A week back I had the opportunity to try out the Honda Pilot 2012. I won’t be getting too technical in my review, that would take way too long. Rather I’m going to summarize my experience overall. To start off my first impression was when I sat inside the vehicle: ‘big’. It’s larger than a mid-size SUV but smaller than a conventional full size SUV.
The controls weren’t hard to adjust to. The big difference I noticed compared to other SUV’s is where the gear was placed. Instead of it being to your right it’s now beside the control system. The AC was impressive, it would be melting outside while I felt like I was in a fridge in this thing. The Pilot comes with all the standard audio stuff like a radio and CD player but also comes with a 15GB hard drive for storing media content.
One of the features I liked most was the navigation system. Although its interface wasn’t that glossy the features were spot on. When you reach a location with many routes for example the navigation automatically zooms in to make sure you know what turn to take. The system is user-friendly and doesn’t take long to get use to. Voice navigation is set to Arabic by default.
With the full option Honda Pilot you get a rear view camera which includes sensors on the side. I don’t know about other people but for myself I see sensors as more than enough to park with no problems. The orange lines are there to give you an estimate of where you will be if you continue going backwards. There’s no automatic parking as of yet.
The guys sitting at the back get a lot of control. They get independent climate control and 3 headset jacks. The total amount of leg room is 38.5 inches, more than enough for the average person. There’s also a 3rd row of seats making the total passenger count go up to 8 people. Of course both 2nd and 3rd row seats are fold-able, gives you 48 cubic feet in total.
Before I start talking about my experience when I took the SUV for some dessert drifting I want to talk about the exterior design. Although the interior looks fine the exterior isn’t all that glamorous. So I asked Honda why they don’t spend as much effort on exterior design as their competitors do. They explained in Japan (Honda is a Japanese corporation for those that didn’t know) Japanese care about two things, performance and safety. To them how good a vehicle looks comes at last place. While in Kuwait the good looks are priority.
We went to Jelai’a where there’s a lot of soft sand for drifting. Our experience had ups and downs, make sure you decrease the air pressure on your tires and switch to 4 wheel before going fully off-road. I wouldn’t say this SUV is the best option to go off-road with but its worth trying.
I was happy to find out there’s a DVD screen for the 2nd row of seats with a detachable remote controller. This can come in handy in long trips like going to Saudi Arabia or something. You can adjust the radio station and other features from the screen.
My overall experience was fun, I don’t usually drive an SUV this big so it was nice trying it out. Interior design with leather was something nice to look at. The performance gave it its best. The exterior design they can work on more I suppose. You can find more details on the Honda Pilot from their website or schedule a test drive.