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I've owned a couple of Pilots now, from each generation - so I was looking forward to see what they did with the latest generation. I keep in touch with the dealer I ordinarily use for Honda purchases and they alerted me to the fact that they had finally gotten some 2016 deliveries last week.

I test drove an EX-L model, which is roughly equivalent options-wise to a Pathfinder SL mode (minus the premium or tech packages). Though I found the exterior more pleasing than the model it replaced, it didn't blow me away. I did notice that the roof rails are missing (kind of a bummer for a mid-to-higher level trim package) and there is absolutely NO towing setup at all. The previous generation, at least for 2010, included a 2" receiver hitch (but no wiring) and roof rack without the crossbars.

Inside, you can't help but notice the large touchscreen, front and center on the dash. Pretty much everything phone/audio related is controlled here. There are separate toggle switches for the HVAC controls, but ZERO knobs for the audio. Even the volume is a touch control and swapping over to other input sources requires digging through menus.

On the instrument panel, though there is a nice, bright information screen and a tachometer, there is NO analog speedometer. Instead, there is a sizable digital speed readout, which as a questionable choice at best. The information screen does toggle between a few different displays, echoing what you find on the Pathfinder, including the tire pressure display. The fuel economy display, while present, is not as straightforward as the one on the Pathfinder.

Also irritating is the flip down armrests instead of a real center console armrest. While this is in-line with the CRV, I found it to be fiddly and in the short time I drove the vehicle, I was constantly adjusting them. There is a large bin in the center console instead, which could probably swallow a laptop or a small pet. That was one of the few nice touches. The seats were ridiculously flat and unsupportive. I remember the last generation Pilot's seats a lot more comfortable. Otherwise, the interior felt cheap, much like its predecessor, and in a different class altogether than the Pathfinder. Even the glovebox is chintzy and not dampened when you open it. Hide the Honda badges and I would have thought this was an early Kia minivan.

On the road, the handling and performance really stand out. Despite being a little larger than the Pathfinder, the Pilot feels much more agile and the engine is strong. It is loud, however, compared to the Pathfinder, with lots of windnoise at the side mirrors. Overall, if you've ever driven an Odyssey, you'll get a pretty clear picture of what the Pilot feels like - and that has pretty much been the same throughout the generations.

Getting back into my Pathfinder, I felt much more comfortable and wouldn't dream of trading it. Honda really seems to be asleep at the wheel lately.
 

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Thanks for the review. I test drove a Highlander before committing to the Pathfinder Hybrid, and wasn't overly impressed. Doesn't sound like the Pilot is a huge improvement over the Pathfinder, at least not enough to justify what will be a premium in MSRP. Any other big name mid-size CUVs due for a refresh soon?
 

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2013 Pathfinder SL, Connecticut, USA
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Chris, is the new Pilot billed as a crossover or is it still classified by Honda as an SUV? Sounds like they're moved in the Pathfinder direction.
 

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We test drove the '15 Pilot touring as one of the alternates to our Pathfinder Platinum.

Driving the pilot, I loved the seats, however the dash felt very dated and spartan for a $40K+ suv. You can see how much they want to divert you to the MDX.
On the road, the road noise and wind noise above 60 just felt like they did nothing for sound insulation.
In addition to hear about the VCM 6-4-3 issues and motor mounts that pre-maturely fail, I was skeptical.
Them not wanting to work on the price at all sealed it for me.

I read a few reviews about the 16 and thought of considering it, however that crv front end just did not do it for me so it made it easy when the Nissan dealer was willing to work on the price on the pathfinder!
 

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+1 on the awesome review. PF has been plagued with issues (no car is immune) but in terms of comfort, style, features and price (with available discounts, rebates etc) it is a great buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Chris, is the new Pilot billed as a crossover or is it still classified by Honda as an SUV? Sounds like they're moved in the Pathfinder direction.
It's always been a crossover, though I think Honda has used the terms interchangeably in the past. With the new sheet metal, I don't think they would try to pass it off as a traditional SUV any more.
 
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