2016 HONDA PILOT QUICK TAKES
TestDriveNow QUICK TAKES: 2016 HONDA PILOT AWD ELITE OVERVIEW
The all-new 2016 Honda Pilot SUV, with seating up to eight passengers, joins the Honda CR-V and all-new HR-V as the flagship in an expanded lineup of innovative, benchmark-setting Honda SUVs. It is the third generation of Honda’s popular three-row SUV to be designed, developed and manufactured in America.
The new Pilot was designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., in Los Angeles and Ohio, and is manufactured exclusively by Honda Mfg. Alabama, Inc. in Lincoln, Alabama.
Since its arrival in 2003 as the first three-row, mainstream SUV to be developed on a car-like unit-body platform, the Pilot has helped set industry standards for fuel efficiency, spacious and thoughtful interior packaging, safety performance, and dynamic handling performance in the midsize SUV segment.
American consumers have responded by purchasing more than 1.4 million Pilots over the past 12 years. Pilot also ties the CR-V in having the highest brand loyalty of any Honda model, with approximately 63 percent of Pilot buyers returning to purchase another Honda vehicle.
Reengineered from the ground up, virtually every aspect of the 2016 Pilot has been thoroughly redesigned to better accommodate the needs of all its occupants – the driver and all passengers – delivering more family-friendly utility, more advanced technology, and more premium attributes and amenities than ever before.
The 2016 Pilot also ups the ante for premium refinement with major upgrades to interior quality and more standard comfort and convenience features on all trims, along with the addition of a new, line-topping Elite version that offers a series of Honda-first features including 20-inch wheels and tires, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a first-ever panoramic glass roof and many other luxury features.
The 2016 Pilot receives a new engine from Honda’s EarthDreams® Technology powertrain series – a direct-injected 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC® V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) – along with the available two new advanced transmissions and a class-defining all-new intelligent variable torque management (i-VTM4™) AWD system with Intelligent Traction Management and torque vectoring capability. Together, these features make this the most powerful, refined and capable Pilot Honda has ever offered.
These technologies, combined with a nearly 300-pound reduction in vehicle weight (on upper trims), improved aerodynamics and reduced running resistance, make this the most fuel-efficient offering in the midsize SUV segment, with EPA fuel-economy ratings improved by as much as 2/2/2 mpg city/highway/combined2 over the previous model.
The new Pilot also moves to the top of the class in safety performance with the most comprehensive suite of Honda Sensing™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies ever offered on a Honda vehicle. Furthermore, the 2016 Pilot adopts the next generation of Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure along with a new “3-bone” underbody frame design and new hot-stamped ultra-high strength steel door rings.
Taken together, these engineering features and technologies deliver major gains to the Pilot’s collision avoidance and collision protection capabilities, as it targets the highest available U.S. government (NCAP) and IIHS safety ratings.
Premium Style and Features
The all-new design of the 2016 Pilot sports a modern, sleek, yet commanding and muscular form incorporating new premium features, including standard LED taillights, and available features such as LED projector headlights, LED daytime running lights, 20-inch wheels and first-ever panoramic glass roof.
The premium quality of the new Pilot carries over to the interior, where designers have applied high quality, soft-touch materials throughout the cabin and added thoughtful details such as LED map lighting (see the Interior section for more information on interior styling). Additional high-end amenities include a standard 4.2-inch color display, available heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated second-row seats.
For the first time, the top-of-the-line Elite trim includes second-row captain’s chairs, providing for easy walk through between the second and third rows for a 7-passenger configuration, in addition to the standard second-row three-person 60/40 split seat for 8-passenger seating capacity.
The new Pilot delivers the connectivity and power access that modern families demand, including up to five USB ports, four that provide better recharging with 2.5-amp output – fully adequate to charge iPads or smartphones while they’re in use. Additional available ports and plugs include an auxiliary jack for nearly any audio player, an HDMI port for a gaming console or other similarly connected device, two headphone jacks, and up to three 12-volt power outlets and a 115-volt AC outlet to power a range of compatible devices.
The new Pilot also incorporates Honda’s latest thinking in advanced, family-friendly technology, including an upsized 8-inch capacitive touchscreen Display Audio connectivity interface powered by a new Android-based operating system and more powerful processor, along with an available all-new embedded Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™. The new navigation system features improved graphics and new capabilities, including 3D renderings of terrain, buildings and road signs, improved lane guidance, live search function and more.
The Pilot’s Display Audio system enables simplified smartphone connectivity making for easier access to all the features and connectivity options of the HondaLink® connected-car system. A 9-inch rear entertainment system with DVD and new Blu-ray™ disc capability is available.
The new Pilot builds on its reputation for best-in-class interior space, versatility and utility with 3.5 inches of added overall vehicle length, enabling an inch longer tandem seating distance and a 1.3-inch longer cargo area that can hold an 82-quart cooler without compromising third-row seating capability. Third-row entry and exit is made even easier and more intuitive courtesy of the new available one-touch second-row seat on EX-L and above models, and larger third-row entryway. Compared with the current Pilot, the width of the lower portion of the third-row lower entryway has been increased by 2.5 inches with an inch lower step-over height.
The Pilot’s new center console features a cavernous storage compartment capable of accommodating items as large as a full-size iPad or a purse. And with its seamless cover in the closed position, the console provides a convenient, non-slip surface for items that the driver or front passenger may need close at hand.
EarthDreams® Technology Powertrain
The 2016 Pilot delivers more refined, powerful and fuel-efficient performance than ever before courtesy of its new 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC® V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) cylinder deactivation technology. The engine’s peak output of 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque is up 30 hp and 9 lb.-ft. over the previous model.4 The engine is matched to a choice of two new advanced transmissions – a Pilot-first 6-speed automatic transmission or, on upper trims, a Honda-first 9-speed automatic transmission – both delivering more refined, responsive and fuel-efficient performance.
These new powertrains combine with a new, lighter yet more rigid unit-body and aerodynamically efficient body and chassis designs that result in class-leading EPA fuel economy ratings topping out at 20/27/23 mpg (city/highway/combined) for two-wheel-drive models and 19/26/22 mpg for all-wheel-drive models.
Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4™) AWD System
The Pilot’s available new Intelligent VTM4 (i-VTM4) is the most sophisticated and technologically advanced all-wheel-drive system offered in a mainstream, three-row SUV. This entirely more capable system progressively distributes optimum torque between the front and rear axles and, for the first time ever in a Honda vehicle, dynamically distributes engine torque between the left and right rear wheels. Benefits include superior all-weather handling and neutral, accurate steering under power that is more effective than front-drive, rear-drive or conventional all-wheel-drive systems.
Intelligent Traction Management
This new Pilot features a new button-operated Intelligent Traction Management System that offers different operating modes, for the AWD: Normal, Snow, Mud and Sand; and for the FWD: Normal and Snow. Developed, tuned and tested at various locations in the U.S. and around the world – including Imperial Dunes “Glamis”, California; Moscow, Russia; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates – the Intelligent Traction Management system allows the driver to select the operating mode that best suits the driving conditions by simply pushing a button on the vehicle’s center console. Based on the setting selected, the system adjusts the drive-by-wire map, transmission shift map, Vehicle Stability Assist™ and i-VTM4 torque distribution for AWD-equipped models for optimal performance in a variety of road or surface conditions.
Advanced Safety Performance
In keeping with Honda’s commitment to safety, the new Pilot features the most comprehensive set of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies ever offered on a Honda vehicle. Together these technologies make up Honda Sensing™, a suite of technologies designed to expand the driver’s situational awareness while sensing and responding to potential road hazards, including other vehicles, road obstacles and even pedestrians, even to the point of mitigating the possibility or severity of a collision.
It includes a standard Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and a suite of available safety and driver assistive technologies that includes Honda’s popular LaneWatch™ display, a blind spot information system, Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control, and two Honda-first technologies: Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) system and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor.
The new Pilot is expected to deliver the highest safety ratings in its class and targets a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including a GOOD rating in all crash modes. The new Pilot incorporates Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, designed to more efficiently absorb and disperse the energy from a frontal collision, along with new ultra-high-strength door rings designed to help better protect occupants.
The 2016 Pilot also incorporates an all-new “3-bone” platform while also utilizing high and ultra-high strength body materials, which together reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), improve handling, increase rigidity and reduce weight.
Standard safety and driver-assistive features include four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist; Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control; an Expanded View Driver’s Mirror; dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, driver and front passenger SmartVent® side airbags and side-curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions; and a new Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with real-time display of individual tire pressures.
2016 HONDA PILOT AWD ELITE: MSRP $46,420
AS SHOWN $47,300.00