The previous generation Honda Pilot and the first generation, which was called the MR-V here, were cars that struggled to define their place in the SUV category. They were both great family cars, offering impressive levels of practicality and comfort, but their boxy, wannabe off-roader styling led them to be unfairly compared with vehicles of higher capabilities, which proved disadvantageous. However, with the third generation Pilot that came out in 2016, Honda remedied this predicament by giving the model a clearly defined direction without any incongruity between its looks and abilities. The designers gave it a rounded, elegant profile that was characteristic of its soft-roader underpinnings and the new model carried family resemblance with the smaller CR-V and HR-V.

Three years down the line, Honda has given its flagship SUV a mid-cycle refresh that includes slight tweaks to the design, a few refinements made to the powertrain, enhanced connected-car technology, hands-free power tailgate, and the inclusion of new advanced driver- assist and safety technologies.

While these are all welcome updates, this is a time the Pilot is faced with tougher challenges than ever before. The segment has seen a few significant new models like the Kia Telluride and the Volkswagen Teramont joining old hands like the Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder and Mazda CX-9. While the Pilot is a fantastic vehicle, the larger pool of models in the fray is surely going to make things interesting in this segment.

In this contect, we are glad to welcome the third generation Honda Pilot as our new long-termer. Over the next few weeks, we will be covering various aspects of the car including technology, powertrain, ride comfort, practicality, service charges etc.