The 2018 Honda Pilot offers many things to buyers in the market for family transportation. It has almost the same interior as the minivan but has more capabilities. With front-wheel or all-wheel-drive configurations, the 2018 Honda Pilot comes standard with a powerful V6 engine that helps tow up to 5,000 pounds and tough enough on some light off-road. Inside, its comfortable cabin and abundant features provide a luxurious experience for eight passengers. And unlike some competitors, there is enough space behind the third row seat for luggage.
Although Pilots are one of the leaders in this class, there are some small issues that buyers should consider. Some active safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, are set to err on the side of caution, making them seem too sensitive. The way the nine-speed transmission shifts is also less satisfactory. However, regardless of this, it is highly recommended to test drive the 2018 Honda Pilot if you are looking for a reliable, spacious and comfortable three-row family hauler.
Trim and Features
The 2018 Honda Pilot is a three-row crossover SUV that is offered in five trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and the Elite. Every trim has seat for eight-passenger, except the Elite, which has the second-row captain chairs that reduce capacity to seven.
For basic family transportation, the base LX models still make a sense. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air conditioning, a 60/40-split folding third-row seat, a 5-inch central display screen, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a seven-speaker sound system, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.
The 2018 Honda Pilot EX adds foglights, automatic headlights, LED running lights, remote engine start, heated mirrors, three-zone automatic climate control, Intelligent Traction Management system, the Honda LaneWatch blind-spot camera, a power-adjustable driver seat, dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera, HondaLink smartphone-enabled features, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, Pandora internet radio control, an upgraded seven-speaker sound system with two additional satellite radio and higher-powered USB ports.
The EX-L gets a power tailgate, a sunroof, a noise-reducing windshield, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated front seats, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and one-touch sliding second-row seats.
Optional for the 2018 Honda Pilot EX and EX-L trim is the Honda Sensing package. It adds adaptive cruise control, road departure intervention, automatic braking forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning and intervention. The EX-L can be equipped with second-row sunshades, a navigation system, a 115-volt power outlet or a rear entertainment system that includes a Blu-ray player with a single overhead screen, two additional USB ports for the second row, HDMI and RCA ports.
The 2018 Honda Pilot Touring gets the EX-L standard and optional features along with 20-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, roof rails, automatic engine stop-start, ambient interior lighting, driver-seat memory settings, additional noise-reducing acoustic glass for the windows and a 10-speaker sound system.
The top-range Elite model adds automatic high-beam headlight control, LED headlights, automatic windshield wipers, a full blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated second-row captain chairs and HD radio.
Every 2018 Honda Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on the LX, EX and EX-L models, while the Touring and Elite have a nine-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel shift paddles and an automatic start/stop system.
Front-wheel drive is standard. The optional all-wheel-drive system not only sends power front and back, but also between the right and left wheels to improved handling. On EX trims levels and above there is also Snow, Mud and Sand mode that maximize the effectiveness of various vehicle systems in low-traction scenarios.
In performance testing, the 2018 Honda Pilot Elite with AWD accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is much quicker than average. Properly equipped, FWD Pilot can tow up to 3,500 pounds, while AWD models can pull up to 5,000 pounds.
The EPA estimates fuel economy for the 2018 Honda Pilot at 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway) with the six-speed and front-wheel drive. With front-drive and the nine-speed the numbers increases to 23 combined (20 city/27 highway). All-wheel drive and six-speed rated at 21 mpg combined (18 city/27 highway) and (22/19/26) with nine-speed.
The 2018 Honda Pilot has the most versatile interior along with minivan. There are many useful storage places and twice as many cupholders. Maximum cargo capacity of 83.9 cubic feet is very competitive with most competitors in the class. Most importantly, the space behind the third row who benefits from removable floor panels to provide a useful amount of storage space when all seats are used.
The quality of interior materials is very good in this generation. The soft touch surfaces replaced the hard plastic on the door and dash panels, giving the 2018 Honda Pilot an upscale atmosphere. The control interface is also updated and simplified. Most trim now have touchscreens that handle navigation, communication and entertainment functions. This is not the best interface, because it feels slow to respond to input and uses the volume and tuning button instead of touch controls. But the climate control is separate and very easy to use.
One of the best feature from the 2018 Honda Pilot is a second row seat that is tilted and sliding forward with just a push of a button. This is very useful because it reduces the effort needed to move the seat, but the pass through area is still on the small side. Many competitors make it easy to get into the third row, but once seated there, those in the 2018 Pilot will find more space than most.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Honda Pilot will begin to arrive at dealerships everywhere starting in December of 2017. Offical price will start at $31,875 range to $48,445 (destination fees included).