2015 Honda Pilot Review


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2015 Honda Pilot Overview

2015 Honda Pilot

What do you do when you’ve got up to 8 folks to schlep to the office, the mall or the movies? With its 3 rows of seating, Honda’s 2015 Pilot crossover might be one solution. A roomy cabin with rearward seating that actually accommodates at least the average-size adult is this quasi-ute’s stock in trade, along with a heavy dollop of standard features, a commanding ride height and a peppy V6 powerplant. Unfortunately, except for a new trim introduced for the 2015 model year, this competent crossover hasn’t changed much over its 6 plus years of service, and there, in addition to its somewhat challenging bulk, lies its Achilles heel. In any case, Pilot trims for 2015 include the base LX, the up-featured EX and the new-for-2015 SE (Special Edition), along with the posh-leaning EX-L and the flagship Touring.

Bottom line: Except for the debut of the aforementioned SE trim, this king-size crossover remains essentially unchanged into yet another model year.

As is traditional, all trims are again delivered with standard front-wheel drive (FWD), but as is also traditional, a 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system that’s really an all-wheel-drive (AWD) configuration remains optional lineup-wide. Said 4WD arrangement diverts up to 70% of power from the front to the rear wheels in slippery conditions, while also featuring a driver-selectable “locking” mechanism that’ll divert maximum torque to the rear wheels in first or second gear and at low speeds to get your bogged-down Pilot back out on the road. Additionally, all 4WD-equipped Pilots come with a standard heavy-duty transmission-fluid cooling system.

Power-wise, each 2015 Pilot returns packing a 3.5-liter Flex Fuel (ethanol-capable) V6 engine, again managed by the capable 5-speed automatic transmission. Towing is maxed out at 2,000 pounds with the standard Class III hitch, but a wiring harness is extra on lower trims. Mileage, meantime, runs a tepid 18 mpg city/25 highway for FWD-toting trims and 17/24 in 4WD versions despite the now-ubiquitous variable valve timing (VVT).

As for appearance features, depending on the trim selected, this sizable Honda crossover flaunts either 17-inch steel or 18-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable mirrors (heated on all 4WD trims) and, on the top-shelf Touring, roof rails.

Inside, look for cloth upholstery and reclining second-row seats, full power accessories, a rear-view camera, cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Tri-zone auto climate control also graces all Pilot cabins, as do Bluetooth hands-free calling and a 229-watt audio system that boasts a single-CD player, 7 speakers and a USB port, all interfaced via an 8-inch infotainment display. Oh, and all trims sport a decently spacious 87 cubic feet of cargo area with the rear seatbacks folded.

Continuing with the sort of cool stuff, upper-level Pilot trims add features like standard heated and power-adjustable front seats, a remote garage door opener, a 650-watt stereo system with 10 speakers, leather-trimmed upholstery and cabin accents, and memory for driver's settings.

The debuting SE, meanwhile, also boasts a standard power moonroof, rear-seat DVD entertainment and satellite radio, while the high-end Touring adds standard front and rear parking sensors as well as GPS navigation and an upgraded infotainment display.

To give credit where credit is due, Honda retains its refreshingly simplistic options selections, with lower trims again eligible to tote many of the items found standard in higher trims as add-ons. And, of course, things like side steps, step running boards and remote engine start can be delivered as optional equipment on select trims, as well.

Although the 2015 Pilot lineup lacks some of the more sophisticated safety techno-gizmos of its rivals, the basics, like 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, active front head restraints and 3-row head airbags all return. Additional safety equipment includes daytime running lights on all trims, with the EX and higher trims flaunting standard front fog/driving lights and a remote antitheft alarm. Finally, the Touring also throws standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors into the mix.


Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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