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STYLING | 7 out of 10
“More muscular caricature of its predecessor”
“big, ugly grille—a visual sore point—is less garish if you pick a slate or silver vehicle”
“Bluff and hearty”
The 2010 Honda Pilot won't blend in with the crowd, that's for sure. But you'll have to decide whether the Pilot's controversial grille and chunky, sometimes overwrought styling fits you or is just too over-the-top.
Edmunds notes that the new Pilot “tries hard to look more like a utility and less like a minivan,” and they call the look “bluff and hearty, like an American wearing a simple white T-shirt,” but point out its “self-consciously truck-style grille that strikes the same note of authenticity as a sumo wrestler wearing a belt buckle from the Salinas Rodeo.”
Automobile reports that the new Pilot “looks like a more muscular caricature of its predecessor, with enormous headlights, a menacing grille, and thick C-pillars.” BusinessWeek finds the Pilot “boxy-looking (and, to my eye, stodgy)."
Most reviewers focus on the grille for critical comments. USA Today thinks the Pilot is “not swoopy and sexy like the CX-9, nor graceful like the GM's GMC/Saturn models,” in part because of its “big, ugly grille—a visual sore point.” They also consider the Pilot’s proportions “off a bit,” though Cars.com thinks there are some “interesting angles in the liftgate near the taillamps.” Car and Driver contends that “there are more right angles on the thing than you’ll find in a T-square factory,” and the Detroit News adds, “None of its edges are sharp; instead, it's soft and curvy.”
Reviewers point to the often-overwrought details of the Pilot's interior, and not always in a positive sense. Motor Trend says the “center stack layout [is] a trifle busy, especially in Touring trim,” and The Detroit News observes that the “center stack, when the navigation system is included, becomes a confusing mess of buttons, switches and knobs.”
Although TheCarConnection.com's editors find the instrument panel in the 2010 Honda Pilot to be overly cluttered, at least in initial feel, several reviewers like the look and the layout. Motor Trend thinks its “3D-look analog gauges” are “highly legible,” but Cars.com spotlights the “new dash” and its “white-faced gauges and translucent turquoise trim,” and thinks “the design works well.”
The 2010 Honda Pilot goes off in its own very polarizing direction; you'll likely either love it or hate it.