2013 Honda Pilot SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2013 Honda Pilot SUV

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Honda Pilot Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 250 hp @ 5700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2013 Honda Pilot

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2013 Honda Pilot disappoints behind the wheel, but its supreme utility shouldn't be ignored.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Comfortable ride; roomy third-row seat; above-average fuel economy, useful interior storage areas.

  • Cons

    Disappointing braking distances; some cheap interior plastics; cumbersome to drive.

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 Honda Pilot is little changed, but in an effort to update its electronics feature content, several new features such as Honda's HandsFreeLink Bluetooth connection for smartphones and music players and a USB connection are standard equipment, as is a rearview camera. A revised interior center stack gets a standard 8-inch screen.

Full 2013 Honda Pilot Review

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Honda Pilot is little changed, but in an effort to update its electronics feature content, several new features such as Honda's HandsFreeLink Bluetooth connection for smartphones and music players and a USB connection are standard equipment, as is a rearview camera. A revised interior center stack gets a standard 8-inch screen.


The midsize crossover segment is riddled with choices, many of them newer and better performing than the 2013 Honda Pilot. But as per Honda's usual approach, the Pilot's overall package makes it worthy of consideration.

For starters, the Pilot's interior is huge, befitting the minivan alternative that midsize crossovers have become for many. Its surprisingly spacious third-row seating makes it possible for as many as eight occupants to travel in comfort. Performance from the Pilot's V6 is sluggish and the five-speed automatic transmission is definitely a step behind just about everybody. On the upside, the Pilot's fuel economy is at the top of the class. A similar trade-off is at work for the 2013 Pilot's soft handling: For putting up with sleepy responses, you get a supremely cushioned ride.

We also like the 2013 Pilot's utility. The crossover's boxy sheet metal isn't likely to set many (or any) hearts aflame, but the high roof line means backseaters have plenty of headroom. And with the rear seats dropped, those mammoth Costco and Home Depot loads are sucked in with ease. Up front, the Pilot gives you two perfectly positioned cupholders and enough storage spots to handle just about anything else you throw its way. Short of a minivan, there aren't many utility vehicles that can easily swallow as much cargo and people as the 2013 Pilot.

That said, there are other choices out there. The Pilot's interior quality is still disappointing. One need look no further than to the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe or 2013 Nissan Pathfinder to find markedly more appealing interior treatments. And if more engaging performance is your thing, the Ford Flex or 2013 Mazda CX-9 would certainly be better choices. Overall, though, the formidable blend of utility and efficiency -- not to mention Honda's top-notch reliability reputation -- virtually demand that buyers take a look at what the 2013 Honda Pilot brings to the party.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Honda Pilot is a midsize crossover sold in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring.

The 2013 Pilot's base LX trim comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, 60/40-split second- and third-row seats, an 8-inch center display screen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Pilot EX adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors (AWD models) and an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way power lumbar adjustment).

Moving to the Pilot EX-L brings leather upholstery, a sunroof, a power liftgate, heated front seats, a power passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and satellite radio. Two optional features are available when purchasing the EX-L: a rear-seat entertainment system and a voice-activated navigation system.

Both the EX-L's optional features are included on the high-end Touring model, which further adds roof rails, parking sensors, driver seat memory functions and a 10-speaker premium sound system.

Powertrains and Performance

Regardless of trim level, all 2013 Pilot models use the same powertrain: a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque, channeling its power to a five-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but any Pilot can be ordered with an all-wheel-drive system that automatically shifts as much as 70 percent of power to the rear wheels if the front tires begin to slip. A driver-selectable "lock" feature routes maximum torque to the rear wheels in 1st or 2nd gear at low speeds to help free a stuck Pilot.

Edmunds performance testing saw an all-wheel-drive Pilot Touring accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, while a front-wheel-drive model did it in 8.3. Both are a bit slower than average. The Pilot's EPA-estimated economy of 18 mpg city/25 highway and 21 mpg combined for front-drive models and 17/24/20 for AWD variants puts the Pilot in the top portion of its segment. The front-drive Pilot can tow 2,000 pounds and the all-wheel-drive models can tow 4,500 pounds.


The 2013 Honda Pilot's standard safety features include antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Pilot came to a stop from 60 mph in 130 feet. This is below average for midsize crossovers but actually an improvement over the braking performance of earlier Pilots.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Pilot earned an overall rating of four stars out of a possible five, with four stars for frontal crash protection and five stars for side-impact crashes. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Pilot earned the top "Good" rating for frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Apart from the generally downmarket appearance of some of the more prominent cabin trim, the 2013 Pilot has a useful interior with thoughtful details and clearly presented instrumentation. The standard automatic climate control helps reduce the number of buttons and knobs on the center stack, as does the new 8-inch information screen for all trims. Too bad some of the remaining buttons and knobs still have a chintzy feel and appearance.

Unlike some other three-row crossovers, the Pilot's aft-most row is an area with genuinely acceptable room for adults. Unfortunately, the seat cushions for the second and third rows are too low, forcing longer-legged passengers into more of a squatting, knees-up position. The Chevy Traverse and Ford Flex are much more comfortable in this regard.

With the second- and third-row seats stowed, the 2013 Honda Pilot can hold up to 87 cubic feet of cargo. This figure is technically less than some rivals, but the Pilot's boxy shape works to its advantage, allowing it to more easily accept bulkier items with ease. For smaller items, there are plenty of thoughtful storage bins and pockets throughout the cabin.

Driving Impressions

The overall driving impression of the 2013 Pilot is of a heavy and large vehicle, more so than perhaps it should be. On paper, the Pilot's 250-hp V6 should be enough, but it never feels like it is; some of the performance deficit may come from the behind-the-times five-speed automatic, and some can be chalked up to the Pilot's heft.

Overall agility is also in short supply. Around corners and in tight spaces, the Pilot feels rather cumbersome due to its slow steering and boxy dimensions. But more generally, the 2013 Pilot is still pleasant to drive, with a cushy ride that readily soaks up ruts and bumps.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Vcm horrible

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Honda Pilot EX-L 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

My wife had this vehicle for a month. While driving, when the engine went into ECO mode there would be a stutter and hesitation. The entire floor would vibrate. I researched this problem and it seemed that a lot of people were having the same issue without a fix. I traded the vehicle in instead of dealing with this. Bought a highlander and it runs much better.

Eco mode issue

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Honda Pilot EX-L w/Navigation 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

There is a problem when the car goes into ECO mode. The dealer told me it was normal and that I must be over sensitive to vibration & sound. It feels like a "hesitation" or "stutter" and is NOT normal! *sigh* I love everything else about my Pilot, but am sad to say I'm currently looking to trade it due to this issue.

5 of 16 people found this review helpful

Best vehicle i have ever

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Honda Pilot EX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

..and that's saying a lot - this is my 9th vehicle, 4th Honda, and 2nd Honda Pilot. Had my first Pilot ('05 model) for 7 years. Just bought a 2014 EX 4WD. There is NO engine vibration when in the VCM (aka, ECO) mode. Honda has reduced exterior noise considerably from my first Pilot - this one has a very quiet interior. Very smooth engine and transmission - typical Honda. Fantastic amount of interior space and cargo room. Great looking SUV, unlike many of the so-called modern SUVs that look like ugly, glorified station wagons. I love everything about the Pilot. The USB port and bluetooth hands-free link are much appreciated. Thanks Honda!!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Disappointing experience and vcm woes

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Honda Pilot Touring w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I traded a CRV for this 2013 Honda Pilot 4WD Touring. The Pilot came home and immediately had a moonroof leak that soaked the interior. The drain tubes were disconnected from the factory. That should have been a sign. The MPG never made it to 25 on the highway, and averages of 15-17 were common in mixed driving over 7000 miles, even with minimal passengers. The VCM was horrible. Sometimes it felt like a bad torque converter, other times it stumbled on flat ground regularly while activating/deactivating cylinders. The only way to tolerate driving it is to drive it in D3, which shouldn't be necessary on a 40K vehicle. We traded back into a Camry SE V6. Honda has VCM troubles.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Bad vibration in eco mode

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Honda Pilot EX-L w/Rear Entertainment 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

When in ECO mode and you encounter a slight grade where there is a light loading on the engine, it vibrates and makes a droning noise. It does it anywhere from 35mph and up including highway speeds. It did not do it on my Odyssey in ECO mode. The shop mechanic first said it was "Normal". I have had 20+ cars in the last 50 years and this isn't normal. Then he said this was very typical of the 2013 Pilots. Honda mad a design change in 2013 and don't apparently don't have a clue how to fix it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Looking for an suv...?

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Honda Pilot EX-L 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Well....don't look any further. If you have not owned a Honda (my 5th), you don't know what I mean. Honda reliability, over all comfort, safety, service, price, ( did I mention reliability & safety) and the best dealers around...it's a no-brainer! I get a soild 22mpg all the time and get a 25mpg on cruise, level ground, at 65mph. Beat that anywhere. You are also riding in the safest vehicle make on the market! We live were it snows... no worries it performs great! The 8 passenger capacity will haul the gang in style, without leaving that "one" behind. Just go and drive the Pilot you will come home with it! Financing has always beat the others hands down. Go see for yourself!!

Talk About The 2013 Pilot

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Identifix Reliability Ratings

Rating unavailable for this vehicle

      (No data available)
See All Ratings
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411