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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
'Good,' frontal offset; 'good,' side impact, 'good,' roof crush; Top Safety Pick
Four stars, frontal impact; five stars, side impact; four stars overall
The 2013 Honda Pilot has been one of the best picks in this class for safety for years; and it remains near the top, although it doesn't quite have straight-A grades if you consider all U.S. crash tests.
Last year's version of the Pilot was given top 'good' ratings by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in all categories--even in the crucial (for tall utility vehicles) roof-strength category--and it was named a Top Safety Pick. But in the tighter federal NCAP crash-test program, the Pilot earns a four-star score (out of five) overall, with four stars for frontal impact and five stars for the new side pole test.
Despite its boxy body, tall seating, and rather low beltline, the Honda Pilot doesn't offer great outward visibility--mainly because of the thick rear pillars, which may make it hard for some shorter drivers to see when changing lanes or backing up.
That's at least partially remedied for 2013, as the Pilot gets a rear-view camera system as a standard feature across all of its trims. Front side airbags, side-curtain bags that cover all three rows, and active head restraints all remain included, plus electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes.
Family shoppers will be happy to find the Honda Pilot among one of the safest choices in this class.