Honda launches all-new Pilot and OdysseyBy Alvin Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
All indications point to a major comeback by Honda Cars Philippines Inc. after it launched the all-new Pilot and Odyssey recently at the NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City.
While the City, Civic, Jazz and CR-V occupy major market segments, the Pilot and Odyssey will have to battle it out in the small and very niche premium market segments. The line-up of these two latest models will strengthen and expand its line-up as these two American-made models will have to slug it out with its other premium segman rivals with European and American badges.
These two new-generation vehicles are no strangers in the local market though, and each model has received numerous international awards and recognitions from various award-givng bodies and institutions citing excellent levels of safety, efficiency and versatility. The Pilot’s accolades include Car and Driver Magazine’s Best Large SUV from 2003 to 2008, Intellichoice “Best Value of the Year, Edmunds’ “Most Wanted SUV” and Kelley Blue Book’s “Top 50 Most Popular Cars,” to name a few. While the Odyssey won the “Japan Car of the Year Award” (on Special Category) on its debut year in 1994 and by 1997, it outsold its sibling sedan, the Civic, with over 300,000 units in 1997. It also became Wheels Magazine “Car of the Year” in 1995 and has won Car and Driver’s “5 Best Trucks” and Consumer Report’s “Top Pick Minivan” many times.
According to Xavier Eyadan, head of marketing for Honda Cars Philippines: “Both models are made in the United States. Each model will have one variant, the 3.5 liter EX-L with automatic transmission for the Odyssey and the 3.5 liter EX-L automatic transmission with four-wheel drive for the Pilot. Three exterior colors will be available for each model. For the Odyssey, these are the White Diamond, Smoky Topaz and Mocha Metallic. For the Pilot, these are the Crystal Black, Taffeta White and Dark Amber. The suggested retail price of the Odyssey is P2.8 million, with an additional P20,000 for the White Diamond color. The suggested retail price of the Pilot is P2.6 million.
The all-new Pilot
The all-new Pilot’s design concept of “Intelligent Family Adventure” was based on Honda’s understanding that its customers are smart and make intelligent decisions; the design and development of the new Pilot reflects this philosophy with leading engine technology, safety features and concern for the environment. Consideration was taken in designing for each member of the family so that the interior of the Pilot will be equipped with various amenities and flexible cargo configuration focusing to enhance on the traveling experience. This will include a sense of adventure that is good for both on-road and off-road handling. Its three-way off-road systems function independently to handle most of, if not all, extreme off-roading conditions. First, the Variable Torque Management 4-wheel drive system offers a locking differential that automatically engages when the system detects a loss of traction. It can also be manually engaged by the driver in its first, second and reverse gear, staying engaged up to speeds of about 30 km/hour after which it will automatically disengage. The second system the Hill Start Assist will maintain brake pressure even when the brake pedal is released, giving the driver some extra time to step on the gas pedal. Lastly, the Pilot uses a Grade Logic System that holds the engine in low gear during steep inclines for increased hill-climbing torque and better engine braking when it senses that it is going downhill on steep inclines. The new Pilot is also designed to wade through at least 19 inches of water without any problems, useful in our flood-prone streets of Manila.
The all-new Odyssey
This new model seems to have taken some design cues from its smaller sibling, with pleasantly good-looking results. Planned and designed with the concept of “Ultimate Family Vehicle” in mind, by combining a chic new styling, class-leading performance, advanced family safety features and versatile utility, plus the usual reliability and build quality of a Honda, it will give its competitors a run for their money. An interesting side note to its exterior design is its “lightning bolt” side profile, combined with similar front end with Honda’s smaller City model, one can easily spot this on the road without mistaking it for another brand. The Odyssey has a low ground clearance that enables easy access for its second and third row passengers, especially the elderly, with the aid of its power sliding doors at both sides of the vehicle allow effortless opening and closing. Another feature is its power tailgate, both of which have the anti-pinch function, which prevents a person from being accidentally caught when closing.
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