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Honda Pilot Concept

        Auto | Concept Cars

A Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy since its launch for 2003, Pilot has carved out a healthy chunk of the midsize SUV market for Honda.

Honda Pilot Concept
Honda Pilot Concept

The Pilot Concept, introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, foreshadows a production 2009 Pilot that's slightly larger overall, packs more muscle and sports more distinctive styling.

Honda claims the Pilot concept has notably more passenger and cargo space, though the SUV has grown only modestly outside.

Though Honda won't confirm, Consumer Guide expects Pilot to offer a 3.7-liter V6 borrowed from the MDX SUV from Honda's luxury arm, Acura. The current Pilot uses a 3.5-liter V6. The V6 features Honda's Variable Cylinder Management system that can shut down two or three cylinders to conserve fuel when power demand is light.

Honda Pilot Concept
Honda Pilot Concept

The first-generation Pilot took its share of lumps for bland, uninspired styling. The Pilot Concept goes some distance to answer critics with sharper lines and bolder, more pronounced, body features.

Expect Pilot to again offer models ranging from entry level to near luxury, with topline EX-L models sporting leather seating and available navigation- and DVD-entertainment systems.

The 2009 Pilot faces stiff showroom competition from a host of new and redesigned midsize SUVs. Introduced at the Chicago Auto Show, Chevrolet's Traverse SUV could tempt Pilot intenders with similar pricing and power, while offering additional cargo room. Redesigned for 2008 is Toyota's popular Highlander, a traditional "also consider" for buyers looking at Pilot. Expect to see a redesigned Pilot in showrooms before the end of 2008.


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