Monday, April 11, 2016

Used Car Review - Honda Pilot (2012-2016)

Myk Belmonte invites you to be the passenger of this aircraft that will be replaced soon.

2012-2016 Honda Pilot

Unless you are living under a rock for a long time, manufacturers had released vehicles not aimed at their home country, and the Japanese had done numerous vehicles which aren't available in the Land of the Rising Sun. Honda has several vehicles not for Japan market which includes the Brio and Amaze sub-compacts and Mobilio MPV which targets emerging Asian markets while an Odyssey developed for the US market exists, and let us not forget the Pilot that is assembled and targets American clients.

Replacing the Passport SUV (which is not an original Honda product to begin with, rather than it is a badge engineered Isuzu Rodeo), the Pilot is the largest SUV in Honda's line-up which features three rows of seats and shares its underpinnings with the Accord sedan, Odyssey minivan, and the Acura MDX SUV. While the first generation model of the latter was offered in Japan, the Pilot isn't. Apart from the Philippines, this vehicle was offered in the Middle East, Russia, and Ukraine.

After the short stint of the first generation model, the second generation Pilot that we got was essentially an updated model with some changes inside and outside the vehicle. Just like its American derived competitors, a sole variant equipped with a gasoline engine and 4WD is sold locally.

Value and Costs
Brand new, this is priced at P2,600,000, which is same with the first iteration sold 10 years ago. If you want one, expect one to be priced below P2,000,000 especially the new model had arrived two months ago. Not much units are available in the used car block since this SUV isn't a best seller to begin with plus most owners belong to the upper class income bracket.

A word of warning especially if you want this vehicle, parts may be hard to come by since this is a low volume seller although some components are similar to the Accord and US market Odyssey. Also, prepare to shell out for fuel money since this vehicle runs on a 3.5 V6 engine but a Variable Cylinder Management exists which lessens fuel consumption in several instances.

Exterior and Interior
In a time where vehicle designs stray away from the boxy look, the Pilot is unashamed of it and sticks to it for the second time around although it is more evident in this one. Apparently, the only aspect that does not follow the theme are the wheel arches. This styling makes the vehicle different from its contemporaries which are full of curves. One nifty feature is the rear glass can be opened separately without opening the entire tailgate especially for small errands.

Occupants will be treated to a expanse cabin that even eight people can comfortably sit in. The front portion has the transmission shifter situated beside the steering wheel which gives the center console more space for your goodies. Passengers seated at the back get their own controls for air-conditioning and power outlets for charging their gadgets. Those on the last row no need to call it torture since space is adequate for people while retaining some room for items at the back. Think of this vehicle as an airplane among SUVs, since these types aren't exactly those that you call spacious when it comes to rear room.

Still the same J35Z4 3.5 V6 gasoline having 253hp at 5,700rpm and 347Nm at 4,800rpm is the only option and that motivates the Pilot. However, one unique factor that can be found is Honda's Variable Cylinder Management system which only utilizes three or four cylinders whenever needed but uses all six during full bore acceleration, therefore minimizing fuel consumption.

Driving Impressions
Riding comfort is better described as floaty and quiet when cruising, traits that can be found among American vehicles. For the driver's part, it is easy to maneuver and nimble despite the bulky size and a back-up camera comes standard.

Everybody knows that the Explorer or the likes of the Pajero are sure ball options in the large size SUV market locally, whether new or used. In the case of the second generation Pilot, although there are some redeeming qualities, as a second hand pick be prepared to shell out more if you want one.

The Good:
  • Spacious interior
  • High quality interior
  • Easy to maneuver for size
The Bad:
  • Cost of maintenance (obviously)
  • No diesel
  • Styling not for everyone
The Pick: 3.5 EX-L

Engine: 3,471cc J35Z4 24V V6 gasoline
Power: 253hp @ 5,700rpm
Torque: 347Nm @ 4,800rpm
Fuel Consumption: 6-8km/L (city), 8-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear multi-link with trailing arm

Price (New): P2,600,000
Price (Now): P1,800,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Mazda CX-9, Mitsubishi Pajero, Nissan Murano, Nissan Patrol, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
On Sale: 2012-2016

Honda Cars Makati - (02) 902-9393

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