Parks McCants's picture

2016 Honda Pilot looking to a record sales year

Although American Honda car sales were off 5% year over year for November, Pilot sales are up 19% on the way to the best sales year since 2006.

Monthly sales figures are fickle, and frankly, most automotive journalist don’t give much credence or validity to an indicator that is affected by everything from the weather, to the number of days in a month, holidays, and current interest rates.

After the initial sales hit of a new model release or major refresh. as show cased through the 2015 CR-V SUV, auto industry analyst generally look to trends, as demonstrated by yearly, quarter sales results, such as the measurable decrease in sales of the 2016 Honda Fit, on the release of the Fit-based HR-V crossover.

Honda hits a Homerun with the release of the all new 2016 pilot SUV

Already a top seller by any measure, 2016 Honda Pilot retains the “Truck-Ability”, and transformer-like, multitask family hauling flexibility of the past generation Pilot, while increasing visual appeal, interior refinement, greater active and passive safety features, family friendly Infotainment and greater ease of cell phone connectivity. Check out our latest 2016 Honda Pilot drive review here.

Honda’s Jeff Conrad tells us: "It is incredibly gratifying to see our customers embrace the all-new Pilot and Civic," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "We are going to race to the finish in the effort to earn a record number of new customers this year."

2016 Honda Pilot presents exceptional standard features and performance

In my most humble opinion “ the market has spoken.” Earlier in the year after experiencing all that is 2016 Honda Pilot Elite on a NASCAR race track in Tennessee, I predicted that 2016 Honda Pilot was not only the best dollar for dollar value in the midsize SUV segment, but would give Acura MDX a run for the money. Personally, I was astounded by Pilot’s new found refinement, performance, and real-time active safety features.

The Collision Mitigation Braking ™ feature blew my mind.

With a base model Pilot AWD LX sporting a MSRP of $31,795, one would be hard pressed to find a better standard equipped SUV in the industry. Far from stripped, this 280 horsepower i-VTEC V6, 6 speed automatic, all wheel drive, 3 row SUV is quickly becoming North America’s answer to the family station wagon. In November, 9,228 of you said yes to Pilot, joining 113,000 new Pilot owners year to date.

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I tested the 2016 EX Pilot. It was top heavy, clumsy, and uncomfortable. The tiny arm rests felt like I was on an airplane. I loved the tech and standard entertainment and safety features, but at the end of the day, ride, drive, and comfort come first in a car this size. I bought a Toyota Highlander XLE instead. While it doesn't have the same level of tech I wanted from the Pilot, if it doesn't drive well, what's the point? Please make sure you test a few cars in this class before choosing.
Welcome Brent. Good advice!
The ZF9 transmission is worrisome.
Welcome Witness. I've experienced the Z9 in MDX, TLX and Pilot Elite, all good on this end. For Pilot, it is an option. If you prefer, go with the 6 speed automatic, a great transmission.
When I last checked it was not optional on the top models. A version has been used in Jeeps and it has been trouble prone. At least one review I read of Honda's ZF9 has complained about odd shifting.
I bought a Honda Pilot 2016 EXL in early November. I have owned a Honda Pilot for 7 years previous to this particular model. After driving the HPEXL2016 for a month now, I have to agree, it is probably the best dollar value for what you get. I found the Pilot neither clumsy, or uncomfortable. I didn't find the Pilot Top Heavy at all. If it is, what mid-size SUV doesn't have some issues with highCG when turning? Even Toyota's product lines all have issues with high center of gravity in the SUV category. Just look at the reviews, Highlander is no exception. At any rate, I agree with the article, because I have first hand experience driving the Pilot for around 1000 miles and find it to be a good purchase for performance, comfort level, quality, and overall experience.
Welcome Jon. I agree, I too have owned or test driven the competition and find Pilot to be exceptional.
I purchased the pilot 3 months ago and the truck drives great !
Consumer Reports: "But shoppers should stick with the six-speed. The upmarket Touring and Elite trim levels are saddled with a nine-speed gearbox that's neither smooth nor responsive, and it uses an infuriating and unintuitive push-button shifter."
Good morning Witness. If you're truly interested in 2016 Pilot, insist on an extended test drive. I mastered the 9 speed in minutes. Also, drive-modes have much to do with how the 9 speed adapts to your individual driving style, or, wait a year. Honda has their own 10 speed on the drawing board. It may,or may not be destined for SUV applications. Consumer Reports drive reviews are written by automotive review journalist much like myself. And, while C.R. review is a viable measurement of initial and extended drive-time impressions, it does not replace your personal views and preference as to transmission, engine, road handling, etc. Get out and drive Pilot.
It's too big of a purchase for me to gamble on a questionable transmission. As it is, I just made Hyundai replace the transmission on a car (one known for a weak transmission) and I am sensitive to the issue. Besides, when I went to the local Honda dealer, the sales rep was pretty ignorant of details and generally disengaged. I don't want to have to deal w/ a weak dealer, either. I'm thinking about the Highlander Hybrid instead...and THAT dealer is pretty sharp.
Exactly. Our Honda dealer seemed disinterested in our feedback too. I guess they assume these cars sell themselves. If you're considering this car, please do yourself a favor and pay a lot of attention to the transmission and drive feel. You're spending 35k+ and they'll want you to focus on the technology aspects to distract you from the drive. Dodge/Acura/Jeep is also having issues with this same transmission.
Good morning Brent. I've yet to read any consumer complaints as to the 9 speed transmission in 2016 Pilot. have you? Thanks.
Yes. If you go to the Pilot board Piloteers.org - there are quite a few 2016 Pilot owners that are requesting reprogramming of the transmission from Honda. It is also noted on the ConsumerReports.org review. they recommend avoiding the 9 speed. I didn't like the 6 speed either. very clunky/clumpy shifting in my opinion. Just sharing my observations for others.
As I was looking to jump into the 3-row crossover market, I did my homework and test-drove the Highlander, Pilot, Traverse, Pathfinder, and Sorrento. I gotta say the Pilot overall blows all the others out of the water. I don't think it was the best at anything in particular, but it was near the top on just about EVERYTHING... something all the others could not say. It was an easy decision, and I'm very happy with my new 2016 Pilot Elite.
Welcome Adi. enjoy!
2016 has great tech and an upscale interior but the outside styling is so bland! It looks just like everything else on the road. A 2017 refresh would be in order.
I don't believe we'll see a refresh in 2017, the reinvented Pilot is selling better than ever. In looking to the competition, I don't see another make with the unique look of Pilot. what are you comparing Pilot to? Please share.
The Toyota Highlander and the Hyundai Santa Fe to name two quickly. The distinctive styling is gone and it looks like everything else on the road. It is selling well because of the quality and safety features, and certainly not for the ubiquitous styling.