Chasing the Luxury Features Rabbit

Holy Moses! We bought a 2016 Honda Pilot and the first thing we discovered about it is that we probably needed to be a pilot in order to pilot the Pilot. The bells and whistles on that thing are beyond ridiculous!

I’ve been trying to figure out why there is so much needless BS on what is otherwise a wonderful vehicle. At first I figured that, as a people, we’ve gotten so soft that we need heated seats and defrosters on our side-view mirrors. I mean, my god!!

This rant is borne out of a significant frustration with the keyless entry feature. You all know this one, most of you probably have it. Ours has the little module that electronically locks and unlocks the doors. But wait… there’s more! For the extra cost of shipping and handling, we can remotely start the car and let it warm before we even get into it!

The manual tells us that we now have the luxury of a push-button start, with no key to worry about. Funny, I don’t remember ever worrying about the car key, or starting it. And as I recall, our ’47 Dodge (and a lot of other models back then) had push-button starters. This keyless thingy seems to me to be a total waste, in many ways. Was the act of placing a key in the ignition and turning it so much harder than pushing a button? Now, the car will start and run as long as the keyless mod is on your person or somewhere in the car. Theoretically you could lose it inside the car. But not if it were in an ignition slot.

The first time we drove our “new” Pilot to the grocery store, I was driving, and upon starting it up I receive the message (where the speedometer used to be) telling me the the keyless feature’s battery was low. Lovely. An already totally useless feature now needed some attention, lest I not be able to access or drive this new wonder at all. Turns out there were no direct instructions in the huge manual for replacing the tiny battery in the electronic key. What fun we had, digging, pulling and prying on the sob before it finally broke loose in a way that defied logic. Was this some sort of sick Japanese joke we were just the butt of? To this day I don’t really know, but I have a definite suspicion…

Too many times Betty had to growl at me when I unlocked the Pilot, because pushing the “unlock” button once, which was what I was doing, only unlocked the driver-side door. I had to learn to push it twice to unlock all the other doors. Then, upon sliding into the driver’s seat and adjusting it to fit, the “speedometer” message board informed me I was driver number two! Really! As if that was supposed to matter. But… was there, perhaps, a deeper, insidious implication in that message? Could it be that this techno-wonder of an auto has an opinion of its drivers, or worse, some sort of demented pre-conceived prejudice of who or what drives the gd thing in the first place! So before I even release the footbrake I’m getting this distinct feeling that this wonderful POS is out to get me! Ahh, the 21st century! It is beyond belief to me, at this point.

I’m driving down the street in this magnificent vehicle, slightly pissed and knowing in my heart of hearts that new and different is definitely NOT better! Where’s my old ’59 beater Chevy truck when I need it? You know, the one that still needs an actual key to start it, and with no discernible attitude when its big V-8 fires up. Yeah, that truck.

Yet the Pilot drives so quietly and effortlessly, I hardly even have to think about it. Hmm. And that right there could also turn into a problem. Tell you what is really going to be a problem… the cars and trucks that steer themselves. Have you seen those new truck ads yet? GMC has one where they’re driving across a two-lane bridge, no hands on the steering wheel, but rather clapping their hands to “We will, we will rock you!” And then they pass another vehicle on the bridge, still with no hands! I can safely tell you this right now, they WILL rock someone, and will get rocked in the process. Just hope it’s not me. I fail to understand the mentality of those who not only think self-steering is cool, but advertise it in that fashion.

In that light, I must admit that our Honda Pilot makes us drive it, and suddenly I appreciate that. Even if I am driver number two…

Steve Hulse

2 Replies to “Chasing the Luxury Features Rabbit”

  1. Congratulations on the new vehicle – but I’ll take an old one with a legit key and no electronic do-dads any day!

Leave a reply, always happy to hear from you

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2011 - 2020 Steve Hulse, All Rights Reserved