Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: Dean Ang | posted June 06, 2012 19:50
The Pilot re-enters the market
Honda has just launched the all new Pilot today at the NBC Tent in Bonifacio Global City. The new Pilot is the largest crossover in Honda's lineup around the world.
The Honda Pilot was initially launched in 2002 in the U.S., designed to fill a very popular midsize SUV segment. The Pilot was launched in the Philippines soon after, but was discontinued several years ago.
This new Pilot, now on its 2nd generation and already sporting the mid-cycle update, marks the return of the name in Honda Cars Philippines' roster. Like its predecessor, the Pilot is produced at Honda's manufacturing plant in Alabama.
Exterior design and dimensions
The exterior design, as stated, is already the updated version of the 2nd generation Pilot (2010-present). Honda designed the Pilot to be boxier, more bulbous, more truck-like than its predecessor, instead of going the sleeker route that other crossovers have.
The Pilot is 4875mm long, 1995mm wide and 1845mm tall. Wheelbase is at 2775mm.
Interior design and features
The Pilot's interior features a modern, premium dashboard as befitting the class. The steering wheel is similar to the one found in the Accord, and the shifter is placed on the dashboard, freeing up more space in the middle.
There's enough seating for 8, arrayed in a 2-3-3 manner.
The Pilot comes equipped with a long list of standard features such as a tri-zone auto climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth, an 8-inch LCD, a modular single CD in-dash player with USB and iPod playback. 7 speakers are standard, along with leather on the seats and the steering wheel.
Powertrain and suspension
Powering the new Pilot is a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine. The V6 is capable of 257 PS and 347 Nm of torque. The engine features Honda's own Variable Cylinder Management system (VCM), allowing the computer to shut off up to 3 cylinders during light cruising, saving fuel in the process.
The transmission is a 5-speed automatic, and drives all four wheels. Hill Start Assist is standard, along with Variable Torque Management. The EPA's figures for the Pilot's fuel consumption is pegged at 7.2 km/l (17 mpg) in the city and 10.2 km/l (24 mpg) on the highway.
The Pilot's suspension is composed of MacPherson struts and a multi-link set up, front and rear, respectively. As stated, the Pilot is a crossover, meaning it features unibody (monocoque) construction as opposed to body-on-frame construction that many other large SUVS have.
Safety and security
Honda is a premiere name in automotive safety, and the Pilot is a shining example. The Pilot comes equipped with anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA). Should a collision be unavoidable, the Pilot is built with a strong Advance Compatibility Engineering body structure, and is fitted with dual front airbags, front side airbags and side curtain airbags.
The Honda Pilot is positioned to compete with cars such as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, Hyundai Veracruz, Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, Mazda CX-9, the Kia Mojave and the Mitsubishi Pajero.
Variants and prices
Honda Pilot 3.5 EX-L: PhP 2,600,000