At its debut, the Honda Pilot essentially defined the emerging market for midsize crossover SUVs. Offering decent V6 power, above-average fuel economy, easy maneuverability, plenty of interior comfort and versatility, and seven-to-eight-passenger seating, the Pilot was exactly the kind of vehicle that families leery of the minivan stigma were looking for.
Of course, a lot more crossover SUVs have come out since the original Honda Pilot. Honda responded with a full redesign, and we've found the second-generation Pilot to be a little off the mark. While it typifies Honda's usual knack of milking as much usable interior space as possible from a vehicle, it's less maneuverable than you might expect from a Honda. However, a used example of the original Honda Pilot is one midsize crossover you'll definitely want to look at.
Current Honda Pilot
The current Honda Pilot is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. Third-row seating accommodations are respectable for adults, and its boxy shape and maximum cargo capacity of 87 cubic feet mean that the Pilot can handle just about anything the average family can cram into it.
All Pilots are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only available transmission. The LX comes with a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio, a rearview camera and an iPod/USB audio interface. The EX adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a power driver seat, tri-zone automatic climate control and satellite radio. The EX-L upgrades include a sunroof, a power liftgate, leather upholstery and heated front seats. The high-end Touring model includes a 10-speaker audio system, a rear entertainment system and a navigation system (optional on the EX-L).
In reviews, we've found that the latest Honda Pilot offers a comfortable ride as well as plenty of adult-friendly interior room. In addition to the generous amount of cargo space, the Pilot also has a lot of thoughtful storage areas for smaller items. High fuel economy is another Pilot advantage. On the downside, the Pilot lacks giddy-up compared to its more powerful rivals, while its slow steering and ponderous handling make you feel less confident behind the wheel. Overall the Pilot is a solid choice for a large crossover SUV, but others may suit your needs better.
Read the most recent 2015 Honda Pilot review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Honda Pilot page.