Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pilot Wins Car and Driver

The November issue of Car and Driver includes a comparison of six mid-size unibody crossover vehicles with all-wheel drive and third-row seats, including the Honda Pilot EX-L, Toyota Highlander Sport, Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring, Hyundai Veracruz Limited, Chevrolet Traverse LT, and Ford Flex SEL. When the driving was done, the all-new Honda Pilot was in first place with 225 of a possible 270 points!

First Place: Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD
Here's what the Car and Driver editors had to say about Pilot.
"Since its 2002 introduction, Honda's Pilot has bagged six of C/Ds 5Best Trucks trophies. This latest gen – longer, wider, riding on 2.9 inches of newfound wheelbase – may well land it in the SUV Hall o' Fame."
"…peak horsepower manifests at 5700 rpm, the fewest revs of any V-6 invited. In fact there was terrific grunt as low as 2500 rpm."
"…none of our crossovers surpassed the Pilot's off-road prowess. It can wade through 19 inches of water and offers both hill-start assist and 'VTM-4 Lock,' which can send maximum torque to the rear wheels at speeds up to 18 mph. Where some aiming was required with the others, the Pilot just bulled over the larger impediments."

"The Pilot is an eight-seater, and it nearly matches the larger Chevy for third-row space. Legroom is up 1.1 inches in the second row, 1.9 inches in the third. More important, the front seats are gently bolstered and cushy without relying on padding that swallows the sides of your hips."

"In the end, the MDX-based Pilot won… because it felt more solid than its rivals. Part of that perception derives from the slightly heavy but accurate steering, and part accrues from the taut, totally tied-down chassis. But the new Pilot may also feel unbendable because of its higher-strength steel, its sturdier gusseting, and its platform's more robust rear structure."

"Add to that a zillion storage bins, a backlight that lifts separately from the hatch, steering with no wasted motion, a dollop of lift-throttle oversteer, the second-best as-tested price, and you've got a crossover scoring bonus points…."