The 2010 Honda Pilot's crashworthiness and adult-friendly third-row seat work in its favor, but there isn't much else about this middling crossover SUV that stands out.
Automotive names are often inscrutable, but the 2010 Honda Pilot's got a simple one. You can look "pilot" up in the dictionary, and here's what you get: "a leader, or one employed to command a vessel." So that's what Honda's boxy crossover SUV is supposed to be. But is the recently redesigned Pilot really a leader in this hotly contested segment?
In a word: no. Honda's sterling reputation will likely clinch plenty of Pilot sales, but we think discerning consumers who test-drive the competition will find that the Pilot is a surprisingly lackluster effort from the illustrious Japanese automaker. It's got a usable third-row seat and perfect crash-test scores, but
The trouble starts with the brakes -- the 2010 Honda Pilot required almost 150 feet of pavement to come to a halt in our instrumented 60-0-mph testing, which is a solid 20 feet or more behind rival crossovers. Things aren't much better under the hood: The V6 is nice and smooth under full throttle, but 250 horsepower -- 21 fewer than a V6-powered Accord -- just isn't enough oomph to move the roughly 4,400-pound Pilot around with any authority. Fuel economy, another traditional Honda strength, doesn't exactly stand out either.
Those drawn to the Pilot's distinctively boxy styling may be willing to forgive such shortcomings, but we think there are better choices. Unless your fierce Honda loyalty prevents you from trying out other makes, we'd advise you to test-drive the Ford Flex, Hyundai Veracruz, Mazda CX-9 and the GM Lambda-platform family, notably the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse before plunking down your hard-earned cash on this questionably named crossover.