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2014 Honda Pilot Preview

Pros: A unibody that incorporates a frame sets the Honda Pilot apart from other SUVs. In addition, it was designed from the beginning to be family-friendly and be capable of doing whatever a family needs doing.

Cons: In seating eight passengers, the Honda Pilot is one of the larger family SUVs, and parking lots and parkades may cause some owners to be nervous about driving in them. Getting in and out of the front seats does require a bit of athleticism, as well. The Pilot is falling behind in the gear wars as well with only a 5-speed automatic.

Price: The Honda Pilot starts out at $34,990 for a FWD basic version, and runs up to $48,750 for the Touring model.

Honda Pilot 2014
Photo: Honda

Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined in L/100km):
• FWD:11.8/7.8/10
• AWD12.3/8.2/10.5

Improvements and Changes: Honda isn’t about to mess with success, and the Honda Pilot remains unchanged for 2014.

Exterior Styling: Honda calls the styling functional and that normally means, “We haven’t been able to come up with a better-shaped box.” To keep the Pilot mainstream there are bits of bling, like the three-bar grille with the Honda emblem. The multi-reflector halogen headlamps provide a jeweled artisan look. Wheels are five-spoke 18 inchers as standard equipment, while six-spoke versions are used on upper trim levels.

Interior: There is no better way to say: “family oriented.” High-quality materials, advanced electronic features and low noise make the Honda Pilot comfortable for occupants in all three rows. An 8” intelligent multi-informational display (i-MID) is the controller of the electronics and doubles as the screen for the navigation system. In this standard system, there is a 2-gig CD library that can be expanded to 16-gig on higher trim levels. As a family vehicle, cup holders also figure prominently with many of them shaped to take juice boxes as well as cups.

Cargo/towing/payload capacity: AWD models are rated for a maximum towing capacity of 2,045 kg (4,500 lb). The FWD version is limited to 1,590 kg (3,500 lb). Cargo volume behind the third row seat is 589 litres, and if you fold the seat down volume expands to 1,351 litres.

Honda Pilot 2014 interior
Photo: Honda

Powertrain: All Honda Pilots come with a 3.5L SOHC, 24-valve V6 with variable valve timing (i-VTEC®) that produces 250 horsepower and puts out 253 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission available is a 5-speed automatic with fifth-gear overdrive. When ordered with AWD, Honda’s own Variable Torque Management (VTM) four-wheel drive system is used.

Safety: Dual front, front seat side impact and full length side curtain air bags are standard. Four wheel disc brakes with ABS, traction control, stability control, roll mitigation and Tire Pressure Monitors are standard. The LATCH system to anchor child seats and childproof locks are standard. All seating positions have three-point seat belts. A hill start assist is standard, as well.

Comparables: Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Santa Fe, Buick Enclave, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Murano, and Ford Edge.