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Category: What Cause Ed 2016 | Author: admin 03.02.2014
First up is the 2016 Honda Pilot that loses its boxy shape in an effort to gain more comfort and better refinement. That package is called the Platinum and supersedes the Limited trim as the poshest Explorer.
Granted the Pilot doesn’t come with a fire-breathing turbocharged engine, but the 3.5-liter V6 makes a healthy 280 hp and weighing in at 4,317 pounds, the Pilot is some 570 lbs lighter than the Explorer.
The six-speed transmission in the Explorer isn’t as smooth and refined in its shifts as the Honda’s nine-speed though, and there is a bit of a delay when accelerating. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Pilot is one of the most comfortable crossovers I’ve ever driven. But these vehicles are not about cornering capabilities; they’re about the occupant environment. The Explorer offers the better seating position, as long as you don’t mind a bit of extra built-in lumbar support. The interior design and quality edge goes to Ford which isn’t much of a surprise for a vehicle costing some $8,000 more. Controls in both vehicles are well placed and easy to use; except for the infotainment systems, of course. Even though it is much lighter, the Pilot is nearly the same size as the Explorer, coming up less than three-inches shy in total length.
Passengers seated in the middle row of the Explorer will find more comfort than those in the second row of the Pilot. The Pilot and the Explorer are equally matched in many regards while still being completely different in others. Tough call, but a large crossover needs to be an easy-to-use, passenger friendly transportation device first and foremost, even when outfitted with every toy in the box. The Kia Sorento undergoes a substantial refresh and emerges bigger, better and ready to take on the segment leaders.
Nissan adds a new hybrid variant to the hot-selling Pathfinder this year that is more complex.
Part SUV, part crossover, is the 2014 Dodge Durango the perfect middle ground between daily functionality and true capability?
The new Pilot isn’t even a contender for me as Honda, like many other manufacturers these days, is making 2nd row captains chairs mandatory with the top trim level.


Compared side by side, the two are quite similar on paper, but when driven, the two feel entirely different.
Surprisingly similar in some aspects, yet still completely different in others, these two hatches take different approaches to a common goal. Despite how similar the Kia and Nissan may appear on paper, they are very different in execution. Watch our Short List video to learn about the top 10 most unreliable cars on sale right now, according to our friends at Consumer Reports.
A decade best remembered for ushering in the wonders of the Internet, allowing us all to bear witness to dancing babies and annoying hamsters. Looking like an SUV, with nearly the same capabilities of an SUV, these large three-row vehicles also blend in the practicality and efficiency of a minivan.
Taking it on is the 2016 Ford Explorer that receives a less substantial update, but does offer new style and a more luxury trim package. A power telescopic steering wheel, dual headrest mounted video screens, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, power flip and fold third row seats and massage front seats are just some of the luxuries included.
As tested, the Explorer Platinum checks in with an as tested price of $55,410 after destination charges. Plus, the Elite version of the Pilot ditches the six-speed automatic transmission found in lesser Pilots and uses a nine-speed auto borrowed from the Acura MDX instead.
A noticeable pause occurs between aggressively hitting the throttle and waiting for the big Ford to kick down a few gears, build boost and race for the horizon. Officially rated at 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, I was only able to average 17.7 mpg during my evaluation period.
The Pilot feels more like a lifted minivan behind the wheel while the Explorer retains an SUV feel. I also prefer the Ford’s steering wheel in terms of look and feel, and unlike a lot of wheels with wood inserts, the Explorer’s actually heat up along with the rest of the wheel. But family-friendly practical points are won by the Pilot with its giant center storage bin, built in window sunshades and second row inboard arm rests for the captains chairs. Picking between HondaLink and MyFord Touch is like choosing which straight cut oatmeal to have for dinner. In the third row, things flip flop though, as the Pilot’s seats are more accommodating and easier to access thanks to the single button fold and slide second row seats.


With the rear seats up, the Explorer can swallow 21 cubic feet of gear compared to the Pilot’s 18 cubic foot capacity. When the sum of the parts are added up, both packages are wholly attractive and it’s easy to see why both are best sellers. With 3 kids I’m not giving up half my cargo space to have at least part of the third row up on a permanent basis.
It was also a time where minivans and large body-on-frame SUVs were popular choices for families on the go. Instead of being pigeon-holed as a soccer mom in a minivan or having to suffer the unrefined, fuel thirsty penalties of a hulking SUV, people wanted a better family-friendly motoring solution. The Platinum also comes equipped with the 365 hp 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine previously reserved exclusively for the Explorer Sport.
In sport mode this trait disappears, but are owners really going to consistently drive the Explorer around in Sport mode and get even worse fuel economy returns?
The lightweight Pilot, on the other hand, returned a much more respectable 23.1 mpg observed average. The Explorer’s ride is not as smooth as the Pilot’s and despite being the quieter overall vehicle, more drivetrain vibrations makes their way into the Ford’s cabin. Even with a variable torque management all-wheel drive system, the Pilot can’t match the moves of the Explorer when the road gets twisty.
Yup, $55,000 and the Explorer doesn’t come equipped with a second armrest for second-row passenger bucket seats. Comfortable, practical and as easy to drive as an Accord, the Pilot makes the most sense in large, premium three-row crossovers. Despite it having been the #1 vehicle on my shopping list, it was soon shoved out of the picture entirely by the Durango.
A middle row bench is mandatory for me, which eliminates a lot of current 3-row crossovers from my short list. And the Honda still includes premium features like a remote starter, active lane keep, adaptive cruise control, rear entertainment system and a dual moon roof.



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