We finally settled on the impressive new 2010 Honda Pilot.
We wanted an SUV with third row seating. That left us a few options. The large Cadillac Escalade, Yukon, Suburban, and Denali type of SUVs that are way too big, and way too expensive (especially the Caddy).
Then you had the Acura MDX, Toyota Highlander, Acadia, and Traverse which were reasonable. We didn’t care for Navigation or DVD features. And we didn’t want to pay more than about $25,000-30,000.
The Acura MDX and Toyota Highlander were high on our list, but dealers didn’t have any good ones in stock. The MDX were running close to $40k and that was a bit much. They had no reason to lower their price, since the MDX is the best selling Acura, and we couldn’t find any on dealer lots. Fully loaded, the Acura was nearly $50k.
The Toyota Highlander was nice and probably we could get them down to about $30k, but dealers didn’t have any in stock (or only had sky blue ones).
I never even considered a Honda Pilot, because of my preconceived notions of what they looked like and what they were.
We called a second nearby Toyota dealer and asked if he had any Highlanders, he said no, but convinced me to come out and check out a 2010 Honda Pilot (he sold both Honda and Toyota), and said that the Pilot is “the one”.
So, I begrudgingly went out to see this vehicle. It turns out, that it looks nothing like what I thought a Pilot looks like. It’s bigger, better, more luxurious, and they cleaned up the exterior. The exterior was always square, sharp and boxy and it just looked stale. The new 2010 Honda Pilot looks cleaner, more modern, and very aerodynamic. It looks like a little beast, but not so beastly that a woman wouldn’t like it (some woman like manly rides).
It’s not as big as the Yukon, Suburban, or Cadillac, nor is it as small as the MDX or Highlander. It is in between. And it is bigger than our current Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The salesman told us that the Pilot is the flagship vehicle for Honda. They spend more money, research, talent, and resources making this the best it can be as opposed to Toyota that has the Highlander as an afterthought. He was right. He said this is his car and he wouldn’t want anything else. He owned the fully loaded Pilot.
So much detail and thought went into the redesigned Pilot. It’s hard to explain everything in a single post, but it is very impressive. Check out their website.
The exterior is very clean, sleek, modern, and yet manly! The interior is all leather and they spared nothing in making sure the Pilot had everything in it that you could imagine. The controls are very well designed, and it is easy to figure out how to do everything with little thinking.
The only downside is the engine. It’s a 3.5 L V6 that produces 250 horsepower. This is ok for most people, but coming from a 4.7L V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee that does 0-60 in 7 seconds, the engine seems muted. The salesman tried to talkup the engine and horsepower, but I wasn’t listening. It’s not as powerful or quick as the Jeep. And the MPG is the same (or pretty close, 17/21 versus 18/22).
The one thing that this engine does is turn off 3 cylinders if you are crusining to attain better gas mileage (similar to the HEMI concept) that my older Jeep did not do. The Honda Pilot does get to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds though.
Overall, I am very impressed with this vehicle so far. I am sure I will have more to add as time goes on. Now I have two Hondas (I never thought this would happen either), a Civic Hybrid, and this Pilot.
You can put all the back seats down and still have more interior space than the Grand Cherokee, or leave them up and seat 7 or 8 comfortably with still some trunk space left for luggage and extras.
The dash and console is very well designed and looks like it should be in a spaceshuttle. Very impressed with the interior design quality and ergonomics.
Stay tuned for updates as we take our first long roadtrip with this thing of beauty!