Honda has updated its predecessor’s boxy brawn and its huge protruding nose with a curvy silhouette and a front end look which is actually pleasing to the eye. It has taken the front end design cues from the CR-V and in an ever expanding crossover market, the Pilot has shed its earlier shape to a more user friendly and less intimidating approach.
2016 Honda Pilot Touring Review
It works well, because now it actually is pleasing to look at. This beautifully sedated from end look is working for us. It screams family utility car from every angle possible without overwhelming one’s visual senses and that is a good thing. The 2016 Honda Pilot comes in a 7-seater format (Touring package) and 8-seater options for the lesser models. There is a 2WD format on the base but the rest gets the new improved AWD terrain management system which can toggle between road, rain, snow and sand.
The 2016 Honda Pilot is powered by the current Accord’s V6 with 3.5-litre pushing 280hp, that’s around 30hp more than its predecessor and with a curb weight of 300lbs less it sprints quicker off the line as well; but we would like to thank Honda for not going the CVT route and keeping a regular 6 speed automatic transmission. In reality however, the new Pilot reminiscences the design language and perception of the outgoing Odyssey with a flair to venture off the beaten path.
Let’s have a look at the new Pilot. Families these days are opting to go for the crossover variant which offers basic off-roading capabilities like a run to the beach while hauling their families and baggage with ease. The Pilot meets these criteria with ease. It has a voluminous cabin, two captain’s chair occupying the second row of the Touring package. The AC has extra heat exchangers for more efficiency in cooling, a perfect ingredient for the scorching summers we face in the UAE. We were not able to test that out as the weather in November was actually cooler. It event rained when we had the car.
Conveniences like a single button on both sides of the second row seats to release and move the middle row seats forward for ease of access to the Pilot’s third row are a nice everyday user friendliness which helps out. The driver also benefits from such gimmicks as the camera which shows the car on the right hand side’s blind spot when the turn signals are flicked but we prefer the normal blind spot warning on the side mirrors. Our only grievance was the sound system which seemed to be slow in changing songs or displaying the various playlist on the ipod, it worked well but you need to wait for it to respond.
Other than these two issues, which we really cannot call them issues as such, the Pilot is a great vehicle to drive around in the city and on the highways. The silky smooth V6 never lags on its power delivery and commuting around town or to different Emirates is a smooth and pleasurable experience. You can push the car around turns as well, it does hold its own thanks primarily to the excellent AWD system it employs but you would need to expect understeer as the turn narrows down. It’s an AWD trademark that we all know about but the balance of the Pilot is there to make safe spirited driving. You can grow some devil horns while driving and not retire completely into running family errands and dropping and picking up kids from school.
If you were to take the Pilot off-roading, we would advise to take on the lesser trimmed EXL variant which would have an extra 15mm of ground clearance and a slightly higher approach angle. The Touring edition is better left for the commercial jungle of our everyday lives.
Versatility, space, build quality and the promise of Honda is what makes this new Pilot the one to look for in its segment. Its biggest rival would be the Nissan Pathfinder but then again the latter has CVT transmission. Our Pilot Touring edition did manage 10.8L/100km and gave us almost 550kms on a full tank of gas. The 2016 Honda Pilot does tick many of the boxes for the next family vehicle.
2016 Honda Pilot
|Displacement||3.5 Litre 6 Cylinder|
|Rated Output||280hp @ 600 rpm|
|Rated Torque||355Nm @ 4700 rpm|
|Transmission – type of gearshift||6 speed automatic transmission|
|Fuel Consumption||10.8 L/100kms – As tested|
|Overall Length||4964 mm|
|Overall Width||1997 mm|
|Price (AED)||EX (2WD) – AED 129,900|
|EX (AWD) – AED 139,900|
|EXL (AWD) – AED 159,900|
|TOURING (AWD) – AED 179,900|