Honda, as well as most of the other Japanese automakers, has had a rough go of it this past year. An earthquake, tsunami and numerous recalls, have stunned not only long-time die-hard fans, but those contemplating a first time purchase. With that said, Honda still builds some sweet rides, one of them being the Pilot SUV.

The 8-passenger Pilot, first introduced in 2003, carries forward in its second iteration with a minor freshening for the 2012 model year.

The Pilot gets a slightly revised front fascia, a few tweaks to the interior and a little goose in the MPG department.

One nice feature that Katy families will like is the 2nd and 3rd row seats that fold flat with the rear cargo area, creating a cavernous, minivan-like hauler for things as big as refrigerators.

Honda’s 3.4-liter, 250 HP, V-6 powers the front wheels through a 5-speed automatic transmission and gets 18 MPG-city and 25-highway.

With no less than 4 trim levels, there’s bound to be one that fits what you’re looking for.

Pricing begins at $28,620 for the Pilot LX.

If you like conservative styling, then here’s your sign.

 

Engine: 3.4-liter V-6

Horsepower: 250

Transmission: 5-speed automatic

Highest MPG City: 18

Highest MPG Highway: 25

Trim Designations: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring

Base Price: $28,620

What I Liked: Solid feel, powerful V-6 engine

What Needs Improvement: confusing center stack, old school plastiky interior, boxy exterior

Star Rating: 4 out of 5