Honda Motor Co. is giving the Pilot a major makeover as part of a three-pronged bid this year to jump-start its lagging U.S. truck sales and cash in on one of the industry’s hottest segments.
The Honda brand’s biggest SUV has shed its boxy roots and been refashioned from the ground up.
With a body that is 3.5 inches longer than the outgoing version, a new V-6 engine, two new transmissions, new all-wheel-drive system and additional optional safety and creature comforts, it is among Honda’s most extensive model overhauls in recent years.
The 2016 Pilot has shed some 300 pounds by adopting a new platform and wider use of high and ultrahigh strength body materials that also help reduce noise and vibration, improve handling and increase rigidity.
Jeff Conrad, Honda Division general manager, in a statement today predicted the redesigned Pilot will set “a new benchmark” for safety, fuel efficiency and driving dynamics in the midsize SUV segment.
The 2016 Pilot, introduced today at the Chicago Auto Show, is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships this summer.
Along with the new HR-V subcompact crossover that is to go on sale this spring and a redesigned Ridgeline pickup coming in late 2015, the Pilot is a linchpin in Honda’s three-stage effort to reclaim ground in the booming U.S. light-truck market. Conrad also offered an advance look at the Ridgeline's styling at the Chicago Auto Show Thursday.