The Honda Pilot is a mid-sized crossover sports utility vehicle. With three rows that provide seating for eight people and 87 cubic feet of cargo space, the Pilot has proven to be an excellent family vehicle and a good choice for drivers who desire sufficient space to carry items. Current year models of the Pilot are front-engined and front-wheel drive; models prior to 2006 were front-engined and four-wheel drive.
Honda's Pilot features a 3.5-liter 24-valve V-6 engine that delivers 250 horsepower. The engine incorporates Honda's proprietary Variable Cylinder Management system, which allows the valves to be changed while the engine operates, resulting in superior engine performance and reduced emissions. The Pilot is capable of towing up to 4,500 pounds; estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. The Pilot is currently produced in Lincoln, Alabama; up until 2007, Pilots were also built in Alliston, Ontario, Canada.
Honda first introduced the 2003 Pilot in 2002; the SUV was intended to meet the growing demand for vehicles with a third row of seats. The Pilot's platform is shared with the Odyssey minivan; the Acura MDX provides the powertrain and underpinnings for the Pilot. Experts note that the Pilot's independent suspension and unibody construction render the Pilot's handling as more similar to a car than a truck. In 2006, the Pilot was redesigned with a new interior, new fascias, and several other safety improvements. Honda released the second generation of the Pilot in 2008; this model was larger and featured a different engine and a new grill shape and interior.
The Pilot is available in four different trim levels: the LX, the EX, the EX-L, and the Touring model. While all four trim levels include the same 3.5-liter 24-valve i-VTEC® V-6 engine and advanced compatibility engineering body structure, the EX offers features that include a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, an upgraded stereo system, and XM radio. The EX-L version, which is the most popular of the four, provides further upgrades such as leather trim in the interior, a moon roof, and heated seats. A satellite navigation system is an option with the XL version. The final Pilot trim line, the Touring Pilot, offers the navigation system as a standard feature along with Bluetooth hands-free capability, a power tailgate, and a rear DVD entertainment system.
The 2010 Honda Pilot received Kelley Blue Book's Best Resale Value Award within the category for full-size utility vehicles. This accolade is awarded to the vehicle that is estimated to have the top value for resale after five years. The Pilot's prior awards include Best Value of the Year" from Intellichoice and "Most Wanted SUV" from Edmunds.com.
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