The aging current-generation Honda Pilot finished dead last in Cars.com’s 2020 3-Row SUV Challenge and garnered a rather tepid review from our Brian Wong. While it may not be flying so high at the moment versus SUV rivals, the Pilot has a 30,000-foot view of the world from atop our list of the most popular automotive news stories this week. Wong’s review of the Pilot took the No. 1 spot — relegating the 2020 Toyota Highlander to a lower landing at No. 2.
In his critique, Wong noted that the Pilot’s seventh-place-out-of-seven finish in the 3-Row SUV Challenge — a class-wide multicar comparison pitting top competitors against one another in a week of intensive head-to-head testing — sounds harsher than it really is.
“It really isn’t a bad SUV, and its score was very close to the two vehicles that finished directly ahead of it,” he writes. “But compared with the upper half of finishers in the test, the Pilot fell short in pretty much every category. It really needs to step up its game if it wants to rise to the level of the Palisade and Telluride and become competitive again. A higher-quality interior and improved multimedia system would be great places to start.”
Be sure to follow the link below to Wong’s No. 1-ranking review of the Pilot for his comprehensive take. Coincidentally, our second-place story this week features the 2020 Highlander — the redesigned version of the Toyota three-row SUV that was not yet available at the time of our testing for the 3-Row SUV Challenge in the fall. To catch shoppers up on the Highlander, we rounded up everything we’ve published about the new Highlander, constituting everything you need to know if the model is on your list of potential SUV suitors. Find the link to that article below, as well.
In at No. 3 is another offering from Cars.com’s Wong recommending a handful of cars that offer fun behind the wheel without putting you behind the eight ball financially. As Wong notes, after all, the average transaction price for a new car in 2019 surpassed $34,000 for the first time. Models on this “cheap thrills” list range in price from around $21,000 to nearly $27,000, well under that new high-water mark for MSRPs, including the 2020 Toyota Corolla SE and Corolla Hatchback SE, Mazda3, Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec, Hyundai Elantra GT N Line, Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Jetta GLI.
Rounding out the top five are our expert review of the 2019 Audi Q8 — which Wong calls “comfortable and tech-savvy” but notes that “powertrain problems threaten to derail the experience” — at No. 4, and Cars.com Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays’ recommendations for the best new-car deals in January, including the Chevrolet Trax, GMC Terrain, Nissan Rogue and Ram 1500. Get the full scoop from both of those articles via the links below.
Further on down the line, you’ll find news on the 2020 Lexus RX, all-new-for 2021 Kia Seltos and 2020 Jeep Wrangler — so why settle for a fab five when you can have a perfect 10? Here are the top 10 news articles Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past week:
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