2006 Honda Pilot SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Honda Pilot SUV

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Honda Pilot Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 244 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Honda Pilot

  • One of the best crossover SUVs available, the 2006 Honda Pilot is an excellent choice for large, active families in need of versatility.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy interior with eight-passenger seating, versatile storage and cargo-hauling abilities, many standard features, comfortable ride, smooth power delivery.

  • Cons

    Mediocre towing capacity, feels big behind the wheel, can't combine rear DVD player with navigation system.

  • What's New for 2006

    Changes to the 2006 Honda Pilot SUV include standard side curtain airbags for all three rows and freshened headlight, taillight and wheel designs. A maintenance minder system has also been added to all Pilots. The optional navigation system now has a 7-inch screen and a reverse-parking assist camera. The EX trim level now has standard foglights this year, and EXs with leather seating get standard XM Satellite Radio. Also new this year is a front-wheel-drive Pilot with Honda's fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) feature for its V6 engine. Finally, stated power output for the Pilot's V6 engine has dropped slightly due to Honda's adoption of a new SAE horsepower-rating procedure.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (29 total reviews)


Should be the "standard" for

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Vehicle: 2006 Honda Pilot EX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

105,000 miles and I've had one repair - the radiator. Otherwise, just routine maintenance. Goes through anything once you replace the lousy OEM tires. No rattles after 5 years - nothing. Just incredibly solid. Have had 8 adults in it, with no complaints. Can haul stuff and people. Family of 5 to the beach? No problem. Big visit to Lowe's? No problem. Handle a Buffalo winter? No problem. Great highway vehicle. Superb comfort for long drives. You feel very safe in it. Traction control and Stability control work great. Great mileage for its size and hauling capability. 18 around town. 22 on the highway.



1 of 10 people found this review helpful

Disappointment

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Vehicle: 2006 Honda Pilot EX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I traded my Silverado z71 for this pilot for better gas mileage. The truck got better gas mileage than this Honda! I have owned many suvs and this is the most uncomfortable one yet! Do not buy this car if you have to drive in snow above two inches. The brakes lock and you MUST turn off the stability control to make it safe. There are a lot of squirrels where I live but this car is the squirreliest thing on the road in more than two inches of snow. Thank God I kept my Suburban so I can drive it in bad weather and feel safe! I wish I had not listened to my wife and bought a Landrover Lr3. Know anyone that wants to trade?




No surprises... it's a honda!

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Vehicle: 2006 Honda Pilot EX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Having owned Hondas in the past, it came as no surprise that our Honda Pilot would be a great, solid and reliable mode of transportation. We wanted a dependable vehicle that would be large enough to hold 5, plus our large German Shepherd dog, yet still be fuel efficient and able to get us through the snowy Wisconsin winters. No Surprises. And no regrets!




About as perfect an suv

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Vehicle: 2006 Honda Pilot EX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I've had my Pilot 2006 AWD for about 4 months now. It replaced a Nissan Titan so I'm not as squeamish about the mileage as others are. To me the mileage is pretty good and I drive 80 miles a day round trip and fill up about once a week on average. I was buying a half tank a day in the Titan!!! I have a family of 6 so we need the room and the third row is a necessity. Everyone who rides in it is surprised by how roomy it is inside. It's all Dr. Who Tardisy in there. Way bigger inside than it looks on the outside.




The perfect all-around vehicle

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Vehicle: 2006 Honda Pilot EX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Bought in 2006. Drove I-90 from Erie to Buffalo for 15 months. With Michelin snow tires never got stuck, never had to slow down much in the winter. I've had 8 adults in it comfortably and 5 of us on vacation. Hauls people and their stuff. Great seat flexibility. Incredibly comfortable highway car. Consistently gets 20MPG. Haven't spent a dime of unexpected maintenance in 48000 miles. Road noise issue goes away once you replace the Bridgestone Duelers. Feels incredibly safe. Feels a bit big at first but easy to get use to. If I could only own one vehicle - and it had to do everything - this would be it.




Like it, but...

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Vehicle: 2006 Honda Pilot EX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I have always been a big Honda fan. This is number 3 for our family. However, I have to say that the quality does seem to have gone. I have numerous rattles and noises, and this very annoying window chuffing sound when I drive in windy conditions. I like many of the features, particularly the safety features, and it sure beats my '05 Dodge Grand Caravan. However, I am a bit disappointed in the little things such as the rattles...I doubt the dealer will do much about it...no money to be made in doing so.



Full 2006 Honda Pilot Review

What's New for 2006

Changes to the 2006 Honda Pilot SUV include standard side curtain airbags for all three rows and freshened headlight, taillight and wheel designs. A maintenance minder system has also been added to all Pilots. The optional navigation system now has a 7-inch screen and a reverse-parking assist camera. The EX trim level now has standard foglights this year, and EXs with leather seating get standard XM Satellite Radio. Also new this year is a front-wheel-drive Pilot with Honda's fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) feature for its V6 engine. Finally, stated power output for the Pilot's V6 engine has dropped slightly due to Honda's adoption of a new SAE horsepower-rating procedure.

Introduction

The Pilot is Honda's long-awaited reply to America's massive appetite for midsize SUVs. In creating the Pilot, Honda's goal was to build the ultimate American family adventure vehicle. To meet the challenge, the Pilot SUV is equipped with seating for eight, a powerful V6 engine, a versatile interior, capable road handling and a reasonable level of off-road ability. It's also tempered with Honda's traditional strengths in dependability, quality and safety.

Third-row seating is all the rage with midsize crossovers and SUVs, and the Pilot isn't one to shirk from peer pressure. The third row is virtually the same size as the MDX's, but in this case it has three sets of adjustable headrests and three-point seatbelts. Legroom is tight at 30.2 inches, so it's best to limit the third row to children. Lowering the second- and third-row seats reveals an impressively large 90.3-cubic-inch cargo hold. Because of the Pilot's wide stance, there's sufficient clearance between the wheel wells to place wide items flat on the floor. If the second-row seats are in use, cargo capacity is 48.7 cubic feet. With the third row up, there's still enough room for grocery bags, baby paraphernalia or a set of golf clubs.

At more than 4,400 pounds, the 2006 Honda Pilot isn't a lightweight vehicle. And in terms of dimensions, it's wider than, and just as long as, an Explorer. Acceleration is more than adequate, however, thanks to the 255-hp V6. It's equipped with Honda's VTEC system, which gives the engine a wide power band and better-than-average fuel economy. And starting this year, you can reap additional fuel savings by selecting a front-wheel-drive (2WD) Pilot with the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system. An electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system is available, and it turn this Honda SUV into an excellent snow vehicle.

If you are shopping for a midsize SUV, this is one you won't want to skip over. Besides offering solid engineering and construction inside and out, the Honda Pilot is more intelligently packaged than many of its competitors: One large, comfortable cabin with seating for eight and one long list of standard features with a minimum of confusing options. Just choose your trim level and you're ready to go. Although high demand early on made it difficult to find a Pilot and negotiate a reasonable price for one, an influx of new competitors should make it considerably easier to bring home a 2006 Honda Pilot.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door, eight-passenger 2006 Honda Pilot comes in two trim levels: LX and EX. As is typical of Honda offerings, nearly everything comes standard. This includes air conditioning; cruise control; power windows, mirrors and locks; keyless entry; a rear window defroster; and a CD player. Going with the EX adds alloy wheels, auto-off headlamps, an eight-way power driver seat with lumbar, extra interior storage, automatic climate control, HomeLink and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. On EX models with leather (EX-L), a sunroof, XM Satellite Radio and heated seats come standard, with a DVD-based navigation system and a DVD entertainment system available as options. Unfortunately, buyers must choose between the nav and entertainment systems -- you can't get both. The entertainment system includes a 9-inch flip-down LCD screen.

Powertrains and Performance

All-wheel-drive Pilots come equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 244 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Two-wheel-drive models use the same engine but are upgraded with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), which increases fuel-efficiency by "shutting off" three of the engine's six cylinders during cruising and deceleration. When more performance is needed, the engine switches back to using all six cylinders. The engine's power is routed through a five-speed automatic transmission. Tow ratings are modest (a max 4,400 pounds on AWD versions), but the Pilot's fuel economy is better than that of many V8-powered SUVs.

Safety

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) come standard, along with side airbags for front occupants and head-protecting side curtain airbags for all three rows. In government crash tests, the Honda Pilot earned a perfect five-star rating across the board for front- and side-impact protection. In frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS, the Pilot received the highest rating of "Good."

Interior Design and Special Features

The Honda Pilot seats eight passengers. The second- and third-row seats are positioned theater-style, meaning that they are elevated to give occupants a better outside view. Legroom for second-row passengers is quite good, but the tight third row is best suited for children. Both the second and third rows are split 60/40 and can be folded flat to expand the Pilot's cargo capacity. Maximum cargo capacity is 90 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

As the Pilot features a stiff unibody structure and a fully independent suspension, it is quite smooth and comfortable on normal roads. However, with a curb weight of more than 2 tons, there is no denying the Pilot's bulk, and some drivers might find it a bit clumsy around corners. In terms of off-road ability, the 2006 Honda Pilot can take on common hazards such as boat ramps, washed-out gullies and rough roads, but not much more.

Talk About The 2006 Pilot

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs