KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
The Pilot is Honda's largest SUV offering and has earned a reputation for reliability, comfort and performance. Sharing a chassis with the Acura MDX has its benefits, and the Pilot sails into 2007 leading its class in just about every category. Although it offers seating for eight passengers, the Pilot is not nearly as bulky or cumbersome as most full-size SUVs and its silky-smooth V6 engine delivers strong performance coupled with superb fuel economy. The Pilot's uni-body construction permits the use of a sophisticated rear suspension that delivers an impressively smooth ride and agile handling. On the downside, this design limits the Pilot's tow rating to 4,500 pounds for boat trailers and 3,500 pounds for all others.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you need the seating capacity of a bigger SUV, but not the usually bulky body and so-so handling that comes with it, check out the Pilot. Interior room is as outstanding as the power output of the V6 engine. And if you desire four-wheel drive, Honda's innovative VTM-4 system offers automatic engagement when needed and a manual locking function for dealing with those tougher situations.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The Pilot's strong popularity makes it difficult to bargain on what is already a relatively steep price. Honda's "one package fits all" approach may turn off buyers who like to pick and choose their options. Those who need to tow more than 3,500 pounds will need to look elsewhere.
What's Significant About This Car?
No major changes for 2007.
In addition to its other attributes, the Pilot delivers an exceptional combination of road feel, steering feedback and ride comfort. Over practically any road surface, the Pilot maintains its composure with ease, riding quietly over smooth pavement with stability and poise. Performance is another Pilot strength, and the Pilot's V6 is capable of producing ample low-end torque along with impressive highway response.
Honda's VTM-4 four-wheel-drive system distributes power between the front and rear wheels as needed, but its lack of a two-speed transfer case could inhibit true off-road adventuring. The system does, however, feature a locking mechanism that can be manually engaged at low speeds, ideal for low-traction situations such as mud or deep snow.
Honda's VTM-4 four-wheel drive lets the Pilot go where most big SUVs wouldn't dare.
The Pilot's optional navigation unit features a rear back-up camera.
The Pilot's interior may make you feel you're in an Acura, as the optional perforated leather seats, navigation system or DVD entertainment package and a host of other creature comforts are all wrapped in quality materials. The Pilot's third-row seat is a bit cramped for adults, but should suit the little ones just fine. With the third-row seat folded, the Pilot gains a huge amount of usable cargo room. The built-in rear back-up camera is a great safety feature, but is limited to upper-end models equipped with navigation. On the flip side, we applaud Honda for making front side-impact and three-row head-curtain airbags standard on every model.
In profile, the Honda Pilot mirrors much of the styling of the previous generation CR-V. A boxy greenhouse tempered by rounded corners, big side glass and a short hood create the Pilot's silhouette. The Pilot's front fenders, grille, headlamp and taillight treatment mimic the look established by Honda's other big truck, the Ridgeline. Big flush-mounted headlamps flank an equally large grille and you'll find the Pilot's overall fit and finish is flawless. Built-in crumple zones helped the Pilot perform extremely well in its crash tests.
Notable Standard Equipment
As with all Hondas, the Pilot offers its optional equipment packaged within each trim level. The base LX features a 244-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, five-speed automatic transmission, manual front and rear air conditioning, remote keyless entry, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, seven cup holders, dual power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, front side-impact airbags, three-row side-curtain airbags, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, power windows, power locks, rear defroster, rear wiper/washer, Vehicle Stability Assist and 16-inch painted alloy wheels. The EX trim level adds automatic air conditioning, six-disc in-dash CD player, auto-off headlamps, eight-way power driver's seat, steering wheel-mounted controls and machine-finished alloy wheels.
Notable Optional Equipment
Other than four-wheel drive, options are limited to the EX trim and are offered in a variety of packages. You can order the EX with leather, or with leather and rear-seat DVD player, or with leather and Navigation, but you can't order a model with navigation and the rear-seat DVD. Ordering the leather seat package brings heated front seats, a power moonroof, heated side mirrors and XM Satellite Radio.
Under the Hood
Honda's more-than-competent 3.5-liter V6 fits the Pilot like a well-tailored suit. Powerful enough to climb hills, dart across busy intersections and pass with confidence, yet fairly easy on fuel, this engine is all about efficiency and quiet operation. An excellent repair history adds piece of mind.
244 horsepower @ 5750 rpm (2WD), 244 horsepower @ 5600 rpm (4WD)
240 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 (2WD), 17/22 (4WD)
The two-wheel-drive Pilot LX has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $27,690, with four-wheel-drive models starting at $28,990. The EX trim offers no less than eight variations, ranging from the base EX with cloth seats at $30,240 to a fully loaded version with four-wheel drive and navigation for $36,040. The Pilot continues to sell well, which explains the high figures found on the Fair Purchase Price page, which shows what others have paid for their Pilots. As for long-term value, the Pilot is expected to retain better-than-average residual and resale values, holding 65 percent of its original purchase price at 24 months and 51 percent at 48 months. That's better than the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet TrailBlazer and Dodge Durango.