2018 HONDA PILOT
The Honda Pilot was redesigned for the 2016 model year. This year, power will still come from a direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 engine that features variable cylinder management and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission on the LX, EX, and EX-L models, or a nine-speed auto on the Touring and Elite models.
Available in five trims—LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite—the 2017 Honda Pilot offers a host of standard features, including a rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, USB port, and a 4.2-inch LCD infotainment screen. The EX builds on those features, adding Honda LaneWatch, HondaLink, larger 8-inch touchscreen, Pandora radio, power sunroof, and daytime running lights. The EX-L adds leather seats, while navigation and a rear seat entertainment system are optional. The Touring adds even more features like front and rear parking sensors, blue ambient LED lighting, roof rails, and a premium audio system. The top-of-the-line Elite features HD radio, automatic high beams, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, corner and backup sensor indicators, a panoramic sunroof, and LED headlights.
While the Pilot has seating for up to eight pasengers, the Elite model replaces the second-row bench seat in favor of two captain’s chairs. Cargo space is on par with its competitors at 16.5 cubic feet behind the third row seats, 46.8 cubic feet with those seats folded, and 83.9 cubic feet with both the second and third row seats folded. However, the Elite model’s cargo space is slightly reduced by roughly an inch.
The 2017 Honda Pilot has the potential to once again earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, as there have been no changes from the 2016 model that achieved the designation. Standard safety features include front, side, and curtain airbags, ABS brakes, brake assist, multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines, while optional features include Honda Sensing that adds collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Honda LaneWatch is standard on the EX, EX-L and Touring models, with auto high-beam headlights and blind spot monitoring with cross traffic monitoring comes standard on the Elite model.
What We Think
The redesigned Pilot got rid of the boxy design for the 2016 model year, making the exterior styling more attractive. While the Pilot may look more like a crossover and less like a Suburban, the interior is reminiscent of a minivan, with one-touch second-row seats and cargo area beneath the rear load floor. The nine-speed automatic transmission on the Touring and Elite models could be tuned better, with slow shifts in and out of gear.
Materials on the 2017 Honda Pilot’s dashboard and door panels are soft to the touch. The cabin is quiet and also has refined styling. Though the Honda Pilot’s infotainment system is easy to operate, physical buttons for audio and climate controls would be welcome to help the driver avoid using the touch screen while on the road. The Pilot’s front seats are some of the most pleasant and cozy in the class, and there’s plenty of space for adults in all three rows, which is rare for the class. The Pilot has one of the highest cargo capacities among 3-row SUVs, and there is plenty of storage space for smaller items inside.