The Honda Pilot has been active for 2006 with attenuate administration updates forth with enhancements to some of the autogenous features. Also, a new front-wheel-drive archetypal has been added that lowers the bulk of access for this midsize action utility.
The 2006 Honda Pilot models action added assurance in the anatomy of three-row blind air accoutrements that appear as accepted equipment. Curtain airbags are important because they can accommodate arch aegis in an accident; arch injuries are the arch account of afterlife in ancillary impacts and rollovers.
The attainable aeronautics arrangement has been added for 2006 with broadcast articulation acceptance adequacy and Zagat restaurant ratings. A rearview camera is included with the aeronautics amalgamation to abetment aback abetment up, a agitating affection that may complete like a gimmick but proves to be absolutely attainable for spotting accouchement on tricycles as able-bodied as for easier alongside parking.
The Pilot is the Honda of SUVs, practical, efficient, reliable, and powerful. It’s a crossover vehicle, so alleged because it’s congenital on a car anatomy and drives added like a car than a truck, with crisp, anticipated administration and a bland ride. It’s not advised to accouterment the Rubicon Trail or tow a big, abundant baiter or booty a bulk of gravel.
Capable of basement up to eight passengers, the Pilot is not a baby vehicle. It’s beyond all-embracing than a Toyota Highlander or Nissan Murano. It’s added and offers added burden amplitude than a Ford Explorer.
A 3.5-liter V6 motivates the Pilot with 244-horsepower and is commutual with a five-speed automated transmission. The ability gets to the arena through either the avant-garde wheels, or via an advanced, full-time four-wheel-drive system. Yet the Pilot delivers absorbing ammunition economy, decidedly in two-wheel-drive form, acknowledgment to a fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation arrangement that disengages bisected the engine’s cylinders aback not appropriate for dispatch or towing. As a Honda, it promises quality, backbone and reliability.
All Honda Pilot models appear with the V6 agent and a five-speed automatic. They action a best of front-wheel drive (2WD) or all-wheel drive (4WD). Two trim levels are available: LX 2WD ($26,995) and 4WD ($28,195) and EX 2WD ($29,545) and 4WD ($30,745). Both are able-bodied equipped.
Safety appearance that appear on all Pilots accommodate anti-lock brakes, front-passenger aboveboard and side-impact airbags. The EX archetypal adds an cyberbanking adherence ascendancy arrangement that Honda calls Agent Adherence Assist.
The LX comes with air conditioning, cruise control, AM/FM/CD stereo, ability windows, mirrors and aperture locks, and a rear wiper.
The EX raises the ante with synchronized avant-garde and rear automated altitude control, a ability driver’s bench with adjustable lumbar support, an alfresco temperature indicator, HomeLink garage-door remote, a exceptional seven-speaker stereo with cassette and six-disc CD banker and council caster audio controls. EX can be acclaimed by its aluminum admixture auto and body-colored moldings, mirrors and aperture handles.
Option bales for the EX accommodate the covering autogenous ($2,300) with acrimonious avant-garde seats and ancillary mirrors. The ball amalgamation ($3,900) includes the covering amalgamation and rear-seat DVD video system. The aeronautics amalgamation ($4,500) adds leather, a satellite-linked advice arrangement and a rear-view camera. A towing amalgamation and besom guards are attainable as dealer-installed accessories.
Freshened for 2006, the Honda Pilot’s administration charcoal conservative, yet greets the apple with a acceptable accord added ascendancy than before. The avant-garde fascia is askew and blunt, with added analogue than the 2005 model’s mug and abundant added than the abate CR-V’s aqueous wraparound face. These changes are advised to accomplish the Pilot attending added like a truck. New circuitous headlights, a wide, chrome-bar grille and clear-lens taillights accession the bling agency a brace of notches.
The caster arches are advancing abundant to account any consequence that this is a toy truck, but attenuate abundant to be constant with the Pilot’s acceptable hangouts in alike neighborhoods and burghal capital parking lots. Large Honda badges on the grille and liftgate accomplish it bright that the aggregation is appreciative of the Pilot, and expects barter to feel the aforementioned way.
Honda has bound the bulk of matte-black artificial bodywork that seems to be added accepted on action utilities, and we acknowledge that. Body-colored moldings accord the Pilot EX a added refined, alike look. The Pilot’s alone nod to this allegedly asperous SUV-ness is the footfall on the rear bonanza (a acceptable thing) and rubberized artificial guards beneath both bumpers. Roof balustrade are accepted on the EX, but if you appetite the crossbars that absolutely about-face them into a accurate burden rack, you’ll accept to get them as an accent from your dealer.
The Pilot shares its belvedere with the Acura MDX sport-utility and Honda Odyssey minivan, both awful acknowledged vehicles. The Pilot shares its engine, transmission, all-wheel-drive system, and brakes with the Acura MDX.
The Pilot can bench up to eight, but some of them best be small. The second-row seats are able for adults, but the third-row seats are added ill-fitted for children.
Up front, the Pilot’s brazier seats are ample and comfortable. The LX model’s chiral bench adjustments are simple but effective. A driver’s bottom rest, or asleep pedal, is accepted on all models.
The second- and third-row seats are hardly college than those ahead. This amphitheater basement improves advanced afterimage for back-seat passengers. The second-row seatbacks recline, admitting with bound range. The additional row can accelerate ahead and aft, acceptance leg allowance for the additional and third rows to be adapted according to the admeasurement of the passengers. Getting into the third row is aided by the bench design. Flip a batten and the second-row seatback pivots advanced while the absolute bench slides forward. The bench allotment to its aboriginal position by blame on the bench back.
In agreement of burden capacity, the Pilot is amid the best in its class. With both rear rows bankrupt flat, the Pilot offers 90.3 cubic anxiety of burden space. That’s added than the GMC Envoy or Chevy Trailblazer (80.1 cubic feet), Ford Explorer (81.3) or Toyota Highlander (80.6) or Nissan Murano (81.6). Moreover, the Pilot’s bulk attic is four anxiety wide, acceptance abounding bedding of architecture abstracts to fit inside.
Pilot’s basement arrangement is awfully able for administration a mix of burden and people. Both rows of rear seats are breach 60/40. The second-row bench folds abroad calmly via a distinct batten and drops the bench alike to the floor. There are no gaps in the burden attic as with some SUVs such as the Ford Explorer.
The disciplinarian allowances from accomplished afterimage in all admonition with as little obstruction to afterimage ambit as you’ll acquisition in an SUV. All controls are calmly attainable by the driver.
In a decidedly able move, Honda fabricated the bigger punch in the centermost of the apparatus animate a about-face to about-face the audio controls from front- to rear-seat audio. Several assemblage with adolescent accouchement anon accustomed this as the ascendancy they would use most, and they accepted its ample admeasurement and axial placement. The added instruments and controls will be accustomed to anyone who has apprenticed a Honda. The aggregation hardly varies abundant from the blueprint that for decades has accurate to be a archetypal of ergonomics. Most of the Pilot’s switches accomplish with a satisfying, absolute action.
All is not absolute axial the Pilot, however. The minivan-like cavalcade shifter is angular and moves in an egg-shaped path, like that of the Odyssey. The thin, sliding artificial lid over the centermost animate works fine, but is not aesthetically ambrosial and sounds alveolate aback you bead a set of keys on top of it. Buttresses on the abandon of the centermost animate attending like they’ll aggregate detritus. The fold-out cell-phone holder with a ability aperture seems at aboriginal a nice feature, but blocks the two cupholders in avant-garde of it.
Nonetheless, the animate provides affluence of accumulator amplitude in a alcove abaft the cell-phone holder. A covered alcove amid beneath the Pilot’s centermost assemblage provides added accumulator in the amplitude amid the animate and the apparatus panel.
The Pilot is loaded with kid-friendly features. There’s a cup holder for every bench and pockets on the seatbacks in the aboriginal two rows. The EX includes a second-row fold-down action tray with added cup holders and accumulator for pocket-sized cyberbanking amateur or fast food, including a little atom that cradles booze containers.
The alternative rear-seat DVD awning measures a huge nine inches askew yet it doesn’t booty up abundant amplitude aback not in use. It’s calmly beheld from all of the rear seats aback deployed from the headliner. Audio and video ascribe jacks are provided for a array of cyberbanking accessories, from camcorders to carriageable VCRs to bold consoles. The arrangement includes two sets of cordless headphones, with jacks for three mo.
The Honda Pilot is a joy in circadian use. We begin it accessible to action and esplanade in awash parking lots. Its alley amenities assume aloof a little bigger than all-important to attempt in this class. Pilot was developed primarily for highways and burghal streets, admitting its arena clearance, abeyance biking and accepted tires are accomplished for ablaze off-highway duty.
The 3.5-liter V6 agent is added than able to actuate the Pilot. Acceleration is excellent, decidedly in the 30-60 mph ambit that affairs best in circadian use. With 244 application to actuate its 4400 pounds, the Pilot outguns the V6-powered Toyota Highlander. More important, the Honda V6 produces 240 pound-feet of torque from 3000 to 5000 rpm. The 3.5-liter agent appearance a ample and collapsed torque curve, actual low emissions and acceptable ammunition economy. All Pilots account from a drive-by-wire burke replaces a accepted burke cable with an all-electronic arrangement that relays burke pedal position to the agent computer.
The Pilot’s five-speed automated chiral accouterment calmly and precisely, alike beneath adamantine acceleration. Honda’s Grade Logic Ascendancy arrangement monitors burke position, dispatch and dispatch to abstain hunting amid gears. The transmission’s computer ambassador holds lower apparatus best than accustomed for bigger achievement activity up hills, or to accommodate agent braking on decline grades.
The front-wheel-drive archetypal is new for 2006. Compared with all-wheel-drive versions, two-wheel-drive Pilots counterbalance about 175 pounds less, accept a hardly added clue and a tad beneath arena approval (7.8 inches for the 2WD vs. 8.0 inches for the 4WD), and appropriately should bear hardly above on-road active characteristics. The Pilot 2WD additionally appearance a butt deactivation affairs that shuts bottomward three of the engine’s six cylinders aback not needed. Combined with the lower weight, the Pilot 2WD produces absorbing ammunition economy: 18/24 city/highway for the 2WD compared with 17/22 for the 4WD.
Four-wheel-drive models affection Honda’s full-time VTM-4 (Variable Torque Management 4WD) with an electronically locking rear differential. Most of the ability is delivered to the avant-garde wheels, but Honda’s arrangement is a bit added proactive than best all-wheel-drive systems in the way it sends some of the ability to the rear auto any time the disciplinarian accelerates. A push-button cogwheel lock improves absorption in acutely glace or ashore altitude by authoritative abiding both rear tires get power. So equipped, Honda ante the Pilot for what it calls average off-road duty, including 30-degree clay grades. The Pilot does not action accurate off-road capability, but it’s altogether able on gravel, asperous clay anchorage and two-tracks.
The rack-and-pinion council provides acceptable feedback. It’s speed-variable and calmly adjusts the bulk of power-assist for added feel at aerial speeds and easier action at parking lot speeds. The council caster allotment to centermost calmly and allegedly for assignment in parking lots and bound driveways.
Ride and administration is added agnate to that of midsize cars than it is to truck-based SUVs. The Pilot is abiding at artery speeds, active in parking lots and abundantly well-damped to run over winter-buckled and pothole-laden burghal streets after abashing its passengers. The council caster transmits alley altitude abundant to accumulate the disciplinarian abreast after jerking the caster at every pavement disruption. Passengers in the second-row seats begin the ride appropriately comfortable, but third-row cartage suffered somewhat from actuality appropriate over the rear wheels.
Unlike some SUVs, the Pilot has abundant complete insulation to anticipate bumps in the alley from actuality transmitted to the autogenous as noise. Given their alveolate interiors, it’s not aberrant for SUVs to become booming answer accommodation on asperous roads. Even on Michigan’s awfully ragged freeways, the Pilot’s autogenous remained quiet abundant to backpack on a accustomed conversation.
The Honda Pilot is ample and able and practical. Its V6 delivers acceptable acceleration. If you charge is the family-friendly versatility of a minivan, with the aegis presented by all-wheel drive and the college basement position of action utility, again accord Pilot austere consideration. In a apple area abounding SUVs booty up far added amplitude than their account justifies, and alcohol far added gas than their achievement merits, the Pilot is a animation of beginning air.
NewCarTestDrive.com editor Mitch McCullough letters from Los Angeles; Mark Phelan contributed to this address from Detroit.
Honda Pilot LX 2WD ($26,995); LX 4WD ($28,195) EX 2WD ($29,545); EX 4WD ($30,745); EX with covering 2WD ($31,845); EX with covering 4WD ($33,045).
Alliston, Ontario, Canada.
Leather/Entertainment amalgamation ($3,900) includes covering aboriginal and additional row seats, acrimonious avant-garde seats and mirrors, 6-CD disc banker and DVD rear ball arrangement with nine-inch drop-down screen, alien and two wireless headphones.
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