Last week, I tested a 2012 Honda Pilot Touring in and around Washington, D.C. I didn’t get a chance to utilize all of its 87 cubic feet of cargo space since the biggest thing I hauled was a new iMac, but I still managed to get a good picture of the Pilot as a family vehicle.
The first thing I noticed was that anyone who plans to use all three rows of seats while making a big grocery store run would be better off with a minivan. I had been procrastinating a trip to the grocery store and Target for far too long, and by the time I made it out of both stores, I was using most of the floor space behind the second row for all of my new food and odds and ends. Assuming that a month’s worth of food, cleaning supplies and some new clothes for a single city dweller is about equivalent to a week’s worth of groceries for a bigger family, there wouldn’t have been enough space for the family’s groceries with all three rows of seats in use.
Other than that, I can see what makes the Honda Pilot so ubiquitous in the suburbs. It had tons of convenient cubbies, and it smoothed out even the roughest roads. While this meant it wallowed over back roads to the point of seasickness, it’s hard to imagine that Pilot owners will be frequently attacking turns on their way to work or play dates.
In my opinion, if you need a big SUV with towing and hauling capability and plenty of cargo space, a better choice would be a Chevrolet Tahoe, since it can tow more weight and has a bigger cargo hold. And if you’re looking for a three-row family hauler, a Honda Odyssey minivan handles far better and has loads more cargo space. But for buyers who don’t want minivan styling but like the idea of having plenty of seats, space and all-weather capability, the Honda Pilot is a good compromise.