2015 Honda Pilot: What's Changed

04_2015_Pilot_EX_L

Most significant changes: New Special Edition model slots between the EX and EX-L

Price change: $200 increase on returning models

On sale: Now

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

Once Honda slaps a "Special Edition" label on one of its vehicles, a redesigned model can't be far behind. Honda historically introduces SE models a year or so before it launches a new generation. Because the Pilot's upscale cousin, the Acura MDX, was redesigned for 2014, expect a new version of the Pilot SUV for 2016.

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The Special Edition adds to the EX trim level's equipment with pewter gray aluminum wheels, a power moonroof, satellite radio and a DVD rear entertainment system. SE base prices are $33,120 with front-wheel drive and $34,720 with all-wheel drive, not including the $830 destination charge, or $1,000 more than an EX.

By Rick Popely | June 11, 2014 | Comments (10)

SUV Challenge: Family Lauds Hyundai, Scorns Honda

3RowSUVFamily

By Chris Woodyard, USA Today

He focuses on technology, acceleration and steering. She looks for style and practicality.

Together, Ed and LadyAnn Sabalburo, along with daughter LeaRose, 2, covered the bases when it came to evaluating the seven candidates in the Cars.com/USA TODAY/MotorWeek $40,000 Three-row SUV Challenge.

What's the Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000

Together, the pair went over every detail of the crossovers SUVs lined up in a hotel parking lot while LeaRose happily scampered through their respective cabins. Then, Ed took each for a test drive.

The Sabalburos, from nearby Baldwin Park, east of Los Angeles, are casually looking for new family hauler that might replace LadyAnn's 2008 Acura MDX. They have another baby on the way.

By David Thomas | April 28, 2014 | Comments (7)

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge: Squeezing Into the Third Row

Third-row-main

By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

Let's face it: Most of us older than 10 will never ride in the third row of a three-row crossover SUV.

Why would you? First, it requires a lesson in how to move the second-row seats out of the way in order to clamber back there. Usually done in frustration, you just wriggle and crawl to the third row.

What's the Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000

Then there is the seat itself: less legroom than on the worst airline. Your knees almost reach mid-chest. You're so far removed from the driver that one model tested, the Toyota Highlander, had an intercom for the driver. Yes, an intercom.

For the Cars.com/USA Today/"MotorWeek" $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge, your reporter, all six-feet-two, took each test drive in each SUV from the third row. Here are my notes:

By David Thomas | April 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

$40,000 3-Row SUV Car Seat Challenge: the Highs and Lows

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Large families basically have two choices when it comes to what to drive: a three-row SUV or a minivan. Both have their merits and handle cargo and passenger room differently. During Cars.com's recent $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge, I spent a few days getting to know seven of the contenders in the midsize crossover class, driving them, climbing in and out of them, and installing car seats in their second and third rows.

Read the Full $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge

Although they all have to offer a large amount of room in order to fit that third row, it's obvious that not all SUVs are created equal. When it comes to car seats, there were some very clear winners and losers, with the Honda Pilot and Hyundai Santa Fe leading the pack, and the Chevrolet Traverse and Mazda CX-9 bringing up the rear.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 9, 2014 | Comments (1)

Several Midsize SUVs Fail IIHS Crash Test

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The 2014 Honda Pilot didn't do very well in Cars.com's $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge, and it fared even worse in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's latest crash test. The Pilot is one of several SUVs that scored poorly in the IIHS's challenging small front overlap test.

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The agency recently performed the test, meant to simulate a 40-mph crash of a vehicle's front corner into another vehicle, a tree or a pole, on nine midsize SUVs; six scored marginal or poor. Only the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain took home good ratings, earning them Top Safety Pick Plus status.

The GM twins join the redesigned-for-2014 Toyota Highlander, which was tested last year and also deemed a Top Safety Pick Plus. To qualify for the agency's highest award, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable small overlap rating, good ratings in four other occupant protection tests and a rating of basic or higher for front crash prevention.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 7, 2014 | Comments (13)

What's the Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000?

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge

Family-friendly SUVs are still a big business: There are plenty of kids to cart around, groceries and sports equipment for kids of all ages to carry.

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge
Index | What the Judges Said | Mileage Drive

We focused this Challenge on three-row SUVs that cost less than $40,000, including a destination charge, and achieved at least 19 mpg in EPA combined city/highway fuel-economy ratings. We picked the price based on Cars.com's listings for SUVs that came with the features we know are popular with families. After four days of testing by experts from Cars.com, USA Today, "MotorWeek" and a real-life, in-market family, here's how the results broke down:

By David Thomas | April 6, 2014 | Comments (21)

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge: What the Judges Said

Chris Woodyard and Joe Bruzek

Here are our judges for this Challenge:

  • Joe Bruzek, Road Test Editor, Cars.com
  • Jennifer Geiger, Assistant Managing Editor, Cars.com
  • Kelsey Mays, Consumer Affairs Editor, Cars.com
  • Chris Woodyard, L.A. Bureau Chief, USA Today
  • Brian Robinson, Producer, "MotorWeek"
  • LadyAnn and Ed Sabalburo, a Southern California couple with a young daughter and a second child on the way; they own an Acura MDX currently and are thinking about moving up to a bigger SUV.

We set a maximum price of $40,000, including a destination charge, and a minimum EPA combined city/highway mileage rating of 19 mpg. There were eight SUVs that met our criteria:

By Patrick Olsen | April 6, 2014 | Comments (18)

Which 3-Row SUV Gets the Best Mileage?

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge Mileage Results

Squeezing fuel economy out of the three-row SUVs tested for Cars.com's $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge is no easy task for automakers. Large people-and-cargo haulers capable of carrying eight and towing up to 5,000 pounds or more aren't really conducive for saving gas.

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge
Index | ResultsWhat the Judges Said

Efforts to raise fuel-economy numbers mean there are a variety of fuel-saving technologies in the seven SUVs we tested. Our mileage drive put these features — including efficient transmissions, cylinder deactivation, Eco modes, sleek aerodynamics and weight savings — to the test.

By Joe Bruzek | April 6, 2014 | Comments (3)

2014 Honda Pilot Photo Gallery

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The 2014 Honda Pilot finished sixth in our $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge. "The Pilot remains a roomy option for passengers and cargo, but the overall package is becoming less appealing as it ages," said one of our judges. Check out our gallery below to inspect the Pilot's styling, interior and family-friendliness.

By David Thomas | April 6, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Honda Pilot: Car Seat Check

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Honda's largest vehicle is a true giant with loads of cargo space and three roomy rows with seating for eight passengers on second- and third-row benchs. The 2014 Honda Pilot excelled at our Car Seat Check thanks to its cavernous cabin and extra Latch anchors. It's one of the few SUVs that can comfortably fit three car seats across its second row.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Three

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

More Car Seat Checks 

By Jennifer Geiger | March 14, 2014 | Comments (5)

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