CHICAGO - Honda used the Chicago Auto Show Thursday to unveil its all-new Pilot mid-size SUV.
Gone is the boxy exterior and squared-off windows. For 2016, the Pilot takes on an all-new and more modern shape.
In typical Honda fashion the new SUV maintains a slightly more conservative look when compared to some of its more aggressively styled competitors.
On the outside, the new crossover is about 3.5 inches longer than the outgoing model. Honda executives say that added space translates into more cargo room on the inside.
The inside is where Pilot really shines. It can be configured to seat either seven or eight people.
All those people can keep all of their devices charged with up to five USB charging ports throughout the cabin. There’s also a standard 110-volt household-style plug for even more power.
To hide their devices, there’s a special compartment between the front seats that Honda calls the “Tech Locker.” It’s large enough to hold a couple of tablets, or even a purse. When closed, that compartment provides a little shelf for the front passengers.
When not looking at their devices, passengers can look up through the available panoramic roof. Or, they can watch a movie on an available high-definition rear entertainment system.
Despite its larger size, the new Pilot manages to shed up to 300 pounds from the previous model. Much of that weight saving comes from an all-new 3.5 liter V-6 engine and available new 9-speed transmission.
Naturally, the new Pilot also comes with a suite of safety technologies like a camera to watch the right-hand lane, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and others. Together, Honda calls the packaging “Honda Sensing.”
The new Pilot will be built at Honda’s factory in Lincoln, Ala., and will go on sale a little later this year.