As Honda introduces, for 2006, a great big pickup truck, itís probably a
good time to take a fresh look at another remarkable truck in the
companyís arsenal, the 2005 Honda Pilot SUV.
Thanks to the rising price of gasoline, sales of
large sport utility vehicles are suffering. Hondaís Pilot may hold on to
its sales numbers better than some of its brethren because with this
family-size hauler, you canít even get a thirsty V8 engine.
The only available powerplant is a new
255-horsepower V6, working through a five-speed automatic transmission,
which has revised fourth and fifth gears this year for better
performance. Earning 17 mpg city, 22 highway on the governmentís test
cycle, the new V6 makes the Pilot the most efficient SUV in its class.
You can feel good about its Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV-2) status,
too. The engine doesnít need a scheduled tune-up for 105,000 miles.
Thatís just Honda for you, even in super size.
The 2005 Pilot is not much different from the debut
2003 model. Besides the more potent engine, it also receives a ďdrive by
wireĒ throttle system. An electric wire replaces the old-fashioned
throttle cable, and that transmits the accelerator pedal position to the
carís computer. With this arrangement Honda was able to integrate the
cruise control function and also make shifting smoother. You canít
really tell as you drive, but it does save weight, always a worthy goal,
although the Pilot tips the scale at a beefy 4,400 pounds.
Honda appears to have studied American SUVs
carefully, coming up with a blocky, chiseled vehicle that looks at home
with its numerous competitors while still maintaining a distinctive
appearance. It still seems odd sometimes to contemplate the sheer
mass of todayís Hondas, but they have done the details right, and the
2005 Pilot is clean and handsome.
The Pilot also drives very pleasantly, thanks to
Hondaís careful engineering and the fact that they are car builders.
Honda trucks tend to drive a lot like giant Accords, which is a good
thing. The interior certainly feels comfortable and spacious, in no
small part to the nicely sculpted chairs, in the case of my EX-level
tester, in gray leather with heating. There is more buttery smooth
leather on the steering wheel, which is redesigned for 2005 with
sensuous silver accents that incorporate remote controls for the audio
Honda assumes that we have lots of stuff to carry,
because the elaborate console folds out and slides to permit hidden
storage of mass quantities, as well as providing firm support of a
multitude of beverage containers and a comfy armrest.
The Pilot hauls eight people, and plenty of cargo,
too. With all seats in their upright positions, there is 16.3 cubic feet
of storage, which grows to 48.7 cubic feet with the third row seat
folded, and a cavernous 90.3 cubic feet with both the second and third
rows folded down.
Typically for Honda, there are just two levels to
choose from, the well-equipped LX and the upscale EX. The enhancements
on the EX include body-colored mirrors and moldings, roof rails, a
security system, eight-way power driverís seat adjustment, automatic
climate control, an upgraded audio system with CD changer, heated front
seats, and the availability of leather seating, a navigation system, and
a DVD entertainment system.
Honda made a number of other little changes to the
2005 Pilot, including a new integrated remote key fob, a driverís
footrest, a revised steering pump for better on-center feel, and an
improved sunroof with wind deflector in the EX models with leather.
For enhanced safety, Honda added a Tire Pressure
Monitoring System with location indicator. Under inflated tires are
believed to increase the risk of rollovers in tall SUVs. Honda has also
included vehicle stability control on the EX models with leather, and
all Pilots benefit from a driver seat position sensor and passenger seat
weight sensor. These sensors ensure that in the case of a crash, the
airbags deploy as safely as possible, and the passenger side airbag
wonít go off at all if there is no one sitting there to protect.
My Nighthawk Black Pearl test vehicle came in at
$34,130, with its leather and rear entertainment system. LX models begin
at $28,065. Every Pilot is packed with value and reliability, which is
why it has garnered numerous industry awards in its short life. As long
as Americans continue to demand eight-passenger SUVs, the Canadian-built
Pilot should continue to thrive. By
Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
To see the 2005 Honda Pilot click on
www.honda.com or call them at 1-800-999-1009 for more information.
Honda Home Page
Byline: Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo ©
Pilot is packed with value and reliability
Honda Pilot SUV
2005 Honda Pilot SUV
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