2017 Honda Pilot Review


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2017 Honda Pilot Overview

After a redesign last year, the Honda Pilot returns unchanged for 2017. And why not? The third-generation Pilot is safe, spacious, and smooth on the roads—and it’s still not a minivan. With the drivability of a car but the spaciousness of a larger vehicle, the 3-row, 8-passenger Pilot is a natural alternative for consumers in the market for a minivan. When Honda introduced the Pilot in 2003, the crossover vehicle was a revolutionary concept. Now it’s become its own segment.

The Pilot is definitely roomy, with 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space available behind the third row and 46.8 cubic feet with the third row folded flat. If you also fold the second row of seats flat with the touch of the available quick-release button, space increases to a whopping 83.9 cubic feet.

Safety ratings for the 2017 Pilot have not been released, but the 2016 version earned the highest distinction possible from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a Top Safety Pick+ rating. Standard safety features include an antilock braking system (ABS), brake assist, a multi-angle rear-view camera with guidelines, and front, side, and curtain airbags. Optional safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, collision-mitigation braking, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic high-beam headlights.

The Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter direct-injected V6 engine that produces 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The LX, EX, and EX-L trims use a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the Touring and Elite feature a 9-speed ZF automatic transmission. The LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring trims come standard with front-wheel drive (FWD), but all-wheel drive (AWD) is also available and is standard on the Elite. To boost fuel economy, the Pilot gets a cylinder-deactivation feature that shuts down half the engine when not all 6 cylinders are needed. The transition is imperceptible, and this feature earns the FWD LX, EX, and EX-L models a fuel-economy rating of 19 mpg city and 27 highway, while the FWD Touring model receives 20 and 27. The AWD LX, EX, and EX-L models come in at 18 and 26, while the AWD Touring and Elite get 19 and 26.

The Pilot provides a composed, comfortable, and quiet ride while still delivering a 0-to-60 time of 6.5 seconds. But don’t expect a thrill when taking the Pilot on winding roads—this is still a tall vehicle with considerable mass, so body roll plays a factor.

Standard features on the base LX trim include cruise control, Bluetooth for phone and audio, keyless ignition, daytime running lights, a USB port, a 4.2-inch color display screen, and a 200-watt 7-speaker audio system. The EX trim adds the LaneWatch safety system, HondaLink smartphone connectivity, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, an 8-inch touchscreen, Pandora radio, and a 225-watt, 7-speaker audio system. Additions for the EX-L trim include leather upholstery, a 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats, a power moonroof, and optional navigation and rear-seat entertainment systems.

The Touring trim comes standard with the rear-seat entertainment system, featuring a Blu-Ray-compatible 9-inch flip-down screen, a removable remote control, second-row sunshades, and a 115-volt power outlet. Also included with the Touring trim are adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, blue ambient LED lighting, roof rails, and a 540-watt 10-speaker audio system. The top-of-the-line Elite trim builds on these features with blind-spot monitoring, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row captain’s chairs, automatic high beams, a panoramic roof, LED headlights, corner and backup sensors, and HD Radio.


After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.

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