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2016 Honda Pilot arrives in showrooms June 18 with a surprise or two

Although the headline may be a bit vague, while driving 2016 Honda Pilot for the first time, I discovered the key to Honda’s next success story.


I’ve yet to interview a Honda Pilot owner that has less than good things to say for Honda’s mainstream 3 row SUV. While arguably not the best looking “Box” in the segment, Honda Pilot brings with it a true sense of truck-toughness, utility, drive it in the dirt, wash it out and take it to dinner versatility. It’s a great family, group hauler, processing measurable fun and work tendency.

With 100,000 units sold in any given year, Pilot’s doing O.K., its reputation for durability and dependability is rock solid, as is its production platform shared with the sidelined Ridgeline, as Honda engineering works its magic on Honda’s only pickup truck, albeit a unibody car derivative.

2016 Honda Pilot’s design gives us a preview of Ridgeline things to come

For 2016 Pilot’s been totally redesigned, the engine, drivetrain and transmission, upgraded to Earth Dreams ™ specifications. I drove it, and personally was astounded as to the overall performance and comfort driven value found in 2016 Pilot. Quiet, road worthy, quick of pedal and nimble of brake, I’d goes as far as to say that Pilot is surprisingly fun, pleasant to drive and ride in. You may read my latest review here.

Greatest MSRP value in the segment

From the 6 speed direct injected i-VTEC V6 front wheel drive,( $29,995 ) to the top of the lineup , fully loaded Elite package all-wheel-drive,( $46,420 ) 2016 Honda Pilot SUV pushes the design, safety, personal connectivity and standard featured restrictions of a price-point generally reserved for entry-level family haulers. Honda’s presents a next generation Pilot while holding a base model MSRP, that encroaches on Acura MDX territory, not a small feet.

Surprisingly refined

While not 2016 Acura MDX, Pilot does present several MDX- like features, that I find to be surprisingly refined for an SUV, that until recently, featured rubber wash-out floor mats. Don’t read me wrong here, Honda has preserved the off-road durability and hauling prowess of pilot while adding a 9 speed automatic transmission and “Drive-Mode” select. I like that too.

2016 Pilot’s like no other

For those readers that in the past found pilot to be underpowered, under equipped, or not quite safe enough, those days are way gone. Priced $1,000 below the competition, and touting the highest fuel economy in the segment, Pilot wins the mainstream SUV competition before reaching the gate. towing? not a problem, it’s that good!

Final thoughts with the short list of improvements

Greater horsepower and torque
Improved fuel economy
Greater interior volume.
Improved body style
V6 power across the lineup
9 speed transmission option
Greater standard active and passive safety features
Fantastic active safety and audio options
2nd row climate control
2nd row Captain Chairs option
Drop down surround sound 2nd row theater
Honda’s first “Glass Top
Next generation Real Time, Smart all-wheel-drive, with locking differential
Expanded color scheme, interior comfort, quality hard and soft surfaces
Good looking alloy wheel designs and reduced dead weight brake assembly
Improved rigidity and impact deflection
Single touch 3rd row seating access. ( Yes, an adult can sit back there).

That’s the short list. Basically, 2016 Honda Pilot is a preview of Honda’s near-future transformation, as the entire lineup is reinvented. For folks in the market for an entry level, or mainstream SUV presenting premium features and state of the art Honda active safety features, 2016 Honda Pilot merits a close look. Is Pilot too big for your needs? Check out the 2016 Honda HR-V.