2016 Honda Pilot Long-Term Road Test - New Updates

2016 Honda Pilot Long-Term Road Test

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2016 Honda Pilot: Wrap-Up

by Edmunds Editor on February 7, 2017

2016 Honda Pilot

Well before three-row crossovers became one of the hottest segments in the industry, Honda was there with the Pilot. It has seen plenty of changes since its debut 14 years ago, with 2016 marking its second complete redesign. It has become a vital piece of Honda's lineup as it offers families a more rugged-looking alternative to the Odyssey minivan.

For 2016 the Honda Pilot offered five trim levels — LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Elite — and as with most Hondas there were no stand-alone options.

All versions of the Pilot offered the same 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and either front- or all-wheel drive, with the exception of the AWD-only Elite. A six-speed automatic transmission was standard for all LX, EX and EX-L models, while the Touring and Elite models came equipped with a new nine-speed automatic.

We had a good idea of what we wanted going into the shopping process. The appeal of a top-trim Elite gave us access to all of Honda's latest features, such as adaptive cruise control and various electronic safety systems. What it didn't have was a second-row bench seat, which was replaced by captain's chairs that come on the Elite trim. It limits overall passenger capacity, but it does make third-row access that much better.

Honda agreed to lend us the vehicle for one year to see how it measured up against its predecessor. Here's a summary of how it measures up against Pilots of the past.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Monthly Update for November 2016

by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant

2016 Honda Pilot

Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Honda Pilot soldiered on this month amid an unseasonable smattering of cold and rain. The Pilot's all-wheel-drive system gave Copy Chief Kathleen Clonts peace of mind during a surprise downpour in Palm Springs, of all places, while its seat heaters came in handy on her chilly (we use the term loosely) morning commutes to the office. Meanwhile, Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds took our Honda into the twisting mountain roads above Glendora, reporting that the big crossover handled them well enough. He also encountered some rodent footprints in the engine compartment; thankfully, no damage done.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Monthly Update for October 2016

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor

2016 Honda Pilot

Where Did We Drive It?
October was a big month for our 2016 Honda Pilot test SUV, as we added over 2,500 miles to its odometer. More than half of those miles were accumulated during Automotive Editor Mark Takahashi's weeklong road trip through Northern California and Nevada — an excursion that included three men and three hunting dogs. The rest of the month, the Pilot was employed for more typical daily tasks, such as school carpool duty and around-town errands.

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2016 Honda Pilot: A1 Service Update

by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant on November 8, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

The maintenance minder for our 2016 Honda Pilot alerted us that an A1 service needed to be completed. So I scheduled an appointment with Honda of Santa Monica for 9:30 the next morning and arrived at about 9:35.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Road Trips Get it to 20,000 Miles

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on September 22, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

We've had our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot for eleven months and we've already hit our 20,000-mile target. Despite our disdain for the nine-speed transmission, the Pilot has been chosen for road trip after road trip while racking up those miles, including an 1,100-mile trip up and down California that I just completed.

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2016 Honda Pilot: The Minivan Problem

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on September 20, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Two recent road trips gave me a chance to test the cargo space in our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot versus what we have in our long-term 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. A vehicle like the Pilot is a clear alternative to the minivan life with less stigma. It's what crossovers are all about. It has massive cargo space, three rows of seating and tons of available features.

Still, I was curious just how much versatility a Pilot owner must give up to avoid the minivan stereotypes.

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2016 Honda Pilot: August Fuel Economy Update

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on September 15, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Summer's winding down, and our 2016 Honda Pilot spent more time on local roads in August compared to its road-trip-heavy July. As a result, its overall average mpg dropped, albeit just a smidge.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Will the Luggage Fit?

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on September 13, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Will the luggage fit? To answer this question, we loaded our 2016 Honda Pilot with suitcases in different configurations and took photos. For the sake of standardization, we use the same blue carry-on suitcases (21 x15x10 inches) and red checked suitcases (30x20x13 inches) every time we conduct this test.

Let's see how the Pilot fared.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Handles Weight Well

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on September 7, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Crossovers like our 2016 Honda Pilot are meant for hauling families, not rocks. Yet when it came time to pick up several bags of landscaping stones the other weekend, the Pilot got the job anyway. So, did it even notice the extra weight in back?

Not really.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Headed in the Right Direction

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on August 16, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

I'm a big fan of the easy-to-read graphics in our 2016 Honda Pilot's navigation system. But I find it humorous that Honda offers the compass direction on both sides of the nav screen.

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2016 Honda Pilot: July Fuel Economy Update - Padding the Stats

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on August 11, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot has a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on with its fuel economy. If you take it on the open road like Dan Edmunds did, it can generate some pretty solid MPG numbers (although that's not what happened the time before). But back in the city, we've seen numbers in the low to mid teens, well below the EPA city estimate of 19 mpg.

Fortunately for the Pilot's stats, July was dominated by Dan's surprisingly fuel-efficient Oregon trip.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Numerous Forward Collision Warning False Alarms

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on July 28, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

The above photo is a fake. It had to be. It was made by merging a snippet of a Honda PR image with a shot of our own 2016 Honda Pilot's dash. I'm not stupid enough to venture into traffic in an attempt to trigger what Honda calls a Collision Mitigation Braking System with Integrated Forward Collision Warning (CMBS) for the sole purpose of taking a photograph.

Not that that would be a difficult task.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Impressive Fuel Economy on Oregon Road Trip

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on July 19, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

It's done. My family road trip to Oregon is in the history books. But this wasn't the first time I'd taken our 2016 Honda Pilot on this journey. We used it back in December for our 2015 holiday trip.

Back then, the Pilot was a huge disappointment at the gas pump, averaging a pitiful 21.7 mpg over 1,767 mostly highway miles. Our AWD Pilot's 26-mpg EPA highway rating seemed like a pipe dream, and I could only guess what the engineers had been smoking.

But this trip was nothing like that one — at the gas pump, at least. It was as if I had been driving an entirely different vehicle. This time the Pilot averaged 27.4 mpg over 2,151 miles of driving.

I'll save you the math. That's a difference of 5.7 mpg, which amounts to an improvement of 26 percent. Something like that deserves its own paragraph.

Twenty-six percent!

What made the difference? I can't say for sure, but here are some factors to chew on.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Thoughts on the Road to Oregon

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on July 18, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

The route from my Santa Ana home to Bend, Oregon is ridiculously uncomplicated. Drive 1.3 miles east to the Interstate 5 onramp and proceed 642 miles north to Weed, California. Exit onto Highway 97 and drive 208 miles north to Bend.

I made one modification. Highway 99 is a smoother-flowing parallel deviation through California's great Central Valley that adds but three miles. But that doesn't change the fact that this trip is a long, straight constant-speed cruise. I bet I never turned our 2016 Honda Pilot's steering wheel more than fifteen degrees off center except for those times I dipped off the freeway for food, gasoline or shuteye.

It was pretty much an exercise in lack of exercise, is what I'm saying. We mostly just sat there, listened to First Wave on Sirius/XM and watched California stream past. Trips like this are opportunities for passive evaluation. If you don't notice something, it's probably fine. Things that catch your attention are either exceptionally good or annoyingly bad.

Here's what caught mine.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Packing for an Oregon Vacation — and Bringing a Bicycle

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on July 14, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

My family ventures north to the Oregon coast to see my parents twice a year. But this trip deviated from the norm in a couple of ways. Only three of us made the journey because one of my daughters had to stay back and work. And we added a side trip to Bend, Oregon, to spend a few days with my wife's sister.

Bend is pretty spectacular when it comes to mountain biking, so I really wanted to bring my bike along. But our 2016 Honda Pilot lacks a trailer hitch for my bike rack. It would have to go inside with us. I liked the idea for the security aspect, but didn't think my XL-sized Giant 29er would play nice with our baggage.

I was wrong. Because there were only three of us, I was able to find a way to fit it in standing up. It was a close-run thing, but in the end there was plenty of leftover space for our luggage.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Supersized Console Bin

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on July 13, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Holy schnikes, our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot has a colossal center console cargo bin.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Second Scheduled Service, aka B16

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on July 5, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

This always seems to happen to me. I get all set to take Vehicle A on my twice-annual road trip north to Oregon, only to discover it needs an oil change before I leave town. Such is the case with our 2016 Honda Pilot, which very recently started displaying a Maintenance Due Soon message along with the code for service that is due: B16.

The Pilot's oil change interval is 7,500 miles, so this will be its second one. I wasn't quite sure of the exact mileage of the previous oil change, but the fact that there's a warning at all indicates the oil's remaining life has sunk to 10 percent or less, which is 750 miles.

My upcoming road trip will amount to more than 2,000 miles, so I had to handle it beforehand. I drove over to my local dealer, Hardin Honda, and got into the service line at 9:33 am.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Quick, But Not Always

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on June 30, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

A reasonable person cannot consider our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot to be slow. In our testing it had a sub-7 second 0-60 time and traversed the quarter mile in fewer than 15 seconds. This is plenty rapid for a three-row SUV.

And yet...

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2016 Honda Pilot: Asking for Maintenance

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on June 23, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Our 2016 Honda Pilot is asking for some new fluids. Some new oil and a filter to be exact. That's what the "B16" maintenance code flashing above means. It's a follow up to the "A1" code we saw around 7,500 miles. At this point we're nearing 13,000 miles so it's seems about time for a refresh. 

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2016 Honda Pilot: Best Armrest Ever

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on May 17, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

One unique feature on our 2016 Honda Pilot is this ridiculously simple yet effective adjustable armrest. Every time I use it, I wonder why more SUVs and crossover don't use a similar design.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Fuel Economy Update for March — More Miles, Same MPG

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on May 9, 2016

 2016 Honda Pilot

A fuel economy trend is emerging now that we are 12,000 miles into our test of the 2016 Honda Pilot. And the trend is status quo. We added just over 1,700 miles to the Pilot in April but it wasn't good enough to change any of our lifetime figures.

I even tried to sneak in a freeway-heavy 400 miles and side trip to Legoland in the final days of the month, but to no avail. Nothing budged.

Take the jump to see how the Honda is performing...

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2016 Honda Pilot: Plenty of Room for Cargo

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on April 26, 2016

 2016 Honda Pilot

Three-row crossovers like our 2016 Honda Pilot sometimes get an undeserved reputation for not having much cargo room. That's because they have those pesky third-row seats in the way. Fold them down and there's plenty of room for a run to the Goodwill.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Room for Six Plus Luggage for a Vegas Weekend

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on April 20, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

I've been to Las Vegas a few times over the past couple years, but vehicle logistics have prevented my party of six adults from taking the trip in one car. I tried previously with our departed 2014 Toyota Highlander, but the third row didn't have enough legroom for two adults. I tried again when we added the 2015 Kia Sedona to the fleet, but it was involved in a collision shortly beforehand. This time, I again requested the Sedona but it was signed out by another editor for the same weekend.

Then Mike Schmidt threw a Hail Mary in the form of our 2016 Honda Pilot. I was doubtful, as the comparable Highlander didn't fit two of my passengers. But I took the Pilot home one night, filled the car with my crew and found that there was sufficient legroom and headroom for the people in the back. Due to tight packaging, the third row in a crossover is typically only suitable for kids or small adults. My third-row passengers were a few inches on either side of 6 feet, and both fit well enough for a trip to Vegas. I told Schmidt the Pilot would be okay. But my group would have to pack light for it to work.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Rain-Sensing Wipers

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on April 15, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

The 2016 Honda Pilot in Elite trim comes standard with variable intermittent rain-sensing wipers, a feature we don't often have the opportunity to test here in sunny Southern California. But last week a light April shower prompted me to wake our Honda's wipers from their slumber, freeing them to swing back and forth as needed during my morning drive across town.

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2016 Honda Pilot: City Driving During February and March Reduces Fuel Economy

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on April 11, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

While our 2016 Honda Pilot saw a nice mix of city and highway driving in February, a month full of stop and go traffic in March dealt a blow to overall fuel economy. After it was all said and done, our overall average dropped from 20.4 mpg at the end of January to 19.7 mpg at the end of March.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Getting the Infotainment System Updated

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on April 7, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Two days before I was set to leave for Las Vegas in the 2016 Honda Pilot, Schmidt informed me he received a letter from Honda saying there was a technical service bulletin issued for the Pilot regarding the infotainment system. Schmidt said that if I had time to take it in, I could have the Pilot a day early and work from home. To save myself from a three-hour round-trip office commute, I took the offer.

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2016 Honda Pilot: 10,000 Miles in No Time

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on March 28, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

In less than five months, our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot has already hit the 10,000-mile mark, nearly a month ahead of schedule. Comfy, road-trip-friendly vehicles are popular around here so that's not a massive surprise, but even this big Honda has seen more than its fair share of action.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Fits a 4x8 Sheet of Plywood and Coffee Table — Sort Of

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on March 25, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

The last time I drove our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot, I took the three-row SUV on a 1,000-mile road trip and it did an admirable job carrying five people and all our gear. Last weekend when I signed out the Pilot for the second time, I had a very different task in mind.

My plan was to build a coffee table for my apartment and both of the Edmunds long-term pickup trucks were spoken for. So I went for the next best thing I could think of: a 16-foot-long crossover SUV. According to vehicle manager Mike Schmidt, the interior dimensions of the Pilot were perfect for this sort of task and I was happy to test his theory.  

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2016 Honda Pilot: Repairs Complete, Back to Operational

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on March 2, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

After a couple of weeks spent completing the A1 service, ordering parts (including a new windshield) and half-finished repairs, the 2016 Honda Pilot was ready for its last day at the dealer to fix the remaining problems.

I met windshield installer Kevin Gaines at Community Honda at 8:00 a.m. Thankfully, the glass arrived at the dealer intact. Since it would take less than an hour to install, I asked to shadow him and take pictures during the process. The dealership's service manager wouldn't let me in the service area, so Kevin parked the Pilot in a nearby alleyway and got to work.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Half-Completed Repairs and More Bad News

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 25, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

To recap our repair story so far, our 2016 Honda Pilot needed parts that would fix the broken steering wheel heater and snapping sound emanating from the driver window. We also added a windshield replacement after errant rocks cracked the glass.

Community Honda called us Tuesday to say that the parts had arrived. I informed windshield installer Kevin Gaines of Gaines Glass and told him to meet me at the dealer on Friday morning. He would remove the Pilot's cracked windshield, install the new OEM glass, and then hand it off to the dealer's techs for the other repairs.

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2016 Honda Pilot: EX 6-Speed Transmission Vs. Elite 9-Speed

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on February 23, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

You've probably read our gripes about our 2016 Honda Pilot Elite's 9-speed transmission, which can be especially irksome when you need to summon a short burst of even moderate acceleration. To give you what you want, it might need to kick down two or three gears, but it may only dole out one gearchange in the hopes that you'll stop asking and let it get on with the business of saving fuel.

And then there's the push-button shifter that goes with it, which is just plain silly and annoying. There's little need to look at or even consciously think about a normal shift lever, but it's necessary to glance down to find and operate these buttons. And I'm not convinced it's a simple matter of getting used to it. After years in this business, I'm still glancing down at the keyboard to type these words.

The good news is there is an alternative: don't buy the Touring or the Elite. Get an LX, EX or EX-L, each of which comes with a 6-speed automatic and a standard shift lever.

We recently made a few calls and ended up with a Pilot EX to compare with our Elite.

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2016 Honda Pilot: New Windshield Added to Repair List

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 18, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

When we last left our 2016 Honda Pilot, the Green Machine had just finished its A1 service, with repair parts ordered for the busted steering wheel heater and noisy driver window. The dealer called on Tuesday saying that the parts had arrived. The Pilot was busy for the rest of the week, so I made the appointment for Friday. Everything was going smoothly.

And then it wasn't.  

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2016 Honda Pilot: Fuel Economy Update for January — Road Trips Boost the Average

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 15, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Dan wasn't kidding when he wrote that the 2016 Honda Pilot would see plenty of road trip miles in January. The Pilot started the month with Dan coming home from Oregon. He laid low for a couple of days, then traveled to and from Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show.

Brent took the Pilot a few days later for a day trip of his own with his mother and two kiddos in tow. The long-distance trips helped the Pilot eke ever closer to its combined mpg rating.

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2016 Honda Pilot: A1 Service Completed, with Repair Parts on the Way

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 10, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

The 2016 Honda Pilot had been in our fleet just three months when it displayed its "Maintenance Due Soon" warning near the 7,500-mile mark. The A1 service is a simple one, just an oil change and tire rotation. I didn't think the service would take very long, so I offered to take it to my local Honda dealer.

Before handing the key over, car commandant Mike Schmidt warned that my waiting time would be extended because of the Pilot's malfunctioning steering wheel heater. No problem, I said, then jumped into my emerald chariot. After driving for about five minutes, I realized my wait time would likely be even longer.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Creaky Lumbar

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 8, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

No, I'm not talking about a new folk rock band coming to a summer music festival near you. The creaky lumbar in question here would be the one found in our 2016 Honda Pilot.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Doesn't Like My Phone

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on February 4, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Our 2016 Honda Pilot and my Nexus 6p don't get along.

One of the things I like about Android devices is that you can limit the Bluetooth interaction between the phone and whatever it connects to. When you pair, the phone prompts you to grant access to specific functions. I'm happy to hand over phone controls, but I don't want to transfer my phonebook or text messages to cars we're reviewing because who knows where they might end up. This is a problem specific to what we do, but it illustrates a flaw within the Pilot's system.

When I refuse full access to most cars, nothing happens. When I did it in the Pilot, the SUV continued to send the request. Every 30 seconds or so, my phone would ping with a notification. To make matters worse, Bluetooth audio wouldn't play through the stereo. The Pilot was content to let the phone's speakers handle podcast duties. I could still control the playback through Honda's infotainment system, pausing or changing tracks, but no audio would come through the Pilot's speakers.

I was ready to call the dealer, but then these problems stopped. Maybe the Honda and my phone realized they'd have to communicate and got over their differences.

And then I found another problem.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Due for 7,500-Mile Service

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on February 2, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

The driver information display on our 2016 Honda Pilot is now kindly notifying us that maintenance is due soon. Grab your beer and pretzels, it's Honda/Acura service bingo time with an "A1" indicator.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Volume Control, Briefly Possessed

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on January 29, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Presenting another post from the "Give Me a Volume Dial" folder (1, 2).

An interesting thing happened when I tried turning the volume down in our 2016 Honda Pilot one evening while parking: It kept getting louder.

Getting into my parking spot isn't the easiest thing. It's tight and oddly positioned, often necessitating a multi-point turn and faith in mirrors and proximity sensors. The garage is underground too, so I always lose satellite radio reception.

While parking, I put the Pilot in reverse and started swiping the touch-sensitive volume bar to turn down the volume. Somehow, the combination of the backup camera activating, the loss of satellite radio, and my volume input caused the audio level to increase.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Rear Entertainment System Instead of Tablets

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on January 27, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Considering the widespread use of smartphones and tablet computers, buying a vehicle with a rear entertainment system (RES) probably isn't as big of a draw as it once was. But automakers still offer them and, in the case of our 2016 Honda Pilot Elite, you can often end up with one as standard equipment on top trim levels.

While I have a couple of old iPads for my two young children to use on road trips, I left them at home for my recent day trip in the Pilot and brought along Star Wars to test out our Pilot's entertainment system.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Family Day Trip and Seven-Passenger Tested

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on January 25, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

We have two very capable three-row family haulers in our long-term fleet right now: the 2015 Kia Sedona minivan and our 2016 Honda Pilot. Dan Edmunds recently drove the Pilot up to Oregon and came away with some mixed opinions. This past weekend, I took the Pilot for my own family road trip.

It was just a 300-mile day trip to visit friends but it still proved useful for getting more commentary on the Pilot's strengths and weaknesses.

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2016 Honda Pilot: More Gears Isn't Necessarily Better

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on January 21, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

When you opt for either the Touring or the Elite trim level of the 2016 Honda Pilot, you get a nine-speed automatic in place of the standard six-speed transmission. Sounds like a nice upgrade.

We're not so sure.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Touchscreen Interface Isn't So Great

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on January 19, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

Dan Edmunds touched on this in his recent Road Trip Recap update but it's worth expanding further: the touchscreen interface in our 2016 Honda Pilot has some design issues.

Dan specifically mentioned Honda's choice of virtual buttons instead of buttons or knobs. As you can tell from the photo, there isn't a volume knob. It's just a touch-sensitive controller.

Does it look neat? Yes. Does it work well? No.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Does it Cost a Pot of Gold?

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on January 15, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

On a recent weekend, my wife's friend was visiting our house. She noticed the long-term 2016 Honda Pilot parked in the driveway and asked a few questions that concluded with, "How much does it cost?"

Ummm...

I actually didn't know our test vehicle's exact price at the time, but told her that it was likely around $45,000 (actual price: $47,320.) I was expecting her to say something along the lines of "Geez, that's pretty expensive," but instead she replied, "Oh, well that's reasonable."

I was a bit surprised at first, but then I remembered what she drives: a 2014 Mercedes-Benz ML350.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Fear and Boating in Las Vegas

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 13, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

One thing is certain: you will see some weird stuff if you spend enough time in the desert, even if you're not Hunter S. Thompson.

Exhibit A: The S.S. Stell, a fiberglass ski boat I found slung beneath the superstructure of a high-tension transmission tower.

I have no idea.

I ran across the mighty S.S. Stell while driving to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in our 2016 Honda Pilot SUV. I had pulled off the road onto an adjacent dry lakebed for a quick photograph, and there it was. The Stell wasn't anywhere near the well-traveled freeway, though. It was near a lonely two-lane road that I had detoured onto to help keep my speed down.

That's because this trip was an MPG run, of sorts.

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2016 Honda Pilot: 1,767-Mile Road Trip Recap

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 11, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

The holidays are over and we're back home in southern California. All told, our round-trip to Oregon added 1,767 miles to our 2016 Honda Pilot. I'd like to say we enjoyed each and every one of them immensely, but at least two of us were cranky with head colds at any given time.

That's not the car's fault, of course. Mostly, it did its job admirably. But there are a couple of things we took issue with. Here's a rundown of the highlights and lowlights we encountered along the way.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Fuel Economy Update for December — Early Disappointment

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 5, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

We were hanging out with my parents on the Oregon coast during that quiet week between Christmas and New Year's Day and our 2016 Honda Pilot wasn't going much of anywhere. I added the Pilot's last fill-up of 2015 while still on the California side of the border so I could pump it myself.

Oregon is one of two states where you can't pump your own fuel, and I've always been turned off by how the so-called "professionals" routinely top-up a tank mercilessly with several clicks in order to round the total to an even dollar — even when they know I'm paying with a credit card.

It screws up my MPG record-keeping and I have no doubt this kind of thing cost Dad several hundred dollars a few weeks ago when his 2007 Tacoma's evaporative emissions canister finally gave up the ghost after years of such abuse.

But I digress.

Our half-finished trip has added 778 miles of pure road trip fuel economy to the Pilot's total. Drum roll, please.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Designated Holiday Hauler

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 1, 2016

2016 Honda Pilot

It's time for the Edmunds family's annual holiday trip to Oregon to spend Christmas with my parents. This year I locked in on one particular long-term vehicle as soon as it was admitted to the fleet: the 2016 Honda Pilot.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Computer Help While You Drive

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 29, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

This array of buttons is a good reminder of just how many active safety systems are watching the road when you're behind the wheel of the 2016 Honda Pilot. It almost looks like overkill, but these days this is considered perfectly normal.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Love the Capless Fuel Filler

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on December 22, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

The car biz is a copycat biz, which is one of the reasons so many cars kinda look alike, drive alike and offer the same or similar features and technology. If something's a hit with the public, you can bet your Bluetooth it'll be on the competition soon.

I was reminded of this while filling the gas tank of our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Heated Steering Wheel Does Not Work

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on December 18, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

We've been banging around in our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot for a little more than a month now and we have our first mechanical issue. I wouldn't call it serious, but it's certainly annoying on a brand new vehicle that's been driven 3,000 miles.

This morning the Pilot's heated steering wheel was a no-show.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Might be Too Nice

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 17, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

There's something almost too nice about our 2016 Honda Pilot. It's probably a result of the high-line "Elite" trim and all that comes with it, but if I was buying one of these for my family I might step it down a notch. Here's why.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Performance-Tested Tank

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on December 15, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

The 2016 Honda Pilot only needs to accelerate and brake well enough to safely carry people and cargo on the street. It's probably safe to say that most Pilot owners aren't concerned with quarter-mile trap speeds or lateral loads on the skidpad.

The Pilot wasn't designed with track performance in mind, yet it remains one of the most competent vehicles in its class when pushed. Read ahead to see the numbers.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Rear Seat Comparison

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 10, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

From this angle, the rear seats in our 2016 Honda Pilot don't look particularly spacious. Measure them against the competition, however, and they match up quite well. Here are the numbers against some popular rivals:

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2016 Honda Pilot: Why You See a Photo of My Jeep

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on December 3, 2015

2012 Jeep Wrangler

My friends and I were going on a backroad tour of the Mojave Desert, and I figured the 2016 Honda Pilot might be a suitable stand-in for our 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, which wound up on the disabled list after being rear-ended. After all, our 2012 Honda CR-V had proven to be nicely capable during a similar trip in Nevada awhile back.

But the trip leader wasn't so sure. The roads he'd picked see less maintenance than those Nevada tracks, and the area was generally less predictable. He pointed out that a series of late summer storms had washed out a section of Interstate 40 not 20 miles away.

He was already nervous about the 2012 Toyota Highlander that Terry was bringing and the 2012 Honda Pilot that Rodger would be driving. He assumed I'd be bringing my 2012 Jeep Wrangler, and didn't much like the idea of losing access to a second vehicle with a winch.

So I looked up the relevant clearance specs of our 2016 Honda Pilot. What I found sealed the deal.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Dreaming of Good Fuel Economy

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 1, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

What does "Earth Dreams"mean when it comes to engines? When it involves our 2016 Honda Pilot, it roughly translates into improved mileage. At least that's the idea on its most basic level.

"Earth Dreams"is a catch-all phrase that covers all of Honda's latest fuel efficiency technology. Whether it's a hybrid drivetrain or a particular feature of a gas engine, if it makes things work more efficiently, it falls under the Earth Dreams banner.

In our Pilot, the Earth Dreams badge mainly refers to the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) feature of the 3.5-liter V6, which shuts down half of the cylinders under certain conditions.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Not Impressed By the Automatic Wipers

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on November 27, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of rain-sensing wipers in general. Aside from a few exceptions, I don't think the technology behind automatic wipers is perfected yet and it's distracting. Enter our newest long-termer, the 2016 Honda Pilot.

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2016 Honda Pilot: How Does It Handle Five Passengers and 1,000 Miles?

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on November 25, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

I wasted no time asking Edmunds car-czar Mike Schmidt for the keys to our newest long-term vehicle, the 2016 Honda Pilot. Before it had been in our garage for a week, I requested the six-passenger crossover for a 1,000-mile road trip. Once Mike forked over the keys, I packed my running gear, picked up four of my friends and headed north towards Sacramento.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Learning to Like the Push-Button Shifter

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on November 23, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

This transmission shifter may look familiar. I wrote about a related setup in our long-term Acura TLX earlier this year. I liked it in that car and I think it works well in our new 2016 Honda Pilot, too.

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2016 Honda Pilot: No Need for Fancy Gauges

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on November 18, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

Yes, this is the first thing I felt the need to comment on when it comes to our new 2016 Honda Pilot. I understand that designers have a hard time just leaving well enough alone, but these gauges aren't my favorite alternative to the standard two dial design.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Brief First Impressions and Something That Goes "Bing!"

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on November 16, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

Our 2016 Honda Pilot had arrived just a few days ago. The needle was barely down from the "F" mark on its second tank of fuel as I emerged into the sunlight from our underground parking garage. I wasn't going anywhere special, though. This first drive would be a simple overnight commute.

On the drive home the accommodations proved to be, well, accommodating, and the Pilot generally rolled down the road with composure. Its V6 powertrain seemed to generate a decent amount of power, and I never noticed the odd 1-2 shift that Ed thought he might have felt once or twice the night before. When I got home, my daughter commented how much she liked the rear seat and the amount of space.

It was a brief first impression, and numerous details will get filled in over the miles and months ahead. Still, everyone agreed this would be a good candidate for our upcoming Oregon holiday trip.

Dibs.

But it wasn't all rosy.

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2016 Honda Pilot: Introduction

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on November 13, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

Is Honda finally on the way back? For years, the automaker that owned the 90's with small, sporty and spirited cars (some funneled through the Acura brand, sure) has seemingly stumbled its way through the last decade with a string of sleepy, also-ran designs and powertrains. Top-sellers like the CR-V, Odyssey and Accord have kept the brand relevant, but hardly exciting. That malaise even affected the Pilot, Honda's three-row alternative to the minivan.

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Past Long-Term Road Tests