Honda Pilot sometimes referred to as Honda MR-V is a mid-size crossover SUV which is manufactured in Lincoln, Alabama. Honda Pilot was also manufactured in Alliston, Ontario, Canada till April 2007. In the summer of 2002, the first generation of Honda Pilot was launched as 2003 year model. Later, in 2006, the model is revised and received some mild modifications like new front and rear fascias, a redesigned interior and certain standard safety features offered. In the last half of 2008, the second generation Honda Pilot was introduced as 2009 year model.
The idea behind designing the Pilot was to meet the demands of American market for having a larger SUV with third-row seating arrangement. Prior to Pilot, Honda had the CR-V, a compact crossover SUV and Honda Passport (renamed/redesigned Isuzu Rodeo) worked as a quick-fix for the company at the time to compete with other automakers’ mid-sized SUVs and crossovers. Honda Pilot shares certain features and powertrain with Acura MDX luxury SUV while it shares the platform with both Honda Odyssey minivan and Honda Accord sedan. Honda Pilot features an independent suspension along with unibody construction that allows the driver to have a car-like driving experience. The Pilot has also been strengthened to withstand towing and light off-road tasks with integrated perimeters frame rails. It is considered Honda’s largest SUV; however, the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour exceeded the Pilot in terms of length.
It has a large market in North America. In Japan and Australia, the first generation Honda MDX was supplied for a number of years instead of Pilot. The Pilot is sold in the Middle East under the nameplate of Honda MR-V. The second generation Pilot revealed in 2008 and is also supplied in Russia and Ukraine.
The first generation Honda Pilot receives an aluminum alloy 3.5-L SOHC, 24-valve VTEC V6 engine along with timing belt driven camshafts with an output of 240 hp (179 kW) SAE at 5400 rpm and 242 lb·ft (328 Nm) of torque at 4500 rpm and mated to a five-speed automatic.
The second generation Pilot, however gets a new 3.5L V6 VTEC engine generating 250 horsepower (190 kW) SAE net at 5700 rpm and 253 pound-feet (343 Nm) of torque at 4800 rpm mated to five-speed automatic transmission. It also features a new wheelbase of 109.2-inch (2774 mm), with an outside length of 190.9-inch (4849 mm), a width of 78.5-inch (1994 mm), a height of 71.0-inch (1803 mm).
The Honda Pilot receives a great turnover for Honda as far as commercial prospective are concerned. More than 100,000 units of Pilot were sold in 2004, a remarkable 20% increase from over the year 2003.