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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About the Honda Pilot, Consumer Reports said this:

The new EX-L Pilot uses the same punchy 3.5-liter V6, now with 250 hp, mated to a five-speed automatic. Stability control and curtain airbags are standard.

Pilot drives very nicely. The ride is supple and controlled, imparting a solid and steady feel. Handling is responsive without excessive body lean, and the nicely weighted steering provides welcome feedback. Road noise is still noticeable but less pronounced than before.

The smooth, refined powertrain packs plenty of oomph. Still, we are averaging only 17 mpg, which is not great.

Access is easy and the front seats are comfortable. The cabin is furnished with many convenient storage cubbies and bins, but uncharacteristically for Honda, some interior plastics look shiny and cheap. The clumsy column shifter has been replaced with a dash-mounted shifter that's easier to manage. Controls are straightforward and simple to use. The EX-L's standard rear camera displays its image on the inside mirror when you back up—a nice touch, especially since this helpful safety feature does not require buying an expensive built-in navigation system.

The second row can slide fore and aft a little to more leg room for third-row passengers. The third-row seat is still tight but is bearable for kids. It's split 50/50, making it easy to fold down to create added cargo room. Another nice touch is that a towing package is standard.
And Edmund's says this:
On the test track, Honda Pilot zero to 60 mph in an easygoing 9.7 seconds. The transmission is performing hearty gearchanges that suggest a six-speed transmission would help quicken its acceleration times. But in everyday driving the drivetrain's behavior is innocuous.
Pilot Touring 4x4 at a thick-waisted 4,609 pounds. And that's just the sort of heft.
The Pilot proved prone to oversteer in the slalom test, but Pilot's 59.4-mph speed is decent for the class. Under braking, however, the Pilot takes a daunting 149 feet. And fade is apparent as well.
The new Pilot Touring's seats are among the very most comfortable in any new vehicle we've experienced. But they face the wackiest dashboard Honda has ever put in consumer product. There's some backlit blue plastic in the middle that looks like an IKEA kitchen display, black plastic, gray plastic, vanilla-color plastic and white gauge faces. Fortunately Honda hasn't lost its touch for locating all the switches logically, and the quality of all the surfaces (no matter what their color) is exceptionally high. There's also plenty of storage. The instrumentation is large and easily read. Light-color gauges wash out in harsh sunlight. There is a small green "ECO" light that comes on every time the engine cuts down on its cylinder use, as if the Pilot just can't wait to brag about its environmental credentials.
Honda has stuffed into the new Pilot Touring's center stack is an impressive conglomeration of electronics.
The stereo sounds brilliant. And the navigation system works intuitively and easily. The rear-seat DVD player is also well designed.
Honda Pilot has the distinction of being one Honda with a thirst for hydrocarbons. The EPA rates the all-wheel-drive 2009 Pilot at 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Considering current fuel prices, might consider looking at a CR-V instead.

Our assessment is that most buyers would probably find the less ornate LX or EX Pilots better long-term companions than the Touring. Besides not being burdened with quite so many self-conscious styling gimmicks, the lower-end Pilots aren't encrusted with electronics that are already headed for obsolescence, they offer exactly the same level of mechanical slickness and they cost a lot less than this $40,665 test vehicle.
_________________________________________________________
TECHNICAL
0 - 60 (sec): 9.7
Braking Rating (Excellent, Good, Average, Poor or Very Poor): Poor
Handling Rating (Excellent, Good, Average, Poor or Very Poor): Good
Doesn't mind brake/throttle overlap, but it's still slow out of the box. Shifts are abrupt and the wheel tugs tight at wide-open throttle.
Handling Comments: On the skid pad, steering loads moderately as speed increases and the Pilot is prone to oversteer on the skid pad. The best technique was to slip the rear out slightly (controllably) all the way around. Playful and enthusiastic but the M+S tires limits hooliganistic behavior. In the slalom, again, it was prone to oversteer and it does ramp up through the slalom course, but the steering is quick and precise enough to "catch it." Ultimately the tires give up before the otherwise willing chassis does. What it gives up in tires, it makes up for in athleticism.
Braking Comments: Some of the Pilot's poorly sorted brakes are due to the tires that offer little bite, but also they faded after only three stops. Moderate ABS noise and some dive. Pedal got squishy and pads began to stink.
What do you guys say? Does the Pilot handle well, like CR says? Or poorly with slow brakes, like Edmund's says?
Does the Pilot "pack plenty of oomph", like CR says? Or is it, "easygoing", like Edmund's says?
Cast your vote now!
 

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Re: Edemund's versus CR.

What do you guys say? Does the Pilot handle well, like CR says? Or poorly with slow brakes, like Edmund's says?
Does the Pilot "pack plenty of oomph", like CR says? Or is it, "easygoing", like Edmund's says?
Actually Edmunds says it handles good, right here:
Handling Rating (Excellent, Good, Average, Poor or Very Poor): Good
Most of the things Edmunds critizes (stopping distance, brake fade, oversteer at the limit) you only learn about during an instrumented test on the track. CR's review however was a First Drive and the whole paragraph you quoted was prefaced with Initial impression. For some reason you deleted this part, though.

Instrumented slalom/skidpad/brake testing is not part of a "First Drive" or "initial impression".
 

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Re: Edemund's versus CR.

Consumer Reports is flawed, overly secretive, and biased. But at least they try to review family vehicles with an eye towards using it as a family.

Edmunds reviews everything like it tries to be an M3. I think they have much less brand bias (read the overwhelmingly positive reviews of the 2008 Malibu, 2008 CTS, Corvette, Tahoe, Silverado, Lambdas, etc...) but they place entirely too much emphasis on having everything drive like a sports car and way too little emphasis on back seat space, safety, quietness, comfort on bumpy roads, etc...
 

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This is what a Canadian review had to say:

http://driving.canada.com/research/viewroadtest.spy?artid=98666&pg=1

The rest of the interior has been reworked fairly well. The Touring model's (the vehicle tested) navigation system is easy to live with, the audio package is very good and the addition of tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment is welcome. However, there are swaths of plastic throughout the cabin, more than one should expect to find in a $49,920 vehicle. The fact the test vehicle was finished in basic black did little to alleviate the dour tone. There are also too many buttons dotted across the dash -- including more than a dozen functions on the steering wheel alone.

The Pilot's 3.5-litre i-VTEC V6 is a punchy motor that pushes 250 horsepower and 253 pound feet of torque. It comes with a buttery idle, plenty of off-the-line launch and, when properly equipped, the muscle to pull a 2,045-kilogram trailer. It also features Honda's Variable Cylinder Management, which gives the SUV the ability to shut down two or three cylinders when the going is easy and the engine's load is light. For the most part its action goes unnoticed, primarily because Honda use noise-cancelling technology to mask the different exhaust tones.
The anti-lock brakes, which work with authority, also include Hill Start Assist. It momentarily holds the Pilot on a hill, which gives the driver enough time to get from the brake pedal to the gas pedal before it begins to roll back. This is particularly handy when off-roading or pulling a boat out of the water.
The SUV's stiffer body (up 41% statically) and larger wheel/tire package (now P245/65R17s) appreciably improve the Pilot's dynamic qualities. The outgoing vehicle was pretty good in its own right, but the latest version ramps up things noticeably. Its ride is firm but not harsh. As such, it controls body motion and gives the steering (one of the Pilot's highlights) a lithe feel and a quick response to input. A brief off-road jaunt proved that the SUV's controlled on-road ride works just as well in the dirt.
This doesn't sound too much unlike the CR review, it highlights some of the short falls of the vehicle but also makes note that the vehicle is pretty solid in many aspects. I think that the Driving.ca, CR and Edmunds reviews are all fairly similar but will vary slightly based upon peoples initial expectations.

Maybe CR is praising or sugar-coating things a bit, maybe Edmunds is seeing things a little different and have the impression that this type of vehicle should be faster and more agile and such but it's a large SUV. It seems like the Driving.ca review is possible middle of the road.

I tend to view the reviews of Graeme very highly, I've been watching/reading reviews of his for the last 10 years or so and find him to tell it like it is without much/any bias.
 

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Despite the obvious differences in formality and intent between CR's "First Drive" blog post and Edmunds' instrumented "Full Test," the review quotes are not incompatible with each other.

The biggest difference is between Edmunds' buff-book writing style and CR's dispassionate, clinical one. Both criticize the quality of the Pilot's interior plastics; Edmunds criticizes the styling of its IP while CR (characteristically) does not offer a stylistic opinion. Edmunds couches a 9.7-second 0-60 run "easygoing" (which isn't enthusiastic, but doesn't sound entirely negative, either); CR thinks it adequate for a 4,600 lb family vehicle. As for the Pilot's test-track brake fade issue, one assumes that if CR had completed the full battery of instrumented tests, we'd be reading their full report rather than an initial blog impression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Despite the obvious differences in formality and intent between CR's "First Drive" blog post and Edmunds' instrumented "Full Test," the review quotes are not incompatible with each other.

The biggest difference is between Edmunds' buff-book writing style and CR's dispassionate, clinical one. Both criticize the quality of the Pilot's interior plastics; Edmunds criticizes the styling of its IP while CR (characteristically) does not offer a stylistic opinion. Edmunds couches a 9.7-second 0-60 run "easygoing" (which isn't enthusiastic, but doesn't sound entirely negative, either); CR thinks it adequate for a 4,600 lb family vehicle. As for the Pilot's test-track brake fade issue, one assumes that if CR had completed the full battery of instrumented tests, we'd be reading their full report rather than an initial blog impression.
drive571 says: "The Edmund's and CR reviews aren't that different from each other; I mean, they're compatible with each other.
Edmund's says the Pilot is sloooooow and CR say's it takes off like a banshee, both critisize the interior plastics, with Edmunds saying interior plastics are first-rate and CR saying they're cheap and shiny but they're both critisizing them. Also, Edmunds says the Pilot's brakes are horrible, yet CR doesn't (characteristically) offer an opiniun. Edmunds says the Pilot's transmission makes hearty gearchanges because of the vehicle's heavy weight but CR says the transmission is buttery smooth...
Aside from these very minor issues, the two reviews are definately not incompatible with each other..."

:lmao:
 

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drive571 says: "The Edmund's and CR reviews aren't that different from each other; I mean, they're compatible with each other.
Edmund's says the Pilot is sloooooow and CR say's it takes off like a banshee, both critisize the interior plastics, with Edmunds saying interior plastics are first-rate and CR saying they're cheap and shiny but they're both critisizing them. Also, Edmunds says the Pilot's brakes are horrible, yet CR doesn't (characteristically) offer an opiniun. Edmunds says the Pilot's transmission makes hearty gearchanges because of the vehicle's heavy weight but CR says the transmission is buttery smooth...
Aside from these very minor issues, the two reviews are definately not incompatible with each other..."

:lmao:
The only real contradictions are the comments about acceleration and interior plastics, both of which are rather subjective.

The rest of the things you mention are made up (CR says nothing about the trans) or explained by the fact that the CR review is just a first drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The only real contradictions are the comments about acceleration and interior plastics, both of which are rather subjective.

The rest of the things you mention are made up (CR says nothing about the trans) or explained by the fact that the CR review is just a first drive.
Lol, the transmission is part of the drivetrain.
 

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You're reaching further than Bugs Bunny when he played one-man baseball against the Gorillas when catching that homerun by throwing his glove in the air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You're reaching further than Bugs Bunny when he played one-man baseball against the Gorillas when catching that homerun by throwing his glove in the air.
This post is about as logical as an elephant with pigeon wings.
 

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