Back in April, Motor Trend ran a feature on the new 2009 Honda Pilot asking whether consumers thought the new body style was refreshing or revolting. Perhaps I need to work on my game, or maybe I’m mellowing in my old age, but whatever the case, I just wasn’t able to work up my usual ire for the little Asian invader. I can attribute this to several reasons, chief among them the telltale symptoms of depression I’ve been feeling as I witness my beloved domestic auto industry suffer one beating after another. The new Honda Pilot itself has also played a rather large hand in softening my rage, thanks mostly to its ubiquitous SUV styling.
At first glance the new Pilot appears to have taken some cues from the Jeep Commander, but the view from the rear quarter panels also indicate a heavy Nissan Pathfinder influence. Essentially, Honda learned the difficult way that the chicken who sticks his neck out is often the first to be served with a side of slaw, or something snarky to that effect…At any rate, the redesigned Honda Pilot is clearly indicative of a battle weary automaker who is frankly tired of executing catastrophic design missteps/fruity little cars [here’s to looking at you, Honda Ridgeline]. While still aggressive enough with 250-hp to avoid the fate of the subservient [read: bitch car] Kia, the 2009 Honda Pilot still manages to blend safely into the woodwork, allowing its mediocre EPA fuel estimate rating of 16 mpg city/22 hwy to escape the unwanted attention of environmentalists/hybrid car enthusiasts.