The 2019 Honda Pilot mid-size SUV has received its mid-cycle refresh, and now sports aggressive new styling, powertrain refinements, hands-free power tailgate, Honda Sensing and extensive technology upgrades.
My tester was the top-of-the-line Elite, which joins EX, EX-L and Touring trim levels.
Pilot is nothing, if not family friendly. With three-row flexibility, the Elite can seat up to eight adults. Mine was equipped with second-row captain’s chairs and a split-fold third row, limiting capacity at seven.
The rear seats fold flat, creating a cavernous cargo area capable of stowing four full-sized golf bags and pushcarts. A panoramic moon roof stretches over both the front and second row, allowing passengers to gaze skyward, when not focused on the Blu-ray DVD rear entertainment system with wireless headphones.
Powered by a 3.5-liter VTEC V6 engine with variable cylinder management paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission, the duo generated 280 horsepower and delivers a combined 22-miles-per-gallon fuel economy in combined city/highway driving.
My tester included all-wheel drive, which came in handy during the snow flurries that whitened local roads. It also included paddle shifters, for playing around or slowing without braking, and an idle-stop feature that saves gas. Speaking of saving gas, there is a green Eco button that eliminates rabbit starts and smooths out shifts to provide even better fuel economy.
Honda Pilot’s updated exterior reflects its off-road capabilities. The front sports an aggressive new front fascia with standard LED low-beam headlights, while the rear features new taillights, a new bumper and chrome accents.
Creature comforts, as one would expect with the Elite trim level, are off the charts. Highlights include heated leather front and second-row seats, heated steering wheel, tri-zone climate control, Honda navigation with voice recognition and rear-view camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration,10-speaker system with a subwoofer and 590 watts of power, Bluetooth, USB audio, 115-volt power outlet and way more.
And here’s a nugget for those of you wedded to your cell phone. Available for the first time in Pilot is wireless smartphone charging, using the Qi and PMA charging standards. Large enough for even plus-size smartphones, it’s standard on Elite models and available as a dealer-installed accessory on EX, EX-L and Touring trims.
For 2019, all Pilot models come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Honda Sensing helps provide greater awareness of driving conditions around the vehicle, and in some cases helps drivers maintain lane position. Comprising the Honda Sensing suite are collision mitigation braking system with forward collision warning, blind-spot information system, road-departure mitigation, lane-keeping assist system and adaptive cruise control.
Base Price: $48,020
Price As Driven: $48,020