2012 Honda Pilot

MSRP $28,620

Ranked #10 in Suv

7.7

Overall Rating

2012 Honda Pilot Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 3, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


For a long time, the Honda Pilot might be standing at the ‘just average’ place in the SUV segment among its key rivals but with the minor changes done inside out of the vehicle, many flaws seem to be addressed. The 2012 Honda Pilot received a host of changes like a refreshed exterior with restyled headlights and a new front fascia and grille. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Impressive fuel economy

Pleasant ride

Roomy third-row seat

Improved highway mpg

Spacious, versatile interior

Cons

Sluggish acceleration

Some cheap interior plastics

Feels cumbersome to drive

Spongy brakes and long stopping distances

Bluetooth doesn't come standard on all trims

What's New?

For the 2012 year model, the Honda Pilot gets various updates in its styling on its exterior and inside the cabin too

It now gets a redesigned front fascia and the interior features feel more refined as the instrument panel, center stack, audio, and navigation systems are updated

The fuel economy is also improved


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$28620

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

8

top speed

117 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

212 cu.in.

horsepower

250 hp @ 5700 rpm

torque

253 lb.-ft. @ 4800 rpm

transmission

5 speed automatic w/OD

chassis

suspension front

MacPherson strut front suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

109.2 in.

length

191.4 in.

width

78.5 in.

height

71 in.

curb weight

4299 lbs.

ground clearance

8 in.

capacity

passenger volume

153.7 cu ft.

cargo volume

87 cu ft.

towing capacity

2000 lbs.

payload capacity

1340 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.7 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.8 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

18/21/25 mpg

highway range

525 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 60,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Trims

LX$28,620 onwards

Colors and Styles

2012 Honda Pilot in Crystal Black Pearl color
Crystal Black Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

6.0

Features

8.5

Engine and Performance

7.0

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

9.0

Safety

9.0

Competition

8.0

7.7

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.7

Overall Rating


The powerful V6 motor moves the vehicle effortlessly with grace and also allows decent towing capacity. Its refined interior and intuitive controls seem like a good match and appealing to the buyers. The 2012 Honda Pilot rivals the likes of Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, and Chevrolet Traverse in the three-row SUV segment.


8.5/10
Features

7.0/10
Engine and Performance

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

9.0/10
Exterior

9.0/10
Safety


2012 Honda Pilot Features

8.5/10

The 2012 Honda Pilot is available in total four trims named; LX, EX, EX-L, AND Touring. All the trims of the vehicle come standard with a Front-Wheel-Drive system and offer an upgrade to an All-Wheel-Drive configuration. The Pilot gets a single-engine option across its trims, a 3.5L V6 engine.

The base model is priced at $28,620 and it gets plenty of features like Automatic headlights, 17-inch steel wheels, Full power accessories, and many more. The high-end model of the Pilot, the Touring trim offers a decent package that includes features like Roof-rails, 10-speaker premium sound system, Parking sensors, and much more along with the features included in all the lower-end models.

Trims

LX

EX

EX-L

Touring

MSRP (FWD)

$28,620

$31,470

$34,720

$39,370

MSRP (AWD)

$30,220

$33,070

$36,320

$40,970

Key Features

Automatic headlights

Heated mirrors (AWD models only)

Power passenger seat

Parking sensors

 

Full power accessories

8-way power driver seat

Auto-dimming rearview mirror

Driver seat memory function

 

Front and rear air-conditioning

Painted body molding

Voice-activated navigation system

10-speaker premium sound system

 

60/40 split second and third-row seats

Tri-zone automatic climate control

Available rear-seat entertainment system

115-volt power outlet

 

17-inch steel wheels

18-inch alloy wheels

Power liftgate

Roof-rails

We Recommend

The brand offers plenty of features in the base trim and adds up various others as we move up to higher trims. Among the four, the EX-L trim is the one that caught our eye. Priced at $39,370 it gets various features like a sunroof, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power passenger seat, a rearview camera, a multi-information display for audio, and vehicle information, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror in addition to the base level features. With its various premium features, it proves to be a value for money trim.

2012 Honda Pilot Engine and Performance

7.0/10

Under the hood, the 2012 Honda Pilot is powered by a 3.5L V6 motor churning out a maximum power of 250 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of net torque. This V6 engine is smooth and the 5-speed automatic gearbox it comes fitted with also does its job flawlessly. Its gearbox features the Grade logic control which diminishes the gear and maintains appropriate gears while going uphill or downhill. 

You get a standard FWD system while AWD configuration is made available. The AWD system also has a driver-selectable "lock" feature that routes maximum torque to the rear wheels at low speeds. Although this V6 motor isn’t the most powerful in its segment yet it’s very capable of carrying passengers along with cargo effortlessly. The engine feels responsive and it does provide a more refined feel giving a pleasant driving experience.

Models

2012 Honda Pilot

2012 Toyota Highlander

2012 Ford Explorer

2012 Chevrolet Traverse

MSRP

$28,620

$29,395

$28,280

$29,660

Engine 

3.5L V6

3.5L V6

3.5L V6

3.6L V6

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

5-speed automatic

5-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

Power 

250 hp @ 5700 rpm

270 hp @6200 rpm

290 hp @ 6500 rpm

281 hp @ 6300 rpm

Torque

253 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm

248 lb-ft @4700 rpm

255 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm

266 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm

0-60 MPH (sec)

8.6

7.5

9.2

8.0

Quarter mile (sec)

16.5

13.9

15.8

16.4

Top Speed (MPH)

117

130

130

130

Even though the Chevy Traverse gets a larger 3.6L V6 engine than its competitors the Ford Explorer is the one offering the best performance specs among the lot. However, it still lags behind in the 0-60MPH dash. The engine output given by the Honda Pilot is just average among its rivals but still manages to pull off impressive timing in 0-60 mph.

2012 Honda Pilot Fuel Economy

6.0/10

Considering the EPA figures the 2012 Honda Pilot, somewhere lacks behind in its segment. This SUV returns fuel economy of 18mpg in the city, 25mpg on the highway, and 21mpg on combined usage. Considering the previous model year, the 2012 Pilot in FWD configuration achieves 2 mpg more\, all thanks to the improved aerodynamics and the slight updates to its powertrain while the AWD models offer the same figures at 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on highway roads.

Models

2012 Honda Pilot

2012 Toyota Highlander

2012 Ford Explorer

2012 Chevrolet Traverse

MPG (City)

18

18

18

17

MPG (Highway)

25

24

25

24

MPG (Combined)

21

20

20

19

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

21

19.2

18.6

22.0

Range (City/ Highway) (miles)

378/525

345.6/460.8

334.8/465

374/528

Talking about fuel economy, the Toyota Highlander can be considered better among its rivals. The Chevy Traverse is the one with the worst economic values but still manages to provide a good range all thanks to its 22-gallon tank which is the largest among the rivals. The Honda Pilot offers decent fuel economy which is at par with the Ford but still manages to pull off far better overall range due to its larger tank leaving Ford at the bottom in terms of range.

2012 Honda Pilot Interior

8.0/10

The interior in the 2012 Honda Pilot feels refined and decent although some hard plastic surfaces might disappoint the buyers. The EX-L trim gets leather upholstery and the base model gets rear air conditioning. The Pilot gives its drivers a refined ride quality with a quieter cabin, all thanks to the additional noise insulation, and Dark Amber Metallic replacing the Mocha Metallic that the SUV is offered with.

The front seats available offer plenty of space and comfort making them suitable for long drives, the second-row seats slide and thus get balanced legroom across the rows. The headroom in the third row feels a bit cramped thus not suitable for sitting adults. Both the second and third-row can split-fold in a 60/40 manner. The cargo capacity available is pretty impressive and better than many of its key competitors with 18.0 lb-ft storage to the third-row seat.

Models

2012 Honda Pilot

2012 Toyota Highlander

2012 Ford Explorer

2012 Chevrolet Traverse

Seating Capacity

8

7

7

8

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

40.0/61.5/41.4

39.7/59.7/43.2

41.4/61.3/40.6

40.4/62.0/41.3

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.8/62.2/38.5

40.1/59.5/38.3

40.5/61.0/39.8

39.4/61.3/36.8

Third Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.2/58.9/32.1

36.3/55/29.9

37.8/50.8/33.2

37.8/57.6/33.2

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

18

10.3

21

24.4

The Honda Pilot offers maximum seating of 8 people. Considering the figures it is not that much spacious as compared to other rivals but the third row of Honda offers better headroom and shoulder room though the legroom is cramped up. The cargo capacity might not be that impressive but can be increased with the help of foldable seats. Standout interior features of the 2012 Honda Pilot include:

  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • 60/40 Foldable second and third row
  • Rear seats air conditioning
  • seven-speaker sound system

How intuitive is the 2012 Honda Pilot’s infotainment unit?

In the 2012 Pilot the instrument panel, center stack, audio, and navigation systems see an update. The button-centric control panel has been revised into a more intuitive layout. Features like 2 GB CD-Library and Bluetooth audio streaming which were only exclusive to the EX-L and the Touring trim have now been made standard to the SUV. 

The EX-L models are offered with Honda's Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) that includes a backup camera display. Along with this, it gets features like a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a voice-activated navigation system along with voice controls, and a 15GB music server. Standout infotainment features in the 2012 Honda Pilot include:

  • Honda's Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID)
  • CD Player
  • Premium Sound System
  • Bluetooth
  • Digital music storage 
  • Rear-seat DVD entertainment system(optional)

2012 Honda Pilot Exterior

9.0/10

The 2012 Honda Pilot receives various updates to its exterior. On the front fascia, a three-bar horizontal grille replaced the previous oddly framed six-sided grille along with this it gets a new front air dam that helps to reduce unwanted air turbulence. The headlamps and turn lights are also redesigned, as the turn signal lamps are relocated from an outboard position to an inboard position. 

Talking about the side profile, all the models except LX trim receive a new wheel design with 18-inch alloy wheels while the LX is still on with 17-inch steel wheels. Ground clearance is also increased compared to the previous year’s model from 7.9 inches to 8 inches.

Models

2012 Honda Pilot

2012 Toyota Highlander

2012 Ford Explorer

2012 Chevrolet Traverse

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4299

4045

4557

4658

Length (in.)

191.4

188.4

197.1

205.0

Width (in.)

78.5

75.2

78.9

78.4

Height (in.)

71

68.1

70.4

70.4

Ground Clearance (in.)

8

8.1

7.6

7.2

Wheelbase (in.)

109.2

109.8

112.6

118.9

Talking about the external dimensions the Chevrolet Traverse is the longest among the lot and Ford Explorer being the widest. The Honda Pilot is the one standing tallest at 8 inches of ground clearance. The Chevy also gets the broadest ground clearance of 118.9 inches while Pilot gets a 109.2-inch wheelbase. Coming over to the curb weight, the Traverse is the lightest and the Highlander is the lightest SUV in the listed rivals. Standout exterior features in the 2012 Honda Pilot include:

  • 20-inch Wheels on EX and above trims
  • New air dam to reduce unwanted turbulence
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Trailer hitch 
  • Automatic headlights

2012 Honda Pilot Safety

9.0/10

The thick pillars in the Honda Pilot might hamper the outward visibility but give it a firm structure. It is built on the ACE Body Structure, a Honda exclusive advanced engineered body structure that enhances the protection. Along with this it also gets features like Brake Assist and Vehicle stability assist that can sense oversteering and understeering, and applies brakes on individual wheels, and reduces engine power thus helping in keeping the vehicle on track. The 2012 Pilot has been crash-tested by NHTSA and IIHS. In the test done by IIHS, it scored an overall rating of ‘Good’ in every category while it received four out of five stars overall in the NHTSA tests. Standout safety features in the 2012 Honda Pilot include:

  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Child Safety Locks
  • Traction Control

2012 Honda Pilot Final Verdict

The Honda Pilot shows off its boxy design with confidence and proves to be a practical and reliable SUV by the brand. Although most of its competitors might surpass in terms of performance or space altogether the package offered by Pilot is better and more practical. Be it safety or features the brand has not left any stone unturned to offer the best of Pilot it is there to offer. Its impressive fuel economy, decent cargo capacity, capable engine, and capability to fit 8 adults comfortably makes it a family SUV suitable for day-to-day usage.

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