In This Guide:
- How Many Passengers Can it Seat?
- What’s new for 2017?
- Trim Levels, Options, and Pricing
- Interior Design and Seating
- Powertrain and Performance
- Safety Features
- Driving Impressions
How Many Passengers Can it Seat? How Spacious is the 3rd Row?
Three rows that seat eight people is standard in most Honda Pilot models. The Elite trim, however, seats seven and comes with a heated second row of captain chairs. Models with the third row is very spacious and offers a comfortable ride for adults.
What’s New for 2016?
With a completely new design for 2016, the Honda Pilot has become a strong contender for the three-row crossover class. Few rivals, even those that are sportier, match the combination of utility and comfort that buyers get from Pilot models.
Borrowing elements from the Accord and CR-V, some versions include a huge panoramic roof that exposes a flood of natural light. Always know for versatility, three rows allow up to eight passengers to sit comfortably. In the middle row, you can get two captain’s chairs with a pass-through.
Trim Levels, Options & Pricing
The Pilot offers five scintillating trim levels. A stop at the base model level delivers the Pilot LX that comes with its own set of features such as Bluetooth and a 200-watt stereo system. LX models come with a 3.5-liter SOHC V-6 and 280 horsepower. Next, we have the Pilot EX with a remote start and Honda’s Intelligent Traction Management system that comes in four-wheel or all-wheel drive modes. Listen to SiriusXM and Pandora while cruising along with the Sensing safety package.
One step up and you get the Pilot EX-L that spruces up the interior with leather, a power moonroof, heated front seats and power-folding second row seats. You also get GPS with voice recognition, live traffic updates. Add to this exciting trim a rear-seat entertainment system to keep passengers happy.
The fancy side comes with the Pilot Touring, which also provides a 50% increase in forward gears. Honda’s first nine-speed automatic trim also include paddle shifters. Plebeian 18-inch wheels are replaced with 20s, while you can also get blue ambient interior lighting, body-color mirrors and a 540-watt stereo. The Honda Sensing safety package comes standard along with memory adjustment in the driver’s seat.
Resting at the top of the chain is the Pilot Elite with a panoramic roof, illuminated cup holders, and heated and ventilated front seats.
Optional equipment is spread across different models, such as leather in the EX-L and dynamic rearview camera guidelines on the EX.
Buyers will only spend about $100 more than last year for the base FWD model, which is priced just under $31,000. The EX and EX-L models start at $33,300 and $38,500, respectively. Pay a little more for the Touring, which begins about $1,000 more than last year and may cost $42,000 because of the added Honda Sensing system. Expect to pay no more than $47,300 for the Elite models. Overall, pricing is competitive for the 2016 Honda Pilot compared to other SUVs in its class.
Interior Design and Seating
The 2016 Honda Pilot is an impressive upscale redesign of materials throughout the cabin. Incredibly quiet, the posh look and feel is an even comparison to the Acura MDX. Comfortable front seats, a spacious third row and small-item storage areas throughout the cabin impressed test drivers.
Most models comfortably fit eight people in three rows of seating. The exception is the top model Elite, which has heated captain chairs in the second row and seats a total of seven people. Either way, the seats in all models are considered some of the most comfortable in its class.
Interior features include the standard push-button start, rearview camera, USB port and Bluetooth. Knobs replace buttons for climate control. The infotainment display has easy-to-follow menu selections and the navigation system responds quickly and is also easy to use.
Performance and Powertrain
Drivers get a comfortable, quiet ride with this year’s models. Ample power flows from the standard V6 engine although body lean in turns seems to be lacking for some test drivers.
Powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with 280 horsepower, the Honda Pilot comes with a standard six-speed automatic transmission. The Touring and Elite trims include a nine-speed automatic transmission. For the base LX, EPA fuel mileage estimates 19 mpg for city driving and 27 mpg on the highway. This puts the Pilot on the high end of gas mileage with other V6 powered engines. The nine-speed automatic delivers 20/27 mpg.
A completely reengineered powertrain matches the new body styles. Highlights include a powerful efficient direct-injected engine and refined transmissions. A four channel anti-lock braking system offers a linear brake feel so drivers can confidently stop in a variety of driving conditions.
All Honda models are designed with a high level of safety to cover even predictable and stable driving dynamics so drivers can maintain full control in different circumstances and environments. This includes emergency avoidance maneuvers to make good use of the Pilot’s active safety features. These include:
- Vehicle Stability Assist™ with Traction Control
- Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS)
- Brake Assist
- 4-Channel ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution
Featuring the most comprehensive set of safety technologies, the 206 Pilot incorporates the suite of technologies that expand situational awareness of drivers so they can respond to potential road hazards.
In an effort to lessen the severity of injury and damage after a frontal collision, the Pilot include the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ body structure. Some passive safety features include adjustable head restraints, Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH), side airbags for driver and front passenger, and multiple threshold front airbags.
Combined, these safety technologies in the 2016 Honda Pilot target the highest safety ratings available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
It is reported that the 2016 Pilot is a dramatic improvement over its predecessor and could possibly be the best driving crossover SUV for its class. Although it is not the fastest, the 280 horsepower from a V6 engine is not sluggish. The automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly with a steering and suspension that induces confidence behind the wheel.
Over to You
Thinking of buying a Honda Pilot? Already own one? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!