2016 Honda Pilot design trends toward Odyssey, Acura MDX
t’s show time for Honda in Chicago, with toastmaster, senior vice president and Honda Division general manager Jeff Conrad on center stage. In true Honda style, the audio and visual impact of a short film featuring the development timeline of Pilot ticked off the years spent at these events for the present automotive press.
Surely, 2016 Honda Pilot would hold a surprise or two, perhaps a futuristic drivetrain or integrated transmission technology proprietary to the brand. Something that would set the automotive industry on its collective ear while shaking the press into a state of unprecedented, attentive alertness and palpable excitement. Didn't happen! Afterall, Honda Pilot is an SUV, it’s not Acura NSX. Much like the good looking office girl down the hall, We like the new look of Pilot, but know nothing about its character.
Nice color, looks like a supersized Odyssey or Honda badged MDX
Nonetheless, as anticlimactic the unveiling of yet another light truck or SUV may be for the automotive press, 2016 Honda Pilot when released may just be the end all, be all, of mega family movers, with a twist. Looking to the pleasing visual and intuitive, user friendly environment that’s Pilot, if priced accordingly, this 3 row main sector urbane crawler will experience the highest sales in its segment, based on a contingency or three: Availability, price and return customer loyalty, in that order.
With the market release of 2016 Pilot, and eventually Ridgeline pickup, Honda will hold the winning card hand in the fastest growing automotive segment in North America. By taking the truck-look out of Pilot, Honda has broadened the appeal of an affordable mainstream Tahoe slayer. Now, Honda loyal that require a bit more passenger room or hauling capacity than CR-V can opt into a much improved 3 row SUV without crossing into the Acura line-up, which raises a question or two for us.
How far can Honda evolve Pilot without undermining Acura MDX sales, when will Pilot be released and how much will it cost?
Those are questions that Honda couldn't answer today in Chicago, but we did learn a thing or two. for 2016 or 2017?, Honda Pilot will be equipped with a greater fuel efficient 3.5 Liter Earth Dreams ™ direct injected i-VTEC gasoline engine with cylinder control, a choice of two transmissions; a much improved 6 speed automatic and(as found in MDX) a 9 speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. We anticipate a horsepower and torque increase of 10%.
Also for 2016, Honda engineering,without divulging specifications, has improved Pilot’s all wheel drive system through “intuitive” traction sensors for greater performance in ice and snow. That’s all Honda’s telling us today on the mechanical side. As to interior accommodations, this is where Pilot will shine!
For 2016, Pilot comes off the production line a full 3.5 inches longer enabling greater interior storage volume behind row #3. Also, we find an option for plush high backed pilot seats in row 2 featuring one touch rear seat access, a much improved Blu Ray ™ rear entertainment system with multiple headphone jacks, 5 x2.5 amp fast charge plug ins for cell phones, I-Pads, etc, and a full suite of state of the art camera and radar activated active safety systems.
2015 “The year of Honda’ is shaping up to be just that, a great year for seasoned Honda fans and new buyers alike.
That’s just a taste. Watch Jeff’s presentation if you find a moment. It can be viewed here.