After a bit of a tease in late July, it’s time for Honda to detail the changes on its 2012 Pilot SUV that has received a mild facelift as well as some mechanical and equipment upgrades.
So what’s new? Let’s start with the exterior. Up front, the most evident change is a new and more “politically correct” grille with a three-bar horizontal design that replaces the letter-box style six-sided grille insert.
The reconfigured headlights and turn signals, a new front air dam and optimized strakes in front of the wheels that improve aerodynamics, along with the fresh alloy wheel designs in sizes 17- or 18-inches round off the tweaks on the outside.
The front styling changes result in a slight increase in overall length (0.5 inches to 191.4 inches) while ground clearance stands at 7.97 inches, down slightly from 8.00 inches in the previous model.
Interior improvements include a different color theme for the instrument panel along with new graphics for the speedometer and tachometer gauges, a glossy black center panel for the audio controls that replaces the silver trim of the previous model, and a redesigned center stack that adds a U-shaped character line and different textures.
Honda added that changes to the body seam sealing around the unit-body connection points, and re-tuned rear suspension sub-frame mounts, result in lower noise levels in the passenger cabin.
For 2012, the Japanese carmaker also upgraded the audio systems on the EX and EX-L models to include a 2GB CD-Library (CD-L) and Bluetooth Audio Streaming, along with the addition of Bluetooth HandsFreeLink to those trim levels.
Under the hood, while it was expected that Honda might introduce a six-speed automatic transmission, the five-speed unit remains for the 2012 model year, as does the 250-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine.
However, combined improvements to the powertrain, chassis and vehicle aerodynamics result in a 1-mpg increase in City, a 2-mpg increase in Highway and a 2-mpg increase in Combined for both the 2WD (18/25/21 mpg) and 4WD (17/24/20 mpg) models over the 2011MY Pilot.