2019 Honda Pilot
One of the most popular three-row mid-sized SUV/crossovers in America is the Honda Pilot. This is not only confirmed by the number of customers who have bought one over the past several years. It has also garnered enough opinions among the automotive and consumer media to shower it with high praise.
For 2019, the Pilot underwent a mid-cycle refresh that saw updates on the outside, more driver assist upgrades across its lineup, and added technology and infotainment features. These updates were designed to keep Honda’s big SUV competitive in a segment where all competitors have stepped up their game.
To prove that the Honda Pilot is a consumer favorite, we were curious to see what this updated Pilot is all about. A 2019 Elite model with all-wheel-drive was put through its paces to fulfill our curiosity for you.
Honda always had a penchant for dazzling us with details. The update on the 2019 Pilot is a great example of this. The grille and chrome work was actually nice. The lighting units include a running LED lens that had a sharp character. The real taillights were also upgraded with new e LED lenses, which were very functional and handsome at the same time.
The Pilot offers a presence that invites families to enjoy the ride. Entering the Pilot, all four doors are large and open wide for easy access. The liftgate is also large with excellent access to the cargo hold.
Our top-of-the-line Elite offered big chairs for the driver and front passenger that are adjustable to fit everyone. These seats were supportive and wrapped in durable perforated leather. Second row seats in the Touring Elite were captain’s chairs, split with a center cubby. There are audio, rear seat media and climate controls facing out of the main center console. Each second-row seat has power fold-downs for extra cargo and third row access. Third row seating is perfect for children of most ages.
A digital speedometer crowned a combination of TFT and analog elements. On each side is the tachometer, fuel and temperature gauges. In the middle is a TFT screen for vehicle, trip and fuel economy readouts. Switches appear on the steering wheel and below the dashboard’s waist line in front of the driver, where the climate and audio controls command the center stack. The main center console offers a few controls, including a series of buttons for the nine-speed automatic transmission
Cargo space is expansive. It starts with a sizeable 18.0 cubic feet behind the third row. Fold down one row, and that increases to 55.5 cubic feet. In total, you can carry up to 109.2 cubic feet – depending on model.
The Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with 280 horsepower on tap, the V6 felt happy under the hood. A nine-speed automatic is connected to it, along with a solid all-wheel drive system. With smooth acceleration and shifts, plus an unobtrusive Stop-Start system, the Pilot attained a fuel economy average of 22.2 MPG.
In terms of ride quality, it is smooth on many surfaces. Handling and cornering are on the soft side, with some controlled roll through the turns. Steering is pretty good with solid on-center feel and decent response from the wheel. The turning radius is average, though a few more turns would be in order in tighter areas. Brakes are fine, with solid pedal action and average stops in normal and panic situations.
Selecting the Elite model is the best way to get the full suite of Honda Sense driver assistance features. These features include the Collision Mitigation Braking System, a Road Departure Mitigation System, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning.
Pricing for the 2019 Honda Pilot starts at $31,450. Our Elite all-wheel-drive tester came to $49,015.
The Honda Pilot is up against some formidable competition in the mid-sized three-row segment. Customers have compared the Pilot to the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda CX-9, Hyundai Santa Fe XL, Subaru Ascent, Kia Sorento and Telluride. You may also compare this to the Mitsubishi Outlander and GMC Acadia, as well.
We found that the Pilot is excellent in terms of quality, improved looks and driver assist technology, it remains a middle-of-the-road choice for consumers looking for solid family transportation. It certainly fulfilled our curiosity, and, hopefully, your’s.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors