Car Review: Honda Pilot gets a big makeover and welcomes a new off-road ready version

The Pilot, a three-row SUV, has been a hit for Honda for years. Now, the latest version has a tough new look — more squared, and less round and minivan-looking than before. Also, a new version was born with last year’s redesign. The Trailsport offers more ground clearance and spiffy looking 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.

The redesigned Pilot has grown a bit for this year. Front and second row passengers gain extra leg room and a touch more headroom, too. The durable synthetic leather-covered seats prove comfortable. However, the third row is smaller than some of the competition. It’s fine for children and smaller adults during shorter trips. Folding the third row of seats provides plenty of cargo space. The touch screen is easy to use and works quickly to respond to touch the first time. The push button transmission saves space on the center console, but takes getting used to.

Hop behind the wheel of the Honda Pilot Trailsport and this tougher version of the SUV provides a nice ride with decent handling on the highway, and you can take back roads with confidence. Those all-terrain tires and AWD system pay dividends in bad weather and when the trail isn’t paved. However, those tires create noise in the cabin at highway speeds. The tried-and-true V6 is one smooth operator, and it moves the Pilot smartly in the city and on the highway.

Cost: $48,800 base price; $50,650 as tested

Options: $455 Sonic Gray Pearl

MPG: 18 MPG City; 23 MPG Highway. I managed 20.6 MPG in 298 miles of mixed driving.

Safety: Blind spot information system; rear cross traffic monitor; front and rear parking sensors; collision mitigation braking system; road departure mitigation; adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow; lane keeping assist system; pedestrian detection; traffic

Things to know: The redesigned family friendly Pilot is bigger inside with improved technology. The Trailsport version is eager to venture off the regular road with real off-road ability.


  • An improved interior that is more in-line with the competition
  • Handles well and the off-road ready suspension soaks up the bumps
  • New look is more tough and SUV-like than before


  • All-terrain tires are grippy but introduce some noise on the highway
  • Third row space is less than some of the competition
  • Touch screen seems a bit small in this mid-size SUV class

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