By Beverly & Steve Smirnis
The 2016 Honda Pilot gets our vote for “most-improved” in the large crossover segment.
Something practical for hauling the gang to baseball practice doesn’t have to mean mom has conceded to middle age mediocrity. Whether it’s a large crossover, minivan, or mid-size crossover that meets the need, it doesn’t hurt for it to also be macho enough that dad won’t feel the need to explain himself when he drives it to Home Depot to pick up some sheets of plywood, either. No one is going to complain for lack of comforts on the summer vacation road trip, nor will you be snickered at for lack of ummph on the highway by these choices.
We drove the 2015 Pilot on a road trip and found it fine, but the 2016 was far more than just sufficient with a new, more sophisticated look and feel, while it still remains a great value. Few contenders among three-row crossovers can match its passenger comfort and utility. Roomy rear seats, fuel efficiency, high-tech safety features and a nice all-wheel-drive system are some of good reasons to check out the new Pilot.
The Toyota Sienna minivan gets even better with interior improvements on the new model.
Toyota’s Sienna minivan also got a significant refresh for the 2016 model year, most notably on its interior, adding to the appeal of a vehicle already known for its comfortable ride. Far-sliding second-row seating (with foot rests) lend an executive class feel to a cabin that will seat up to eight passengers. Standard Siri Eyes Free functionality and class exclusive available all-wheel drive make it a standout among minivan contenders.
Fans of Lexus sedans who find themselves in need of extra cargo space
will find the NX a nice alternative.
If you can get by with a five passenger crossover, you might find some of these mid-size crossovers may just the trick. They drive like luxury sedans, but allow that extra SUV-like cargo space for hauling groceries, kid’s sports equipment, dog kennels, etc. Without sacrificing luxury or function, the Nissan Murano and Lexus NX are standouts for their bold styling in the mid-size crossover segment and both are available with all-wheel-drive as well.
We loved the Nissan Murano's AroundView monitor that stitches together feeds
from cameras located in the grille, liftgate, and side mirrors to create
a 360-degree overhead view on the dash display when backing up.