First off, the Pilot is stepping things up in the power department,with a new direct-injected 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine that ups the output from 250 horsepower to 280 hp. The new engine turns out 262 pound-feet of torque, routing all the power through a new set of available transmissions. Power can be managed by either a six-speed or nine-speed automatic gearbox.
Making the most of the increased grunt is a new all-wheel drive system with a bunch of new tech to traverse all sorts of terrain. A new selectable intelligent traction management system allows the car to optimize its response on snow, sand, and mud. When on the good ol’ paved roads, a variable torque management system makes for sharper handling around bends.
Honda made the Pilot much smarter, too, by packing in a host of new or upgraded tech. In the cabin, the Pilot gets an upgraded audio and navigation display system while the body is loaded with sensors. The Honda Sensing suite brings several safety assists like collision mitigation breaking, collision warning, road departure mitigation, and lane keep assist. Higher trims will get more upgrades like rain sensing wipers and auto high-beam lamps. The Elite trim also brings some creature comforts like ventilated and heated front seats and a panoramic glass roof.
The first thing we noticed when we saw the new Pilot is how it fixes up its hum-drum looks. For starters, it dresses things up with a sharper fascia and angular headlamps that incorporate themselves with elements of the new front grille. Things get sleeker along the body as well, with contour lines accenting the flat, boxy paneling of the old Pilot. Now that we know what’s under the hood we like it even more.
The 2016 Pilot is set to hit dealer lots this summer, just in time to prep for some big family trips.