2019 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
- Collision warning and adaptive cruise control are overly sensitive
- Third-row access is narrow
- Nine-speed transmission is improved, but still not as smooth as the six-speed
List Price Range
$23,977 - $46,947
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Which Pilot does Edmunds recommend?
With more standard features than before, the EX is the definite value play. You get a lot of useful features, including keyless access and ignition, heated front seats, one-touch slide-and-fold second-row seats, and pretty much the same infotainment system and safety features that all the more expensive trims have. It doesn't have a power liftgate, however. For that, you'll need to upgrade to at least the EX-L.
Edmunds' Expert Review
With ample power, a transmission offering full manual control and respectable handling, the Pilot is an athlete in the three-row SUV segment. It's a champ on mountain roads, and it can manage slippery surfaces should you opt for all-wheel drive.
The Honda Pilot does comfort better than most in the segment. Consider its excellent ride quality, ultra comfy seats and easy-to-operate tri-zone climate control. Tire and wind noise is also minimal.
The Pilot exhibits Honda's typical efficiency of space and practical features. The driving position is a bit upright, so you never feel ensconced in the cabin, but that's usually what SUV buyers are looking for. Visibility is also quite good.
The Pilot is a utilitarian vehicle even though it can't tow as much as large truck-based SUVs. Its roomy, well-thought-out interior proves extremely useful when you stuff it full of passengers and their gear.
The Pilot's infotainment touchscreen is a big step forward from the previous system. Plus, there are a bunch of clever apps that use the onboard Wi-Fi connection, which will surely make road trips with friends or family more enjoyable. We know Honda is capable of a decent adaptive cruise system, but it has yet to find its way into the Pilot.
|Overall||8.2 / 10|
Most helpful consumer reviews
LX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
The 2019 Pilot LX is the lowest priced Pilot in Honda’s showroom. It has all most people need and some extras that people want. The great standard safety systems and adaptive cruise control work pretty good and the automatic emergency braking saved my bacon when I failed to see a car locking it’s brakes on the freeway. The LX has plenty of power and a smooth controlled ride. The gas mileage is good for a fairly big CUV/SUV. It has great climate controls that are easy to use and all three rows have air vents. It has a big roll top bin with great storage in between the front seats and a smallish lighted glovebox. The front seats adjust manually with a ratchet type plastic lever. The recline is adjustable with many positions using the side lever. All adjustments are very easy and work well. All seats fold easily with a lift up plastic lever. This includes the second and third row seats. (The Pilot LX does not have the one touch button. It has an easy to use one lift up lever.) The storage is fantastic with plenty of room for people and stuff. The base radio with standard Bluetooth works great and it sounds super as well. There is no XM radio, but I play it from my phone via Bluetooth. The interior lighting is not the greatest, but for a few bucks, change the bulbs to LED and you’ll light up the interior. The standard Bridgestone tires are okay, and the interior and exterior are well built. I highly recommend this CUV/SUV over other models from VW and Subaru. The Pilot LX is a great choice for families on a budget that want the room and comfort that the LX provides without spending $48,000 for the Honda Pilot Elite.
EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I like the Honda sensing feature, which is standard in the 2019 models. The side mirror interior lights are much nicer than the other manufacturer exterior orange lights. The 280 HP with the 6-speed transmissions has good smooth acceleration. Fits 8 people reasonably comfortable, wish they had an option for back bucket seats (7 seat) - but no such luck. The 2019 has mostly cosmetic changes, more significate are the LED headlights and larger rear center antenna - for FM/satellite reception. The 2019 is basically the same price at the 2017 models with the same features, so that is a pretty good deal.
EX-L 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
After months of research we decided to forego the 2018's tempting price discounts and picked up a 2019 EXL instead. Looked around until we found a dealer willing to deal and got the price we wanted. This is our third Pilot, we had a 2008 EXL which was traded after a wreck, bought a 2012 EXL to replace it and now the 2019 EXL. The 2019 is a nice car but it lacks the solid feel of the old 2008. The 2019 rides very quiet on good pavement, course pavement makes some body parts resonate, producing very annoying sounds, the rear suspension is another negative, small road imperfections, cracks and transitions produce a loud thump (feels like the compliance bushings are either too hard or not thick enough) which reverberates over the cabin.The front suspension works really well. Wind noise is low compared to previous models and other brands we considered. The interior is very spacious and is made with good quality materials. Fit and finish inside and out is no different than the Audi Q7 we tested (which was twice the price), with the Q7 having more felt in the cargo area and more sound insulation and other high end features (which we could have had if we had chosen the Elite model).The new Pilot is extremely efficient, best MPG was 31 (verified, the computer is only off by half a MPG), worse MPG has been 24. Lastly, we decided to purchase the Pilot because the first two that we owned were extremely reliable (zero shop visits), efficient and comfortable; the price was on target and the dealership employees are very competent and customer oriented. Overall the Honda offers a better balance of value, efficiency and reliability over the other brands we tested. We have been driving the 2019 Pilot now for slightly over a year. So far zero problems. Ride has improved a bit, still quiet and very comfortable inside. This past summer with all the grand kids visiting we could carry them around and their huge amount of paraphernalia quite easily, plenty of USBs too !!! Highway fuel economy (at 70 to 75 MPH) is consistently at 29 to 31 MPG, much better then the previous Pilots we have owned. Honda has made it really easy to make system updates, you can go by the dealership anytime (Sundays is easy) get next to the building in rage of their WIFI and the updates quickly fly in no problem, or you can do it over the air at home if you like (if your own WIFI) is strong enough. We enjoy using the new version of Android auto, it has many more apps and options and especially the navigation app with step by step, turn by turn and voice input features; its easy, accurate and the screen is vivid. We enjoy our Pilot and its dependability and its comfort and on and on....
Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
As a previous owner of a 2016 Pilot I am going to focus on my first impressions of the mid-cycle refresh of the 2019 Pilot, Touring model. Let’s start with the transmission: My 2016 9-speed transmission was jerky at low speeds which was slightly improved when I added a transmission cooler for towing. I’m not sure what caused the improvement but it most likely had something to do with a software update. Enter the 2019 9-speed transmission; it seems that Honda has finally been able to tame the German made option as all the jerky movements seemed to have disappeared. I haven’t done any towing yet but my 2016 model performed flawlessly pulling a 2500 lb. boat up and down our Missouri hills. Now for the Sensing Suite: I’m not sure what minor changes Honda has made but the not ready for prime-time Sensing feature seems to have little better responsiveness especially with the adaptive cruise control, which may have to do with the improved transmission. Honda has also added blind spot monitoring but they did remove the camera on the right mirror; I’ve gotten used to that camera and wished they would have left it there. In 2016 Honda forgot to include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (which they added in 2017). This time they forgot to add remote start with HondaLink. They have it on the Odyssey so why not the Pilot? Honestly, I don’t see any value paying for a HondaLink subscription if remote start isn’t included. The radio head unit, which now has a volume knob, is the same one that’s in the Odyssey, it can now be updated over Wi-Fi so you no longer have to use a USB drive. Appearance is subjective but I kinda like the new grille and the addition of the chrome strip around the bottom of the doors but other than that it pretty well looks the same. The plastic strip under the front and rear bumper has been changed to a silverish color to make them look like skid-plates but once again that’s a subjective look. The ride also seems to be a bit smoother and somewhat quitter. Hands Free power tailgate has also been added which I guess will be useful if I have my hands full. Some new graphics have been added to the instrument panel as well. The buttons on the steering wheel have been moved around so you will have to get used to that if you move up to a new Pilot. Another nifty feature that’s been added is Auto High Beam Headlights, nice feature but they are a little too sensitive and change back and forth too often.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Pilot models:
- Blind-Spot Monitoring System
- Alerts the driver if a vehicle is lurking in the blind spots and beeps if the turn signal is activated in that direction.
- Honda Sensing Package
- Includes items such as forward collision mitigation with auto braking and road departure intervention and is standard on all trim levels.
- Parking Sensors
- Indicates how close the vehicle is to objects with visual and audible alerts.