2016 Honda Pilot

2016 Honda Pilot

Episode 3442
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

It’s probably safe to say that there aren’t too many American neighborhoods where you won’t find a Honda Pilot shuttling kids from one place to another. In just 2 generations the Pilot has become a big seller among three-row crossovers. Now it’s time for a new, 3rd generation Pilot with both more style, and more substance, ready to take on suburbia.   

The all-new, mid-size, seven or eight passenger 2016 Honda Pilot is the brand’s most ambitious crossover utility to date, ready to take its family multi-tasking to new levels.

When the outgoing Pilot arrived for 2009, we, as did many others, gave Honda grief over its old-school, boxy shape. And perhaps, looking back, it was a little unfair…as now that the Pilot has a more modern and rounded shape, it looks like every other crossover, losing most of its distinctiveness.

All the necessary elements are here for a contemporary design; 20-inch wheels, a first for Honda, L.E.D. head and tail lights, and of course L.E.D runners; though they mostly blend in and don’t stand out like most rivals.

Wheelbase is longer by almost 2-inches, length grows by 3, and visibility has been improved all around.

A glass panoramic roof is available, another first for the brand, but instead of a single panel like many others, it’s still 2 separate glass panels. This design, Honda says, allows the DVD screen in an optimal ceiling mount viewing position, while also retaining roof cross bracing for better rollover protection. 

And, being a family hauler, above average occupant protection is a huge selling point, so there’s an all-new crash structure, along with LaneWatch camera, automatic braking, and lane keep assist. All are available on mid trim EX, though oddly, blind spot monitoring, coupled with rear cross traffic alert, comes only with new, top drawer Elite. 

The new Pilot cruises down the road very nicely, with a smooth and controlled ride, despite the 20s; thanks to a stiffer chassis that enables a much better compromise between ride comfort and handling. Steering is very responsive and even has a good amount of feel.  

Handling is nimble and almost CR-V like, as you find yourself charging into corners a little faster than you probably should. At which time you feel a large percentage of its 2-tons begin transferring and you back off a little. That weight is about 300-lbs. less than previous and there’s noticeably less roll in corners. 

Acoustic side glass helps keep noise down, though not quite to luxury-car levels.

Just about every modern accoutrement you expect can be found in the new interior, though it’s also the source of our biggest complaint. And that is the lack of a traditional speedometer, as there’s only a digital readout for speed keeping. 

A multi-view back up camera is standard, heated and ventilated fronts are available, as are heated rears; and the new Garmin-based navigation is a huge improvement. The new climate panel works well, but most controls for everything else flows through the touchscreen.

Access to the 3rd row is another improvement, with one touch 2nd row sliding and a wider opening, and most trims have 5 USB ports. 

Even base Pilots are 8-passenger with a 2nd row bench seat. But most significant is the 7-passenger walk-through version with 2nd row captain’s chairs for the first time, again with top level Elite trim. 

Despite being larger overall, cargo room is about the same due to the sloping roof, but there’s a nice reversible cargo floor to take abuse. 

The same variable cylinder management 3.5-liter V6 provides power; though like Honda’s 4-cylinders, it’s now direct injected and therefore gets an Earth Dreams logo as well as a slight boost in muscle. Totals are now 280–horsepower and 262 lb-ft.

A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard, but Touring and Elite trims add a new 9-speed transmission. It is the smoothest 9-speed we’ve tried yet. Unfortunately, it comes with the same non-intuitive push-button shifter that we dislike so much in recent Acuras. 

Auto stop/start comes with the 9-speed, but can be easily switched off. 

Traditionally very capable off-road, the Pilot gets a new all-wheel-drive system, and while you can no longer manually lock anything, electronically controlled driving modes do the work for you. It worked well in simulated mud and bad weather demonstrations; as well as provided improved handling on dry pavement with Acura’s torque vectoring approach, using clutch packs to divert power, rather than power robbing selective braking. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are not finalized, but Honda claims with the 9-speed they’re best in class at 20–City, 27-Highway, and 23–Combined; 6-speed numbers are 19-City, 27-Highway, and 22-Combined. 

With base pricing of $30,875 and Elite trim coming in at $47,300, there are certainly better bargains in the segment, but those prices aren’t high enough to keep the new Pilot from becoming a huge success.

As regardless of the price, or the oddly structured safety options, or the less distinctive looks, the much improved 2016 Honda Pilot will surely be one of the top selling 3-row crossovers in no time at all. As usual, Honda knows exactly what their customers want, and finds a way to deliver it to them, time and time again.

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.5 liter V6
  • Horsepower: 280
  • Torque: 262 lb-ft.
  • EPA: 20 mpg city/ 27 mpg highway for 9-speed

Long Term Updates

Mileage: 2,600

Our 2016 Honda Pilot’s first month in our long-term fleet was a busy one. It included our annual trip south for winter testing, as well as getting us through our first major Mid-Atlantic snow event, racking up a quick 2,600 miles. 

On our highway trek south; other than finding the seats a little hard for our liking, the Pilot proved to be a good cruiser with more than adequate passing power and smooth transmission operation. 

Though we could do without the 9-speed’s electronic shifter layout nonsense; and since cargo was priority, we would have preferred a traditional bench over the 2nd row captain’s chairs for a more expansive load floor. 

So far we’ve averaged a fine 24.4 miles-per-gallon with its 3.5-liter V6. 

As for behavior in the blizzard, with snow mode engaged, it did an excellent job of providing traction and stability on snow covered roads.

But it may not be a true cold weather fan, as on a recent single-digit morning, our commute was accompanied by constant warnings of systems that were experiencing problems; though it seemed to drive just fine. 

Mileage: 6,000

Spring is fully in bloom here in the Mid-Atlantic, and our 2016 Honda Pilot 3-row crossover has been a welcome companion for spring cleaning and checking things off the honey-do list. 

Cargo space inside maxes out at 109 cubic-ft.  That’s more than most full-size utes; short of just about everything except for a minivan. 

We’ve put 6,000-miles on the Pilot, averaging a reasonable 22.3 miles-per-gallon.  And the only conundrum so far, is why there’s an overly-complicated, slow to respond electronic shifter; while at the same time there’s an old school, floor space-robbing, foot-operated parking brake, when even the new Civic comes standard with an electric parking brake. 

That quibble aside, the Pilot is a great long distance cruiser.  And as the weather continues to warm, we’re guessing this crossover will be a popular choice for staff vacations. 

Mileage: 8,000

We’re 4–months into the yearlong odyssey with our Honda Pilot 3-row crossover. And we took the old adage, “if you’re going to do something, do it right” to heart, choosing top Elite trim.

Even after 8,000–miles, we’re still discovering new features, like brilliant full LED headlights, booming sound system, and remote start. 

We certainly haven’t felt a need for more power from the 3.5-liter V6 and true 9-speed automatic transmission; though fuel economy has slipped a tad this go-around to 22.1 miles-per-gallon.

Mileage: 10,300

Piloting our 2016 Honda Pilot 3-row crossover over the last 5-months has been the typical Honda experience; roomy and worry-free, although not typically exciting. 

No problems to report, and over the last 2,300-miles since we last checked in, we’ve packed in a few road trips; and found near full-size SUV cargo space for hauling, yet agile mid-size sedan-like handling.

And impressive Fuel economy with the 3.5-liter V6 with its 9-speed automatic transmission, now averaging 22.8 miles-per-gallon. We’ve seen 28 during highway cruising.

Our only wish so far is for a little more padding in the front seats.

Summer’s here, and the livin’ sure is easy with our 2016 Honda Pilot. You couldn’t ask for a better family vacation vessel; and this 3-row crossover has been busy doing just that, hitting the R&R spots up and down the East Coast. 

Its bigger size and increased interior space over the previous Pilot are much loved; though it still feels and handles like a midsize car. 

Mileage so far, from the 3.5-liter V6 9-speed automatic combo platter is good at 22.7 miles-per-gallon of regular. 

The new navigation system looks great and works well, despite some staff members not being fans of the touchscreen only controls. And we’re mostly getting used to the gear selector, a few even like the push button setup. 

All-in-all, we’re certainly glad to have the Pilot in our fleet…

Mileage: 20,000

The calendar may now say December, but since our last report, our 2016 Honda Pilot has driven through just about every season of the year; including summer-like temperatures, autumn colors on our way to the North East, and snow once we arrived, handling them all equally well. 

Our Pilot’s road trip acuity has been well documented; but usually we’re referencing things from the driver’s perspective, noting the car-like handling and ultra-quiet interior.

This time however, it’s the passengers that have been weighing in; loving all of the cup holders and USB ports, as well as praising the comfortable, reclining 2nd row seats.  

With our odometer now showing well over 20,000-miles, fuel economy has slipped ever so slightly this go-around to 22.7 miles-per-gallon; still great for a three-row, big family-size crossover. 

Arguably, it’s not the most dynamic looking CUV on the market; but we’ll take big family friendly features over “look at me styling” any day.   

Everything seems to be holding up well, as we’ve had no major problems over 10-months, though we’ve recently noted some steering wheel vibration under hard braking. 

We still have nothing but praise for the 3.5-liter V6 engine; and believe it or not, fewer complaints recently about the sometimes clunky 9-speed automatic transmission. 

But the touchscreen interface is still drawing its share of critics; and the “safety at all costs” Honda Sensing system has sensed an awful lot of pending collisions that aren’t there. 

Unfortunately, our year with the Pilot is drawing to a close, so we’ll keep racking up the miles while we can, and enjoying every one of them. 

Mileage: 17,000

There’s certainly no shortage of new 2016 Honda Pilots on the road, and no shortage of miles being racked up on our long-term example either; having put over 17,000 on the dial over these last 8-months.  

Every weekend it seems our three-row, 6-passenger Pilot is off on another getaway. 

And, there haven’t been any major complaints about seat comfort or usefulness. In fact, most recently the log book was full of praise for the multitude of storage bins and shelves up front, for stashing electronic devices and no doubt snacks as well. 

The 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 continues to deliver good power; with fuel economy back on the uptick to 23.1 miles-per-gallon.

Surely the 9-speed automatic transmission helps, yet some of our crew find its operation is not always the smoothest. Ditto for the auto stop/start system, which is a necessary MPG evil we’re all going to have to live with. 

Mileage: 19,000

An almost equally prodigious summer vacation vessel is our 2016 Honda Pilot. There’s no kitchen facilities or any sleeping quarters here, but it’s certainly smoother and a whole lot quieter. 

We’ve seen over 27 miles-per-gallon in highway cruising from the 3.5-liter V6; but our overall average after 19,000 miles and 9-months; has slipped a little to 22.9 this term. 

We still have mixed feelings about the 9-speed automatic transmission. It works well in most situations, like downshifting on steep downhill grades. But while steady cruising; between it shifting in and out of overdrive and the engine activating and deactivating cylinders, is all a bit too busy for our tastes. 

Mileage: 25,000

Winter weather has finally arrived in our mid-Atlantic region; and the 2016 Honda Pilot Elite that has been in our fleet for almost a full four seasons has already proven to be an able crossover for all of them.  Snow, mud, and simply crowded interstates; thanks to all-wheel-drive and Intelligent Traction Management, the Pilot handles them all proficiently. While still averaging 22.8 miles-per-gallon of regular. No turbo-4 here, as the Pilot sticks with a tried and true 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, albeit ours with cylinder cut-off and automatic stop-start. Unfortunately, unlike the previous gen. a tow hitch is not standard, so we’ve been unable to test out the Pilot’s 5,000-lbs. towing capacity. 

As we approach 25,000-miles, we’re getting close to using up the original rubber; and through all of it, we continue to be a bit frustrated by the Elite’s 9-speed automatic transmission’s operation, particularly with its harsh and sometimes indecisive low speed engagement. But you won’t have to worry about that, unless you upgrade to Touring or Elite trim; as LX, EX, and EX-L trims get along just fine with a 6-speed. But that’s a tough call as far as we’re concerned; as we’d surely miss our Pilot’s larger sunroof, ventilated front seats, 2nd row heated Captain’s Chairs, and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor! 

Mileage: 31,563

As for our large crossover peoplemover, the 2016 Honda Pilot; well, the news is bad. It’s not that it has done anything wrong, but our year with it is now up.

So we say good-bye to what has been one of our favorite long-terms ever, evidenced by the 31,563-miles we laid on it in one year’s time. 

Our biggest gripes revolved around the sometimes jerky 9-speed transmission and its push button gear selector, but we almost got used to it.

No complaints at all about the engine it’s attached to. The Pilot’s smooth 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 was more than adequate in all conditions, and averaged 23.0 miles-per-gallon. Making the Pilot truly hard to replace.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style

Episode 4324
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!

While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.

It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.

This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Front
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Rear
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Wide
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Close
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Fascia
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Wheel
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Profil
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Rear
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Badge
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It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.

But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.

That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.

It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.

With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.

Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.

We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.

Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.

The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dash
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Seats
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Shifter
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Frunk
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Engine
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dash2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Seats2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Shifter2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Frunk2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Engine

We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.

Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.

Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.

For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.

Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

Specifications

  • Engine: 5.5-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 670
  • 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
  • EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
  • Torque: 460 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph
2024 Subaru Outback 1

2024 Subaru Outback

The Outback Continues To Deliver

Episode 4324
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

In a world that’s SUV crazy, it’s easy to forget that the Subaru Outback has been delivering capable and comfortable all-weather and all-road capabilities to adventure-loving Americans for years. In fact, it’s now well into its 6th generation. So, it’s time for us to check in with the latest Outback and find out what’s new.

Almost 50-years ago, long before all-wheel-drive became an option for just about every car on the road, Subaru released the first four-wheel-drive passenger car in the U.S. Immediately, they knew they had a good thing going with that wagon, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the marketing folks got on board and helped launch the Subaru Outback Sport Utility Wagon.

While the 2024 Outback is approaching the end of its 6th generation, its not slowing down when it comes to delivering tons of value to adventure-minded families.

The Outback is the sole remaining wagon available here in the U.S. from a mainstream brand, though even Subaru doesn’t use the “W” word anymore.

2024 Subaru Outback Front
2024 Subaru Outback Profile
2024 Subaru Outback Rear
2024 Subaru Outback Dead Front
2024 Subaru Outback Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Outback Wheel
2024 Subaru Outback Front2024 Subaru Outback Profile2024 Subaru Outback Rear2024 Subaru Outback Dead Front2024 Subaru Outback Dead Rear2024 Subaru Outback Wheel

Now strictly referred to as a mid-size SUV, when it comes to selling any vehicle, attractiveness is always a bonus, and the Outback’s unique blend of rugged and refined has set the tone for many followers over the years. The exterior was recently updated, and while it looks big and more like a true SUV than ever, it’s only about 5-inches longer than the 1990’s original.

Some trims do get additional standard content for ’24, but our top Touring XT showcases everything Subaru has to offer, with an 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment screen that controls more features than ever, includes navigation, and pumps tunes out with Harmon Kardon sound. EyeSight Driver Assist Technology remains an Outback standard.

Cargo capacity is a great 32.6 cubic-ft., 75.6 with rear seatbacks folded, and despite the high ground clearance, the floor is lower than SUV typical, which makes for easier loading.

Outback seat comfort has improved greatly over the years, and despite the increased reliance on the touchscreen, everything about the cabin is simple to operate and logically placed.

The XT part of our Touring XT means there’s extra power under the hood with a 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo engine which rates 260-horsepower and 277 lb-ft. of torque. It’s a big upgrade over the standard 182-horsepower naturally aspirated 2.5-liter.

Both engines are unchanged and work with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT; all-wheel-drive is of course another Outback standard.

2024 Subaru Outback Dashboard
2024 Subaru Outback Center Display
2024 Subaru Outback Front Seat
2024 Subaru Outback Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Outback Trunk
2024 Subaru Outback Engine
2024 Subaru Outback Dashboard2024 Subaru Outback Center Display2024 Subaru Outback Front Seat2024 Subaru Outback Rear Seat2024 Subaru Outback Trunk2024 Subaru Outback Engine

At Mason-Dixon Dragway, our XT had plenty of grip off the line, hitting 60 in 6.0-seconds flat. That’s a couple of tenths quicker than our last time out with this turbo-4. We’ll chalk that up to better weather this time around.

Like many Subarus, it doesn’t feel overly fast but it’s snappy off the line, and perfectly adequate from there.

Power delivery stayed very consistent down the track; the CVT definitely keeps engine revs maxed out the whole time, but noise is far from annoying. Our best ¼-mile time was 14.6-seconds at 97 miles-per-hour.

The Outback boasts 8.7-inches of ground clearance, which is more than many mid-size SUVs; and while it felt plenty competent through our slalom course, there was noticeable body roll and understeer to deal with. Yet steering was light and predictable, plus Active Torque Vectoring and Vehicle Dynamics Control are hard at work to keep you stable and safe no matter what.

In panic braking, there were only moderate amounts of nosedive, and mild ABS pulsing. Stops averaged a fine 115-feet from 60 miles-per-hour.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-City, 29-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a great 27.9 miles-per-gallon of Regular; a feat most SUVs can only dream of.

That’s an average Energy Impact Score; with use of 11.9-barrels of oil yearly, with 5.9-tons of CO2 emissions.

Base Outbacks have plenty of standard content, and remain a real bargain, starting at just $30,240, top trims, including Wilderness, take you into the low 40s.

Decades of loyal Outback owners have helped Subaru grow the 2024 Subaru Outback into what it is today; a highly capable and comfortable, thoughtfully designed, adventure-ready family truckster that’s as adept at backwoods exploring as it is soldiering through the daily grind. Your family activities may not take you far off the beaten path, but life itself is an adventure, and the Subaru Outback is outfitted for your adventure better than ever.

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo
  • Horsepower: 260
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking (avg): 115 feet
  • MW Fuel Economy: 27.9 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: CVT
  • Torque: 277 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.6-seconds at 97 mph
  • EPA: 22 City | 29 Highway | 25 Combined