by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant
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.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on September 22, 2016
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.
by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on August 16, 2016
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.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on July 28, 2016
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.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on July 13, 2016
Holy schnikes, our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot has a colossal center console cargo bin.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on June 30, 2016
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.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on April 20, 2016
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.
by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on April 15, 2016
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.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on April 11, 2016
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.
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on March 2, 2016
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.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 25, 2016
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.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 18, 2016
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.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 15, 2016
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.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 10, 2016
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.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on January 15, 2016
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?"
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.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 1, 2016
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 29, 2015
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.
by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on December 22, 2015
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.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on December 15, 2015
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on November 23, 2015
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on November 18, 2015
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.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on November 16, 2015
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.
But it wasn't all rosy.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on November 13, 2015
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.