2012 Honda Pilot refined inside and out

By: Michelle Koueiter on 9/01/2011

Boasting a slight makeover, the 2012 Honda Pilot is ready for showroom floors with a sleeker exterior, an upgraded interior and slightly better fuel efficiency, according to Honda.

The Pilot’s restyled front end swaps 2011’s six-sided grille insert for a horizontal three-bar, chrome-style fascia and new headlights. All trim levels have acoustic windshield glass, which was previously exclusive to the EX-L and Touring models.

The 2012 Pilot is still available in four models: the LX, the EX, the EX-L and the Touring. Each is available in two- or four-wheel-drive configurations.

According to Honda, interior styling changes across the board include a revised instrument panel and a more intuitive button layout. A black center panel replaces the previous silver one for a more unified color theme. White background illumination for the gauges replaces last year’s blue perimeter glow, which Honda says should help in night driving. A new center stack layout offers more space for phones and audio players. The top-layer design for the center stack varies with each model.

Audio system upgrades on the Pilot EX and EX-L models include a 2-GB music library, Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free capabilities.

The Pilot EX-L gets an added eight-inch multi-information display in color, a USB audio interface and a new power tailgate for 2012. Models equipped with the satellite navigation also include FM Traffic information, a wide-view rearview camera with three-mode display and 15 GB of memory space for audio.

In terms of fuel economy, the front-wheel-drive version of the eight-passenger Honda Pilot SUV gets 25 mpg on the highway–an improvement of 2 mpg from 2011 models. The mileage improvement comes from adjustments to the powertrain for better efficiency and a new air dam on the Pilot for reduced drag.

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