Recently when Autobytel.com joined forces with AutoPacific to unleash the 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards onto the car buying universe, it was very clear from the outset that there was going to be no stone left unturned given the fact that the endeavor meant surveying over 75,000 new vehicle owners about the quality of their newly purchased rides. Then after tallying points for each and every new car, minivan, truck, sports car and SUV out there today, the day came when the announcements were made about which models passed with flying colors at the top of their respective vehicle classes.
Now we won’t repeat the entire list here but coincidentally it just so happens that the 2012 Honda Pilot was rated best in the “Premium Midsize crossover suv” category and the 2012 Chevy Traverse nabbed the top spot in the “Large Crossover SUV” segment. Although these two models competed in different categories for that particular award, we feel that these two seven passenger family SUVs do appeal to the same set of buyers who need room for seven actual full size adults from time to time. Apologies to the 2012 Kia Sorento but only an extra from “The Wizard of Oz” would be comfortable in your third row.
So after driving a 2012 Honda Pilot Touring model back to back with a 2012 Chevy Traverse LTZ (both of those trim designations mean our testers came loaded with every optional goodie you could want), it became clear to us that these were the two best seven passenger family SUVs on the market. But which one is actually better when they are put to the test head to head? Well, read on to find out what happens because, dear readers, this comparison test was a neck and neck race to the finish with only one final winner. Although we do enjoy a good contest of automotive blood sport, to be brutally honest both the Honda Pilot and Chevy Traverse are smart choices so buying either one would be a wise decision.
This, however, should not keep from reading the rest of this review in order to find out what our impressions were (both negative and positive) of both of these vehicles. Do note that our test Traverse was a 2012 model and that for 2013 it will be undergoing a mild-makeover with new front headlamp and rear tailgate designs as well as trim enhancements in the interior. It’s nothing that should preclude a potential buyer from purchasing a 2012 Chevy Traverse in our opinion, however, as the changes are very mild. Unlike the changes that have been made, therefore, to Joan Rivers face in the name of advancing the science of plastic surgery.