2016 Honda Pilot: The Minivan Problem
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on September 20, 2016
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.
Behind its third row of seats, our top-of-the-line Pilot Elite has 18 cubic feet of space, which is nothing to sneeze at. But the Pacifica has nearly double that at 32.3 cubes, and its lower load floor makes accessing that space easier.
Fold the second and third rows flat in the Pilot Elite and you get 108.5 cubic feet of cargo space, which is again a strong performance for a crossover. But do the same thing in the Pacifica (the seats fold into the floor) and there's 140.5 cubes.
Of course, cargo space isn't the only difference between these two. The Pilot offers all-wheel drive, which isn't available on the Pacifica (though it is on the Toyota Sienna). It also has a higher towing capacity, maxing out at 5,000 pounds versus the Pacifica's 3,600. And its higher ground clearance brings some gnarlier off-road action into play.
But if room for stuff is your biggest concern, the Pacifica wins this one by a longshot. We know minivans rule this category — the Pacifica is actually on the small side compared to the Sienna and the Pilot's platform-mate, the Honda Odyssey — but the numbers are still pretty striking.
Travis Langness, Automotive Editor @ 19,000 miles