Aside from that ticket, we’ve incurred no expenses in the Pilot beyond the cost of fuel, which it currently consumes at a rate of one gallon every 21 or so miles. For a luxury-packed seven-seater weighing 4351 pounds, that’s not so bad. On its initial test outing, it hit 60 mph in 6.0 seconds and blitzed the quarter-mile in 14.6 at 95 mph, which will best a V-6 Dodge Challenger. Skidpad grip of 0.81 g is reasonable for the class, and its 172-foot stopping distance from 70 mph places the Honda among the best family haulers.
Months in Fleet: 4 months Current Mileage: 7740 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 21 mpg Fuel Tank Size: 19.5 gal Fuel Range: 410 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
2016 Honda Pilot
Honda’s Pilot has been among our favorite ways to move lots of people and gear ever since it first appeared shortly after the dawn of the century. And we’ve also always liked the Odyssey minivan, so when the new Pilot debuted for 2016 looking an awful lot like the Odyssey, we immediately put in our order for a long-termer. (Okay, we probably would have wanted one no matter what it looked like.)
At a base price of $31,045, an entry-level front-wheel-drive Pilot LX includes a rearview camera, push-button start, a tilting and telescoping steering column, and a stereo that includes Bluetooth and USB connectivity. By the time you’ve ascended to the penultimate $42,070 Touring, you’ve added remote starting, second-row seats that fold at the touch of a button, three-zone automatic climate control, LED ambient lighting, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, four additional USB ports (for a total of three in the front and two in the second row), leather upholstery, navigation, and a Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system. The last step up to Elite adds all-wheel drive, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, an extra-large sunroof, and the most feature-heavy version of the Honda Sensing package. Highlights of the latter package are forward-collision warning with automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist. The total price came to $47,955 after accessories such as a trailer-hitch receiver and roof-rail crossbars were tacked on.
Elite, but Unlucky
There are Odyssey bones beneath that Odyssey-aping skin, but there’s also a new, 280-hp V-6 paired with the first nine-speed automatic ever to pass through our long-term fleet. The nine-speed is standard on the Touring and the top-of-the-line Elite trim levels.
Subjective aspects that are so far earning praise include seat comfort in the first two rows (nobody old enough to speak complete sentences has yet been convinced to spend sufficient time in the way-back to comment) and a serene highway ride. Negative logbook comments have focused on the infuriating touchscreen infotainment system and a short-sighted adaptive-cruise-control system that brakes abruptly and allows speed to fluctuate more than most systems, including going well beyond the set speed when accelerating. As summer road-trip season gets into full swing here in the next few months, we’ll find plenty more to love and loathe.
We wanted to divert attention from our Pilot’s dad-mobile profile and toward its top-tier status with a vanity plate, “L337,” (see Urban Dictionary if you’re confused) but our loan agreements with auto manufacturers don’t allow it. Too bad, since that might have avoided the awkwardness that followed when we got a parking ticket in the Pilot, went to pay it, and learned just how many people have received and notpaid Ann Arbor parking tickets on Honda press vehicles wearing California manufacturer plates beginning in 3421. (For the record, we’re not the only publication in the neighborhood.)
Honda's people mover signs on for a long haul.
We chose that latter because it comes with a two-place second row that limits occupancy to seven persons—and then only if the three of them in the rearmost seat typically state their ages by holding up fingers. We have concluded that this is the maximum occupancy threshold for maintaining driver sanity.