Car Review: The midsize crossover 2012 Honda Pilot turns heads

Expect a number of changes in the 2012 Honda Pilot. Photo: 2012 Honda Pilot Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, September 17, 2012 — Expect a number of changes in the 2012 Honda Pilot, including a spruced up exterior with some cool redesigns like headlights and a new and improved front grille. Inside, the Honda Pilot offers a noticeable difference too with a tweaked instrument panel and upgraded navigation. And did I mention the fuel economy is meant to impress?

The crossover SUV competition in the same as this fun and boxy Honda includes the Dodge Durango, Mazda CX-9, Chevrolet Traverse and the Ford Flex.

Trims for the 2012 Honda Pilot include the LX, EX, EX-L and the Touring. The LX offers 17-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, rear privacy glass, a trailer hitch, automatic headlights, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, and a 60/40-split second and third row seats.

The EX will give you the added 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, heated exterior mirrors on the All Wheel Drive models, eight-way power driver seat options, tri-zone automatic climate control, and steering-wheel audio controls. 

For the EX-L, the upgrades boast a sunroof, power lift-gate, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power passenger seat, a rearview camera, a multi-informational display for audio and vehicle information, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

There are also two additional features offered on the EX-L, which are a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a voice-activated navigation system with voice controls. Also noteworthy is the multi-angle rearview camera.

2012 Honda Pilot head on Photo: R. Dandridge

On the Touring trim, you get both of these EX-L options standard as well as additional roof rails, parking sensors and driver memory functions.

Under the hood, the 2012 Honda Pilot offers a 3.5-liter, V6 engine that is 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. It’s a five-speed automatic only and while front-wheel drive is standard, you can also opt for the all-wheel-drive as an option. On this, there is also a driver-selectable “lock” feature for the ultra hit of torque to the rear wheels.

For safety, the 2012 Honda Pilot offers antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side, and full-length side curtain airbags.

Inside the 2012 Honda Pilot, the interior addition includes a nifty center stack; plus all the buttons and dials are easy to use and navigate having been placed intuitively for the user’s comfort.

The third-row is adult-friendly, but do note the cushions are quite low so tall passengers will find their legs in a knee-high position.

For hauling, the second and third row seats can be stowed and that will give you 87 cubic feet of cargo room if needed. 

Driving is a bit sluggish at times, but for an easy ride and drive, the 2012 Honda Pilot is a good option to get around town with a minimum of hassle.

Should You Need to Know:  The 2012 Honda Pilot’s brakes have been improved this year, and you can expect close to 30 feet of added safety in this category as compared to in years past.

Miles Per Gallon:  I drove the 2012 Honda Pilot Touring and it came it at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The cost for the Honda Touring, which I drove, was $41,630.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings. 

She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from Her third book in the Haunted Series will be released in October “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma.”  Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13. 

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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