I have seriously considered owning a Honda Pilot. Driving a 2009 Pilot over the past weekend only reinforced that thought. The front face is a bit heavy-handed, but it doesn't look as ugly to me as it does to some people. I'm much more interested in its abundance of usefulness. So rather than judge the quality of the interior's plastic, I look around and think that the person who designed this knows what it's like to live in your car, missing not a single opportunity to carve out another little spot of storage.
The inside doors don't just have a pocket at the bottom, they sport three levels of cubbyholes. There is a depression above the glovebox that has three compartments carved into it, each big enough for a toll-road ticket or similar doodad. Thanks to the space-saving dash-mounted shift lever, there is a fairly deep bit of stowage under the center temperature and sound system stack, to the left of a 12V power outlet that is perfect for a cell phone and adapter. Roll back the lid on the floor-mounted console and you find a bin with a coin holder, a deep storage box, dual cup holders, and another small raised bin. There is even more under the padded center armrest, including another 12V outlet and an MP3 port.
And I've just described the front seat area.
Both rear rows have cup holders and storage bins at the outboard positions, overhead lighting, and climate controls. All six rear passenger positions have three-point safety belts and headrests.
I crammed the back with supplies for a family reunion, so I became intimate with the one-touch seats that flipped forward to create a big, flat load floor. There is also a small trunklet built just inside the two-piece tailgate that was perfect for a few grocery bags.
The Pilot's fuel economy is nothing to write home about-16 city/22 highway-but I'd wager that it all evens out in the wash when you factor in Honda's reliability and legendary resale.
By the way, I do like the clear gauges; the small square gauge on the main IP with trip meter, average fuel economy, and ambient temp readouts; and the greenish plastic faceplate surrounding the sound system controls.
Jean Jennings, President & Editor-in-Chief