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

Overall rating

8.2 / 10

There were already a lot of things we liked about last year's Honda Pilot. Even among its all-star midsize SUV rivals, the Pilot got high marks for its spacious interior, powerful and efficient V6 engine, and clever storage solutions. Our only significant gripes concerned the unrefined nature of the gear shifts coming from the available nine-speed transmission and the unintuitive touchscreen infotainment system. Well, now we don't even have those to complain about.

For 2019, Honda has retuned the nine-speed, eliminating much of the low-speed stutters and jerkiness that it used to exhibit. It's still not as smooth as the six-speed transmission found on the less expensive trim levels, but it's considerably better than last year. The infotainment system's user interface has also been updated. It's more intuitive to use this year and has a physical volume knob that replaces the previous touch-sensitive volume slider. Rounding out the 2019 Honda Pilot's changes are new tech features, added standard safety features and styling enhancements.

Considering that the Pilot was one of the highest rated in the class before these improvements, we're certain that we'll like it even more now. We're sure you will, too. In a segment that includes the very desirable Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander and Volkswagen Atlas, it could very well be the best when it comes to a family-friendly choice. The Pilot definitely deserves a spot on your short list.

Notably, we picked the 2019 Honda Pilot as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize SUVs, Best Family SUVs, and Best Gas Mileage SUVs for this year.

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, most of our observations still apply to the 2019 model. The only exceptions deal with the infotainment and transmission improvements Honda made for this year.

2019 Honda Pilot models

The eight-passenger 2019 Honda Pilot is a midsize SUV that is offered in five primary trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Elite. All models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 (280 horsepower, 262 pound-feet of torque). A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for most trims, while a nine-speed transmission comes with Touring and Elite models. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available for all models (standard on Elite).

Standard features for the LX include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, active noise cancellation, air conditioning, 60/40-split folding third-row seats, a multi-angle rearview camera, a 5-inch touchscreen and seven-speaker audio system with USB/auxiliary inputs. Standard advanced safety features include adaptive cruise control, frontal collision warning with automatic braking, road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist and automatic high-beam assist.

The EX adds LED foglights, heated mirrors, remote ignition, keyless entry, a terrain management system, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, one-touch slide-and-fold second-row seats, an 8-inch touchscreen, HondaLink and CabinControl smartphone integration, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

Stepping up to the EX-L trim gets you a sunroof, a power liftgate, a universal garage door opener, rear-seat window sunshades, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, driver-seat memory functions, a power-adjustable front passenger seat and second-row USB charging ports. There's also an EX-L subtrim that adds a navigation system and a rear entertainment system with a 10.2-inch screen with HDMI input, Blu-ray player and streaming apps. You also gain a 110-volt power outlet and intercom system through the rear headsets.

The Touring trim gets all of the above plus 20-inch wheels, roof rails, front and rear parking sensors, hands-free operation for the liftgate, heated rear seats, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a 10-speaker premium audio system and multi-zone audio. Heated second-row captain's chairs are available (reducing seating capacity to seven).

The Elite trim comes standard with the captain's chairs, as well as automatic wipers, power-folding mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and a wireless charging pad.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Honda Pilot Elite (3.5L V6 | 9-speed automatic | AWD).

Driving

7.5
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.

Acceleration

8.5
The Pilot isn't underpowered, but you'll really have to step on the gas to make it move quickly. In Edmunds performance testing, it did 0-60 mph in 7 seconds, which is quicker than both the Subaru Ascent and the Volkswagen Atlas. At full throttle, it shifts quickly and efficiently. You can also use the steering wheel paddles for manual control.

Braking

7.0
The brakes have a relatively consistent feel and are easy to use in everyday driving. The Pilot's panic-stopping distance from 60 mph (129 feet in our testing) is average for a big three-row crossover SUV.

Steering

7.5
The steering is relatively precise, but the wheel doesn't provide much road feel. Overall, the Pilot is easy to maneuver along winding mountain roads or cruising the highway.

Handling

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

Drivability

7.5
The Pilot's previous issues regarding its transmission have been alleviated. It's a little less punchy off the line — possibly due to acceleration recalibration — but it's a good trade-off for the improved shifting smoothness. The engine still has great top-end punch, and the stop-start system, which can be turned off, is relatively non-intrusive.

Off-road

7.0
The Pilot's AWD system offers active center and rear differentials capable of distributing torque where it's most needed. You also get multiple modes for sand, snow and mud. For slippery surfaces, it's fine. But the body's approach and departure angles aren't as generous as its closest competitors, and the Pilot doesn't have specific off-road aids such as hill descent control.

Comfort

9.0
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.

Seat comfort

8.5
The front seats are wide, with compliant but supportive cushioning. They provide hours of comfort. The front seats' adjustable inboard armrests are a bonus, as is power lumbar support. The second-row seats also provide a nice amount of comfort and can slide and recline.

Ride comfort

9.0
Body motions are well-controlled but not at the sacrifice of ride comfort. You'll feel big road bumps, but smaller bumps and ripples are dispatched without issue. Overall, the Pilot's ride quality is among the best in the segment.

Noise & vibration

8.5
Tire and wind noise is low for this segment. We didn't observe any unusual sounds, and the V6 engine emits a pleasant snarl at high rpm. Passengers are isolated from the outside elements to an impressive degree.

Climate control

9.0
The tri-zone climate control is easy to set and adjust. The system maintains temperatures well, and the front-seat heating and cooling functions stay set even if you turn the Pilot off. Second-row occupants have their own set of climate control buttons plus available seat heaters. Honda did a nice job here.

Interior

8.0
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.

Ease of use

7.5
The new touchscreen infotainment system is a huge improvement over the Pilot's previous system (found in 2016-2018 Pilots). It's easy to use and has crisp-looking graphics. The push-button shifter still takes some getting used to, but we have warmed up to the logic behind it.

Getting in/getting out

7.5
The large doors and a comfortable seat height make it easy to enter and exit the Pilot. Third-row access is enhanced with a single-button release for the tilt-and-slide second-row seat, but the pass-through space is smallish.

Driving position

8.0
There's plenty of adjustment for the driver's seat, but the seat is pretty upright at its lowest setting. Taller drivers may also wish for a tad more telescoping range of the steering wheel. Otherwise, most people should be able to find a comfortable driving position.

Roominess

8.5
The first and second rows are very roomy and have enough head-, legroom and elbow room for all but the biggest occupants. Third-row seating is tighter and has a low-mounted seat. It's more spacious than some competitors, but it's not as cavernous as the Volkswagen Atlas' third row.

Visibility

7.5
Front- and rear-quarter visibility is average, but the upright seating gives you a better view than you'll get in an Odyssey. The multiview backup camera is handy but not as good as a 360-degree system, like some competitors offer. Front and rear parking sensors help reveal obstacles you might otherwise miss.

Quality

8.5
The quality of materials and assembly is high for a non-luxury vehicle but not substantially better than the quality of competitors. Soft-touch plastics on the dash, combined with high-gloss trim and matte-finish secondary controls, look and feel good. The new infotainment system helps elevate the interior's premium look, too.

Utility

8.5
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.

Small-item storage

9.5
Honda has mastered the art of interior storage. The Pilot has plenty of door pockets and cupholders, and there is clever, configurable small-item storage within the center console.

Cargo space

7.5
Despite its seemingly generous cargo area, the Pilot trails the midsize segment leaders with 16 cubic feet behind the third row and a max volume of about 84 cubes with the second and third rows folded perfectly flat. That includes the storage under the rear load floor. Still, the space is very usable.

Child safety seat accommodation

8.0
There's a nice amount of space for car seat installations in the second row and easy access to the LATCH anchors. The rear tethers are on the bottom of the second-row seats, which are easy to miss if you don't know where to look. The one-button slide access to the third row helps facilitate seat installation back there.

Towing

8.0
At 5,000 pounds, the AWD Pilot's maximum towing capacity matches that of most V6-powered, three-row SUVs. Front-wheel-drive Pilots are limited to 3,500 pounds.

Technology

8.0
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.

Audio & navigation

8.0
The navigation responds quickly to inputs and is very easy to use thanks to pinch-to-zoom features, easy map rotation, and different types of viewing modes. The premium audio system, which is featured on Touring trims and up, sounds great. It allows for some pretty flexible sound adjustments and fills the cabin space very well.

Smartphone integration

9.0
There are two USB ports in the front center bin — one is for data and one is charge-only — alongside two 12-volt power outlets. Second-row passengers get an additional two charge-only USB ports in the second row, a 115-volt household-style outlet and HDMI hookup for the entertainment system. We highly recommend stepping up to at least the EX, which gets you Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Honda's CabinControl app allows users to connect to the in-cabin Wi-Fi and control things such as the rear cabin temperature, add songs to a social playlist, and even send directions to the driver's navigation system.

Driver aids

7.0
Adaptive cruise control only works above 20 mph, which is a bummer for drivers stuck in stop-and-go traffic. Overall, the Pilot's adaptive cruise control system isn't nearly as smooth as similar features in other cars. Otherwise, all the other systems such as lane keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring work well. Its lane keeping feature, however, can be very intrusive in long, constant-radius corners.

Voice control

7.5
Voice controls provide easy-to-follow prompts and work very well. The nav system found the Edmunds headquarters on the first try, and it was very easy to engage. The voice functions are basic, not offering anything special such as the ability to change the climate control, but are highly functional. You can access Siri or Google through the cabin voice control button when your smartphone is plugged in.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall8.2 / 10
Driving7.5
Comfort9.0
Interior8.0
Utility8.5
Technology8.0

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2019 Honda Pilot.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Honda Pilot LX Great Value SUV
Kurt Bender,04/13/2019
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.
Smooth quiet ride with plenty of pep
George Snyder,09/04/2018
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.
Our third Pilot
RC,10/24/2018
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....
Great Improvements for 2019
BigRedOne,12/19/2018
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.

Safety

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.

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 2019 Honda Pilot

Used 2019 Honda Pilot Overview

The Used 2019 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), Elite 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A), Touring 4dr SUV AWD w/Rear Captain's Chairs (3.5L 6cyl 9A), EX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), EX 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A), LX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), LX 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Touring 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 9A), EX-L 4dr SUV w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Touring 4dr SUV w/Rear Captain's Chairs (3.5L 6cyl 9A), and EX-L 4dr SUV AWD w/Navigation and Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2019 Honda Pilot?

Price comparisons for Used 2019 Honda Pilot trim styles:

  • The Used 2019 Honda Pilot EX-L is priced between $26,400 and$32,995 with odometer readings between 4695 and55461 miles.
  • The Used 2019 Honda Pilot Touring is priced between $29,000 and$35,995 with odometer readings between 10475 and61468 miles.
  • The Used 2019 Honda Pilot Elite is priced between $34,500 and$46,947 with odometer readings between 4360 and47321 miles.
  • The Used 2019 Honda Pilot EX is priced between $26,900 and$28,995 with odometer readings between 9757 and61530 miles.
  • The Used 2019 Honda Pilot LX is priced between $23,977 and$29,998 with odometer readings between 4868 and47161 miles.

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Which used 2019 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) 2019 Honda Pilot for sale near. There are currently 78 used and CPO 2019 Pilots listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $23,977 and mileage as low as 4360 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 2019 Honda Pilot.

Can't find a used 2019 Honda Pilots you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda Pilot for sale - 9 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $14,806.

Find a used Honda for sale - 2 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $12,145.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda Pilot for sale - 4 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $19,315.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 12 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $16,785.

Should I lease or buy a 2019 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.

Check out Honda lease specials
Check out Honda Pilot lease specials