Powertrain

Power comes from an advanced 24-valve, all-aluminum engine with "intelligent" Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) technology with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM). The VCM system allows the V-6 engine to operate in six-cylinder mode for power and four- or three-cylinder modes for efficiency. Fuel economy improves for 2012 with an EPA-estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy of 17/24/20 mpg on 4-wheel-drive models and 18/25/21 mpg on 2-wheel-drive models. Representing a 1-mpg increase in City, a 2-mpg increase in Highway and a 2-mpg increase in Combined, this gives the 2012 Pilot 2WD the highest fuel economy of any 8-passenger SUV and the Honda Pilot 4WD the highest fuel economy for any mid-size 4WD SUV.

Fuel-efficiency enhancements include the application of engine friction-reduction technologies including a plateau-honed engine block, low-friction piston treatments, ion-plated oil rings and a load-variable alternator. The use of dual-electrode spark plugs, 0W-20 low-friction oil and low-friction automatic transmission fluid contribute to higher efficiency. The VCM operation range has also been expanded.

The 5-speed automatic transmission features Grade Logic Control to help maintain the most appropriate gear when going uphill or downhill, thereby avoiding gear "hunting." The available VTM-4 system on Pilot 4WD models adds fully automatic 4-wheel-drive capability. VTM-4 delivers seamless, "decision-free" application of 4-wheel-drive when needed, a key benefit compared to conventional systems. The system also provides a "lock mode" - available when in first or second gears up to 18 mph and activated by a button on the instrument panel - that can deliver the maximum-possible torque transfer to the rear wheels to aid in extraction from extremely low traction or stuck conditions.

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