Saturday, November 5, 2016

2017 Honda Pilot Elite Design and Driving

The latest generation Honda Pilot is only about a year old on the market, and there are already small tech updates for the 2017 model year. Unfortunately, one of the changes isn't adding a much-needed volume knob for the radio controls like the redesigned CR-V. The current solution isn't always responsive.

The 2017 Pilot in the EX and higher trims now have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The eight-inch infotainment system also has a new finish on the screen that reduces the appearance of fingerprints.

The other small improvement is greater availability of a black interior. It now comes on all Pilots with White Diamond Pearl paint. The upholstery was previously only available on the Elite.

In addition to these changes, Honda's destination charge drops a little to $880 from $900 last year. However, the Pilots actual cost grows slightly. For example, a base LX model with front-wheel drive is now $31,475, which is $230 more than last year. There are similar increases throughout the lineup.

The 2017 Pilot still comes with a 3.5-liter V6 with Variable Cylinder Management that produces 280 horsepower (208 kilowatts) and 262 pound-feet (355 Newton-meters) of torque. Most trims use a six-speed automatic, and Touring and Elite models get a nine-speed gearbox. If buyers spec all-wheel drive, they benefit from a torque-vectoring system that can optimize grip by varying power front to rear and left to right. The Intelligent Traction Management system also lets occupants choose among Normal, Snow, Mud, and Sand for adapting to different environments.

When the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested the 2016 Pilot last year, the agency gave the three-row crossover its Top Safety Pick+ honor for acing all of organization's crash tests. When equipped with the optional Honda Sensing suite of tech, the IIHS gave the model a Superior rating – the highest possible.

In addition to being safe, the Pilot is also a patriotic choice for buyers in the United States. A study by ranked the vehicle as the fourth-most American made model a consumer can buy. Depending on whether you're looking at U.S. sales figures or production numbers, the number one spot goes to either the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, respectively.
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