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
$19,999 - $40,497
Used Pilot for SaleSee all for sale
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Overall||8.0 / 10|
Most helpful consumer reviews
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.
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.
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.
EX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
We considered the cheaper and more tricked out Kia Sedona, but AWD and a more solid build won us over. This is a car worth holding for a long time (which helps with depreciation costs). Also considered the VW Atlas, but we just didn’t have confidence that it would last as long as the Honda. It’s also bigger than a Ford Explorer or a Toyota Highlander, but still feels very maneuverable. We love that it’s really not a fancy car, it’s solid and reliable and safe.
Features & Specs
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.