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Honda's 2010 Pilot Ever More Sophisticated

By Arv Voss, October 3rd, 2009

The 2010 Honda Pilot projects a sporty, high-tech image in a tough and durable package. The basic form is bold with a blend of contemporary edge treatment.

The 2010 Honda Pilot comes in four levels of trim with a wide and solid stance: LX; EX; EX-L; and Touring, each of which is available in either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive configurations. Pilot is an 8-passenger, midsize crossover SUV that's based on a unit-body platform, featuring Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure.

My test Pilot was a Touring 4WD model with Rear Entertainment System and Navigation. The base price posted was $40,245. The only extra charge was for the Destination and Handling fee, which elevated the final sticker total to $40,955.

Power comes from a 3.5-liter, SOHC, 24-valve, i-VTEC V-6 with Variable Cylinder Management and electronic multi-point fuel injection. The power is delivered through an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission to the driving wheels.

The Honda Pilot Touring with the Rear Entertainment and Navigation Packages represents an ideal vehicle for a family adventure. The ride quality is both smooth and comfortable, without any typical SUV bouncy stiffness. The Pilot could very well pass for an entry-level luxury sedan in a blindfolded situation. The handling characteristics fall into the same category.

Power is plentiful, with a broad torque range for doing mid-duty off-road ventures. Should one need more room, a trailer would be an alternative with the Pilot's 4,500-pound load-towing capability. The gearshift is ideally positioned in the upper part of the center console to avoid intrusion when selecting gears.

The 2010 Honda Pilot crossover blends car-like road manners with around-town driving ease. Should one wish to take their Pilot seriously off-road, the ground clearance is 8 inches, the approach angle 27.8-degrees, and the departure angle 24.5 degrees.

strong>The 2010 Pilot includes: Variable Cylinder Management; tailgate with lift-up glass hatch; standard integrated tow hitch; Hill Start Assist; Humidity Control System as part of standard air conditioning; four Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH), (increased from two); driver's and front passenger's active head restraints; tilt and telescopic steering column; aluminum hood; and on Touring models only -- Interface Dial with Scrolling and Multi-Line Display; Bluetooth HandsFreeLink; and power tailgate.

The three rows of seating provide versatility and adaptability to accommodate both passengers and cargo carrying requirements. The first row consists of two supportive and comfortable bucket-style seats, providing a commanding road view, with a wide center stack and center console forming the interior design styling anchor, suggesting spaciousness.

The 60/40-split second row, which is more spacious, slides further forward for increased third-row access ease. The third-row also splits 60/40 and now supplies additional knee room for an above-average-sized adult to fit comfortably. Each side of the second and third row folds down independently for cargo, and a flat floor is created when the second and third rows are folded down.

Overall, the Pilot continues to evolve into an even more exceptional vehicle, capable of serving in a myriad of transportation roles in an economically and ecologically sound package, thanks to its ideal size and enhanced fuel economy with the Variable Cylinder Management system.

Specifications

Base price $40,245 (as tested: $40,955)
Curb weight 4,608 lbs.
Displacement 3.5-liter
Engine type 24-valve SOHC V-6 w/MPFI
Epa mileage rating 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 21 gal.
Horsepower (net) 250 at 5700 rpm
Overall length 190.9 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 253 at 4800 rpm
Transmission 5-speed automatic
Vehicle type 8-passenger 4WD midsize SUV
Wheelbase 109.2 in.
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