2013 Honda Pilot Performance

8.0
Performance

The Honda Pilot comes with a single powertrain combination: a 250-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 and a five-speed automatic. But you can choose between front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

The Pilot's V-6 is no longer the standout for power and torque that it once was, but it remains one of the smoothest, most pleasant, and sweet-sounding powertrains in this class. The five-speed automatic transmission in the Pilot feels a little indecisive under lighter loads, but it smooths out and shifts quickly when you need to move rapidly.

Forget the boxy look; the 2013 Pilot performs as if it were low and lean.

With a rather tall driving position, you might expect the Pilot to be a little clumsy compared to those lower, more wagon-like utility vehicles. But it's not at all; handling is quite responsive, and the straightforward exterior is easy to maneuver in parking garages or on tighter city streets.

The Pilot does have quite a bit more durability built in than the typical car, though, and it is a good choice for those looking to get to a trailhead on the weekends. The four-wheel drive system (actually all-wheel drive) does include a Lock mode for mud or deep snow. Structurally, the Pilot's structure borrows some of the benefits of a body-on-frame SUV but has a modern unibody design. And that contributes to its good ride quality and crisp response.

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