2016 Honda Pilot Review
Pros & Cons
- The Pilot's interior is versatile, with roomy rear seats
- no shortage of clever storage solutions
- ride is smooth and compliant in most conditions
- better fuel economy than rivals
- all-wheel-drive system handles poor weather with ease
- high-tech safety features are available on most trims.
- Touchscreen interface isn't intuitive
- collision warning system is overly sensitive
- adaptive cruise control has clumsy reactions
- nine-speed automatic transmission lacks refinement
- third-row access is narrow.
List Price Range
$19,250 - $31,998
Used Pilot for SaleSee all for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful consumer reviews
Elite w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment System 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Update 6/28/19 - The problem with the auto stop-start function has not returned since the battery was replaced. Sometimes on hot days, the vehicle struggles to auto-start, but has not died as it did before the battery was replaced. The A/C went out at 32,000 miles and cost $1,700 for repairs. Fortunately, I had purchased a Honda extended warranty policy and Honda covered the repair. The infotainment system continues to be a point of frustration. It is absolutely the worst system I have ever encountered in a vehicle! My only other issue is the transmission. It is very jerky at low speeds. Update 12/27/2018 - Encountered a problem with the auto stop-start function that shuts the engine off when at a full stop. After several trips to the Honda dealer and after showing several videos of the Pilot stalling out at stop signs and stop lights, they finally determined it was a faulty battery. Regarding the infotainment system, I still feel it is the worst I have ever encountered. Terrible design and very "user unfriendly". Update 06/27/2018 - After almost 3 years of ownership, I still feel the infotainment system is one of the worst on the market. Very user unfriendly and the nav system is very inaccurate. Most recent problem has to do with the auto Idle-stop feature. Often times when I stop at a light or at a stop sign, the engine goes into Idle-stop, but when the gas peddle is pressed, the vehicle just stalls out. You must then put the vehicle in "park", press the brake and then the start button. Very dangerous when in the middle of an intersection making a turn. I have taken the vehicle into Honda, but they have been unable to fix the problem??? So each time I start the vehicle, I disengage the auto idle-stop function (which reduces the gas mileage). I really like the new design and ride of the vehicle, but I have to say, the center electronics stack has a very "user unfriendly" interface. I have owned many vehicles over the past 15 years (Infinity, Acura, BMW to name a few) and all have far superior electronics packages. I am very disappointed in how unresponsive the the touch screen is and how inaccurate the nav system can be. Many well established main stream restaurants do not show up in the database. The voice activation interface is almost useless. You must go through layers of screens to make a call or to utilize the nav system. I have returned to the dealership on two different occasions to have a total of four sales reps agree with me that the electronics interface leaves a lot to be desired. It is impossible to control the rear entertainment system from the touch screen in terms of starting a DVD for a child. I have read several reviews and blogs critical of the design and ergonomics of the electronics user interface. Not sure why Honda would install such a rudimentary system in a $50,000 Pilot Elite??? Update: After a full year of ownership my opinion has not changed. As a matter of fact, I can without reservation say the Honda Pilot Elite Infotainment system is the worse system I have ever used. Cannot access my phone book while driving yet I can go through many screens when using the radio, DVD player, etc. (so safety cannot be the reason I am limited on the phone book access). While driving I can go through several screens to get to "Tech Support" for a call, but when I reach Honda and I am asked to enter 1 for Honda or 2 for Acura, I am locked out of the numeric key pad screen to enter 1 or 2. I must pull off the road and stop the car to enter 1 or 2??? Makes absolutely no sense! There are a hundred other frustrating things about the design of the Infotainment system, but not enough room in this review to address them all. Update: After 2 years of ownership, I am still very dissatisfied with the infotainment system. It is frustrating to use and very user unfriendly. I would say it is the worse infotainment system I have ever used. I have had several friends who have owned the 2016 Honda Pilot and all are very unhappy with the infotainment system. The other problem area is the the 9 speed transmission. It is very "jerky" at low speeds and does not shift very smoothly. As far as design, comfort, mileage and handling, I am very satisfied. Just wish Honda had utilized the Acura infotainment design.
EX-L w/Honda Sensing 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
As long-time Honda Accord V-6 owners (3 since 1999) and realizing that we wanted something larger, we began to research the 2016 re-designed Pilot a year ago. After visiting dealerships several times and looking at all facets of the SUV, we purchased an EX-L with Honda Sensing in November 2016. The only options we added were color-matched side trim moldings and rear bumper applique, both of which greatly protect from door dings to sides and suitcase scratches to rear bumper....highly recommend. Incidently, we got the dealership to include both in negotiated purchase price, at no extra cost, including labor to install. We did get wheel locks and etched window security ID number, but declined upgraded security system....a $1000 add-on and dealer money-maker. We presently have 4500 miles on the vehicle, including 2 trips of 800 miles each, mostly interstate both times, with gas mileage on those trips of 28.5 miles both. Recently we had a rock, or object, hit the center of our right front fog light lens in the bumper, shattering it. I thought this would be a relatively easy fix....NOT!! The lens had to be ordered, and second appointment scheduled (18 mile round trip) for replacement. The lens (only...not the actual light assembly) was $70 and $120 for 35 minutes labor to replace...a total of $191....outrageous!!! These are available on-line from various sources quite reasonable, and there are how-to videos online showing how to replace them, which I would do next time. While there for replacement, I mentioned to the service advisor that I had noticed for sometime, but more so the past several weeks, that the brake pedal seemed "soft" when coming to stop signs or lights, and that recently, when stopped at a light in a line of traffic, the car would initially stop OK, but the brake pedal would then slowly depress, nearly to the floor, requiring increasing attention and pressure to prevent the vehicle from "creeping" forward....a safety concern. His response was, "yes, Honda is a aware of this, so far terming it a "soft pedal issue", and they are watching it". I indicated to him my concern this is ultimately a safety concern, and he indicated that "it does not seem to be present or happening with all 2016 Pilots, but likely will require a "fix", ie: a recall or software update". If buying a 2016, you need to be aware of this. Our last feature we dislike the most is the Infotainment Center in this particular model. Everything is touch, slide, and as many reviews have indicated, NOT user friendly or intuitive. The hardcopy owners manual gives you very little specific info on the vehicle. Fortunately, there is a CD for use in your computer that gives you detailed info...how to set or adjust outside temperature reading on dash; how to change bass/treble/balance/front-rear balance on radio/sound system....look at it...well worth the time. Overall, a very nice vehicle with some "hiccups" Honda needs to correct. Update: 12,000 miles on vehicles, with no new glitches. Overall, very happy with vehicle, with the exception of the above noted issues. We still hate the info center and digital technology. The radio is "crap' with lousy sound. The "soft pedal" issue continues, maybe slightly better, but still present. On my most recent service visit to Honda I had the service advisor check their tech bulletins to see if Honda was addressing the issue in any way.......NO....."just watching it". Update: 18400 miles now at 19 months since purchased. Still really like the vehicle overall, with the exception of the Infotainment/audio system, which has been described above. The soft pedal issue remains...maybe somewhat improved, but suspect more likely we have "adjusted" to it. We've taken 2 major trips the past several months....one from southern CA to Denver and back, heavily loaded both ways. The other from southern CA to the north end of Vancouver Island and back. Average 28.6 miles per gallon on both trips. Quite happy with mileage and performance. No problems to date with the vehicle. Update: We've now owned this vehicle 25 months, with 23,000 miles driven. No problems of any type except as noted above. We still think the infotainment system is very poor. The "soft-pedal" issue seems to no longer be a problem, but again, suspect we have just "adjusted" to it. We've had no mechanical issues with the car, and it has required only routine service and tire rotations. I've noted many "consumer reviews" on the vehicle note "sluggish to drive" and "under-powered", neither of which has been an issue for us. The V-6 provides more than adequate power and response. Then vehicle is very comfortable on long trips. I would have NO problem recommending it to prospective buyer. Update: We've owned the vehicle 32 months, with 31,000 miles driven, including several lengthy trips. We've had no mechanical problems with the vehicle, other than routine oil changes and tier rotations. Still hate the infotainment center.
Elite w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment System 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Before purchasing the new Pilot in Elite trim, I was comparing it to the 2016 Kia Sorento Limited trim with the Technology package. Having owned a loaded 2014 Sorento EX, I needed something bigger with newer safety features that the new Pilot offered. Let's start with the good, it's very similar to the look and feel of the current Odyssey; that to me is a good thing. It's no sports car, but handling and response is very good for a vehicle of this size. The seats are comfortable with lumbar support, even better with the ventilation and heating options (Elite only). The Touring only comes with heated seats. Very good visibility all around especially the front A pillar area. The controversial 9 speed transmission has been fine for me. In economy mode, the gears shift quickly and smoothly. Good fuel economy so far; about 23-25 in mixed driving. Low road noise. Plenty of cupholders, plus the ones in the first two rows are illuminiated at night! The Elite has a 12V plug and two usb sockets under the front console area. In the center console storage, there is another 12V plug and more USB sockets. The center console is deep, large enough to hold an iPad plus lots of other stuff. For a family with lots of tech toys, this is wonderful! The Nav system is decent so far, you can search for a place or address using voice commands. Only one hiccup so far; when I searched for a chain restaurant that I knew was a few miles away (and in business for many years), it listed the closest one as being 27 miles away, weird. Now to the not so good. The touchscreen infotainment system on the Pilot is truly a mixed blessing. The screen is bright and colorful with a lot of tech options, but as other reviewers have mentioned, response is mediocre at best. Some options are so slow that you end up touching the same option more than once thinking you missed it the first time. For example, try touching the audio on/off button. There is a two second delay after you touch it before it executes your command. So if you were trying to turn off the sound system and you touch the audio on/off icon, nothing happens and you think you missed the icon so you touch it again. The system will turn off the audio system after two seconds and a couple of seconds after that turn it back on. That's just one example. Also, you need to touch the center of all the touch screen icons with a solid tap, if you don't it is not going to register. All of this reminds me of an old Android phone that I used own from 5 years ago. If you own a modern phone or tablet, the Pilot's touchscreen will feel painfully slow. The touchscreen has another horrible "feature", it's highly glossy. That means it is highly reflective in direct sunlight and a fingerprint magnet. Combining the two makes the screen unreadable at times. My 2014 Sorento had a matte finish so everything was easily readable even in direct sunlight, plus fingerprints weren't nearly as visible compared to the Pilot. It had an excellent touch screen. Many other owners have ordered screen protectors (see piloteers.org) similar to what people put on their phones. I'm doing the same for sure. There are no analog knobs in this vehicle. So if you want to turn down the radio, you have to use the touchscreen or the steering wheel controls. Good luck trying to quickly turn down or mute the sound. To adjust the temperature controls on the A/C, you have to push a spring loaded switch. If you want to change the A/C temp from 72 to say 75, you have to push the switch up three times. Or hold it up until the system increments to the desired temperature. To me this is less convenient than a conventional rotary dial and just invites wear. If you are wondering at this point why I bought the Pilot if I knew about the above complaints, it's because I thought I would get used to it. Some things I have such as the climate controls, but touch screen response is something I haven't gotten used to. I hope Honda listens to Pilot owners and issues a fix soon. Good: Comfortable, Adaptive Cruise Control, spacious interior, plenty of USB slots, driving visibility Neutral: Adaptive Cruise Control (cuts out at 20 mph), push button shifter, mediocre turning radius Bad: No analog dials for audio or A/C, horrible touch screen, no way to permanently disable Auto Stop/Start I purchased the Pilot because of the safety features not available on the Sorento like forward collision mitigation with automatic braking system and LED daytime running lights, and mostly because of Honda's reliability. However, if I had to do it all over again I would probably have purchased the Sorento and waited a few years until Honda fixed the issues with the first year redesigned Pilot. Additionally, Kia is offering some significant rebates at this time, while the hard to find Elites are commanding top dollar. Hope this helps someone make an informed decision.
EX w/Honda Sensing 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Frustrating is the only word I can use to describe my experience with my brand new 2016 Honda Pilot. I don’t know if it was a freak occurrence or maybe I’m just unlucky, but I drove my Pilot off the lot and about 10 miles later the Touch Screen Infotainment system just stopped working. I was ok with that honestly, things break, car manufacturing isn't a perfect process. However the thing that is unforgivable and what warrants a 1 star review for my brand new car is the face that getting Honda to repair it has been an absolute clown show. I’ve owned the car for 25 days and I’ve only had the car to drive for 5 days because the last 17 days the car has been in the shop. So here follow my timeline and make your own decision about whether or not buying a new Honda Pilot is right for you. Day 1: I bought the car and drove it away. The sales process was clean and efficient. I drove 10 miles home and on the way my infotainment touch screen started fading to black. Day 2: Driving the car around town the infotainment screen just stopped functioning entirely. Just a black screen that would show lines. Made an appointment to get the car in the shop the next day. Day 3: After staying at the dealership for 3 hours Honda told me their computers found nothing wrong, and that I should leave the car there and take a loaner while they called Honda Tech support to figure out the issue. This wasn’t immediately possible as I was planning an out of state trip that weekend so I said I would bring it right back on Monday. Day 7: After driving the car all weekend the infotainment system never worked once. It’s a blessing that I could control the radio was from the buttons on the steering wheel. I took the car into the dealership, and drove away with my loaner. All in all I had put about 780 miles on the car (150 miles of which was driving it back and forth to the dealership) They told me they hope to have it fixed in “a few days”. Great. Day 10: Haven’t heard back from the dealership so I give them a call. The tech line said they should just replace the entire infotainment system, it’s on order and they should have the part some time this week. They hope to get me the car in “a few days”. Great. Day 14: The part didn’t come over the weekend. We’re investigating why the part order didn’t go through. We’ll get this cleared up and get the car back to you as soon as we can. At this point Honda has had my car longer than I have. We’re starting to get really upset so we call Honda of America Corporate to see what's the problem. They said the dealership should figure it out and there is nothing they could do about it. They gave us a case number incase there was a problem. Day 16: We’ve ordered the part but it’s on hold. They won’t release it to us yet. At this point we’re wondering if the part even exists. This is where we start pulling our hair out from frustration. Day 17: I get a call from manager for my region at Honda Corporate. He seems just as upset as I am at how this has been handled and assures me that he understands my frustration. He say’s he’ll talk to my dealership's service manager and get the part shipping expedited. He says he’s going to investigate and crack skulls and call me the following Monday Day 21. Day 22: The regional manager from Honda of America calls me back and tells me the part still hasn’t been ordered. That he’ll call me back with an update later this week. This is today. At this point all I feel is silent rage. The car was fun to drive, the features were amazing but how can I feel excited at this point. My brand new car that I paid for now just feels like it's a refurbished lemon. We’ve been given nothing but the run around by Honda and NOTHING has been done. THEY HAVEN’T EVEN ORDERED A REPLACEMENT PART SUCCESSFULLY. I’m exhausted. This was the first new car I’ve ever purchased. It’s been in the shop for 17 days and at this point I hope they keep the car in the shop another 10 days so they will be forced to replace or buy it back via the lemon law. It’s just been a customer service catastrophy so buyer beware and pray if your Pilot breaks that the replacement part actually exists.
Features & Specs
See all Used 2016 Honda Pilot features & specs
EX-L 4dr SUV AWD
3.5L 6cyl 6A
18 city / 26 hwy
280 hp @ 6000 rpm
EX-L 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation
3.5L 6cyl 6A
18 city / 26 hwy
280 hp @ 6000 rpm
Touring 4dr SUV w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment System
3.5L 6cyl 9A
20 city / 27 hwy
9-speed shiftable automatic
280 hp @ 6000 rpm
Touring 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment System
3.5L 6cyl 9A
19 city / 26 hwy
9-speed shiftable automatic
280 hp @ 6000 rpm