Honda, like airline companies, likes its Pilots to be sober, and there’s nothing to raise a pulse in the 2012 Pilot, which the company has just revealed via a single photo. But for the vast number of Americans—and many of our own staffers—who appreciate the current Pilot and the innocuous, reliable, and easy way it transports up to 8 people and their stuff, this is no bad thing.
Up front, the seemingly Battlestar Galactica–inspired fascia seen on the current model is mostly gone, replaced with a rather plain face for 2012. A 3-slat grille has been installed, while the lower edge and fog lights are redesigned.
It’s the changes we can’t see—from Honda’s first picture of the new Pilot, at least—that comprise the significant upgrades to the 3-row crossover for 2012. Honda promises that the Pilot’s fuel economy will improve, and we expect that this will largely be attributable to a 6-speed automatic transmission taking the place of last year’s 5-cog unit. We’re also told that the car’s interior has been freshened, with “upgraded” navigation and audio systems. Given that antiquated nav systems and hard-to-navigate radio units have been one of Honda’s most glaring faults in the past several years, we’re glad to hear that some kind of change has been made—although we’ll be eager to try the new setups out for ourselves.
Beyond some new paint colors and a new wheel design, the rest of the 2012 Pilot is about the same as it was in 2011. The automaker says this refreshed model will begin arriving at dealers in September.