December 2011

Vehicle Profile: 2012 Honda Pilot

For 2012, Honda introduces a brand new Pilot, an eight-passenger SUV with tons of upgrades, updated interior amenities, and an increase in fuel economy. It’s all you’ve come to know about the Honda Pilot, plus a lot more.
 
Exterior styling has always been a calling card for the Pilot. This year, the 2012 pilot SUV (MSRP $28,470*) gets a brand new front fascia, with a three-bar chrome grille, for a tougher appearance. Redesigned multi-reflector halogen headlamps and turn indicators, a new front airdam, and an optimized air deflector ahead of the front wheels all help to reduce overall frontal area and air turbulence, both of which conspire to reduce fuel economy. Starting with the Pilot EX, 18-inch alloy wheels are standard equipment, up an inch from the 2011 model. Seventeen inch styled steel wheels are the standard equipment on the Pilot LX.
 
On the inside, the modus operandi was to completely refine the interior, while retaining and improving the outgoing model’s intuitive controls. Engineers placed a lot of attention on reducing overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), sealing body seams around the unibody connection points, and retuning the rear suspension subframe mounts, which results in reduced noise in the already quiet interior. Enhanced pillar separators, upgraded insulation and acoustic windshield glass – normally reserved for ultra-high-end luxury cars, further reduces any disturbance from outside.
 
For the 2012 model year, Pilot EX and EX-L receive a 2 GB CD-Library (CD-L), and Bluetooth® audio streaming, as well as Bluetooth HandsFreeLink®. The EX has a center stack featuring a three-line display. The Pilot EX-L – without the optional navigation system – features a new i-MID, a color LCD display that allows the integration of vehicle information and compatible personal electronics. The EX-L’s rearview camera display is also part of the i-MID display, and provides drivers with a set of guidelines to help judge parking distance.
 
The 250 hp i-VTEC V6 engine is also revised for 2012. Engineers worked to reduce friction levels and improve overall efficiency. The engine’s Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system operates in six-cylinder mode when power is required, and then deactivates two or even three cylinders for greater efficiency when cruising on the highway. Fuel economy improvements to 17/24** city/highway (based on EPA estimates) in four-wheel drive models, and 18/25 city/highway on two wheel drive models make the Pilot 2WD the highest fuel economy of any eight-passenger SUV, and the Pilot 4WD the highest fuel economy of any mid-size 4WD SUV.
 
The Pilot features a five-speed automatic transmission’s Grade Logic Control ensures that the Pilot is in the most appropriate gear when ascending or descending hills, avoiding the gear hunting that many SUVs in this class experience. The VTM-4 system on Pilot 4WD models provides fully automatic 4WD capability, engaging four-wheel drive whenever necessary, completely transparent to the driver. “Lock Mode” – available in first or second gear up to 18 mph and engaged by an instrument panel-mounted button – delivers the maximum possible torque transfer to the rear wheels, providing an extra boost in extremely low traction or stuck conditions.
The Pilot has been a perennial award winner since its introduction. IntelliChoice awarded it the “Best Value of the Year” award, and Edmunds.com called it the “Most Wanted SUV.” Kelley Blue Book said it was one of the “Top 50 Most Popular Cars” and it also won one of Edmunds.com’s “Best Retained Value” awards for non-luxury brands.
 
It’s time you experienced what the Honda Pilot has to offer. Schedule a test drive today to learn more about the Pilot, and how it can earn a place in your driveway.

*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $810.00 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
 
**18 city/25 hwy/21 combined mpg for 2WD models and 17 city/24 hwy/20 combined mpg for 4WD models. Based on 2012 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.


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