2009 Honda PilotEnlarge Photo
In getting to the Top Safety Pick rating, the IIHS gave the Pilot "good" ratings for frontal offset, side impact, and rear crash protection tests. It also sports standard stability control.
John Mendel, senior vice president of American Honda, is proud that Honda is "the only full-line automaker that has the highest possible frontal and side impact ratings for every light truck in our lineup." While impressive, one must realize that its five "light trucks" consist basically of two platforms: the Odyssey minivan that spawned the Pilot and Ridgeline, and the CR-V platform, which in its older iteration underpins the Element.
Honda touts its ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) body structure as a major contributor to its vehicles' stellar safety ratings. ACE helps ensure occupant protection in frontal collisions between vehicles of different sizes, they say.--Colin Mathews