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 Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on September 7, 2016
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?
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 Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on March 28, 2016
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.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on February 23, 2016
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on January 21, 2016
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.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 11, 2016
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.
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 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 Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on December 3, 2015
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 1, 2015
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.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on November 25, 2015
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.
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.