The midsize Honda Pilot is a capable, three-row SUV with room for eight. The Pilot is one of the first models in this segment and remains a strong competitor. Key attributes include a spacious and versatile interior, a polished and capable engine, and multiple interior storage compartments.
The Honda Pilot is sold in LX, EX, SE, EX-L, and Touring trims. Leather, DVD, and navigation packages further distinguish some trims.
The 2015 Pilot represents the final year for the second-generation model. The only change made was the addition of the SE trim slotted between the LX and Touring editions.
The Honda Pilot offers a boxy layout marked by a long upright grille honed in by large headlamp assemblies. Its lines are traditional and include strong shoulders, upright roof pillars, flared wheel wells, and a linear belt line. The long roofline drops sharply at the rear liftgate. Vertical taillight assemblies, chrome trim, and dual-exhaust finishers mark the rear fascia.
Automatic multi-reflector halogen headlamps and daytime running lights are standard. Fog lights are added at the EX level. A power liftgate, roof rails, and a trailer harness are found on the EX-L.
The Pilot comes with standard 17-inch or available 18-inch alloy wheels set within all-season tires. Upgraded side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators are included with the EX-L.
Three rows of seating provide room for eight inside this spacious SUV. The front seats are comfortable and supportive and are ideal for taking long trips. The second- and third-row seats fold forward and feature a 60/40 split-bench arrangement. The legroom is the tightest in the third row and is more suitable for children.
The cabin is smartly laid out, although hard plastics are found in abundance across the dashboard, on door inlays, and surrounding the center console. The 2015 Pilot comes with numerous cup and drink holders, storage compartments, and cubbies.
Standard equipment includes remote entry, three-zone climate control, cruise control, power windows, and door locks, a power tailgate lock, and reading lights across all three rows. An illuminated steering wheel with driver and secondary controls is included. Available equipment includes a security system, power front seats, second-row sunshades, and a power moonroof, the latter found on the SE.
Cargo space measures 18 cubic feet behind the third-row seat. The second-row seat folds flat and extends storage capacity to 47.7 cubic feet. Storage space behind the first-row seat comes in at 87 cubic feet. A hidden storage well, cargo area light, four tie-down anchors, and bag hooks are also present.
Performance and Efficiency
All models are powered by a 250-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. The 2015 Pilot features a MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension with trailing arms. Front and rear stabilizers are also present.
The EPA estimates the Pilots fuel economy at 18/25/20 mpg city/highway/combined for the front-wheel drive model. All-wheel drive models make an EPA-estimated 17/24/20 mpg city/highway/combined. When properly equipped the Pilot AWD tows up to 4,500 pounds.
Technology and Safety
Standard technologies include Bluetooth, 12-volt power outlets located in the first two rows and the rear cargo department, a USB audio interface, and an auxiliary input jack. A 229-watt seven-speaker audio system has a subwoofer and a CD player. A 2-GB CD library is included. All models come with an eight-inch color display screen.
The EX trim adds a HomeLink remote system. The Pilot SE brings in SiriusXM satellite radio and a DVD rear entertainment system with a 115-volt power outlet. A navigation system is a package upgrade with the EX-L and includes a 650-watt, 10-speaker audio system and an expanded hard drive disk (HDD) with 15-GB memory.
Safety technologies include a standard rearview camera. Driver-assist technologies only became available in 2016. In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2015 Pilot achieved a top score in most categories. However, the IIHS assigned this model a poor rating for its small overlap front: driver-side test.
The Honda Pilot has a long list of competitors. Indeed, nearly every manufacturer is present in the segment. These models include the Toyota Highlander, Chevrolet Traverse, Subaru Tribeca, Ford Explorer, and Nissan Pathfinder. Other competitors include the Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, and the Hyundai Santa Fe.
In our opinion, the Honda Pilot is an outstanding model. Along with the compact CR-V, this pair matches or exceeds the competition in most areas. Also, we laud Honda for its sold quality, durability, and reliability.
As with any used vehicle, obtaining its history report is crucial. Stay away from cars that have sustained heavy damage. Finally, we never suggest considering cars that were totaled and retitled. These vehicles are often marked as branded title models and have usually endured significant crash or flood damage.
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Photos courtesy of American Honda Co., Inc. All rights reserved by the manufacturer.