Honda’s mid-size Pilot SUV has been a hit for the automaker in terms of both sales and image. It’s drawn buyers into Honda showrooms who likely wouldn’t have come in to drive the CR-V (too small) or the Ridgeline (too oddly styled). Now that it’s due for a refresh, the 2012 Honda Pilot has the chance to bring even more customers into Honda dealers.
Although owners lover their vehicles, the 2011 Honda Pilot has a few shortcomings. The grille, for example, dates back to Honda’s much-unloved styling tweaks of 2009, and the interior of the Pilot isn’t on par with the interiors in the 2011 Ford Explorer and 2011 Dodge Durango. Fuel economy isn’t great, either, with the Pilot managing just 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
For the 2012 Honda Pilot, the automaker has apparently managed to fix what was broken without changing what wasn’t. We haven’t driven the 2012 Pilot yet, but we hear it will come with a new (and more pleasantly styled) grille, a new interior and better fuel economy, thanks to a six-speed automatic transmission replacing the current five-speed unit.
There’s also word that the Honda Ridgeline pickup will be revised for 2012, and a sport model will be added to the lineup. Expect better fuel economy from the Ridgeline, too, since it’s likely to get the same new six speed transmission used in the Pilot.