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2016 - 2019 Honda Pilot

2016 - 2019 Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot entered its third generation for the 2016 model year, and with it came a completely redesigned vehicle that dropped its boxy look, shed a few pounds, and inches closer to the premium segment as far as interior materials and overall fit and finish. On the outside, the front end is now sportier with thinner wraparound headlight units, a stylish front fascia, muscular hood, sculpted side profile, new taillight units, and a rear end that is far less boxy compared to the outgoing model. Inside, the cabin has been redesigned to provide a more premium feel, despite still be packed full of hard plastic trim. There is a new digital instrument cluster, and eight-inch touch screen display and extra passenger and cargo room compared to the previous model. Honda didn’t do too much to alter the Pilot’s drivetrain for the third-gen model, but it did update the 3.5-liter to include cylinder deactivation, a stop/start function, and a six-speed automatic transmission.

More importantly, however, is the fact that the 2016 Honda Pilot should be safer than the outgoing model, earning “good” ratings for moderate overlap frontal offset, small overlap frontal offset, side impact, and roof strength, which was an improvement over the previous gen model, which received a “poor” rating for small overlap frontal offset and a “marginal” rating for roof strength for the 2009 to 2011 model years. With models like the Toyota Highlander and Chevy Traverse already sporting a more modern design, the new Pilot finally has what it takes to compete in the Large SUV segment once again. With that said, take a look at our detailed review of the new 2016 Honda Pilot below.

Updated 06/28/2018: Honda has updated the 2019 Pilot with a revised exterior look, a revised nine-speed automatic transmission, Honda Safety Sense, and a decent list of optional equipment for the taking. Check out the details in our updated section below.

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2017 - 2018 Honda Ridgeline

2017 - 2018 Honda Ridgeline

Honda’s pickup for the non-pickup types

The second-generation Honda Ridgeline made its debut at January’s 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The 2017 Ridgeline replaces the long-tired, first-gen truck that debuted for the 2006 model year and ran until its demise in 2014. The second-generation truck continues to utilize a unibody design, though it’s been thoroughly updated with Honda’ latest generation of crossover platform. It shares much of its structure with the Pilot, called Honda’s Global Light Truck Platform, as well as Honda’s next-generation of ACE body structure.

"We are bringing our unique technology and original thinking to the market in a new and challenging concept for a Honda pickup," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor. "We think we’ve got a better idea, a truck that uses its unibody construction and Honda packaging magic to deliver more of the things that many of today’s truck customers want and need with none of the things they don’t." Mendel’s quote succinctly nails the 2017 Ridgeline: it’s a truck that has nothing typical truck buyers want and packed with everything they don’t. What? Yep, the Ridgeline is obviously not for the blue collar type who works construction for a living. Honda has purposefully made this truck for those who want a crossover, but need the open cargo bed of a pickup. Folks like weekend road bikers or antique pickers who also daily drive their vehicle. The Ridgeline doesn’t really compete with the other trucks in the mid-size segment, though it may very well become their biggest competitor. The all-new Ridgeline began selling the first half of 2016.

Update 07/24/2017: Honda has released changes and pricing related to the 2018 Ridgeline. Keep reading for what’s new.

Continue reading for more about the 2017 Honda Ridgeline.

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2017 Honda CR-V – Driven

2017 Honda CR-V – Driven

A fresh take on an old favorite

Honda has made millions of CR-Vs since its introduction in 1996, selling them all over the world. Even in hard times, the CR-V as remained one of Honda’s most go-to models in terms of sales volumes. And who could blame customers for choosing the functional, fun, fuel efficient, and frugal crossover? It’s combination of Civic-based goodness mixed with a high-riding suspension and relatively voluminous interior make it a great those needing to split the difference between a traditional SUV and wagon.

That recipe carries over for the 2017 model year, though everything else about the CR-V changes. Honda introduces the CR-V’s fifth generation this year, which brings an all-new design language, a new chassis, a new interior, and a new 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The CR-V is a bit larger, too, now slotting more evenly between the small HR-V and the three-row Pilot SUV. Honda says the new CR-V has class-leading second-row legroom, to boot. The CR-V’s Cargo room offers an impressive 75.8 cubic feet of room with the second row bench seat folded flat. That’s far more than the Ford Escape (67.8 cubic feet) and just a touch bigger than the Toyota RAV4’s (73.4 cubic feet). Despite this, the CR-V’s footprint isn’t much bigger than its competition.

Honda undoubtedly needs the CR-V to success. It can’t have a repeat of the 2011 Civic and its sudden redesign for 2012. I wholeheartedly think Honda won’t have that issue, but feel free to leave your thoughts on the new CR-V in the comments below.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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2017 Honda Ridgeline – Driven

2017 Honda Ridgeline – Driven

A deep look at Honda’s reinvented Ridgeline

The Ridgeline is completely new for 2017 and ushers in the second generation for Honda’s unibody pickup truck. It shares its underpinnings and a number of drivetrain and interior pieces with the Pilot crossover, but is designed to offer more functionality than a crossover thanks to its cargo bed – all with fewer trade-offs than a conventional body-on-frame pickup. But how does it work in the real world? Does this compromise between crossover and pickup really translate into a practical vehicle? To find out, I spent a week with the new Ridgeline and racked up nearly 1,600 miles.

In short, yes, the Ridgeline does offer a great truck-like experience for folks who might normally shop the crossover segment, but also for those who might need something to complete their weekend warrior project list. It boasts a maximum payload capacity of 1,588 pounds, so hauling mulch or firewood isn’t an issue. The bed is even wide and flat enough to haul 4x8 sheets of plywood or drywall. Yet at the same time, the Ridgeline drives like a crossover, gets respectable fuel mileage, and has a highly functional interior. But there’s more to the Ridgeline than the obvious. Let’s get down to business.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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2017 Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V

The 2017 CR-V hits showrooms with a turbocharged engine and competitive pricing

The Honda CR-V hit the global market back in 1995 and has sold fairly well since its introduction. The CR-V entered the most recent generation back in 2012, but it went through a pretty significant update for 2015 that included an improved safety structure to help bring the little crossover up to par in IIHS crash testing. At the time, the CR-V also received a new, direct-injected engine, new CVT transmission, and some additional chassis work to help improve its overall ride. For the 2017 model year, Honda is ushering in the fifth-gen model that brings even more significant change, including additional interior space and a new, turbocharged engine for the upper trim levels – marking the first time the CR-V has been offered with forced induction of any kind from the factory.

Despite the fact that Honda is boasting an all-new body and chassis design, you’re not going to see a whole lot of significant change on the outside. The car has been reworked to some extent, but it’s more in line with what you might see on a facelift as opposed to a generational redesign. There are some fresh goodies to talk about inside, and there is that new, turbocharged engine that promises the best fuel economy in the compact SUV class. So, without spilling the beans too much here, let’s dive on in and take a good look at the 2017 Honda CR-V.

Update 10-17-2017: Honda has announced pricing for the 2018 CRV and while there is nothing new, prices increase just a bit across the line. Check out the prices section below to see what you’ll pay for a new 2018 CR-V

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Honda CR-V.

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2017 Honda CR-V vs 2017 Mazda CX-5

2017 Honda CR-V vs 2017 Mazda CX-5

The newest kids on the most competitive block

It’s no secret the compact crossover segment has exploded in popularity over the last several years. Nearly every automaker sells some form of vehicle in this class, including the Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4, and Subaru Forester. But it’s the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 that have attracted the most attention in the recent months. Both enter the 2017 model year with heavy changes and big improvements. The two aren’t the only new contenders in the compact crossover class, but they sure stand out.

That’s why we’ve chosen to take a close look at the CR-V and CX-5 as they compare to each other. From exterior aesthetics and interior features, to drivetrain options and trim level pricing – everything is detained below.

Of course, we’ll have to save driving impressions until we can get behind the wheel of each, so consider this a more objective run-down of features rather than a subjective comparison of in-person impressions.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

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First Impressions: 2017 Honda Ridgeline

First Impressions: 2017 Honda Ridgeline

More truck than most will ever need

It’s easy to give Honda grief over the Ridgeline. “It’s not a real truck,” scoffers say. “You can’t tow with it or go off-road,” are common gripes. Well, thanks to the 2016 Truck Rodeo put on by the Texas Auto Writers Association, I had my first in-person encounter and drive experience with the Ridgeline. I can tell you the Ridgeline is very real – I touched it and drove it. It’s also not bad at tackling moderate off-road trails and it’s rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Of course, naysayers are talking the Honda’s unibody construction, four-wheel independent suspension, and FWD/AWD powertrain layout when berating the Ridgeline. Sure, the Ridgeline doesn’t fit the traditional mold of a body-on-frame pickup, but I’d wager it offers more functionality and capability than 80 percent of modern truck buyers actually need. F-150s, Ram 1500s, and Silverados are cool and all, but they do come with trade-offs like a harsh ride, lower fuel economy, and a size that doesn’t fit in many residential garages.

For those who actually need the capabilities of a full-size pickup, there’s really no substitute. But for those folks who like the idea of a pickup, occasionally pull a small trailer, or might go camping once a year, those full-size capabilities are not being utilized. The Ridgeline splits the difference between the full-size (and even mid-size) pickup category and the ever-popular crossover SUV.

I spent some time going over the 2017 Ridgeline at the Truck Rodeo – from its 3.5-liter V-6 to its lockable in-bed storage trunk. Keep reading for my first impressions.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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2014 Honda Pilot

2014 Honda Pilot

The 2014 Honda Pilot has a lot going for it, and buyers will be wise to open a space in their minds to this midsized SUV.

Here’s the thing: the Pilot may be classified as such, but really there are hints of full-sized characteristics in this baby. Start with the interior, which has ample enough space to comfortably fit up to eight passengers. That’s full-sized right there. Also factor in the typical Honda stamp of reliability and fuel efficiency, which, again, is a star on the Pilot’s windshield.

It’s hard to find a whole lot of things to be wary of on the Pilot. But if there is one, you have to look outside where the Pilot isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire with its aesthetics. Sure, the dimensions are right, and it does have nice maneuverability, but the fascia looks totally boring.

Still and all, buyers who have to think of family trips on their next SUV purchase would be wise to consider the Pilot, snoozy looks notwithstanding.

Click past the jump to read more about Honda Pilot

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2014 Honda Ridgeline Special Edition

2014 Honda Ridgeline Special Edition

Today, Honda announced a special-edition Ridgeline that completes the 2014 Ridgeline lineup that hit the market back in September. The model is priced from $37,505 and includes leather trimming and navigation as standard features.

The new Ridgeline Special Edition is offered with exclusive 18-inch, aluminum alloy wheels with black-trimmed spokes and it is distinguished by a black exterior trim package that includes black headlight and taillight housings, black tailgate and black honeycomb grille with black surround. It also gets "Special Edition" badges on the tailgate to let folks know that this is any regular old Ridgeline.

As standard, the new Ridgeline Special Edition comes with Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition and Zagat Survey restaurant information. It also includes XM Radio, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and a multi-information display.

Buyers can order the 2014 Ridgeline Special Edition in three exterior colors — Taffeta White, Crystal Black and Alabaster Silver — and they all come with black leather interior.

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Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Honda Ridgeline.

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2014 Honda Ridgeline

2014 Honda Ridgeline

The 2014 model year will be the final year for the current-generation Ridgeline, Honda will put it to rest and focus on developing the next-generation Ridgeline that is set to arrive in 2016.

As expected, Honda decided to make this final run of Ridgelines special, and it did so by adding a new, top-of-the-line Special Edition model. This new version will hit showrooms in November, while the rest of the lineup is already on sale.

Honda unveiled the current Ridgeline in 2006, and the only updates it received arrived in 2009 when Honda added a few extra features and in 2011 when Honda added the Ridgeline Sport version.

For the 2014 model year, the Ridgeline will come in five trim levels: RT, Sport, RTS, RTL and Special Edition, with prices starting from $29,575 and going up to $37,505 for the new Special Edition model.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Honda Ridgeline.

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