By on January 22, 2015

All-New 2016 Honda Pilot SUV to Make Global Debut at 2015 Chicago

Within an hour of each other on February 12, Honda and Acura will debut the 2016 Pilot and RDX at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

Honda says the redesigned three-row, eight-passenger Pilot — which is teased above — is meant to represent “a dramatic shift in design while showcasing new standout technologies, versatility, and dynamics currently unavailable in the mainstream SUV segment.” Like the previous two generations, the upcoming Pilot was designed in Los Angeles and Ohio. The SUV will leave the Lincoln, Ala. facility for showrooms this summer.

Over at Acura, the RDX’s own redesign is expected to blend “numerous fresh exterior and interior design elements to further enrich its sport and luxury qualities, all with a cohesiveness that speaks to its new capabilities.” Said capabilities include new premium and safety features, as well as improvements to performance and comfort. No word on when the premium crossover will arrive in showrooms as of this writing.

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21 Comments on “Chicago 2015: 2016 Honda Pilot, Acura RDX Debuting...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    RDX just came out in 2013…. seems kind of quick for a FMC.

    • 0 avatar

      The RDX is competitive power-train and price-wise, but is losing a lot of ground in the luxury content. Heck, the highly optioned Escape I regularly get from Avis is just as nicely (if not better…hello pano sunroof) equipped than your standard RDX. They are missing a lot of content and the interiors, while nice, are falling behind in light of well-done recent entrants (like the Lincoln MKC, surprisingly).

      An update is well in order.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      I think it’s just going to be a MMC, add the Jewel Eyes and dual-screen cockpit, maybe a couple features. Nothing more significant than that.

      At least I hope so since I just bought one of the damn things.

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        Even if it’s a refresh, I’d like to see a little differentiation from the styling cues of the MDX. I seriously wonder if to the casual observer, consumers look at the RDX and don’t realize it is not an MDX. Generalization of course.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    My wife owned a 1st gen RDX which had the 4cyl turbo. It waas pretty roomy and capable despite some goofy infotainment quirks. Held it’s value surprisingly well. My wife leased it and once we found out the buy out cost, I wrote a check right then and we sold it privately for a nice gain so it seems to have good value. I think the new model blends in a little too well and I’m not sure if it fully registers with the buying public if at all. That and this market has become far more competitive. I think Acura/Honda may have felt the need to do something with the RDX to get some energy behind it.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “I think the new model blends in a little too well and I’m not sure if it fully registers with the buying public if at all. That and this market has become far more competitive. I think Acura/Honda may have felt the need to do something with the RDX to get some energy behind it.”

      You may feel that way, but sales of the new model have been wildly higher than sales of the old model. It’s been an unqualified success for Acura.

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      My girlfriend has the 1st gen RDX and it’s a great car- very practical and astonishingly fun to drive (and my DD is a 335i). The SH-AWD makes it easy to get on the gas super early exiting a corner, particularly hairpin corners. The engine is tuned such that it gets on boost very quickly, and it really gives you a shove in the back without much prodding- very impressive for a non-DI turbo 4. We live at altitude so the turbo is also preferable to an equally powerful NA engine. Move the seats forward and take out the rear seat bottom and it’s plenty big to sleep in the back. The only real downside is the MPG- 20 mpg average since we’ve owned it, on premium.

      The new one is a bit too nose-heavy and loses the SH-AWD, so the driving fun is pretty much gone. It also feels a lot bigger, but doesn’t really have much more usable cargo room, and the load floor feels very high. I’d love to see it with a DI turbo engine and SH-AWD again.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Maybe they will try the turbo again now that Honda has 2.0Ts coming.

        I’m hoping Acura throws the 2.0T + SH-AWD + DCT combo in the ILX and RDX. Recently bought a used Civic EX and I have been reminded of why I love Hondas again. I’d gladly get a 2.0T ILX over it’s German competition.

        • 0 avatar
          EAF

          I’ve owned Mitsubishi’s since 1991, the power levels achievable is what drove me to them. I’ve also owned several Honda’s in between and loved those as well. If the later implemented the turbocharged strategy of the former, then it would be a no brainer as to which I would own.

          I went out and bought a 2012 Civic LX. The novelty of it wore out 2 months later and I sold it privately at a $2500 dollar loss. If it had been a turbocharged R18 I would still be driving it today.

          • 0 avatar
            calgarytek

            I bought a used 2000 Honda Civic SiR (EM-1) chassis. The novelty doesn’t wear of, esp, when it hits VTEC. Love it’s incredible steering and ‘tossability’.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Here is a better look at the Pilot: http://i60.tinypic.com/2isxe3b.jpg

    I don’t understand the current trend to slice and slash the sides of cars with odd angular lines. A lot of those bold character lines don’t make any sense or connect to the front and rear, they’re meaningless. The current BMW X3 and new Honda Fit are especially bad. They show some really depressing character lines.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      The pilot is just a square box now. ANYTHING to add style would be a win for Honda on this one. I also don’t mind the angular lines personally.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      For some reason, automakers have forgotten that windows are needed to see out of, and so they artistically pinch them down and stylishly squeeze them off. It’s a trend that has become almost obligatory, and has reached silly proportions.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        If you hold that we’re in a second Malaise Era when it comes to design, with big, poor-visibility rear pillars, then that means the 2020s will be a rebirth of the ’80s greenhouses.

  • avatar
    kovakp

    These dramatic chiaroscuro teaser shots can’t die soon enough. They’re unintentionally absurd because there’s always so little to tease about. The corners get rounder, the A-piller gets more slanted and the rear of the roof becomes more downward-sloped. Same incremental changes for every car every time. Big whoop.

  • avatar
    slance66

    With the RDX there is only one question. Will they allow the passenger seat to be adjusted up and down? If not…it’s off my radar. Its a huge complaint of many owners.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, Honda gave us the restyle of the CRV front end last year, which actually is reasonably attractive compared to the WW2 truck it used to resemble. With any luck, the Acura RDX might get a slather of the same.

    The Pilot, which isn’t clogging the highways and byways around here at least, always struck me as a modern version of the Isuzu Trooper to gaze at, with a completely pointless grille. That will be easier to make more attractive – anyone with a certificate in design from a community college could accomplish that in one afternoon. Or maybe during their lunch break for a $20 bill.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    It’s time to replace my wife’s 2006 Pilot. It’s been really good, and she likes it a lot and would be happy with another one. For the reliability and what you get for the money, for a 3 row SUV there’s not much else to think about for her beyond the Pilot and Highlander and ??? (haven’t really researched it enough to know if there’s anything else).

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Flex, Explorer, Traverse/Acadia/Enclave. All with pretty good reliability records. Flex and Explorer look expensive if you’re looking at MSRP but there are discounts to be had.

      • 0 avatar
        doublechili

        Thanks. One of our neighbors has a Flex, and I mentioned it to her once. She just looked at me like I suggested a Three Stooges Festival for date night. I don’t know if it’s the squared-off looks, or that it’s too close to a minivan, but that’s a no go.

        Just based on looks, the Explorer or Acadia/Enclave might be options. I’ll have to look into them. However, she will probably keep the next SUV 7 or 8 years, so it’s hard not to go Honda or Toyota.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          7 or 8 years shouldn’t be a stretch for any of the current domestics either. They tend to have some interesting luxury-ish options not available on Honda or Toyota if you’re into that sort of thing.

          The Explorer is basically a Flex with more conventional CUV styling and, commensurately, a bit less interior room.

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