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2018 Honda Pilot Overview
Since the its inception in 2003, the Honda Pilot has shared joint duty with the Odyssey minivan as Honda’s resident people-movers. With seating for up to eight people, it remains a crucial vehicle in the brand’s lineup, as evidenced by the current model’s market competitiveness.
From its roomy interior to its car-like handling and ease of entry and exit, there is a lot of to love about the Honda Pilot. It’s loaded with helpful features designed to optimize it for family duty. For example, higher trims of the Pilot get one-touch buttons that deftly scoot the second-row seats forward for access to the third row. It also offers a flip-down conversation mirror, commonly seen in school buses, to allow the driver to see everyone in the cabin.
The sole engine for the Pilot is a 3.5-liter 6-cylinder with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet at its command, and either a 6-speed or 9-speed automatic transmission, depending upon the trim. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, but buyers can spec all-wheel drive (AWD) in all trims. AWD comes standard in the Elite trim. Even with decent driving hardware, the Pilot is tuned more toward comfort and thriftiness than driving feel. Fuel economy is as high as 20 city mpg, 27 highway, and 23 combined on the FWD model, or 19, 26, and 22 on the AWD model.
All five of the Pilot’s trims return for 2018. Starting from the bottom, LX comes standard with 18-inch wheels, 8-passenger seating, Bluetooth, LED brake lights, a 5-inch color LCD screen, and push-button start. The other trims, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite, get progressively nicer and add features such as remote engine start, an 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, LED headlights, leather upholstery, a power liftgate, captains’ chairs in the second row, and a panoramic moonroof.
Safety is clearly another of the Pilot’s chief concerns. A multi-angle reversing camera is standard on every unit, and buyers can scale their way up the trim lineup for further enhancements. EX comes with Honda’s LaneWatch system, which employs a camera mounted in the right mirror that’s useful for making right-hand turns or parallel parking. Honda Sensing, optional on EX and EX-L and standard on Touring and Elite, bundles forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. The Pilot scored highly in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) crash tests as of late 2017, and it has earned the designation of Top Safety Pick+.
Honda’s Pilot puts a family and utility first approach to transportation that makes it a clear frontrunner in its category. Coupled with a competitive technology stack and above-average focus toward safety, the 2018 Honda Pilot is worthy of consideration for anyone looking for a three-row crossover.
Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.
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