Car review: Honda Pilot EX

Road Test: Honda Pilot EX

Family Car Review

Los Angeles Family, March 04

Honda Pilot EX MSRP as tested: $32,520

The Honda Pilot occupies a space somewhere between a mid-size SUV and a larger vehicle. It seats 8 with reasonable comfort, but it’s not a number you’d want to pack in on a regular basis. Like most vehicles its size, it lacks storage space, making it a dicey proposition for a road trip without a trailer or a roof storage device to take up the slack.

But those are all limitations shared by most minivans and mid-size SUVs. If you can live with the size and lack of storage space, there’s no doubt this is a nice vehicle for the price. The test unit I drove came with the navigation system, which I got rather attached to in the week I had the car. You can also get it with a DVD system, although apparently you can’t have both (waaahhh!). Another odd plus with the navigation system is a back-up camera, which allows you to see behind you on the nav screen while in reverse. The kids loved it.

The Pilot has a strong V-6 engine with plenty of pep, generating 240 HP, which is more than enough for passing or towing. It has a fair number of nooks and crannies to store stuff, although my wife said it could use even more. It handles well, although perhaps a bit stiff and “trucky” to those accustomed to a car or even some of the larger SUVs.

There are a variety of ways to configure the seats, and there are child seat “LATCH” attachments in the second AND third rows, which is neat. Kids trying to get to the third row will find it a bit more difficult because of the bench-style seating, but that’s part of the price you’ll pay for the ability to seat 8 in a pinch.

We walked away from the Pilot liking it, but conceding that, for a family with more than two kids, it’s hard to beat a minivan or a larger SUV in terms of size and convenience.

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