The ongoing Pilot debuted back at the start of 2015 at the Chicago Auto Show, and since then it managed to impose itself as a dependable and well built seven-seat crossover. This is mostly thanks to its close relation with the Acura MDX which shares most of its underpinnings with it. In order to keep the car fresh, a few weeks back Honda did a close-door release for the Pilot. The new 2017 Honda Pilot is mostly a carry over from the 2016 model year, but that is not exactly a bad thing. This was also expected considering how new the car really is.
Honda managed to get a good portion of the market for itself thanks to its US-built Pilot which employs more US made parts than some trucks from the big three manufacturers.
What is it exactly?
Honda, and most of the press, classified the Pilot as a three-rows crossover. While this is true considering how it is built, the Pilot has a lot more in common with the Odyssey than one might thing. The car shares most of its underpinnings with it, and it feels a lot like a minivan. However, it doesn’t manage to offer all the things a minivan does, but that’s fine. The good part is the design which allowed people that don’t like minivans to basically own one undercover. The 2017 model will still start right around $31,000 which is also where most of its rivals are.
The top end model will go past $45,000, but at this price point, there are some better alternatives. This means that Honda should still dominate the lower and mid-end of the market with ease. The 2017 model will become available in showrooms soon enough, and it should be replaced next year by a mild facelift.
2017 Honda Pilot
The ongoing Pilot uses Honda’s latest V6, and the 2017 Honda Pilot is no different. The car features the same 3.5 liters naturally aspirated direct injected V6 as before. This will put out as much as 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque which is in the lower-end of its class. However, despite being less powerful than some of its rivals, the Pilot is light. Thanks to that, it will do 0 to 60 MPH in just 6 seconds, and it will continue to accelerate up to a limited top speed of 112 MPH.
The front wheel drive version of the car will return up to 19 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway with the AWD version offering 18 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway, interestingly enough, with the same average fuel consumption of 22 MPG.
This is true for the base six-speed automatic. The optional nine speed automatic will improve the numbers slightly for the FWD model. However, despite being slightly more efficient, the nine speed is less refined than the six speed and not as fun to drive which will make some people turn to the older transmission.
2017 Honda Pilot Design
Like you would expect, the 2017 Honda Pilot remains pretty much identical to the 2016 model. The front end features the same large headlights which also include part of the grille. These, together with the aggressively styled front bumper, offer a more imposing design than that of a minivan which is what people are looking for in this class. It still is unclear if Honda will add anything to the range but from the latest reports, it seems that the paint options, wheels and even trim levels will remain identical to the ones offered on the 2016 model.
Inside the cabin
It really is no surprise that the 2017 Honda Pilot remains the same as the 2016 model at this point. The cabin will retain the same dashboard, infotainment system, instrument cluster and driving position as before. The cabin is quiet and very comfortable for this class, and the Pilot can offer a lot of features for the money. Even though it may not be as greatly equipped as a minivan, the Pilot makes up with the safety ratings and general feel of the cabin which is quite good for the class it’s part of. We do hope that Honda will surprise us by offering an electronic parking brake but at this point, it seems they’ll keep the mechanical one in place.