Park it among a crowd of slope-roofed, slippery-sided competitors, and Honda’s Pilot plays the role of grizzled old-timer. Upright and boxy, it looks like the crossover that time forgot.
True to its throwback appearance, the Pilot is a large rig and drives like one. It’s stable and planted at speed and over rough surfaces the ride remains smooth and composed. The tradeoff is body lean during fast cornering.
The last round of updates arrived last year, with the addition of a standard rear backup camera, 8-inch high-resolution LCD display, USB port, Bluetooth phone and audio and tri-zone climate control.
Honda masters the day-to-day practicalities. One example: The hood sheltering the multi-information display lacks glamour, but it effectively blocks those annoying — and fatiguing — nighttime windshield reflections.
Pilot is available in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations. Its AWD system automatically shifts as much as 70 percent of power to the rear wheels if the front tires begin to slip. For maximum traction in slippery conditions, the driver can select a “lock” feature that sends maximum available power to the rear wheels at low speeds.