A great all-rounder

The SUV is changing, and Honda is leading the way. The 2016 Honda Pilot is all new from the ground up, and helps bridge the gap between traditional perceptions of what an SUV should be and the current demands of customers better than nearly anything on the market right now. 

The Pilot combines the utility, size, and all-wheel drive dependability of a truck with the style, fuel efficiency, and road manners of a car. And since it’s a Honda, you can count on unbelievable reliability and good value.

Powertrain and Performance

One of the biggest improvements resulting from the recent redesign is fuel economy. The 2016 Honda Pilot offers remarkably good gas mileage for a pretty large crossover, but doesn’t fall short when it comes to capability or driving dynamics.

All Pilot models use a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It boasts Honda’s well-known i-VTEC variable-valve timing system, as well as cylinder deactivation, which temporarily shuts down three cylinders under light loads to cut fuel consumption.

Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. Buyers also get a choice of two transmissions: a six-speed automatic is standard on the LX, EX, and EX-L models, while an all-new nine-speed automatic is offered on the upper-level Touring and Elite models.

With front-wheel drive and the six-speed automatic, the Pilot gets an EPA-rated 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway),* while the same transmission with all-wheel drive yields a rating of 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city, 21 mpg highway).*

The new nine-speed automatic is the efficiency champ, though. With front-wheel drive, it allows the Pilot to achieve 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway).* All-wheel drive models with that transmission get 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway).*

Features and Trims

The 2016 Honda Pilot is available only as a five-door, mid-size crossover SUV with seating for seven or eight. It’s available in five trim levels, priced from $29,995.**

Standard equipment on the base LX model includes pushbutton start, a tilt and telescopic steering column, 60/40 split-folding second-row bench, flat 50/50-folding, third row, Bluetooth, and other features.

The EX model incorporates all of the applicable standard features from the LX, and adds equipment like a power driver’s seat, illuminated vanity mirrors, conversation mirror, smart entry, fog lights, and LED daytime running lights.

Moving up to the EX-L nets a one-touch power moonroof, power tailgate, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel, one-touch second-row seats, heated front seats, leather interior, power passenger’s seat, and more.

The penultimate Pilot model is the Touring, which includes all of the applicable standard features from the other models, as well as roof rails, courtesy door lights, Blue ambient LED lighting, navigation, and 10-speaker premium audio system.

Finally, the top Pilot model is the appropriately-named Elite, which boasts a suitably-high level of equipment that includes LED auto high-beam headlights, panoramic roof, perforated heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain’s chairs, and HD Radio.

Design 

The 2016 Honda Pilot is redesigned from the ground up, and what’s the point of building an all-new crossover SUV if it ends up looking like the one that came before? The previous-generation Pilot was big and boxy in the classic SUV idiom, but the new model goes in a completely different direction.

Honda’s biggest SUV is now sleeker and more car-like, with a front fascia that borrows cues from the smaller CR-V. Standard LED taillights and available LED headlights and daytime running lights add a bit more sophistication.

The interior gets an upgrade as well, with more soft-touch materials and a standard 4.2-inch central display screen. The standard seating configuration is two rear benches with 60/40 split folding in the middle row and 50/50 split folding in the back row. Alternatively, the Elite model offers second-row captain’s chairs—an upscale feature that’s a first for the Pilot.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2016 Honda Pilot includes a rearview camera, anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control, and a full array of airbags. Optional features include Honda LaneWatch, Blind Spot Information with Cross Traffic Monitor, a lane-keep assist, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation System, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

Bottom Line

The 2016 Honda Pilot is your guide to affordable family motoring, and with its sleek new design, you get to do it in style.

For more information, or to schedule a test drive,  contact us online or visit Honda of Denton at 4050 South I-35 East, DENTON, TX 76210. 

*19 city/27 highway/22 combined mpg rating for 2WD 6AT models. 18 city/26 highway/21 combined mpg rating for AWD 6AT models. 20 city/27 highway/23 combined mpg rating for 2WD 9AT models. 19 city/26 highway/22 combined mpg rating for AWD 9AT models. Based on 2016 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.

**MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) excluding tax, license, registration, $880 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

Image: Honda