In Search Of Not-A-Minivan – The 2012 Honda Pilot Review

If you drive a minivan, please don’t take it personally. I do not judge you. I believe you when you say you love your swagger wagons with your automagically opening doors. I do!

I just don’t wanna join you…if I don’t have to.

So, we’re considering maybe adding another baby to the chaos sometime soon-ish, which would make us a family of 5. We’re also coming up on 7 (?) years with our Jeep Grand Cherokee, and are feeling like it’s time to trade in and move on for a variety of reasons – the spaciousness factor being the biggest one.

We need to find something that can accommodate up to 3 kids in car seats/booster seats and still have enough room for groceries and strollers. We’ve been through ALL the options. Believe me. We have. We settled on a handful of mid-size SUVs and even a minivan (gasp!) and went to check them out at local dealerships a couple of months ago. To be honest, the Honda Pilot was sort of an afterthought that day. I never once thought it would actually make the cut.

I’m SO glad we stopped by and gave it a look. I was blown away by how big it was inside, how flexible the seating options were, how great the gas mileage was for that size of a vehicle, and how low the price was compared to the other vehicles we looked at with similar upgrades and options.

I emailed my friends at Honda and asked if we could test drive one for a week. And then I emailed them again and asked if we could have it for another week since I accidentally deleted all the video from the first test drive. TOTAL ACCIDENT. Swear.

Here’s a quick video of me showing off all the ways we can make it work with 3 kids and still have enough room for stuff.

*If you’d like to turn this into a drinking game, take a shot every time I say “as you can see.” 

We’re in love. I would say there is a 90% chance this is the vehicle we will get next (hopefully in the next 6ish months). It works so well for our family. There are no issues with getting Kendall in and out of the 3rd row, there is plenty of room for storage, we have the option of taking all the car seats out and folding down both rows for maximum space if we need it, and it’s just a beautiful and comfortable ride.

I also love that it feels like an SUV. I just couldn’t get used to how low to the ground the crossovers and minivans are. The gas mileage isn’t anything to do cartwheels over (18/25), but it’s better than what we get now, and it’s better than most other SUVs we looked at. The hybrids would give us better mileage, but their price tags are way too much for us.
You can read all the specs on the Honda Pilot here. 

A few of the “cons” would be:
I wish the navigation was a touchscreen.
It doesn’t have the same get-up as our Jeep does (but our Jeep has a V8 Hemi, so there’s that).
The cup holders in between the drivers and passenger seat are a little too deep to easily access.

Honestly, that all sounds like a bunch of whining, but I was trying to be fair and honest about the things that kind-sorta-slightly irritated me. Of course, that’s not enough to keep me from loving it. I think my kinda-sorta-slightly irritate me list for my husband would be much longer, but I still think he’s swell.

Before I start sounding like some sort of rambling auto blogger, I’m going to stop here, but please let me know if you have any questions about our experience with it. I’m happy to answer them if I can.

Off the bat, I will tell you the car seats we used were a Graco Snugride, Britax Marathon and Britax Frontier.

Super huge thanks to Honda for hooking me up with the rental. I was under no obligation to blog about it. They didn’t pay me for this. I just know a lot of you are in the same situation and will be interested to hear how it worked for us.