Quick Spin: 2012 Honda Pilot Touring trucks car test drives honda
2012 Honda Pilot Touring. Click image to enlarge

Where the Pilot shines is in its roomy and comfortable interior. Although step-in is high (an ideal height for child seat installation for me, at five-eleven, not so great for my wife at five feet), owing to its 4WD gear, the seats are accommodating, and despite being significantly shorter than many competitors (at 4,861 mm), it offers similar legroom (1,051mm up front, 978 in the second row and 815 in the third row). The boxy profile means also means functional cargo space, with 589 L with all seats up, 1,351 behind the second row, and 2,464 L with all seats folded. The seats are easy to fold and the second row slides forward to allow access to the third row. However, it’s an adventure to get up, in and back to the third row, so consider a minivan like the Odyssey if you carry adults with mobility issues.

Quick Spin: 2012 Honda Pilot Touring trucks car test drives honda
Quick Spin: 2012 Honda Pilot Touring trucks car test drives honda
2012 Honda Pilot Touring. Click image to enlarge

The Pilot fares well in safety tests, earning an IIHS Top Safety Pick and 4 Stars Overall in the NHTSA’s tough new testing procedure, impressive for a vehicle whose structure dates back to 2009. Standard stability control, ABS with brakeforce distribution, dynamic head restraints for driver and front seat passenger, and front, side, and curtain airbags are some of the safety features that help it keep occupants safe in the event of a collision.

In terms of expected reliability, Consumer Reports predicts better than average reliability for the Pilot, while JD Power’s last quality survey ranked it about average, behind competitors like the Mazda CX-9, Dodge Durango, and Toyota Highlander.

The Honda Pilot is a tool, both in good and not so good ways. It will get you and your large family to the cottage in comfort, even while towing up to 2,040 kg. Its utilitarian styling is plain to the point that some might find it dull and, although functional, its interior doesn’t stand out in any way except for its disappointingly hard plastics. Pricing is within range of its major competitors, fuel consumption is reasonable, and its features are, for the most part, competitive, but it has little to elevate it above the crowd except for Honda’s enduring reputation for quality and efficiency, which isn’t as glowing as it used to be.

Pricing: 2012 Honda Pilot Touring
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