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regfootball

Early Reactions Sour on Design of New Honda Pilot

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all I can say is DUH!

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=124525#2

DETROIT — Honda calls the design of its new Pilot prototype "evolutionary," but many consumers are panning the styling of the proposed 2009 Pilot that debuted at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show.

In fact, it seems that in a styling-conscious market where sleek crossovers rank as some of the hottest vehicles, the chockablock 2009 Pilot might end up fitting like a square peg into a round hole.

It's way too early to sound a distress signal for a vehicle that is still several months from introduction, of course. But some participants in chats on Edmunds.com, for example, recognize that Honda's continuation of a very squared-off rear end in the Prototype is a compromise aimed in part at accommodating the third-row roominess that has been one of the strongest differentiators of the current Pilot.

And the prototype Pilot design "scored lousy" with consumers who were surveyed several days ago by CNW Research, said Art Spinella, president of the Bandon, Oregon-based automotive-research concern. Pilot garnered "about 7.5 on our 12-point scale for exterior styling, which stinks for a new vehicle," he said. Typical such scores are 8.7 to 9.0." CNW surveyed several hundred consumers in Detroit, Los Angeles and Chicago using Honda press materials from the Detroit show and video of the Pilot prototype that was obtained from Honda, Spinella said.

"Mostly, people said it was boring — there was nothing distinctive about it to them in a positive way," Spinella explained. Even more ominous for the new Pilot, he said, is that consumers surveyed "were not really crazy about any particular part of the exterior. Normally you don't see that with a new car; some feature will turn them on. But this [lukewarm reaction]was pretty much 360 degrees."

Honda can't afford to make a mistake with the 2009 Pilot. Pilot was introduced in 2002, and sales climbed steadily, to 152,000 units in 2006; then they dropped precipitously last year, by 23 percent, to 117,000, according to data compiled by Edmunds.com*.

What this means to you: If you're a Pilot fan, consider trying to get a deal as the '08s are closed out, on a vehicle whose styling, at least, won't be made obsolete by its replacement. — Dale Buss, Correspondent

*thanks to Lambdas.

Edited by regfootball
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No comment about the ugly mug? That's the worst offender, the rest is fine.

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The side profile is a dated mix of Isuzu Trooper and Explorer themes.. nothing distinctive...fairly generic.

Edited by moltar
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honda styling is usually more miss than hit, IMO. Current cr-v has a hideous mug, new accord is a dumpy mishmash, only thing I actually think is fine looking is the civic, and no doubt that'll follow the accord backwards in it's next re-do. Whatever.

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So what. It just proves that all the Honda-zombies already blew their wad on the previous, ugly generation. Here, at last, is a vehicle that makes the Pilot look interesting. I guess the declining sales only proves there is a finite supply of mindless North Americans.

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So what. It just proves that all the Honda-zombies already blew their wad on the previous, ugly generation. Here, at last, is a vehicle that makes the Pilot look interesting. I guess the declining sales only proves there is a finite supply of mindless North Americans.

Nah... Toyota still sells plenty of thier Camry and Prius.

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Honda has had more misses than hits when it comes to styling. There's almost always something that's a little off. But it's the driving dynamics and smooth engines that usually make Hondas more desirable than the competition.

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Not that I need to defend Honda, but what large vehicle is selling like gangbusters in its last year before redesign?

It's like you guys conveniently forget common sense when there's an opportunity to make a (feeble) point.

Go look at the market: 90% of all products drop off dramatically (15%+) after 3 or more years on the market--except for the Accord, Camry and a few others--the market rewards newness and forgets older designs. Look no further than the incentive charts to see what's new!

It's the American dream to have a shiny new thing in the driveway---the fact that your neighbor KNOWS its new seems to carry alot of weight.

The New Pilot is ugly. What should piss you guys off most is that sales will be just fine. The sheeple have spoken--they've flocked to the new Accord. They'll buy this, too.

That's the burden which all domestics must carry. Their bloated, mediocre dealer body & uphill perception gap require excellence in product execution. The Pilot doesn't have these worries and the sales will prove it. I'd be more sympathetic, but the GM competition like the Outlook (which actually might have a chance of snaring a number of Honda intenders) has completely dropped off of GM's marketing radar. I haven't seen a print ad in months and the Saturn TV spots are Aura lease deals in my area. The Taurus X is even a worse offender.

On C&G, it's OK to dream of a better future...I don't give domestics marketers the same slack--they should be attempting to earn a paycheck.

Edited by enzl
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I will reserve final judgment until I see a production version in person. From watching videos from the show, I can tell already that it looks very different from the pictures.

It's a gamble on Honda's part, to go more rugged looking while others (Acadia, Highlander, etc) have received a softer look.

I get a bit of a laugh from this Edmunds piece. The last Pilot was equally bland.

what large vehicle is selling like gangbusters in its last year before redesign?

A good point.

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Well, I guess it's not THAT bad.... compared to the new Sequoia anyway. Kinda bores me to tears. Looks like the old Pilot had a lovechild with a Jeep Commander.

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Although the best looking car in the segment is by far the Buick Crossover...

The Ford Freestyle seems to be a pretty decent design as well.

But enzl is right, people will flock to the new Pilot like flys to feces. One of the guys at work (one of the die hard buy domestic ones, too) just traded his Trailblazer for a current gen Pilot. Listening to Josh, you'd believe his Honda was Jesus incarnate returning to earth in four wheeled form.

Chris

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Although the best looking car in the segment is by far the Buick Crossover...

The Ford Freestyle seems to be a pretty decent design as well.

But enzl is right, people will flock to the new Pilot like flys to feces. One of the guys at work (one of the die hard buy domestic ones, too) just traded his Trailblazer for a current gen Pilot. Listening to Josh, you'd believe his Honda was Jesus incarnate returning to earth in four wheeled form.

Chris

My mother's boss just traded her '05 Durango for an '07/08 Pilot too a day or so ago. Back in the summer she had been looking at the Mazda CX-9 and really liked it in pictures, but her Durango just wasn't worth enough and the Mazda too small. Then, admittedly, when my mother traded her Suburban for the new Malibu...she felt left out and got the Pilot apparently through a relative or something. Her words: "It's nice. I get 18mpg now vs. 12 before."

That said...as others have pointed out, the Pilot is NOTHING Special in the looks or even packaging department. But, it's a Honda, and with that should come the usually very nice drivetrain and polished feel, so Honda people will flock to it regardless. Or, as many Accord people are now, they admittedly aren't hot on the look or certain new details...but they want/need a new car (such as lease ending, etc.) and will only stick with an Accord, so they get used to it.

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Not that I need to defend Honda, but what large vehicle is selling like gangbusters in its last year before redesign?

It's like you guys conveniently forget common sense when there's an opportunity to make a (feeble) point.

Go look at the market: 90% of all products drop off dramatically (15%+) after 3 or more years on the market--except for the Accord, Camry and a few others--the market rewards newness and forgets older designs. Look no further than the incentive charts to see what's new!

It's the American dream to have a shiny new thing in the driveway---the fact that your neighbor KNOWS its new seems to carry alot of weight.

The New Pilot is ugly. What should piss you guys off most is that sales will be just fine. The sheeple have spoken--they've flocked to the new Accord. They'll buy this, too.

That's the burden which all domestics must carry. Their bloated, mediocre dealer body & uphill perception gap require excellence in product execution. The Pilot doesn't have these worries and the sales will prove it. I'd be more sympathetic, but the GM competition like the Outlook (which actually might have a chance of snaring a number of Honda intenders) has completely dropped off of GM's marketing radar. I haven't seen a print ad in months and the Saturn TV spots are Aura lease deals in my area. The Taurus X is even a worse offender.

On C&G, it's OK to dream of a better future...I don't give domestics marketers the same slack--they should be attempting to earn a paycheck.

taurus X is up 45% over freestyle and acadias and enclaves are turning fastest of any models in production.

Cx-9 is selling well.

new accord is NOT. I have seen maybe 2 on the road since the intro many months ago.

Edited by regfootball
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taurus X is up 45% over freestyle and acadias and enclaves are turning fastest of any models in production.

Cx-9 is selling well.

new accord is NOT. I have seen maybe 2 on the road since the intro many months ago.

Uh... Accord sales have been up by quite a bit since it's introduction. Just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they're not selling. I've never seen a new Focus or Edge on the road. I can't even remember the last time I saw a Fusion. I guess no one is buying them, either. :rolleyes:

Accord Aug '07: Sales up 37.3%

Accord Sept '07: Sales up 31.2%

Accord Oct '07: Sales up 25.8%

Accord Nov '07: Sales up 25.2&

Accord Dec '07: Sales up 4.6%

Accord YTD '07: Sales up 10.3%

Yeah... It's just selling so poorly. :stupid:

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Just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they're not selling.

Damn, you took the words right out of my mouth, lol.

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Uh... Accord sales have been up by quite a bit since it's introduction. Just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they're not selling. I've never seen a new Focus or Edge on the road. I can't even remember the last time I saw a Fusion. I guess no one is buying them, either. :rolleyes:

Accord Aug '07: Sales up 37.3%

Accord Sept '07: Sales up 31.2%

Accord Oct '07: Sales up 25.8%

Accord Nov '07: Sales up 25.2&

Accord Dec '07: Sales up 4.6%

Accord YTD '07: Sales up 10.3%

Yeah... It's just selling so poorly. :stupid:

edge outsells pilot by a lot and almost outsells lambdas combined

accord only up 4.6% in dec, much lower than the other months, any coincidence that corresponds with malibu's release? HMMMMMMMMMM

What this means to you: If you're a Pilot fan, consider trying to get a deal as the '08s are closed out, on a vehicle whose styling, at least, won't be made obsolete by its replacement.

Of course, silly me, its ACURA whose sedans are down 20-50%......ugh, i get the ACURAS AND THE HONDAS so confused......

Edited by regfootball
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edge outsells pilot by a lot and almost outsells lambdas combined

So the Edge during its first model year outsold the Pilot during its last model year. If the Edge is still selling at the rate it is by its last model year (and not to fleet), then I will stand corrected.

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Hated the edge when it came out but it is growing on me. It's built in Buffalo, NY right up the road from where my inlaws live.

Chris

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Hated the edge when it came out but it is growing on me. It's built in Buffalo, NY right up the road from where my inlaws live.

Chris

I'm still not a fan. The thing's just...bulky. I know they were going after the Murano's "stylish" side of the crossover market, but did it have to be so wide?

At least Ford finally has a big V6 engine that's worth a damn, so that's something.

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So the Edge during its first model year outsold the Pilot during its last model year. If the Edge is still selling at the rate it is by its last model year (and not to fleet), then I will stand corrected.

Accord didn't lose sales like the Pilot. Gosh i so hope Honda can survive the nosedive.

honda should beg Isuzu to stay in business. This new Pilot already looks like the old trooper anyways. Isuzu could throw some trooper badges on it and no one would be any the wiser. until they take it out in the hard terrain and the frame and suspension gets all bent to heck and then they would saying, "I thought Isuzus were tough as nails"?

Edited by regfootball
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At least Ford finally has a big V6 engine that's worth a damn, so that's something.

as in size and power that is truely competitive...?

were we not saying earlier the Pilot is a sad excuse for something that big...styling, mileage, and ..price

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as in size and power that is truely competitive...?

were we not saying earlier the Pilot is a sad excuse for something that big...styling, mileage, and ..price

Explain, please, I'm not sure what you're getting at.

I'm not impressed with the Pilot, either - never really have been. But then, I don't like a great number of crossovers - my feeling is that if I'm buying a midsize SUV, it should at least be able to take a reasonable off-road journey without getting hung up or bogging itself down. Think old S10 Blazer, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder, etc.

And yes, I am impressed with Ford's new 3.5 V6 - the Duratec 3.0, while a fine engine in its own right, was getting a bit outclassed. (I love the Mazda 2.5 in my 626 for the way it revs, but it was never a class leader in any way. Just very well-designed and quite durable so far.) Putting it in the Taurus is a good first step; putting it in the Fusion (at least as an option) would be a better one.

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as others have stated here, this really means nothing. the beauty in the pilot has never lied in its entirely cautious wrapper that tries for a little ruggedness and elegance at the same time; it's always been about the drive. drive one of these things, and like any honda it gets more entertaining at the limit. the harder you drive it the more sweetly the tranny responds, the more direct the steering feels the more in tune you feel to the road. the suspension stays the same sweetly compliant and painless. it feels light on its feet yet you can definitely feel a sense of the massive wagon behind you. that's the beauty behind honda. like others already stated. i just wish the wrappers were more intriguing and that the honda cues were updated, and that in some cases they looked for better compromises between form and function. other than that, honda has a perfect formula for making cars that I wish so badly GM would copy. Really it's a similar formula to BMW, engineer great road-holding capability in the car by perfecting the interaction with driving controls, have a disciplined sense of quality, leave no details unchecked, make the buyers feel special in the process....the steering in my car is fabulous [i rarely use this word, but it works here] it turns on when I want to do somehting special and stays nice and soft and easy, almost too easy when I'm just cruising. It's amazing how dialed-in my electric steering is....it feels great all the time, and absorbs my driving habits and adapts correctly.

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