Make us your home page
Instagram

The Daily Drivers: 2014 Honda Pilot 4WD Touring

The Honda Pilot is a somewhat boxy throwback among the increasingly more streamlined world of midsize crossover SUVs. It seats up to eight with its standard third row, and its dimensions offer a lot of usable cargo space for the family.

Appearance: The tall-and-square Pilot won't win any design awards with an almost vanlike appearance. (We think it looks better in a darker color such as our tester's Dark Cherry Pearl.) The top-level Touring trim did have some accents such as chrome side molding, chrome exhaust tips and 18-inch alloy wheels to break up the blandness. The rear liftgate was electronic, and the rear glass opens independently, which is handy.

Performance: We both found it to be a gas guzzler. Peter drove it to Walt Disney World with a full tank and had to gas it up for the trip back. Even with Variable Cylinder Management, the 3.5-liter V-6 gets an estimated 20 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway) for the all-wheel-drive model like our tester, but it seems even less than that in real-world driving. The Pilot's transmission felt at times like it was hunting for the right gear. About that transmission, it's still 5-speed in a 6-speed-and-more world. The V-6 puts out 250 horsepower, which we found to be barely adequate. On the highway, the Pilot's boxy design translates into the driver feeling every gust of wind. (One particular gust caught Lyra by surprise and made for a grab-the-steering-wheel moment.) Also, the Pilot seems to lag on safety features. No blind-spot monitor for a vehicle this size? Recently, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Pilot a "poor" rating after testing that included its Small Overlap Front crash test. A couple of positives: The Pilot has an 8-inch ground clearance and a compact-for-its-size turning radius.

Interior: The boxlike design does lend itself to more cabin space. The Pilot can seat eight, even with adults in the third-row seats. Both the second and third rows fold flat with up to 87 cubic feet of cargo space. Elsewhere, the Pilot's cabin seems a mix of pleasant design and some not-so- pleasant hard plastic. It gave us the impression that the competition has passed it by. For example, we liked the minimalist appearance of the black-on-white instrument cluster, but the tiny trip computer screen below the speedometer seems positively Pong-like in its display. A backup camera with three views is now standard, which is a necessity. The shifter is on the dash, which leaves lots of storage space on the lower console. The Pilot has a lot of storage nooks, including a tray above the glove box. There is a high-resolution 8-inch Intelligent Multi-Information Display, but the controls are far down on the console and can be a reach.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Ground clearance: It would come in handy during our summer storms.

Cargo: Fold-flat space is easy to access.

Backing up: A rearview camera is standard.

Lyra Solochek

Seats: Plush and comfortable leather.

Windshield washer: Very powerful jets blast away dirt.

Storage: Lots of handy bins and nooks for all of your stuff.

The bottom line: The Pilot should get some consideration as a minivan alternative, but this crossover seems grounded in the past.

2014 Honda Pilot 4WD Touring

Price: $29,670 base start, $41,950 as tested

Powertrain:

3.5-liter V-6,

5-speed automatic, 4WD

Horsepower: 250 at 5,700 rpm

Torque: 253 pound-feet at

4,800 rpm

Curb weight: 4,299-4,608 pounds

Dimensions

in inches:

Wheelbase, 109.2

Length, 191.4

Width, 78.5

Height, 72.4

Cargo space:

87 cubic feet

Seats: 8

Fuel economy:

17 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway for 4WD (15/25 for 2WD)

Fuel type:

regular unleaded

Safety features: Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control, ABS, EBD, brake assist, airbags and

curtains

Website:

automobiles.honda.com/pilot

The Daily Drivers: 2014 Honda Pilot 4WD Touring 05/09/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2014 2:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New town homes sprouting in Oldsmar

    Real Estate

    BY PIPER CASTILLO

    Times Staff Writer

    OLDSMAR — City officials have been chipping away for several years on a downtown development plan, bringing new life to a 7-acre site on State Street. One day in the not-far-off future, they want to lively streets and walkways used by residents and …

  2. Study: Tampa Bay a top market for homebuyers on the move

    Real Estate

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, ATTOM Data Solutions says.

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, a survey found.
[Associated Press file photo]
  3. Ousted to political Siberia by Corcoran, Kathleen Peters sets sights on Pinellas Commission

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The perks of power in Tallahassee are a coveted chairmanship, a Capitol office in a prime location and a prominent seat on the House floor. Now Rep. Kathleen Peters has lost all three, but here's the twist: Her trip to "Siberia" might actually help her reach the next step on the Tampa Bay political …

    Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, has been relegated to the back row in the State House chamber, moved to a fouth floor office and stripped of her job as chairwoman of a House subcommittee after a series of disagreements with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. UPS relocates express operations from St. Pete-Clearwater to TIA

    Airlines

    TAMPA — United Parcel Service Inc. is switching airports for its express air operations. Beginning in October, UPS will relocate from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport.

    Beginning in October, UPS will move from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport. [Associated Press file photo]

  5. Richard Corcoran takes aim at public financing of campaigns

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, may not be running for governor — not yet anyway — but his latest idea will get the attention of those who are.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran wants the Constitu?tion Revision Commis?sion to ask voters to repeal the state’s system of partial financing of statewide elections.