In addition to a smooth ride, comfortable seats, and flexible interior, the 2019 Honda Pilot receives a number of updates including revised front and rear fascias, new software and volume knob for the infotainment system, a new Odyssey-inspired steering wheel and gauge cluster, and a wide range of advanced safety features now standard across the lineup. But it falls short of perfection as captain's chairs are only available on the top two trims, the 9-speed transmission is balky, a hybrid version is unavailable, and the Odyssey remains more suited for larger families.
We get some seat time in the 2020 Hyundai Palisade, which impresses with a handsome exterior, stunning interior, and smooth, quiet ride. At the same time, body acceleration is only adequate, the infotainment system can be distracting, while the lack of a hybrid model means fuel economy is just mid-pack.
The all-new 2019 Volvo XC40 arrives with a youthful design, Scandinavian-inspired interior, comfortable ride, and a competent turbo mated to a very good eight-speed automatic. But the design may be too quirky for some tastes, the back seat is tight for more than two, and although leather seats are standard, heating them is an extra-cost option.
Following a major re-design last year, the 2019 Mazda CX-5, the brand's best-selling vehicle four years running, adds a new turbo engine for two new trim levels, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability on select models, while continuing with class-above features at every price point. But it remains held back by an awkward infotainment interface, middling cargo volume, and a stiff ride with too much road and wind noise on models with larger wheels.