The Honda Pilot eight-passenger SUV receives a wide range of upgrades for 2012 with a sleeker front-end design, enhanced interior features and an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 25 mpg on two-wheel-drive models, an increase of 2 mpg compared to 2011 models.
The new styling for the front fascia, with its three-bar chrome-style grille, conveys a more sophisticated crossover SUV appearance. Interior styling changes focus on instrument panel refinement and a more intuitive button layout. For 2012, audio system upgrades on Pilot EX and EX-L models include a 2 GB CD-Library (CD-L) and Bluetooth® Audio Streaming, along with the addition of Bluetooth HandsFreeLink® to those trim levels.
Feature upgrades on the Pilot EX-L include the addition of a full-color 8-inch intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) for audio and vehicle information. Models equipped with the available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System for 2012 receive subscription-free FM Traffic, 15 GB audio hard disk drive memory (HDD), and a higher-resolution display.
The fuel economy gains for 2012 result from combined improvements to the powertrain, chassis and vehicle aerodynamics. The 250 horsepower i-VTEC V-6 engine includes additional measures for friction reduction and improved efficiency. The 2012 Pilot becomes quieter with additional noise insulation and other enhancements throughout the vehicle.
The 2012 Pilot’s new grille and front fascia replace the prior model’s six-sided grille insert with a distinctive three-bar horizontal design. Reconfigured multi-reflector halogen headlights and turn signals contribute to the new look with a layout that relocates the turn signal from an outboard position to an inboard position within the headlight housing. A new front air dam and optimized strakes (the rectangular air deflector in front of the wheels) help reduce frontal area and unwanted air turbulence, both of which impact fuel economy. Rounding out the exterior design changes, Pilot EX and above models receive an all-new five-spoke, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheel design (plus 1-inch compared to the previous model). Pilot Touring alloy wheels feature an exclusive six-spoke design with a high-contrast machined surface. Pilot LX models are equipped with 17-inch styled-steel wheels.
Interior styling changes are designed to increase refinement throughout the cabin while also enhancing the intuitive nature of the controls. The instrument panel uses a more unified color theme with less contrast between panels. A glossy black center panel for audio controls replaces the high-contrast silver panel of the previous model. Speedometer and tachometer gauge faces incorporate a new look with distinct segments surrounding each meter’s perimeter, along with white background illumination for nighttime driving instead of the previous model’s aqua-blue background illumination. The redesigned center stack adds a subtle U-shaped character line and different textures to create a layered effect on the panel. Ideal for phones and audio players, a larger center storage pocket is 0.4-inches taller. A simplified layout for the climate controls replaces some of the buttons with dials for a more intuitive, easy-to-use overall design.
Power comes from an advanced 24-valve, all-aluminum engine with "intelligent" Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) technology with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM). The VCM system allows the V-6 engine to operate in six-cylinder mode for power and four- or three-cylinder modes for efficiency. Fuel economy improves for 2012 with an EPA-estimated1 city/highway/combined fuel economy of 17/24/20 mpg on 4-wheel-drive models and 18/25/21 mpg on 2-wheel-drive models. Representing a 1-mpg increase in City, a 2-mpg increase in Highway and a 2-mpg increase in Combined, this gives the 2012 Pilot 2WD the highest fuel economy of any 8-passenger SUV and the Pilot 4WD the highest fuel economy for any mid-size 4WD SUV.
Source: Honda press