2012 Honda Pilot Manchester NH
The Pilot continues into 2012 as a midsize crossover SUV, which uses carlike unit-body construction and suspension for better handling. The Honda Pilot gets a mild refresh for 2012, including powertrain, interior and feature upgrades. Although the exterior look hasn't changed much, there are important changes under the hood and cabin upgrades. Other improvements include the use of low-rolling-resistance tires, low-drag front and rear ventilated disc brakes and changes to the exterior design that help reduce wind resistance. The 2012 Honda Pilot offers plenty of cargo and people versatility in an efficient package, with towing capacity for light loads and the available confidence of all-wheel drive. The 8-passenger Pilot is available in both front- and four-wheel drive configurations, each with a choice of four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. All trim levels feature an advanced 250-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine, paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Powering the '12 Pilot
The Pilot's updated 250-horsepower V-6, which includes new engine friction-reduction technology. It features unit body construction and a fully independent suspension, providing a more car-like driving experience with crisp, predictable handling and a smooth ride. On the road, the 2012 Honda Pilot feels balanced, with sufficient power and brakes, decent ride quality and handling, and on 4WD models the ability to leave the pavement or tackle pre-plowed snow. Brakes perform as well as they should be expected and all electronic braking aids are standard. The V6 uses Honda's Variable Cylinder Management to switch off two or three of its six cylinders. Like the all-wheel drive system, the VCM is transparent to the driver and requires no action on his or her part, and apart from some front-tire spin under heavy acceleration from rest the front-drive model drives just like the all-wheel drive.
2012 Honda Pilot Design
On the inside, the 2012 Pilot gets more sound-deadening material to help reduce road noise. Honda says the center stack of controls has been redesigned, but the changes are mainly relegated to a new, more streamlined-looking button layout. On the outside, the new Pilot gets a revised three-bar grille, redesigned headlights and front bumper. EX trims and higher now have 18-inch alloy wheels (upgraded from 17-inch rims), while LX trims are equipped with 17-inch steel wheels. The front seats of the '12 Pilot deliver good support for long-term comfort and bolsters on the seatbacks provide lateral support without imposing thigh cushions you'd have to climb over for every entry or exit. The second-row seats are as roomy as the front and the third row is relatively easy to access. The Pilot is easy to figure out and operate and everything works as expected. All 2012 Pilots come with a Class III tow hitch and coolers required for towing; only a wiring pigtail will be needed from the dealer. The top tow rating is 4500 pounds on 4WD and 3500 pounds on front-drive models. Roof rails are standard on higher trims and you'll probably be using the back bumper and door sills without a step stool or small ladder to load items six feet up.
Honda Pilot Lineup for 2012
The 2012 Pilot is available in LX, EX, EX-L and Touring trims, with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. EX-L trims now get an 8-inch color display standard. Any model equipped with a navigation system will get a new one that comes with subscription-free FM traffic, 15-gigabyte hard drive for music storage and a higher-resolution monitor. The navigation system also gets a new backup camera that can show wide view, normal view and top-down view. The EX and EX-L Pilots now get a 2 GB CD library that can copy music tracks from CDs, but not tracks from burned CDs or memory sticks. That feature replaces the six-CD changer option. Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming is also standard on the above trims.
Pilot LX comes with cloth upholstery, front and rear climate control, intermittent rear wiper/washer, power windows/locks/mirrors, tow hitch, tinted rear windows, automatic headlamps, cruise control, center console, visor extensions, and illuminated mirrors.
Pilot EX upgrades with three-zone climate control, alloy wheels, security system, heated body-color mirrors, roof rails, fog lights, chrome exhaust tips, HomeLink, 10-way power driver seat, XM radio, 6-disc CD changer, steering-wheel audio controls, and exterior temperature indicator.
Pilot EX-L upgrades with leather upholstery and wrap for steering wheel and shifter, heated front seats, four-way power passenger seat, moonroof, conversation mirror, a noise-reducing laminated windshield, and an auto-dimming inside mirror with rearview camera display.
The Pilot Touring adds a power tailgate, driver memory system, chrome side trim, signals in outside mirrors, trailer wiring harness, parking sensors front and rear, voice-recognition navigation with rear camera/Bluetooth/interface jog-dial control, second-row window shades, and a 512-watt 10-speaker audio system and USB port.
For 2012, the Honda Pilot gets refreshed front end styling, and interior revisions. Additional trim-dependent standard equipment includes 18-inch aluminum wheels, 2GB and 15GB hard-drive storage, Bluetooth audio streaming, FM Traffic and an intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) with 8-inch TFT screen and rearview camera display. The Honda Pilot is a powerful crossover SUV, engineered for quality and durability, as well as high levels of functionality and comfort. For more on this model, visit the official 2012 Honda Pilot website.
Some information for this review was obtained from NewCarTestDrive.com