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 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 Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on April 7, 2016
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.
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on February 4, 2016
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.
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on January 29, 2016
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.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on January 27, 2016
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.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on January 19, 2016
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.
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 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 Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on November 27, 2015
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.
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.