The Honda Pilot underwent a major update only last year, with the mid-size SUV receiving a complete redesign, new trim levels and a more efficient powertrain. Not surprisingly, Honda has decided to leave the vehicle untouched for the 2010 model year, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot going for it.
Up against strong competitors like the Ford Edge, the popular Toyota Highlander, and the all-new Chevrolet Equinox, the 2010 Honda Pilot relies on its already strong reputation for efficiency, comfort, and quality, combining the appearance of a tough SUV with the practicality of a crossover.
Standard features across the line include a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine equipped with Honda’s cylinder shutdown technology and delivering a peak output of 250 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque. This is matched to a five-speed automatic, with standard 2WD or optional 4WD modes available across the range. Emissions meet CARB's ULEV-2 rating, and the Pilot delivers fuel economy of 17/23/19 mpg (city/highway/combined) in 2WD guise, while the 4WD model slides in just below at 16/22/18 mpg. A 21-gallon fuel tank can comfortably provide a driving range of more than 400 miles on the highway.
The Pilot is once again available in four model choices (LX, EX, EX-L and Touring), each offered with standard air-conditioning, cruise control, a seven-speaker CD stereo, and 17-inch wheels. Inside, the vehicle emphasizes an expansive feel with an efficient and modern design that supplies 152.7 cubic feet of passenger space within three rows of seats offering plenty of space for up to eight adults.
All models, starting with the base LX, are also equipped with a standard towing receiver and a maximum tow rating of 4,500 pounds on 4WD models and 3,500 pounds on 2WD models. Other features include a tailgate with a lift-up glass hatch that makes quick access to the back of the vehicle easier, as well as hill-start assist to keep your rear bumper off the hood of the car behind you in steep driving.
EX adds a tri-zone automatic climate control system with humidity control and air filtration, a power driver’s seat with ten-way power adjustment with lumbar support, six-disc in-dash CD changer, XM Satellite Radio, body colored side mirrors and door handles, and roof rails.
Opt for the Pilot EX-L and you also get leather trim, a four-way power adjustable front passenger seat, a moonroof, a rear view camera, and an optional 9-inch display screen and DVD entertainment system.
Topping out the range is the Touring model, which adds satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, a power tailgate and an optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system as well.
Aesthetically, the Pilot has always been a very boxy but mildly styled SUV—not a rugged, brutish brick like a Hummer, but more of a tall wagon. That car-like demeanor is what helped the first-generation Pilot break ground in the crossover SUV category back in 2002, and fortunately the latest model still has some of the visual appeal of a more rugged off-roader while holding on to its excellent ride quality and moderate size.
Prices rise slightly across the line for the 2010 Honda Pilot, now ranging from $27,895 for the 2WD Pilot LX to $38,645 for the 4WD Pilot Touring, excluding $710 destination.