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QUICK CAR REVIEW: 2017 Honda Pilot Touring

Good Pilot. No longer better than the others.

The Honda Pilot and I go way back. With it and its non-identical twin, the Acura MDX, I’ve travelled to a past favorite vacation spot no less than five times. There was never any hesitation when it came time to select a large comfortable travel partner for four adults, loads of gear and a long drive. The Pilot has always been a pleasant driver, feeling smaller than its actual size.

Although this may still be true, I can no longer claim that the big Honda is the only 3-row CUV that is good to drive. Over the last 2-3 years, the likes of the Dodge Durango, the Mazda CX-9 and most recently, the Volkswagen Atlas, all match or even surpass the Pilot’s driving experience.

Having said that, the Honda Pilot remains a safe and incredibly versatile choice. Regardless of the selected trim, Honda’s got everyone onboard covered with numerous plugs, Wi-Fi, and connectivity options including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Seating configurations include room for eight or, in the case of the tested Touring version, seven.

The current Pilot was launched for the 2016 model year as all-new product. The styling is neat yet bulky. It tries hard to be an SUV, much like all the others, so we can forgive it for being nothing more than an AWD Odyssey with extra ground clearance. Again, as this is a Touring, it is shod with lovely 20” wheels for a little more class.

Unrelatedly to trim, the Pilot is powered by the same smooth operating 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. All versions get a 6-speed automatic transmission, save for the Touring. The latter is equipped with a 9-speed that operates better than expected; all previous 9A from Honda were simply terrible and to be avoided at all costs.

Not sure which 3-row CUV to purchase? The Pilot is a good place to go. For a little change and perhaps more fun, look into the aforementioned three.

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