SUV Spotlight: 2016 Honda Pilot

2016 Honda Pilot 5

2016 Honda Pilot ©Honda Motor Company

The all-new 2016 Honda Pilot is the third generation to be designed and manufactured in America since the Pilot’s debut in 2003, as the first three-row mainstream SUV developed on a car-like unit-body platform.  Year over year the Pilot has set the industry standard for fuel efficiency, spacious interior, safety performance and dynamic handling performance within the mid-size SUV segment.  With the debut of this latest model, Honda is poised to set the bar even higher.

2016 Honda Pilot 6

2016 Honda Pilot ©Honda Motor Company

Honda has completely redesigned the Pilot from the ground up for 2016.  It’s goal: to better accommodate the needs of it’s passengers by providing more family-friendly utility, advanced technology and a wealth of premium amenities unavailable until now.  Major upgrades have been made to the interior quality with more standard features available on each trim, along with the arrival of the new top end Elite version, offering many Honda-first features including 20 inch wheels, ventilated front seats, headed second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and a panoramic glass moonroof.

2016 Honda Pilot 4

2016 Honda Pilot Interior ©Honda Motor Company

 

Honda has also equipped its new family-friendly SUV with many new tech features.  Each Pilot comes equipped with up to five USB ports, four of which provide enough power to charge iPads or smartphones while they are in use.  An auxiliary jack, HDMI port for game consoles, 2 headphone jacks and up to three 12-volt power outlets are also included.  While all of these features provide for keeping the kids entertained in the back seat, the upsized 8-inch touchscreen Display Audio interface with available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ will keep adults on the right path in the front.  The new system comes with updated graphics and capabilities including 3D renderings of your surroundings.

2016 Honda Pilot 9

2016 Honda Pilot Engine ©Honda Motor Company

Under the hood you’ll find an all-new engine from Honda’s EarthDreams Technology powertrain series.  The direct-injected 3.5 liter SOHC i-VTEC® V-6 engine, along with two all-new 6-speed and 9-speed transmissions, and intelligent variable torque management system (VTM4™), turns out 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque.  With a 19.5 gallon gas tank on each model, combined city and highway gas mileage ranges from 21-23 mpg.

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2016 Honda Pilot Interior ©Honda Motor Company

Finally, the new Pilot boasts additional cargo space in the form of 3.5 inches of added  length.  This allows for an inch more of tandem seating space and 1.3 additional inches in the cargo area.  Accessibility to the 3rd row has also been made easier with the inclusion of the one-touch second-row seat available on EX-L and above models.

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2016 Honda Pilot Cargo Space ©Honda Motor Company

From an exterior and interior perspective, the redesigned Pilot is a win for Honda.  The look of the vehicle is more streamlined and looks much sportier than the previous boxy models.  The interior looks much more comfortable and many more features are available.  The fact that there are so many trims available makes the Pilot a versatile choice for families looking at all price ranges in the mid-size SUV segment.  In truth I’ve never been a huge fan of Honda.  I’ve often found the engines sluggish and the finishes lacking.  However, my husband and I recently moved and borrowed a friend’s Pilot to help transport some of our larger items.  My husband found the engine to be quite exceptional, given the size of the vehicle.  He also said it felt roomy on the inside, but he didn’t feel he was driving a massive car.  He said it handled well, particularly given its size and the amount of cargo we loaded it with.  And when we went to the pump to refill the gas tank and return the car to our friend, we received no sticker shock.  It got great gas mileage, especially given its size.

I would have to drive the new 2016 to give the engine and handling a proper review, but based on our experience with a slightly older model, I would say I would be pleasantly surprised.  In a time when costs seem to be going up everywhere and quality seems to be going down, with the 2016 Pilot, Honda is delivering a quality product at a very competitive price. MSRP on the 2016 Pilot ranges from $30,145-$46,570.

Super Bowl 50 Car Commercials

If you aren’t a Denver Broncos or Carolina Panthers fan, then you’re probably a lot like me.  You watched the Super Bowl purely for the commercials because you didn’t give a crap about who actually won.  With so much pressure on advertisers to turn out great material, this year did not disappoint.  As usual, the car companies delivered quite a few entertaining spots during the best few hours of ad space for the year.

Numerous celebrities made appearances in this year’s car ads.  Hyundai knocked it out of the park with Ryan Reynolds.  Watching those girls cruise through Ryanville almost made me consider buying a Hyundai.  Kevin Hart’s performance as an overzealous dad relying on his Hyundai Genesis’ trusty Blue Link Car Finder app to protect his teenage daughter’s virtue was also genius, and has me hoping the Bavarians catch up with this tech by the time I have a teenage daughter roaming the streets.  Kia joined Hyundai in the celebrity endorsement ring, casting the always brilliant Christopher Walken as the “Walken Closet” who pushes a boring consumer to live a little in the all-new Optima.

Animals also got screen time this year.  Subaru tapped in to utter cuteness featuring two dogs out on a dinner date who become disgruntled when their Subi gets taken for a joyride by a clever feline.  And who could ignore a herd of sheep singing Queen?  Honda definitely came up with a creative and memorable way to showcase their new Ridgeline with stereo speakers in the truck bed.

Finally, auto makers turned to sentiment to drive home their messaging.  For the 2017 R8 V10, Audi featured a former space commander and his son in a tear-jerking storyline in which the commander gets to relive his youth at the helm of a rocket via a joyride in the R8 V10.  Automotive accessories company WeatherTech tugged at American heart strings by driving home an all-American made message.  And finally, Jeep took viewers on a journey spanning 75 years of the company’s history and reminded us all of its patriotic beginning.

I also found humor in the Toyota Prius “Heck on Wheels” and “The Longest Chase” ads.  Let’s be honest, a car chase in a Prius is highly unlikely, but the tongue and cheek way it’s portrayed in the ad is brilliant.  Toyota obviously knows their audience.  I also love the new #GoPriusGo.  Very clever.

For a look at all of this year’s Super Bowl car ads in one place, check out the link below to AutoWeek’s web page and read more about each ad.
http://autoweek.com/article/super-bowl-commercials/watch-best-car-commercials-super-bowl-50-here