Is Honda Pilot A Good Car

Is Honda Pilot A Good Car – Should You Buy, Or Stay Away?

Are you planning on purchasing a Honda Pilot and you are asking yourself, is Honda Pilot a good car? If that is the case and you are in this situation, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic where we will learn everything when it comes to this model.

Doing the proper research before you decide on spending your savings on a car is key. On the market, there are hundreds of models that you can purchase and all these vehicles are prone to some issues. Some of them are more, some of them are less but they still can suffer some problems that can be very costly to fix.

In addition to this, there is the practicality aspect. Because you purchase a car to be practical and serve your purposes. So, purchasing a hatch doesn’t make sense if you have a large family and you need to accommodate many people. Still, you need something really spacious. And frankly, the Honda Pilot is one of the best choices when it comes to this category. But more on that, we are going to explain later on in this article.

First, we are going to learn what is the Pilot and why it is so popular here in the US. Then we will cover the specs of the Pilot. We will learn more about the dimensions, load capacity, engines, reliability, problems, and all that good stuff that you are probably interested in since you want to purchase this model. So, if you want to learn more about this and see if the Pilot suits you best, follow along.

What Is The Honda Pilot

Now before we dive into more complex topics like learning is Honda Pilot a good car, let’s first focus more on what is the Pilot in general. I bet there are a lot of people who are not into cars and want to learn more about this model and understand what is all about. So, if you are one of them, stick with us and learn more about the basics of the Honda Pilot.

Anyways, the Honda Pilot is a mid-size SUV produced by Honda for the North American market. What this means is that this model is sold only in the US and Canada. So, it will be highly unlikely to find this model anywhere in the world except here.

This model is the largest SUV that Honda is producing right now. This means that this model is a class above the CR-V which is also another very good seller in this segment.

Nevertheless, the Pilot is quite bigger than its sibling, the CR-V, and is able to accommodate more people, and also has a ton more luggage capacity. In addition to this, this model also comes with more powerful engines, and frankly, it is a joy to drive.

Up till now, there are three generations that were released. The first generation was introduced in 2002. And the present third generation was introduced in 2016. This means that this is an older model. We can expect the next generation in the following year or two.

But until we wait for the new generation. We first need to learn if is the Honda Pilot a good car? More on that we are going to explain later on, and first, let’s cover why this model is so popular in the US market.

Why The Honda Pilot Is So Popular

Now before we learn if is Honda Pilot a good car, let’s learn more about why this model is so popular here in the US. What makes the Pilot one of the number one choices for a lot of Americans out there? Let’s elaborate.

If you didn’t know, the Honda Pilot is a really good seller. It sells roughly about 130,000 units per year. And for a vehicle of this size, these numbers are really healthy numbers. There are only a handful of vehicles that can reach these numbers.

The high sale numbers tell a lot. Mainly because when people once purchase a Pilot, they return back to get the new generation of this vehicle.

And frankly, Honda is always trying to keep their customer base really happy by adding new features to their models and keeping them up to date.

Is Honda Pilot A Good Car

Even though the Pilot is a 2016 model year SUV, it is basically the same as a 2022 model year. It has the same features as every modern model does and all these features are working flawlessly.

In addition to this, there is the build quality. Japanese manufacturers like Honda and Toyota are known for their quality control.

They don’t rely on luck, they test their vehicles extremely rigorously and are able to deliver the best result possible for the customer. But is Honda Pilot a good car? More on that we are going to explain later on in this article.

The next thing that we would want to discuss is the specs with which this model comes. Knowing the specs will help you out determine if this model is the right one for you as a future car.

Honda Pilot Specs

Now as we learned the basics when it comes to the Honda Pilot, we think that now it is time to move on and learn about the specs that this SUV is offered. Then after we cover the specs we will cover more about the problems of this model and learn if is Honda Pilot a good car.

Nevertheless, the Honda Pilot as we mentioned previously is a mid-size SUV manufactured by Honda since 2002. This is only a North American model, so it means that it is primarily for the US market. Except for a small export in the Middle East.

It is useful to know that at the moment the Honda Pilot is in its third generation. The present generation was introduced in 2016 and the first model year is 2017.

This model is based on the same platform as the Acura MDX and the Odyssey minivan. So, these three models are sharing a lot of the components like suspension, engines, and transmissions.

The model is assembled in the Lincoln, Alabama factory by Honda. But is Honda Pilot a good car? Well, more on that we are going to cover later on after we cover the dimensions and specs of this model.

Honda Pilot Cargo Space

Now before we cover if is Honda Pilot a good car, let’s take a look at the dimensions in which this model comes. And these include the Honda Pilot length, height, width, weight, and Honda Pilot ground clearance.

The Pilot has a wheelbase of 111 inches. Which makes this model one of the larger vehicles out there. With a total length of 194.5 inches.

The Pilot is 78.6 inches wide and has a height of 69.8 inches. When it comes to ground clearance, it is worth mentioning that the Pilot has 7.3 inches of clearance. Not a lot considering its size. But enough to tackle most obstacles that you might encounter on the road. It is not that suitable for off-road use because you might get stuck. So, beware of this.

What is worth noting is that Honda Pilot’s 3rd-row seats can be folded and allow you to get extra space. The Honda Pilot seating will allow up to 7 passengers by the way.

With the third-row seats up, you will only get a modest 18.5 cubic ft of space. If you decide to fold down the third-row seats, you will get 55.9 cubic ft of cargo capacity, and if you fold down the second row, you will get up to 109.2 cubic ft. Which is a rather insane number.

So, if you consider the Honda Pilot purely for practicality. Then this model will be the right one for you because, with this model, you get all the practicality in the world. This model can only be outmatched by full-size SUVs like the Yukon and the Escalade. But is Honda Pilot a good car? More on that we are going to cover later on.

Honda Pilot Trim Levels

Before we dive into explaining if is Honda Pilot a good car, let’s first discuss a bit about the trim levels that this model is offered in. And frankly, there are a lot of trims that come with the Pilot.

On the 2021 models, there were the LX and EX trim levels. These were the base trims on the model. But for the 2022 model year, they were discontinued and replaced with the standard Sport and the TrailSport trim.

The TrailSport trim offers bigger ground clearance by 0.6 inches over the standard version, as well as 18-inch black alloy wheels and also the TrailSport badge. In addition to this, there is also fancy stitching that will tell you that you drive a TrailSport model and not one of the regular trims.

In addition to this new trim, there are also other trim levels that you can get. These include the EX-L, Black Edition, Touring, Special Edition, and Elite.

As you can see, there are a ton of different trims to choose from. And it is up to you to choose what suits you best for your needs. If you plan to seat up to 7 or 8 passengers go for the Touring, if you want something sporty, go after the TrailSport or the Sport trims.

But is Honda Pilot a good car? More on that we are going to cover in a bit after we clear the rest of the specs.

Engines And Transmissions

Now before we cover if is Honda Pilot a good car, we need to discuss the Honda Pilot engine as well as the Honda Pilot transmission and learn what you can get for your money. How much power does this SUV make?

The Pilot comes with one engine option. This is a naturally aspirated 3.5L V6 engine that is outputting 280hp and 262lb-ft of torque. Not a powerhouse. But enough to push this chassis and the vehicle not to feel underpowered. What is worth noting is that these engines are also really reliable and durable. Especially the newer ones.

In terms of transmissions, the models between 2016 and 2020 came equipped with a 5-speed automatic and ZF 9-speed automatic. While the models since 2021 come only equipped with the ZF 9-speed transmission. But is Honda Pilot a good car? More on that we are going to cover in a moment.

Fuel Economy

Now before we learn if is Honda Pilot a good car, let’s cover something more about the fuel economy and learn if this model is economical. Nowadays prices of gas are going through the roof and people are furious. So, can you expect a good fuel economy with this model? Let’s elaborate.

The engine of this model is quite thirsty. Not by design but because the chassis is rather heavy. 4,054lbs for the FWD and 4,317lbs for the AWD version.

So, the numbers are pretty average. This model gets 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined. Still, it could be a lot worse. These are expected numbers when you go after a vehicle of this size.

If you want something more economical, we would like to recommend you the CR-V. This model has a really good fuel economy. Or possibly the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. But is Honda Pilot a good car? More on that we are going to cover in a bit.

Honda Pilot Safety Rating

Now before we cover the topic if is Honda Pilot a good car, let’s learn more about the safety of this model and see how safe it really is. After all, you need to get a safe vehicle and not a death trap.

And when it comes to this aspect. We can say that the Pilot is a really good performer. This model was tested by the NHTSA and got favorable ratings on most of the tests with 5/5 grades. The only tests it got a 4-star rating were the frontal passenger, rollover FWD, and rollover AWD.

In addition to this, the Pilot was also tested by the IIHS and they also deemed the safety of this model to be quite good. Giving it good grades on the tests. And if you didn’t know, for IIHS a good grade is the highest grade possible. But is Honda Pilot a good car? More on that we are going to cover in a bit.

Honda Pilot Cost

Another topic that we would like to discuss before we dive into the problems of this model and answer the question if is Honda Pilot a good car is the cost of this model. How much can you expect to pay for this SUV in the first place if you go for a brand new model? Let’s elaborate.

The base price for the Pilot is $39,400. This is the price if you go for the Sport 2WD model. But if you go up the ladder and through the different trims, you could end up paying up to $53,000. The most expensive model is the Black Edition. And this model starts at $53,000.

But there are also other good trims like the TrailSport which are also really good and cost way less. The TrailSport starts only at $46,000. Which already is $7,000 of savings. So, make sure that you choose smart. But is Honda Pilot a good car? More on that we will cover after we learn about the problems this model has.

Honda Pilot Common Problems

Now before we learn if is Honda Pilot a good car, let’s take a look at the most common problems that this model has. What is troubling the Pilot the most?

The most notorious issue when it comes to the Pilot is the issue with the transmission. A ton of owners are reporting problems with their transmission slipping gears, jerking, or even completely failing at some point.

These transmission problems are most reported in the 2016 model year. But even the years after more or less are having this problem. Your biggest concern when purchasing a used Pilot is inspecting the transmission and making sure that the transmission that you want to purchase is working well.

The next biggest problem is concerned with the infotainment system. The infotainment screen can glitch a lot on these cars. And sometimes when it fails it will basically produce a clicking noise and will turn off. This problem has freaked out a ton of owners. So, another concern to worry if you get a used Pilot.

The downside when this happens is that you will be left without the radio, rear view camera, and navigation. In addition to this, because of this issue, the sunroof, and windows also tend to glitch.

Also, the emission control light turns off very frequently on these models for some unknown reason. So, electrical glitches are really common in this model. But is Honda Pilot a good car? More on that we are going to cover next.

Is Honda Pilot A Good Car

So, is Honda Pilot a good car? Yes, it is a good car. But it is a little bit finicky. And by this, we mean that it has some issues that are bothering this model.

More precisely transmission problems and also electrical problems that are connected with the infotainment system.

Is Honda Pilot A Good Car

The transmission tends to jerk and have issues. Especially on the 2016 year models which were the first from the last generation. This is why we strongly advise you to inspect the transmission thoroughly and make sure that it is in good condition and does not do any of the things that we mentioned.

In addition to this, you need also to inspect the infotainment system and make sure that the infotainment system is performing well. Make sure that it is not glitching and turning on and off. These are the things that you need to be most aware of when purchasing a used Pilot.

Honda Pilot Reliability

So, we learned the answer to the question if is Honda Pilot a good car, now let’s discuss a bit more about reliability. How reliable is this model?

We can say that this model is fairly reliable and can be pushed far beyond 200,000 miles. On average the life expectancy miles for this model is between 230,000 and 250,000 miles.

But if you maintain it properly, you will definitely not going to face major issues whatsoever. Just be aware to get a vehicle that has lower miles. Don’t go after a vehicle that is nearing 200,000 miles. If you want to see good use from the vehicle, you need to get one that is at about 100,000 miles or below this margin.

This way you will be sure that you don’t face some big issues in the near future.


In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the Honda Pilot. First, we learned more about the basics of this model and why it is one of the most popular options on the market.

Then we covered the specs of this model and learned everything basically when it comes to the newest generation. After that, we covered the common problems and learned if is Honda Pilot a good car and if is reliable or not.


Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Is Honda Pilot An SUV

Yes, the Pilot is an SUV. More precisely, this is a mid-size SUV. What this means is that it is a class above other SUVs like the CR-V.

Is There A Honda Pilot Hybrid

No, unfortunately, there is no hybrid version of the Pilot. But who knows, maybe in the next generation we will see a hybridized version of this model as well.

How Long Is A Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot is a fairly long SUV. More precisely, this model is about 194.5 inches long and has a wheelbase of 111 inches.

How Much Is A Honda Pilot

A new Honda Pilot starts at $39,500. This price is for the base model. But if you go a trim level above, you could end up spending about $44,000 for a good optioned Pilot.

How Many Seats In Honda Pilot

There are models with 7 seats and models with 8 seats. It really depends on how many passengers you want to accommodate.

Are Honda Pilots Reliable

The Pilot is a fairly reliable problem. The biggest concern with this model is the transmission. Whenever you want to purchase this model, you need to make sure that the transmission is good. If not, you will be paying a hefty fee to replace it.

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