Constructed on the same platform used for the Honda Accord and the Odyssey minivan, the Pilot was quickly accepted as a reliable family mid-size crossover vehicle. Debuting for 2003, the Honda Pilot featured a versatile physique boasting class-leading cargo capacity and seating for up to eight passengers.
All Pilots built from 2003 to 2005 came standard equipped with Variable Torque Management 4WD. Rated by the manufacturer with medium duty off-road capability, the 2003 Honda Pilot was tested climbing a 30-degree dirt hill. A two-wheel drivetrain would not be available on the Pilot until the 2006 model year. Propelling the 2003 Honda Pilot was a 240-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Four-wheel disc brakes, air conditioning, CD player and cruise control came standard on the Honda mid-sized crossover. In addition to adding the option of front-wheel drive, the 2006 model year version of the Honda Pilot crossover received new front and rear end styling. All three rows of passengers of the 2006 Pilot were also provided protection of side curtain airbags as standard equipment.
For 2009, a completely redesigned version of the crossover was longer and was given an edgier style. Besides the new look to the exterior and interior, the second-generation Honda Pilot received a host of new features. An aluminum hood, Hondas Vehicle Stability Assist and a new 250-horsepower 3.5-liter i-VTEC engine equipped with Variable Cylinder Management was included standard on the 2009 Pilot.
With the proper towing accessories, the 2009 Honda Pilot could pull up to 4,500 pounds. The second generation Pilots styling was altered slightly for 2012 with a revised front. The year following the Honda Pilots facelift, the tri-zone climate control and Bluetooth connectivity was added standard on all models. An all-new Honda Pilot is scheduled to be launched for the 2016 model year.