2019 Honda Pilot – Review & Road Test

2019 Honda Pilot – Review & Road Test

After several years of strong sales and
winning awards Honda has blessed their midsize Pilot SUV with a mid-cycle
update. Suppose that means I should update my script, too. Let’s start with the
improvements. Exterior styling has been zazzed, not sure that’s a word, with a new
front fascia, new grille, new taillights, and other subtler details. Inside there’s
fresh trim around the vents, the front seat armrests are wider, and the
instrument cluster sports a new 7-inch TFT display showing this cute animation
for the different drive modes. Aw, go get it Pilot. We’ll get to more significant
changes in a moment, but first let’s rehash the Pilot’s core strengths. There’s
an obvious grab handle for easy throw access. The third row reclines, the second
row reclines and slides, there’s a power second row option that makes getting
into the third row a push button affair. The center console is large and features
a handy sliding storage tray. It’s very easy to reposition the multi-level cargo
cover, and also, look, Honda made one side plastic and then the other side carpeted.
So, if you have sand or something you can use whichever side you don’t mind
getting messy. I choose plastic. Carry on. The seats fold with zero
confusion, and when you do they create a completely flat load floor with the
exception of this little area right here in seven passenger versions. There’s more
than enough space for an average-sized adult in each row, one behind the other.
The seats sit high enough that you can easily fit your feet beneath, maximizing
available leg space, and there’s more cup holders and storage nooks than most
families could possibly use. Overflowing with simple logical
solutions, Honda’s thoughtfulness permeates all aspects of the Pilot’s
design. For example, there’s a little bit of plastic that keeps you from confusing
the tailgate open and lock buttons, smart. Lock. Tim. Softening our praise just a
bit are a few shortcomings. Cargo space behind the third row trails the Chevy
Traverse and Ford Explorer. Three adults can fit in the Pilot’s third row, but it
doesn’t take long for things to get uncomfortable. And though a multi-angle
backup camera does come standard, the Pilot does not offer a modern
360-degree camera system. As a concerned parent / incompetent parker that
disappoints me. On a more positive technological note
Honda Sensing is now standard on all trims bundling lane departure warning,
lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and collision warning with
automatic braking. Honda Sensing safety and convenience features each work in
predictable helpful fashion, and if you’ve somehow managed to crash anyway, the
Pilot is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. So, crash away. No, just kidding, don’t
do that. Another significant improvement is the eight-inch touchscreen included
on all but the humblest LX trim. The screen seems less smudge prone than it
used to be, the menus have been greatly simplified and feature vivid icons, and
there’s now a volume knob. Looks like I’m gonna have to find something else to
complain about. Tim, I hate your bracelet. Did you get his bracelet in the shot?
That’d really helped the bit. If the threat of
conversation with friends and family fills you with fear the Blu-Ray equipped
10.2-inch rear seat entertainment system included on higher trims will help run
interference. On a related note the Pilot’s Cabin Talk feature amplifies the
drivers voice and projects it to rear seat passengers via the vehicle speakers
or wireless headphones. So, even if your kids don’t obey you
they definitely heard what you said. Tim, you’re fired! Powering all Pilots is a 3.5-liter V6
that provides strong acceleration and a max towed capacity of 5,000 pounds.
Managing the V6’s output is a six-speed automatic in lower trims, and in Touring and Elite trims a nine-speed automatic. Besides 50% more gear changes, the nine-speed promises a one mpg bump in city driving for the Touring trim. For
the Pilot’s mid-cycle update Honda smartly retuned the nine-speed automatic. Now
when you leave from a stop, unless you mash the throttle, it starts in the
second gear for smoother acceleration. Geez, that’s smooth. The nine-speed’s automatic engine start/stop
system also restarts more quickly now the less intrusive operation. If you
prefer a Pilot with a traction-enhancing torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system
and don’t find a modest one mpg draught and fuel economy just bring an extra $1,900 to your Honda dealer. Even though it’s an eight-passenger SUV,
driving the Honda Pilot is totally manageable. Its maneuverable in tight
quarters. The steering wheel feels normal-sized,
and the view out is good. That would be even better with a 360-degree camera
system. Around corners the Honda Pilot steers with confidence, at the same time
delivering a generally plush ride and well controlled interior noise unless
you really mash it. Yeah! With destination charges a bass
front-wheel drive Honda Pilot LX lands around $32,500
and includes LED running lights, a basic 5-inch audio screen, six airbags,
Bluetooth, one USB port, and push-button start, though unlocking the LX still
requires the fob. Tempting price aside we’d suggest moving up to the EX trim.
For an extra $3,000 you’ll enjoy smart keyless entry, blind spot warning,
heated front seats, OneTouch sliding second row seats, multi
zone automatic climate control, and the previously mentioned eight-inch
infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration as a bonus.The EX would be more abundant on dealer lots, giving you a wider range of Pilots
to choose from. Not that, that is an Odyssey. It’s the exact same color. Tricky, Honda, you’re tricky. Though fancy, and a loaded all-wheel drive Elite trim with
ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, a foot activated tailgate, and a
heated steering wheel has an MSRP around $49,000. For a better
pricing picture check out KBB’s fare purchase price, and
maybe explore some new car listings on KBB.com. Compared to similarly equipped
versions of the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, and others the
Honda Pilot is competitively priced. Add Honda’s historically strong resale
values and the Pilot stands as a serious value. It’s not surprising, but when you take
compelling features, cram them in an utterly logical interior, surround the
whole thing with tasteful styling, and cap it all off with Honda’s renowned
reliability, the result is a mid-sized SUV that’s tough to beat. See, that was
easy because I’ve done it before. It’s been like three years, but still got it.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Just bought a 2018 EX-L, and I love it. Better than the Toyota Highlander we owned, and better than my wife’s Subaru Outback Touring. Though, I do like the Subaru quite a bit. There are just a few things that, for me, make the Pilot just a bit nicer. The seats are more comfortable in the Pilot, and I think the seat heaters work better.

  2. Lots of good features compare to the 2013 I own, they are really reliable vehicles, in 5+ years have not have any issues other than a tire pressure monitor valve. Great work on the energy and post production of the video.

  3. Gotta say. This presenter is probably the best on YouTube right now. I've watched a ton of review videos for a recent purchase (ended up with an Odyssey) and his are the best. Whats the dudes name? No answer with a quick Google. Nothing on the YouTube videos or the KBB channels About page. Anyway. Great content. Keep it up.

    EDIT: Also wheres the long term 2018 Odyssey update? Been waiting for it.

  4. I’m super happy with my 2017 exl and this one has too much feature for me plus don’t like the front end as much and wow price gone up a lot as well, overall I love my pilot second best vehicle I ever own

  5. Just came back from the Sacramento auto show. I've never considered Honda as I've been a Toyota/Lexus driver.
    However, this SUV was the winner for the all around best SUV. Myself being 5'10" i could sit comfortably in the third row, ingress/egress was simple and for those who like camping in their SUV having the seats lay down FLAT was a nice bonus.
    Cargo room is also very nice.
    This might be my first move to Honda.
    Toyota had nothing close to this SUV.

  6. Dang, you guys jacked-up on coffee, screwdrivers, shrooms, or all of the above?
    Crazy vid, but, not complaining. ✌️?

  7. Garbage cars transmission failed Honda like scam naver ever buy Honda any car just I bought Honda Pilot 2018 transmission messed up ..car hesitating

  8. Doesn’t like this reviewer for a long time, check out Alex , Canadian, TFL, redline, cars.com they are car engineered level editor.

  9. What is it with Honda and their hate against the traditional circle speedometer? The way they have it feels way too utilitarian and like a video game,. Even if it's digital at least give a digital circle speedometer like other companies

  10. To each his/her own. I have a 2018 Ridgeline with the infotainment system without the knob. Everyone complains about this for some reason. I just use the controls on the steering column 100% of the time while driving to change the station and sound as well as cycle through the display. This was a waste of time for Honda to address such a trivial complaint. Now the head unit looks jacked with this 1 protruding button sticking out.

  11. As an owner of a 2008, 2012 and 2017 Pilots (the latter I sold within 7 months bc of driver's seat) these are my major complaints of the 2016-2019 iteration:
    1) Removal of regular center armrest. A toothpick that comes down us NOT an armrest. ( I noticed 2019 has widened tip but still not an armrest).
    2) Removal of volume control, remedied in 2019.
    3) in 2019 removal of right mirror camera. To people like me with neck fusion it was a great convenience. I don't get its removal for a 3 light warning.
    4) Main reason I sold my 2017 touring, which was a great vehicle overall very reliable except tire pressure sensors, the driver seat back is 6 inches too short (even comparing to 2012 model) and the headrest is fixed forth and aft and useless. Notice Micah's shoulder well above the driver's back seat higher horizontal end-line. With my fused neck and been 6.2 with no headrest support driving for more than 30 minutes was unbearable. My current 2018 Audi Q7 is perfect, high driver's seat back, very adjustable headrest. Even my much smaller '18 Q5 with warm weather package/sport seats has 6 inches higher driver's seat back and multi-adjustable headrest. Ergonomic perfection even for fused necks. Honda designers after 2015 lost their edge. Attention to detail and ergonomics (that made Honda popular in the '90's are gone. None existent. As if everyone has the perfect anatomy. Very dissapointed in u Honda and I wanted the new Passport but I noticed it has the same driver's seat as the Pilot.

  12. Awesome features and mid-sized SUV for me, not too big nor too small. Great to haul in school stuff, projects and whatnot. Mom's Odyssey is also a great mini-van to have :- )

  13. I am an owner of a 2016 Elite. 4 times in the shop since new for fuel injectors. Apparently this is a major issue and Honda can figure it out. Injectors from Japan are back ordered because so many of them are failing..


  14. The only complaint my teen kids had of this vehicle was the wheel well obstructing their foot placement in the 3rd row seat. However, no mention was made of it in this video. We have yet to make a decision between the Pilot or the Ascent. Has anyone else run in to this issue? Or is this a non-issue with the Pilot and shouldn't be considered in the decision process?

  15. Wonderful review KBB keep up the good work, I bought my 2019 Pilot Elite on August and I love it so much I already put 7,000 miles I would not trade it for anything else…

  16. In our country anything bigger than 4.5 meter and 190mm ground clearance considered full Size SUV. I Just wonder what our government will call to lincoln Navigator and Escalade, luxury mini bus?

  17. Love your reviews. BUT, why does the Pilot look like a giant CR-V ? As a matter of fact, why do so manufacturers clone their designs? It's frustrating. The new Cadillac XT4 is just a Ford Edge. Just like the GMC Terrain copies the Chevy Equinox. Design is dead.

  18. A good friend has the 2015 Pilot with 250,000 miles. He changed the timing belt of course. No major problems. He drove 290 miles for work site visit last friday.

  19. A U.S. law firm of Hagens
    Berman Sobol Shapiro are preparing the Class action lawsuit against Honda for
    their defective Infotainment system on the 2018-19 Odyssey abd 2019 Pilot. If
    you go to their website they will give you more info. I emailed yesterday and
    they contacted me this morning. Good luck. They just posted a video on Youtube.
    Here is the link: https://youtu.be/Wx6uiQpxHCk

  20. Micah, you are by far the best vehicle reviewer on YouTube. Very engaging, entertaining, and informative with humor and silliness sprinkled throughout the video. And great shooting and editing by your behind-the-camera team. In a world where most auto review videos look like something produced by the DMV, your videos stand out (in a good way). Fantastic job!

  21. I wouldn't pay $50k for this wannabe SUV. Honda and Nissan turned their off-road capable SUVs into Mall finders (Pilot/Pathfinder). Smh…

  22. By far the most entertaining car review I have ever seen. Micah… you are truly gifted. You guys are totally having fun and it comes through to the viewers. Please credit the technicians and engineers behind your videos.

  23. No mention that it has a useless timing belt and a useless VCM and problems with the super expensive engine mounts that if the go go bad…then good luck.

  24. Overall, it was a good review, but some of the 'humor' just wasn't funny. It got annoying at times. Keep your focus on reviewing the car.

  25. I purchased the Honda Pilot Elite and it has been awful. I have owned it for 6 months and it has already been in the shop for 45 days and 6 attempts to fix issues. It is awful. My speedometer keeps shutting off while I am driving down the road. It is unsafe and scary. DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!

  26. Has anyone noticed that the compass in in the multi info display, the the pointer points the wrong way when going east or west?

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