Q. What's new on the 2012 Honda Pilot?
A. The Pilot will go on sale in September with a new grille, interior revisions and, Honda says, the best fuel economy of any three-row, eight-passenger SUV. Honda has not released numbers or details, but the 2011 Pilot earned EPA estimates of 17/23 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 16/22 mpg with all-wheel drive.
A six-speed automatic transmission (replacing a five-speed) is one way Honda is expected to increase fuel economy, and it does not have far to go to claim the best mileage among eight-passenger SUVs. Front-wheel-drive versions of the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave have EPA ratings of 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
Ford recently announced that the 2012 Explorer with the 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine will have EPA ratings of 20/28 mpg, and the 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid's estimates are 28/28 mpg. Both are seven-passenger SUVs, however.
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