most practical pilot

Sowetan Reporter

Sowetan Reporter

Competition in the seven and eight-seater market is getting tougher as more car makers introduce new models and others strengthen existing ones.

Japanese manufacturer Honda unveiled its 2009 Honda Pilot prototype, an eight-seater SUV, at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in the US this week.

The prototype conveys design features of the more boldly-styled 2009 Pilot, set to debut in mid-2008, which emphasizes authentic SUV styling and more accommodating interior packaging and advanced technologies for safety, fuel efficiency and convenience.

The Pilot originally debuted as a 2003 model in July of 2002.

It will feature the Honda-exclusive Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure.

According to Honda, the crossover SUV platform underpins the Pilot to provide the best of the car and truck worlds by integrating the refined traits and packaging advantages of a unit body car design with the utility and capability of an SUV design.

The new Pilot offers three rows of seats that provide a high degree of adaptability for people and large cargo loads.

The first row provides a commanding view of the road.

A wide centre stack and centre console form the styling anchor for the interior, with a design that emphasizes spaciousness and power, while allowing for convenient access to navigation, entertainment and climate-control systems.

The 60/40 split second row, now more spacious, slides further forward for increased ease of access to the third row.

The 60/40 split third row now supplies enough knee-room for an above-average-sized adult male to fit comfortably, making the Pilot's third row among the most practical in the industry. Each side of the second and third row independently folds down for cargo.