Honda Enhances Pilot With Adorable SUV Features | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Honda Enhances Pilot With Adorable SUV Features

Posted: Apr 12, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Honda Motor Corporation has said that its Honda Pilot was built to meet the required specifications and features that many auto enthusiasts look for in an SUV.

Honda said the Pilot was its second SUV fully built and designed by Honda in Alliston, Ontario, Canada and Lincoln, Alabama, noting that its initial SUV offering for many years was the Passport, which was a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo.

The Pilot, it said, shares underpinnings and the powertrain with the Acura MDX, which has a lineage which can be traced to the Honda Odyssey minivan (itself based on the global light truck chassis).

Honda said the Pilot’s unibody construction, however, is fortified with integrated perimeter frame rails, which helps it withstand light off-road use, explaining that

the Pilot was designed to fill a large demand for SUVs. The auto maker said prior to the introduction of the Pilot, it only had the smaller CR-V based on the Civic platform, and the Passport, explaining that the CR-V lacked in features many consumers looked for in an SUV, which are overall size, passenger space, and towing capacity. It noted that the Pilot was at most designed to withstand light duty off roading, adding that the Pilot has been a best-seller for Honda.


Honda said the Pilot is capable of transporting up to 8 passengers, noting that the third row seats 3 but footroom is limited, allowing transportation of small children or adults on short trips. It noted that though similar to the Honda Odyssey, the rear seats are capable of folding into completely flat surfaces to allow larger cargo inside if necessary, adding that seats are configured as stadium seating.

It said optional amenities that can also be included are a powered moonroof, DVD entertainment system, and a navigation system.

“The Pilot employs a four-wheel drive system called Variable Torque Management 4WD (VTM-4). The VTM-4 system proactively delivers power to all four wheels under acceleration and when wheel slippage is detected. The VTM-4 system has a dashboard switch that locks both rear half-shafts to get the driver unstuck (there is no center or rear differential), but it operates in just the first two gears and unlocks at 18 mph. Otherwise, the system operates primarily in front-wheel drive and sends torque to the rear wheels when spin is detected up front. Two wheel drive models are available.

“The Pilot’s safety mechanisms are the VTM-4 system, ABS-equipped four-wheel disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel independent suspension and 282 degrees of outward visibility. The foundation for the Pilot is a highly rigid unibody with reinforcing structures and energy absorbing crush zones. The Pilot’s structure is designed to deform progressively in front, side and rear collisions,” Honda said.


Honda noted that like the MDX, the Pilot is propelled by an aluminum alloy 3.5 L SOHC, 24-valve VTEC V6 engine. The engine, it said, is rated at 240 hp and 242 ft·lbf of torque, and mated to a five-speed automatic, which, as tested, results in a 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds and 1/4 mile sprint of 14.6 seconds.

Honda said the power of the new Pilot was increased to 255 hp, 250 ft·lbf of torque and includes a Drive by Wire (DBW) Throttle System, noting that the Pilot weighs in at a little over 4,400 lb, with an EPA estimated gas mileage of 17 city and 22 highway. “Also, like the MDX, the Pilot rides on struts up front with a coil-spring, multilink arrangement at the rear designed to allow a flat load floor. It also has the MDX’s wide track — 66.3 in at the front and 66.5 in at the rear. The Pilot has a 4,500 lb boat/3,500 lb trailer towing capability,” Honda said.