Not a powerhouse, but the V6 is adequate for such a big, heavy vehicle. Load the Pilot up and you'll wish the engine had more sauce. Sounds good at high revs. Smooth shifts, but the 5-speed automatic can be reluctant to kick down.
The steering is overboosted and offers very little feel, although most buyers probably won't mind. Soft suspension means the Pilot flops around in turns. Brakes have a linear tip-in, but feel underpowered for the weight of the vehicle.
The upside to the Pilot's less-than-stellar handling is a reasonably comfortable ride. Front seats are on the firm side but remain fine for long-haul touring.
There's hardly any wind noise to speak of. But the Pilot's all-season tires can be quite noisy over surface changes. The V6 purrs along when cruising at highway speeds, yet has a sports-sedan snarl at full throttle.
Buttons, buttons everywhere. Honda makes fairly cluttered center stacks these days; the buttons are small and close together. But once you figure out where everything is, it all works well. The rubber-coated knobs have a nice feel.
The view out the front is excellent due to the Pilot's high seating position and small A-pillars. Lots of windows aid the rear three-quarter view for changing lanes. A handy rearview camera comes standard on the Touring model.
Seat Access & Space
The Pilot sits high, so you have to hop up to get inside. Cabin is large and airy with plenty of head room front and rear. Third row has good head room but cramped knee and foot room. Entry/exit fairly easy due to sliding 2nd row.
Cargo & Storage
The Pilot is chock full of nooks and crannies to stash stuff. Large center armrest bin, two front bins, a door bin perfect for a cell phone, three bins above the glovebox. Lots of luggage capacity, and both rows of rear seats fold down.
The Pilot feels very well built, even if the interior is comprised mostly of hard-touch plastics. No squeaks or rattles, and doors close with a solid thunk. Interior panel gaps are tight and uniform.
The Pilot Touring can tow 4,500 lb. in 4WD configuration, as our test vehicle was equipped. Front-wheel-drive models can pull only a 2,000-lb. trailer.