With the reinvention of American Honda’s car and light truck lineup comes a saturation of high output low displacement 4 cylinder engines and hybrid drive systems. For 2019 Honda Pilot brings some good news for V6 engine fans.
Today all but three American Honda car and light truck offerings feature small displacement normally aspirated or turbocharged high torque output VTEC 4 cylinder gasoline engines. Not all long-time Honda fans are happy with the transition, pointing to Honda’s benchmark, mechanically bulletproof V6 engine -- arguably one if not the best V6 engines available in today’s midsize import sector. I was a little sad when this V6 Honda went into the history books.
There are three remaining holdouts in Honda’s North American lineup, all light trucks
Gone is the kick-but Accord V6 Coupe and sedan, and most of the normally aspirated VTEC 4 cylinder gasoline engines that launched the Honda mark to segment dominance in North America. Yes, you can find a normally aspirated 4 banger in this Honda.
There’s been rampant media speculation as to a 2019 market launch of a gasoline/electric hybrid Honda Pilot SUV, it’s not happening this year. Instead, Honda design and engineering presents a mid-cycle 2019 Pilot refresh that embraces the present design trajectory of the maker. This year Pilot presents up-ticks standard active safety features, and integrated tech-rich ease of personal electronic connectivity, while simplifying adjusting the volume level of your favorite tune -- yes, the knob has returned.
2019 Pilot drivers discover a redesigned instrument cluster, redesigned smart steering wheel, and an updated color touchscreen personal electronic interface. Cordless cell phone charging? Yes, Pilot has that too. On the interior 2019 Honda Pilot takes a design cue or two from Honda Odyssey. Honda design does a commendable job of refreshing Pilot’s body style, without sacrificing go-anywhere utility. Read my latest Honda Pilot drive review.
What we discover under the hood of 2019 Honda Pilot
For 2019, Pilot’s motivation remains exclusively V6 powered and automatic transmission transferred. Drive is primarily to the front wheels, with an available all wheel drive option. We discovered Pilot’s select variable surface traction mode back in 2015, it works well.
As carried over from 2018 driver’s will discover a comfortable, well planned interior. One if not the last remaining 8 passenger options available in the midsize SUV segment, and, exceptional segment leading fuel efficiency and torque thanks to advanced aluminium V6 engine design and cylinder management.
According to Honda: The 2019 Pilot brings a long list of upgrades to Honda's award-winning 8-passenger SUV, including more aggressive exterior styling, an available new hands-free power tailgate and significant refinements to its 9-speed automatic transmission (available in Touring and Elite trims). Major available technology upgrades include 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi, a larger Rear Entertainment System with Blu-Ray™ and streaming video capability, Honda's innovative CabinTalk™ in-car PA system and smartphone-enabled CabinControl™ app, along with a new Display Audio touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration, over-the-air updates and a volume knob.
2019 Honda Pilot arrives July 16, 2018
Honda holds the line on entry trim level pricing while including Honda Sensing as a standard feature at all trim levels. Pilot remains a relative bargain in the segment, while retaining an exceptional reliability rating and residual resale value. I recommend a comparative test drive between Pilot, Mazda CX 9, and Toyota Highlander.