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Honda’s 2016 Pilot isn’t just roundier than before; it’s also lighter and more tech savvy

Honda has just unveiled the all-new, third-generation Pilot at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. If you’re familiar with the brand’s CR-V crossover, the additions to the midsize SUV will come as no surprise.

For 2016, the Pilot has adopted many design elements from its little brother. Gone is the boxy, utilitarian styling of the second-generation model as an expressive, angular front end takes its place. With its pointed rear window and contoured front fascia, there are strong styling cues to the 2015 CR-V.

“With looks that command attention and the powerful presence of true functionality, the 2016 Pilot sets a new benchmark in the midsize SUV class with an unmatched combination of sophistication and utility,” said Jeff Conrad, Honda Division Senior VP and General Manager.

The American-made Pilot wears optional LED projector headlights, available LED daytime running lights, 20-inch optional wheels, and a first-ever for the Pilot: a panoramic roof.

Inside the soft-touch interior, you’ll find a collection of safety technology that the automaker calls ‘Honda Sensing.’ The package includes a Multi-Angle Rear View Camera, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, and more.

“This Pilot is all about pairing leading-edge safety technologies with sophisticated styling, ultimate family and adventure versatility, and Honda’s undisputed reputation for reliability in a sophisticated, affordable mid-size SUV,” Honda representative Davis Adams told Digital Trends. “It also has five USB ports, four of which can charge an iPad … and it’s all illuminated with LEDs,” Adams added.

To keep the kids happy, the Pilot offers second-row captain’s chairs on upper trims, an HDMI port for gaming, a 9.0-inch rear entertainment display, and multiple power outlets. For the folks up front, there’s an 8.0-inch touchscreen controlling an Android-based operating system with 3D navigation.

Despite all the added goodies, the new model is 300-pounds lighter than its predecessor.

Honda’s press release also details a new, 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine, but there are no performance specifications attached. However, the six-cylinder equips fuel-saving ‘Idle Stop’ technology and two new transmissions: a six-speed automatic and a nine-speed automatic.

The 2016 Honda Pilot will arrive at dealerships across the United States this summer, with pricing being released closer to its on-sale date.