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10 Biggest News Stories of the Week: 2020 Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander Reach Altitude

honda-pilot-2020-02-angle--dynamic--exterior--grey--rear.jpg 2020 Honda Pilot | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

The aging current-generation Honda Pilot finished dead last in Cars.com’s 2020 3-Row SUV Challenge and garnered a rather tepid review from our Brian Wong. While it may not be flying so high at the moment versus SUV rivals, the Pilot has a 30,000-foot view of the world from atop our list of the most popular automotive news stories this week. Wong’s review of the Pilot took the No. 1 spot — relegating the 2020 Toyota Highlander to a lower landing at No. 2.

Related: 10 Biggest News Stories of 2019: Toyota RAV4 Rises Again, Kia Telluride Peaks

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In his critique, Wong noted that the Pilot’s seventh-place-out-of-seven finish in the 3-Row SUV Challenge — a class-wide multicar comparison pitting top competitors against one another in a week of intensive head-to-head testing — sounds harsher than it really is.

“It really isn’t a bad SUV, and its score was very close to the two vehicles that finished directly ahead of it,” he writes. “But compared with the upper half of finishers in the test, the Pilot fell short in pretty much every category. It really needs to step up its game if it wants to rise to the level of the Palisade and Telluride and become competitive again. A higher-quality interior and improved multimedia system would be great places to start.”

toyota-highlander-2020-24-exterior-rear-red-angle.jpg 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Cars.com photo by Kelsey Mays

Be sure to follow the link below to Wong’s No. 1-ranking review of the Pilot for his comprehensive take. Coincidentally, our second-place story this week features the 2020 Highlander — the redesigned version of the Toyota three-row SUV that was not yet available at the time of our testing for the 3-Row SUV Challenge in the fall. To catch shoppers up on the Highlander, we rounded up everything we’ve published about the new Highlander, constituting everything you need to know if the model is on your list of potential SUV suitors. Find the link to that article below, as well.

02-hyundai-veloster-n-2020-oem-exterior-front-angle-blue.jpg 2020 Hyundai Veloster N | Manufacturer image

In at No. 3 is another offering from Cars.com’s Wong recommending a handful of cars that offer fun behind the wheel without putting you behind the eight ball financially. As Wong notes, after all, the average transaction price for a new car in 2019 surpassed $34,000 for the first time. Models on this “cheap thrills” list range in price from around $21,000 to nearly $27,000, well under that new high-water mark for MSRPs, including the 2020 Toyota Corolla SE and Corolla Hatchback SE, Mazda3, Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec, Hyundai Elantra GT N Line, Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Jetta GLI.

Rounding out the top five are our expert review of the 2019 Audi Q8 — which Wong calls “comfortable and tech-savvy” but notes that “powertrain problems threaten to derail the experience” — at No. 4, and Cars.com Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays’ recommendations for the best new-car deals in January, including the Chevrolet Trax, GMC Terrain, Nissan Rogue and Ram 1500. Get the full scoop from both of those articles via the links below.

04-audi-q8-2019-angle--exterior--rear--white.jpg 2019 Audi Q8 | Cars.com photo by Brian Wong

Further on down the line, you’ll find news on the 2020 Lexus RX, all-new-for 2021 Kia Seltos and 2020 Jeep Wrangler — so why settle for a fab five when you can have a perfect 10? Here are the top 10 news articles Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past week:

1. 2020 Honda Pilot Review: Showing Its Age

2. 2020 Toyota Highlander: Everything You Need to Know

3. Cheap Thrills: 6 New Cars With Small Price Tags and Big Fun

4. 2019 Audi Q8 Review: A Big SUV With a Big Catch

5. What’s the Best New-Car Deal for January?

6. 2020 Lexus RX: 6 Things We Like (and 3 Not So Much)

7. 2021 Kia Seltos Boasts Competitive Fuel Economy Ratings

8. All the Pickup Truck News: Truck of the Year Nominees, Ram 1500 Luxuriates, Ford F-Series Sells Big and More

9. 2020 Jeep Wrangler: Everything You Need to Know

10. How Do You Buy a Car Out of State?

jeep-wrangler-unlimited-eco-diesel-2020-21-angle--blue--exterior--rear.jpg 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited | Cars.com photo

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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