IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
Pilot boasts an impressive selection of available comfort and safety features, a nicely finished cabin with outstanding passenger/cargo capacity, and excellent driving manners and fuel efficiency for a vehicle its size.
The third-row seat can be a bit tricky to access.
Pilot is one of the few vehicles in its class to offer 8-passenger seating capacity—all Pilots seat eight except for the top-line models; the Elite has captain’s chairs in the second row for 7-passenger capacity, and the Touring offers them as an option.
WHAT IS IT?
The Pilot is Honda’s popular three-row midsize SUV. The lone engine is a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, which is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission in LX, EX, and EX-L models and a 9-speed automatic in the high-end Touring and Elite models. The 9-speed models utilize an unconventional electronic pushbutton shifter—it requires a bit of acclimation to use, but frees up console space. All trims levels are available with front- or all-wheel drive except the line-topping Elite model, which is AWD only. Standard Honda Sensing safety technology features consist of adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and Road Departure Mitigation. Available features include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, remote engine start, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, power tailgate, power sliding second-row seats, and a panoramic glass roof with individual front and rear sliding sun shades.
The Pilot undergoes a substantial freshening for 2019; it gets an exterior design facelift and a host of new features. Honda says the 9-speed automatic transmission is retuned for smoother shifts, and the auto stop/start feature now has a more natural, seamless feel. Interior updates include a redesigned instrument cluster and wider fold-down armrests for the front seats. Newly available features include a new Display Audio touchscreen infotainment system, hands-free power liftgate, 4G-LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability, wireless smartphone charging, CabinTalk audio-system intercom feature, redesigned Rear Entertainment System, and second-row retractable sunshades.
When equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission, the Pilot is EPA-rated at 19 mpg city/27 highway with front-wheel drive and 18/26 with all-wheel drive. Nine-speed models are rated at 20/27 with FWD and 19/26 with AWD. In Consumer Guide® testing, an all-wheel-drive Elite averaged 19.3 mpg in about 90-percent city driving.
VALUE IN CLASS
The Honda Pilot is one of the larger midsize SUVs on the market, and it’s also one of the most space-efficient. In addition to its capacious interior, the Pilot boasts excellent road manners for a plus-sized SUV and a fine selection of safety and technology features that gets even better with the updated 2019 models. Despite its focus on function over flash, the Pilot’s cabin has a very high-quality feel. If you need to move a lot of people and stuff and aren’t interested in a minivan, the Pilot is one of the best family haulers around.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$31,450 – $48,020|
|BODY STYLES||4-Door Wagon|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||280-HP, 3.5-Liter V6|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Front or All-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||18-27 MPG|