Reviews

2016 Honda Pilot Walk Around

The 2016 Honda Pilot’s organic rounded shape has an elegance to it, more so than the square 2015 model. The new Pilot balances its glass to metal better than others that size. It’s sculpted without looking either dressy or too muscular.

The low front end and horizontal grille work well together, playing handsomely. From some points of view the Pilot looks like it was conceived by the mating of a Subaru Forester and Chrysler Pacifica. It also has styling in common with the Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Rogue and Chevy Traverse, while its rear end avoids the pitfalls of understyling on the Traverse.

Interior

Inside, the new Pilot is very well finished, with attention to detail everywhere. There are elements from the Honda Accord and touches from the CR-V. Styling details and soft-touch surfaces have transformed the Pilot, making it as luxurious as the Buick Enclave. For the Pilot EX-L and upper models, there’s an acoustic windshield to reduce noise. Pilot Touring and Pilot Elite models add acoustic glass on the front doors.

The three rows of seats have room for eight passengers. The front seats have an ideal shape with better bolsters and more support than previously for improved driver comfort. The driving position is not too high while delivering commanding visibility, and the step-in is fairly low. Our only complaint comes from where the dash joins the center console, there’s a wide seam where we wanted to support our knee.

The controls are thoughtfully located, with useful cubbies in front including a phone bin. We especially liked the steering-wheel controls for audio and phone. The console’s best feature is its deep bin that will hold an iPad or a small camera bag.

The second row is adult-friendly, a split-folding bench. The third row is reached (EX-L and above) by pressing a button that folds the second-row seat and slides it forward. It can hold two adults with decent head and leg room, making it actually useful, which is rare for that size of three-row vehicle. That makes the Pilot a great carpool vehicle, especially when the available panoramic roof opens the cabin to a flood of natural light.

New for 2016, Pilot offers a middle row with two seats and a pass-through. The seat has its own tray table and cupholders, and reclines for comfort on long trips.

Cargo space is abundant when the third row is folded flat, with nearly 56 cubic feet, and with both rows flat there’s 109 cubic feet. Even with the seats up there is 18.5 cubic feet, about as much as the trunk on an Acura RLX, and enough for an 82-quart cooler.

I'm Interested