Honda simultaneously debuted its all-new 2016 Honda Pilot at the Canadian International Auto Show and at the Chicago Auto Show on the very same day. The Pilot, in its third generation, has been redesigned and re-engineered, and will be manufactured here in North America. Scheduled to be in Canadian dealerships this summer, Honda says the third-gen Pilot boasts new technology, class-leading safety features and improved fuel efficiency, with a new focus on driving dynamics wrapped in a modern and stylish design.
Dave Gardner, senior vice president of operations, Honda Canada Inc., says: “With looks that command attention and the powerful presence of true functionality, the 2016 Pilot sets a new benchmark in the intermediate SUV class with an unmatched combination of advance technology and utility. This means the all-new Pilot will provide family comfort, entertainment and assistance to active Canadians in all aspects of their lives, whether it’s an evening out for two, a road trip adventure for all or just the chores of everyday life.”
Real-world translation: They’re going after the highly competitive “Soccer mom and dad” market and have put a heavy emphasis on safety and utility features.
Let’s start with the style, interior and feature department. Design-wise, the Pilot looks a little beefier and more muscular but nothing that makes it stand out from the crowd in its segment. It’s not exactly a lust-inspiring machine, then again, nothing in that price range and segment really is. So, nothing major to report in styling department.
Projector LED headlights with auto high-beam tech and LED daytime running lights and tails are available as an option. Panoramic Roof option is a available for the first time and is a welcome addition to any road-going vehicle. For all your baller wheel needs, 20-inch wheels are also available.
Updates to the interior now include high-quality, soft-touch materials throughout the cabin and LED map lighting, otherwise known as “where the heck did I drop my phone or keys” lighting. Heated seats come standard (#becausecanada), while heated steering wheel (if you’ve never tried one, you need one) and heated second-row seats are available. For the first time, top-trim Pilot models will have second-row captain’s chairs, providing for easy walk through between the second and third rows – okay, maybe “easy” is stretching it – in addition to the standard second-row three-person 60/40 split seat for eight-passenger seating capacity on all other trims.
Now let’s move on to the technology department. As this is a family-oriented vehicle, Honda has to get this right to be competitive. Up to five USB ports are available, four that provide quicker recharging with a 2.5-amp output. Useful to charge iPads or smartphones while streaming YouTube videos or taking selfies for social media. Additional ports and plugs include an auxiliary jack for nearly any audio player, an HDMI port for a gaming console, two headphone jacks, two 12-volt power outlets and a 115-volt outlet to power just about anything. Modern-day road trip for a modern-day family ready, for sure.