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Parks McCants's picture

How Honda Pilot smashes previous November sales with 57.2% gain

Honda’s versatile 3-row SUV sits in a midsize segment with no shortage of quality, well priced competition. So why did 14,189 buyers opt for Pilot in November?

The first time Torque News experienced the current generation Honda Pilot was beside a NASCAR race track in Kentucky. On that fall day, journalist would experience a reinvented, slightly larger Pilot, sporting several innovations, including Pilot’s first push button activated 9-speed A.T., variable terrain traction drive mode, and Honda Sensing, Honda’s advanced safety suite available on all but the base Pilot LX entry trim level offering.

There was something else that Pilot offered that the competition didn’t have, a well equipped 3 -row SUV with an MSRP starting at $30,745. Even at the base price, Pilot offers comfortable, surprisingly quiet accommodations for up to 7, I was impressed.

And then the collision avoidance, automatic braking, and front-end collision mitigation was demonstrated in real-time, I was sold -- Pilot was and remains everything Honda promises and more - that was back in May 2015, a lifetime ago in auto development years. Looking to the recall record, Honda Pilot remains the most trouble free SUV in America.

Yet there’s been one glaring problem for want-to-be Honda Pilot owners, Honda hasn’t manufactured enough of them. In November the maker dedicated a production line to Honda Pilot, increasing variable trim package availability. With increased dealership availability comes higher volume sales for Honda Pilot, and ‘2018 North America SUV of the Year’ Honda CR-V, a logical option for Honda light truck lovers that don’t require 3-row seating.

What I like about Honda Pilot

I like to overall appearance of Honda Pilot. Although not “trucky” looking in a conventional SUV sort of way, Pilot comes to the segment with a well balanced body design, one of the cooler looking grills in the segment, superior unobstructed viewing throughout the cabin to the open road, an excellent interior seating comfort and ride dynamic, and cabin quiet, generally associated with premium class SUVs.

Also, Pilot rightfully lays claim to segment topping fuel efficiency, thanks to a rather peppy, cylinder managed, 3.5 L V6 fuel injected gasoline engine, while retaining true-off-road-ability, thanks to its decent ground clearance, available real-time all wheel drive, and standard equipped ITM (intelligent traction management) it works!

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