2003 Honda Pilot -- Body

The Pilot is based on Honda's Global Light Truck Platform. Featuring a highly robust and rigid unit body design with isolated front and rear subframes, this innovative light truck platform provides the foundation for many of the Pilot's most compelling attributes, including its outstanding handling agility, exceptional ride comfort, world-class safety performance and packaging efficiency. To help maintain the vehicle's structural integrity in a collision, the Pilot body employs a four-ring safety shell that connects the floor, body side and roof for enhanced occupant protection. Reinforced steel stiffeners located inside the doors at the vehicle's beltline make a continuous horizontal connection between the first three pillars.

High tensile strength steel tubular beams inside the door structure at wheel height provide additional intrusion resistance. A single-piece, side-panel design is used to assure tight and consistent fit and finish in the critical closure areas (doors and windows), and the doors are made using laser-welded tailored blanks. This innovative door design uses higher-gauge steel in high-stress areas and lighter gauge steel in other areas to save weight while maintaining structural integrity for durability and safety. Longitudinal rails, floor cross-members and pillar reinforcements that carry heavy loads are made of the stronger, heavier gauge steel. A roof-mounted reinforcement is provided to secure the center passenger's upper-shoulder belt.

The use of high-strength, closed-section steel bumper beams enhances occupant safety and decreases damage sustained during rear end collisions. Internal testing designed to emulate the Institute for Insurance Highway Safety's (IIHS) 5-mph bumper damage test shows the lowest overall repair costs in low-speed bumper collisions of any vehicle in its class.

Exterior Styling
With its wide and solid stance, classic SUV proportions and clean design treatment, the Pilot is designed to communicate traditional SUV character traits including strength, durability, utility and off-road confidence. The Pilot also communicates a higher level of refinement than most of its competitors with modern details and tight body gaps with outstanding fit and finish.

Headlamps use "full character" architecture and feature a dual filament bulb for a compact and integrated design. The styling was achieved by the creation of the smallest front turn signal used on a Honda passenger vehicle. A body-colored skirt attached to the lower edge of the lights enhances the headlights' integration into the overall design. This skirt also ensures excellent control of the gap often found between the headlight and body of many vehicles.

Taillights have a similar high-tech appearance with minimal faceting for a clean and bright appearance. They feature ruby-like inner lenses that appear to be suspended in their housings. The reverse lamps feature a clear white lens and polished reflector, and are located in separate housings on either side of the license plate bracket.

Remote key fob
EX models come standard with two remote-controlled key fobs for locking and alarm functions. The fob has three buttons: at the top, there's a large triangular-shaped button to command the lock/unlock function. Depressing this button once unlocks just the driver's door. A second push unlocks all four doors and the rear tailgate.

A smaller round button with a raised nib for tactile identification unlocks all doors at the same time. An audible chirp confirms the operation of the remote locking action. A recessed "panic" button at the bottom of the fob will cause the vehicle's horn to sound and exterior lights to blink intermittently in the event of an emergency.

Glass and Visibility
The Pilot was designed to provide excellent outward visibility, improving the comfort and safety for all occupants. The Pilot features a large greenhouse with 282-degrees of outward visibility, more than any other vehicle in its class.

Heat rejecting glass is used in the front windshield to reduce heat from solar loading for improved comfort and air conditioning performance. EX models feature tinted privacy glass in the rear side door, rear quarter and rear liftgate.

The rear liftgate glass incorporates an electric defogger system, activated by a button on the dash, along with an intermittent rear wiper and fluidic washer nozzle. The Pilot's rear side glass houses the vehicle's amplified stereo antennae.

Door design
Special anti-theft measures have been taken to make Pilot resistant to intrusion by thieves and vandals. Reinforced steel guards have been installed to deflect break-in tools from the front door lock rod and latch mechanism. Double thick steel around the driver's door key cylinder deters vandals from prying their way into the vehicle. For added security, only the driver's door is equipped with a conventional key-lock cylinder.

The window sashes are equipped with continuous window frame guides that completely surround the door glass and limit access through this sometimes-vulnerable area of the vehicle. Rear lock rods are positioned behind the center sashes so they are inaccessible from outside the vehicle.

Engineers also discovered that dirt and mud can build up on vertical sill surfaces below the door seals. This is an annoyance because the dirt often soils pants, dresses or other clothes as occupants enter or exit the vehicle. To minimize this problem, an extra seal is used at the lower interior edge of each door that rests against the side sill garnish and blocks the build up of dirt and debris, ensuring clean and hassle-free entry and exit.

Windshield wipers
For the front windshield, single-piece wiper arms are used. Fluidic nozzles with large nozzle openings are employed to maximize the coverage area and to reduce the chance of clogging or freezing. The intermittent rear wiper allows the driver to match wiper speed to various levels of precipitation. The wiper arm is a one-piece design with a clean, integrated appearance.

A jet-type washer nozzle located on the upper edge of the tailgate provides quicker and more thorough distribution of washer fluid. Fluid is delivered almost the instant the wash button is touched thanks to use of a check valve in the delivery line.

Quiet Interior
The 2003 Honda Pilot makes extensive use of extensive sound deadening material throughout the body. Meltsheets, insulation material and other sound absorbing materials are used throughout the floor of the vehicle.