2018 Honda Pilot Review

Pros & Cons

  • A versatile, roomy interior with spacious rear seats
  • Ride is smooth and compliant in most conditions
  • Better fuel economy than rivals
  • Multiple clever storage compartments
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission lacks refinement
  • Collision warning and adaptive cruise control are overly sensitive
  • Third-row access is narrow
  • Touchscreen interface isn't very intuitive
List Price Range
$25,000 - $41,998

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Which Pilot does Edmunds recommend?

The 2018 Honda Pilot is available in five well-equipped trim levels designed to suit a wide variety of buyers. We recommend the EX-L model for its combination of practicality, comfort and features. Standard equipment on this trim includes a leather-trimmed interior, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a sunroof, a power tailgate, heated front seats and one-touch sliding second-row seats. It also has the standard six-speed automatic transmission, which we much prefer to the finicky nine-speed gearbox that comes on higher trim levels.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

8.0 / 10

The 2018 Honda Pilot SUV has a lot to offer shoppers in the market for a family hauler. It has almost as much interior room as a minivan but provides a lot more capability. Available in front-wheel or all-wheel-drive configurations, the Pilot comes standard with a strong V6 engine that helps it tow up to 5,000 pounds and is built tough enough for some light off-roading. At the same time, its comfortable and feature-packed cabin provides a near-luxury experience for as many as eight passengers. And, unlike some competitors, there's enough room behind the third-row seat for their luggage and other belongings.

Although the Pilot remains a top choice in this class, there are a few minor issues that potential buyers should consider. Some of the active safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, are set up to err on the side of caution, making them seem oversensitive. We're not particularly fond of the way the optional nine-speed transmission shifts either. But despite these quibbles, we highly recommend a test drive in a Honda Pilot if you're looking for a roomy, comfortable, reliable three-row family vehicle.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Honda Pilot as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize SUVs for 2018 and Best Family SUVs for 2018.

What's it like to live with?

With a spacious cabin, exceptional comfort and a tremendously roomy cabin, the Honda Pilot is the quintessential three-row crossover. As soon as we got behind the wheel of this newest model, our editors universally agreed: The Pilot was the best of the bunch. We immediately reached out to Honda and secured a fully loaded Elite model for our long-term test fleet. Over the course of a year and 25,000 miles, we drove our Black Forest green tester to Las Vegas, Sacramento and Oregon. Usually, it performed the commuting duties typical of a family-friendly SUV. To read about our experiences, read our long-term Pilot test. Note that while we tested a 2016 Pilot, all of our observations still apply to the 2018 model.

2018 Honda Pilot models

The 2018 Honda Pilot is a three-row crossover SUV that provides a good alternative to a minivan. It is offered in LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and the Elite trim levels. All seat eight people, with the exception of the Elite, which has second-row captain's chairs that reduce capacity to seven.

For basic family transportation, the base LX Pilot makes a lot of sense. It might be the entry-level trim, but it definitely isn't bare-bones. Standard features include a 3.5-liter V6 engine (280 horsepower, 262 pound-feet of torque), a six-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a 60/40-split folding third-row seat. Technology features include a 5-inch central display screen, a seven-speaker sound system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.

If you're looking for a few more tech and safety features, then you should probably step up to the EX. It adds automatic headlights, foglights, LED running lights, heated mirrors, remote engine start, the Honda LaneWatch blind-spot camera, dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera, three-zone automatic climate control and a power-adjustable driver seat.

Also included with the EX is an Intelligent Traction Management system (adds a Snow mode for the front-wheel-drive version and Snow/Sand/Mud modes with AWD), an 8-inch touchscreen interface, HondaLink smartphone-enabled features, and an upgraded seven-speaker sound system with two additional higher-powered USB ports, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and Pandora internet radio control.

Although much of its equipment is the same as in the EX, the EX-L gets several creature comforts that make it worth a closer look. It adds a sunroof, a power tailgate, a noise-reducing windshield, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, one-touch sliding second-row seats, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. It also keeps the six-speed transmission, which is a big part of why we recommend this trim level.

For some added safety, the EX and EX-L trim levels both offer the optional Honda Sensing package. It adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation (with automatic braking), road departure intervention, and lane departure warning and intervention. The EX-L can also be equipped with a navigation system or a rear entertainment system that includes a Blu-ray player with a single overhead screen, HDMI and RCA ports, two additional USB ports for the second row, second-row sunshades and a 115-volt power outlet. Note that these EX-L options cannot be combined with each other.

Near the top of the Pilot lineup is the Touring model, which has all of the EX-L's standard and optional equipment plus roof rails, 20-inch wheels, a nine-speed automatic transmission, automatic engine stop-start, additional noise-reducing acoustic glass for the windows, front and rear parking sensors, driver-seat memory settings, ambient interior lighting and a 10-speaker sound system. The Touring is appealing, sure, and much of the equipment is useful, but the nine-speed transmission isn't as easy to live with as the six-speed.

Swinging for the fences, the top-of-the-line Elite model adds LED headlights, automatic high-beam headlight control, a full blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert (which replaces LaneWatch), automatic windshield wipers, a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain's chairs (which reduce maximum seating to seven people), a heated steering wheel and HD radio.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Honda Pilot Touring w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment System (3.5L V6 | 9-speed automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the Honda Pilot received some minor revisions, such as the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility in 2017. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's 2018 Honda Pilot, however.

Driving

7.0
With ample power and respectable handling, the Pilot is among the athletes in the three-row SUV segment. It's a winner on mountain roads, easily gets up to speed, and can manage light towing and slippery surfaces with the optional all-wheel drive.

Acceleration

8.5
The Pilot has plenty of power, but you have to dig deep into the pedal to make it move quickly. At full throttle it shifts decisively, and you can also manually control shifts with the nine-speed transmission. It hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is a solid number for a vehicle of its size.

Braking

6.5
In daily use, the Pilot's brakes provide solid braking power and an easy-to-modulate pedal. In our testing, simulated-emergency stopping distances from 60 mph ranged from 117 to 120 feet, which is shorter than average.

Steering

7.5
Though there's relatively good precision from the Pilot's steering wheel, there's little road feel. On winding mountain roads, it's steady and predictable. What partially hurts the score in this category is its lane keeping feature, which can be very intrusive in long, sweeping corners.

Handling

8.0
No three-row SUV is light on its feet, but the Pilot feels more nimble than most. It swaps lanes confidently, and its stability control remains at bay during moderately aggressive driving. Overall, handling is above average for the segment.

Drivability

6.5
Some low-speed indecision and rough shifts from the nine-speed transmission are very noticeable to the point of intrusion. But the problem is largely at low speed and low load. Nail the gas and the Pilot moves out — sometimes spinning its tires from a standing start.

Off-road

8.0
Two-wheel-drive Pilots can handle little more than dirt-road duty. All-wheel-drive models, however, offer active center and rear differentials that redistribute power to the wheels that need it most, making the Pilot surprisingly capable on snow, sand and mud.

Comfort

8.5
The Pilot is a very comfortable given its above-average ride quality and seat comfort, plus ample space in first and second rows. Ease of use is very high, too, which makes the Pilot a convenient and easy vehicle to live with.

Seat comfort

8.5
The wide seats with compliant but supportive backs and bottoms provide hours of comfort. The adjustable inner armrests are a bonus, as is power operation and lumbar support. The Touring model we tested came with heated seats up front and a second row that slides and reclines.

Ride comfort

9.0
Body motions are well-controlled but not at the sacrifice of ride comfort. Big bumps affecting all four wheels can surprise the Pilot, but smaller obstacles don't seem to disturb the ride as much. It's a segment leader in this category.

Noise & vibration

8.0
Levels of tire and wind noise are low, especially for a Honda product. The door sealing is very good, and during our tests, we didn't observe any unusual rattles or squeaks. Passengers remain compartmentalized from the outside elements, even over significant surface changes.

Interior

8.0
The Pilot exhibits typical Honda efficiency and build quality. Use of space is very good with lots of storage. Practical features such as the easy-entry third row and flat load floor with the second and third rows lowered make a difference when hauling cargo and people.

Ease of use

6.5
The infotainment controls are improved over an older, multifunction knob design, and there's an attractive high-resolution touchscreen. The lack of physical knobs for some features is disappointing. Also, the push-button shifter for the nine-speed automatic transmission takes some getting used to.

Getting in/getting out

7.5
The large doors and modest seat heights make the Pilot an easy vehicle to enter and exit. Third-row access is enhanced with a single-button release for the tilt-and-slide second row, but the pass-through space into the rear is small.

Driving position

The Pilot's highly adjustable front seats and tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel make it easy to find a good driving position. The driver's seat is mounted a bit high for shorter drivers, but otherwise it's a comfortable setup for most.

Roominess

9.0
Both the first and second rows are very roomy with good elbow room, leg- and headroom for all but the biggest occupants. Third-row seating is close-coupled with a low seat bottom and a high floor. But there's still enough room for adults on short trips, which some competitors can't manage.

Visibility

8.0
For such a large vehicle, there's average front- and rear-quarter visibility. The upright seating gives a better view than you'll get in the Honda Odyssey minivan. The multiview backup camera is handy, while optional front and rear parking sensors reveal hidden obstacles.

Quality

8.5
The quality of materials and assembly is high for a three-row SUV in this segment but not substantially better than what you'll find in competitors. Soft-touch plastics on the dash combined with high-gloss trim and matte-finish secondary controls look and feel good.

Utility

9.0
The Pilot is an extremely utilitarian vehicle even though it can't tow as much as large truck-based SUVs, such as the Chevy Suburban. Its large, well-thought-out interior proves extremely useful when you stuff it full of passengers and their gear.

Small-item storage

Everywhere inside the cabin you'll find numerous storage compartments for small items. Up front, a cavernous center console sits between the front seats, and big cupholders are everywhere. Bring all your small items — the Pilot has space for them.

Cargo space

It might not measure up against a few cavernous minivans, but the Pilot is still near the top of the three-row SUV segment in terms of total cargo space. The fold-flat second and third row are extremely useful for big items, and there is generous storage under the rear load floor for extra luggage.

Towing

6.0
At 3,500 pounds, the 2WD Pilot we tested has a towing capacity lower than that of most V6-powered three-row SUVs. All-wheel drive does bump the Pilot's towing capacity up to 5,000 pounds, which is more in line with the capabilities of its competitors.

Technology

8.0
Though some controls in the Pilot are reasonably intelligent and intuitive, the active safety features err on the side of caution and can be intrusive. Also, the lack of a volume knob is a frustrating omission that you have to deal with on a daily basis.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall8.0 / 10
Driving7.0
Comfort8.5
Interior8.0
Utility9.0
Technology8.0

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Honda Pilot.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

No frills, quiet ride, power window issue<350mi
DANNE Baker,07/16/2018
EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I purchased the Pilot Ex-L new. Less than thrilled for the price paid. Day 1, I Noticed the windows rolled down and up more slowly than my previously driven 10 yr old Camry. Also, the windows make a hideous, squalling noise on rolling up. I have Less than 300 miles and already requires a service visit to lubricate window motor and bearings of some type. When researchibg online I found this is an ongoing problem on older Honda vehicles, also. One would expect quality control to have corrected this issue in a $40k plus vehicle. The Dealer seemed Irritated to have to schedule service when realizing vehicle was not purchased from their location. I do love the amount of space, cubbies, cup holders, etc the vehicle offers. However, fit and finish is lacking. I detest the infotainment ctr...not user friendly, nor does it link well with Android phone systems. Very likely, I Will trade this one sooner than later for a different SUV....a Highlander, Lexus, Acura, Infinity, GMC, Chevy, etc.
Going into "park"
Richard Baker,06/25/2018
Touring w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment System 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Bought this Honda Pilot Touring in May of 2017 and this morning when my wife left the garage, she told me she couldn't get it to come out of "Park!" I tried it and had the same problem. After starting, and with foot on the brake, I put the transmission in "drive" and when I let up on the brake the transmission immediately went to ""Park.' I tried "reverse" with the same results. After shutting down the engine and starting again the transmission continued to revert to "Park" every time it was put in either "drive' or "reverse." This went on for several cycles and we were ready to call a tow truck, since the car had been backed into the street. Finally, after shutting down the engine for about the fourth time, the transmission went into "drive' and "reverse" normally. Now I am worried that this might happen again under dire circumstances such as trying to move the car in an emergency. I will be taking it to the dealer to see what can be done but I don't want my wife or I driving a car that we can't trust. We've had several Hondas over the years and have found them very reliable but this is not what I would call reliable and needs to to be corrected.
The thumper
Thomas Blatt,04/29/2018
EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
There’s a very noticeable “thump” in the right rear every time I hit the slightest bump in the road. I can not imagine Honda putting a nice vehicle out with this annoying thump, thump, thump. And even worse, the service department will not even drive it to check it out. This my last Honda!!! I traded this piece of junk on Sept 8th 2018.
Honda #5
mcmillonbe,02/23/2018
EX-L w/Rear Entertainment System 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I traded in my 17 Mazda 3 GT hatchback manual a few days ago for an 18 Honda Pilot EX-L with RES. This is our 5th Honda(03 Pilot EX, 13 Honda Fit Sport, 13 Honda CRV EX-L, 17 CRV Touring). I chose the EX-L trim because it was the closest match to my daily needs. I felt the ZF 9speed would drive me crazy with the auto shut off and all the nannies trying to assist me. The 6 speed shifts smoothly and always is ready to drop a gear. Acceleration is plentiful, especially when merging onto the freeway. The visibility is superb with low window sight lines and lots of glass. The seating is awesome with plenty of room in the 3rd row. The RES will get it use by my son and his friends on road trips. The driving dynamics are pretty good but the steering is vague and the brakes don't give much feedback, but again this is a passenger hauler not a sports car. I have had good experiences in the past with Honda's and this one should be the same. I perform all the maintenance on my vehicles and have never had any issues in the past 30 years. Oil changes, filter changes, and tire rotations are about all I need to do with Honda vehicles. The maintenance packages offered by our local Honda dealer are very expensive($3000+) and are essentially glorified oil changes. If we decide to keep this more than 3 years, then I may buy a Honda Car extended warranty. Great job Honda! 2 year/17k mile update I recently traded in my Pilot for a 2020 Toyota Tundra Platinum. The Pilot was an excellent mid size suv, it proved to be a great highway cruiser. Gas mileage was excellent considering AWD, and 4000lbs+. I had no maintenance issues, just oil and filters. A few negatives came up over the last two years. The drivers seat bottom cushion is too short for tall drivers, and the center armrest is too small. Also the steering feel is non existent but that is the norm these days with most cars using electric power steering. The brakes while working just fine always felt mushy, changing out brake pads and fluid helped a little but still never felt firm. Overall, I was very pleased with my two years with the Honda. I would recommend this vehicle for its overall flexibility with passengers and utility.

Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 8
6-speed automatic
Gas
280 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 27 hwy
Seats 8
6-speed automatic
Gas
280 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 8
9-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
280 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 7
9-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
280 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2018 Honda Pilot features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the Pilot models:

Honda LaneWatch
Displays a camera view of the passenger-side blind spot when you activate the Pilot's turn signal.
Honda Sensing Package
Includes items such as forward collision mitigation with auto braking and road departure intervention. Standard on the higher trim levels.
Front and Rear Parking Sensors
Available only on the Touring and Elite trim levels, these sensors can be very helpful when parking such a big vehicle.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.5%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2018 Honda Pilot

Used 2018 Honda Pilot Overview

The Used 2018 Honda Pilot is offered in the following submodels: Pilot SUV. Available styles include EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), EX-L 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Touring 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 9A), Elite 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 9A), EX 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Touring 4dr SUV w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 9A), EX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), EX-L 4dr SUV AWD w/Honda Sensing (3.5L 6cyl 6A), EX-L 4dr SUV AWD w/Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 6A), LX 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), LX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), EX-L 4dr SUV w/Honda Sensing (3.5L 6cyl 6A), EX-L 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation (3.5L 6cyl 6A), EX 4dr SUV w/Honda Sensing (3.5L 6cyl 6A), EX-L 4dr SUV w/Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 6A), EX-L 4dr SUV w/Navigation (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and EX 4dr SUV AWD w/Honda Sensing (3.5L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Honda Pilot?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Honda Pilot trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Honda Pilot EX-L is priced between $28,299 and$35,497 with odometer readings between 15272 and51124 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Honda Pilot Elite is priced between $34,795 and$41,998 with odometer readings between 13702 and39383 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Honda Pilot EX is priced between $25,000 and$29,250 with odometer readings between 7544 and53439 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Honda Pilot Touring is priced between $33,995 and$36,497 with odometer readings between 4439 and28641 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Honda Pilot LX is priced between $25,000 and$25,980 with odometer readings between 17373 and30240 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2018 Honda Pilots are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Honda Pilot for sale near. There are currently 42 used and CPO 2018 Pilots listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $25,000 and mileage as low as 4439 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Honda Pilot.

Can't find a used 2018 Honda Pilots you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda Pilot for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $25,070.

Find a used Honda for sale - 2 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $16,938.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda Pilot for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $21,695.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 7 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $25,447.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Honda Pilot?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Honda Pilot lease specials