seat into a body that’s a manageable 16 feet long. Overall, Pilot’s cabin is spacious and airy and while maximum cargo volume is an unexceptional 87 cubic feet, you’ll need a longer vehicle to get significantly more.
Build quality is solid, interior materials impressive. We’d urge Honda to incorporate into any model-year 2012 freshening a more harmonious dashboard design with fewer buttons and switches. Don’t expect Honda to tamper much with a Pilot lineup that’s likely to again consist of four models: base LX; midline EX; leather-upholstered EX-L; and top-of-the-line Touring.
Visual differences between the models are apt to remain slim, running to distinctions like plainer wheels for the LX model. Speaking of rims, Honda’s taken the conservative route and equipped all Pilot models with modestly sized 17-inch wheels and tires. It evidently judges that optimal for ride quality and weight management.
Newer rivals are happy to err on the side of fashion, offering 18-, 19-, and 20-inch diameter wheels (the Ford Edge Sport has 22s). Would Honda use a 2012 Pilot revamp to toss off this crossover’s sensible shoes for something more adventurous? Don’t bet on it.