The days of the monster SUV are over. The Hummer is dead, and crossovers are becoming the family vehicle of choice. With gas prices high and only likely to climb higher, few people are choosing to go big if all they need to do is go home. But some of us still need a gigundous vehicle for big families, for the neighborhood carpool, for operating a drunk bus service. For this, and not though not for many daily tasks, there’s the 2014 Honda Pilot.
Honda announced that it’s latest version of the big ol’ Pilot is the most fuel-efficient eight-passenger SUV on the market these days. The EPA rated it at 17 or 18 mpg in the city, depending on which Pilot configuration you buy, and 24 or 25 mpg on the highway. (Adding four-wheel drive lowers your fuel economy a bit.)
For drivers who need to haul a lot of people with a lot of stuff, there’s no getting around monster SUVs like this or the Chevy Suburban, or maybe a straight-up full-sized van. But for all the rest of us, which is almost everyone in America, a vehicle this big is overkill. Even for people who do haul lots of people and gear and the occasional boat, the Pilot and its ilk are weekender vehicle. Drive this sucker alone to work every day, and polar bears will die. No lie. At least get a carpool together if you must commute from the suburbs to the city in a big SUV, and make everyone kick in for gas and parking.
2014 Honda Pilot
- Fuel Economy: (2WD) 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway
- Available in LX, EX, and Touring configurations with 2- or 4-wheel drive
- Price: $29,670 base to $41,420 with every bell and whistle