Honda Pilot 2005: The Weekly Driver Review

Written by James Raia

Like its popular brethren,repparttar CR-V, Odyssey and new Element,repparttar 102762 Pilot completes Honda's best-buy SUV and van line. And like any of those offerings or anything else in Honda's arsenal, it's hard to find serious fault withrepparttar 102763 Pilot.

Introduced in late 2003,repparttar 102764 Pilot replacedrepparttar 102765 Passport and it sharesrepparttar 102766 same basic chassis and powertrain asrepparttar 102767 MDX,repparttar 102768 complementary choice from Honda's upscale Acura division.

My test drive forrepparttar 102769 week wasrepparttar 102770 top ofrepparttar 102771 line's EX L 4-door wagon that includes both a navigation system and second seat DVD entertainment system. With those additions,repparttar 102772 Pilot further enhances its position atrepparttar 102773 forefront ofrepparttar 102774 midsize SUV ranks that includerepparttar 102775 Ford Explorer, Nissan Murano and Toyota Highlander.

The three Pilot models all offer a V6, 255-horsepower engine paired only a 5-speed automatic transmission. The HP total represents an increase of six percent fromrepparttar 102776 2004 model, further adding torepparttar 102777 vehicle's status amongrepparttar 102778 quicker midsize SUVs. It has a 0-60 mph test rating of 7.9 seconds.

Further performance areas forrepparttar 102779 Pilot are all at least average or above. The driver sits "tall" inrepparttar 102780 vehicle, so steering and handling are fine forrepparttar 102781 car's type. But it should never be mistaken for anything other than a SUV with cornering limitations.

Braking is strong andrepparttar 102782 standard all-wheel-drive system seems well-suited for trails and in inclement weather conditions.

Like other Hondas, controls and instrumentation as well as styling and indoor space are thoughtful and styled simply. The automatic shift lever is located behindrepparttar 102783 right side ofrepparttar 102784 steering wheel and doesn't block access to other controls. But it's also too easy to shift in and out of transmission settings.

Acura TL 2005: The Weekly Driver Review

Written by James Raia

Drivers have more stress duringrepparttar holidays, alcohol consumption increases and patience in busy traffic can quickly wane.

A 200-mile roundtrip, therefore, is a less-than-ideal way to spent part of Thanksgiving. It's potentially more problematic knowingrepparttar 102761 crowded, late-night return trip could include a stretch of interstate infamous for its thick, late-night fog.

But visiting family outweighsrepparttar 102762 inconveniences of potential driving hassles. And ifrepparttar 102763 journey is made in a vehicle with a commanding and secure road presence, such concerns are sufficiently eased.

So it was during my weekly test drive ofrepparttar 102764 2005 Acura TL. The vehicle was successful for several years, but Acura redesigned it and added more features in 2004 to offer BMW and Audi drivers another choice for a luxury sports sedan that combines performance with value.

There's little change inrepparttar 102765 TL from last year. The vehicle is based onrepparttar 102766 Honda Accord platform but has different styling, a different powertrain and more upscale features.

Performance to ride quality to instrumentation, there's a lot to like aboutrepparttar 102767 TL, which is why it's a recommended best buy inrepparttar 102768 premium midsize category by Consumer Guide, among other publications.

The car's performance begins with a 270-horsepower, 3.2-liter, 24-valve V6 engine with a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. My vehicle had an automatic transmission. It shifts smoothly into all positions and was tested at 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds. The manual transmission was tested at 6.2 seconds.

Among many standard features are 17-inch wheels and antilock four-wheel disc brakes and an anti-skid system. They all further add to an impressive driving experience. The car handles and steers admirably, and it maneuvers confidentially through traffic with a strong feel onrepparttar 102769 road, particularly with its 17-inch wheels.

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