The Honda Pilot is definitely not the best looking vehicle in its class, but thanks to the subtle cosmetic tweaks, it manages to stay fresh. Apart from the standard LED low-beam headlights, new taillights, new bumper, and chrome accents, it also gains larger fog light housings.

The refreshed Pilot also benefits from refinements to its automatic transmission, which has been modified to start in second gear for smoother takeoff and low speed acceleration under light-to-moderate throttle. At full throttle, in S mode, or with the drive modes in Sand or Mud, the gearbox will choose first gear for launch. The 280bhp, 355Nm V6 engine is super smooth and fuss free, while the supension affords a refined ride. It’s also surprisingly easy to manoeuvre, and its turning radius is small considering its generous proportions.

Honda has obviously put in a considerable amount of thought into making the Pilot a family-friendly vehicle. Like in the Odyssey MPV, the Pilot’s rear entertainment system features a 10.2-inch screen that is mounted on the ceiling behind the front seats and swings open when the second- and third-row passengers need it. Apart from the usual entertainment options including playing videos from a disc or USB, the system incorporates Honda’s interesting “How much further?” app. This feature is particularly helpful for those with kids constantly asking “are we there yet?” from the back seats. This app takes information from the car’s satellite navigation system, and shows how much time the trip will take, and how far the car is from the destination. This means the kids have a fun diversion of being able to track the journey, and peace of mind for the parents.

It also features the Cabin Talk feature that lets the driver’s voice be enhanced through the cabin by capturing it with a mic and sending it to all the speakers. This is handy for parents when they need to get the attention of kids watching something on the rear entertainment system, as it even lets you talk via the headphones. Our Touring grade long-termer also comes equipped with a hands-free power tailgate, which is handy when you’re alone and carrying bags in both hands. It also comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assist technologies such as Collision Mitigation Braking System with Forward Collision Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Information System and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor.

Although there are many new, more exciting contenders in this class, the Pilot is still a solid player.

 

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