Full 2007 Honda Pilot Review
What's New for 2007
The Honda Pilot is unchanged for 2007.
Though minivans are still the ideal vehicle for large families, there's no denying that they're saddled with an unflattering image of un-coolness. If the latter quality is too much of a turnoff for you, a prime alternative is the 2007 Honda Pilot. Designed to be useful in nearly every situation, the Pilot has seating for up to eight passengers, a decently powerful and fuel-efficient V6 engine, available all-wheel drive and a solid collection of convenience and safety features.
The current-generation Pilot debuted for the 2003 model year as one of the first crossover midsize SUVs. Its car-based platform provides plenty of interior room and is fitted with a fully independent suspension. Compared to many traditional full-size SUVs, the Pilot is easier to drive and maneuver around town. But it's important to remember that this is still a pretty big vehicle. In terms of size, it matches up very closely to the Ford Explorer, and as such isn't as nimble as many of the smaller sport-utes that share its price bracket.
Although the Pilot is one of the older midsize SUVs now available, Honda has been making continual updates to keep it fresh. The 2007 model, thanks to its solid engineering and reputation for high reliability and resale value, is still one of our top recommendations for buyers needing a jack-of-all-trades vehicle. While you might also want to take a look at the more rugged Explorer, the all-new Hyundai Santa Fe or the comfortable-but-bland Toyota Highlander before making a decision, we're sure the 2007 Honda Pilot would prove to be an enjoyable purchase.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Honda Pilot is a car-based midsize SUV. It's available in two main trim levels: LX and EX. As is typical of Honda offerings, nearly everything comes standard. This includes air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry and a CD player. Going with the EX adds alloy wheels, an eight-way power driver seat, extra interior storage, automatic climate control, HomeLink, upgraded audio with a six-disc CD changer, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. On EX models with leather seating (EX-L), a sunroof, satellite radio and heated seats come standard, with a navigation system and a DVD entertainment system available as options. Unfortunately, buyers must choose between the nav and entertainment systems -- you can't get both. The entertainment system includes a 9-inch flip-down LCD screen.
Powertrains and Performance
Pilots come equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 244 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models are available, and both are equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission. Front-drive Pilots feature Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology, which increases fuel efficiency by "shutting off" three of the engine's six cylinders during cruising and deceleration. EPA ratings for the FWD model are a respectable 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway. Towing capacity for the Pilot is only 3,500 pounds -- well below the ratings for traditional, truck-based SUVs.
Antilock disc brakes with brake assist, a tire-pressure monitor, stability control, side airbags for front occupants and head-protecting side curtain airbags for all three rows are standard. In government crash tests, the 2007 Honda Pilot earned perfect five-star ratings across the board for front- and side-impact protection. In frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS, the Pilot received the highest rating of "Good."
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2007 Honda Pilot seats eight passengers. The fold-flat third-row seat has three sets of adjustable headrests and three-point seatbelts. Legroom for it is tight at 30.2 inches, however, and occupancy is pretty much limited to small children. Lowering the second- and third-row seats reveals an impressively large 90.3-cubic-feet cargo hold. Because of the Pilot's wide stance, there's sufficient clearance between the wheelwells to place wide items flat on the floor. If the second-row seats are in use, cargo capacity is 48.7 cubic feet. With the third row up, there's still enough room for grocery bags, baby paraphernalia or a set of golf clubs.
As the Honda Pilot features a stiff unibody structure and a fully independent suspension, it is quite smooth and comfortable on normal roads. However, with a curb weight of more than 2 tons, there is no denying the Pilot's bulk, and some drivers might find it a bit clumsy around corners. In terms of off-road ability, the AWD Pilot can take on common hazards such as boat ramps, washed-out gullies and rough roads, but not much more.