The redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot currently ranks second of 12 affordable midsize SUVs, which is an improvement over the 2015 model that placed 10th in the class. Here’s how the changes for 2016 help make the Pilot an excellent choice for your next midsize SUV.
Under the hood, the 2016 Pilot’s 3.5-liter V6 engine makes 280 horsepower, 30 more than the 2015 model’s V6 engine. When the 2015 Pilot was new, several test drivers reported that it felt underpowered at times, but they say the redesigned 2016 Pilot has plenty of power in all situations and that the new six- and nine-speed automatic transmissions shift quickly and precisely. Reviewers also appreciate the 2016 Pilot’s comfortable ride, as well as its improved steering responsiveness over the outgoing model.
The base 2016 Honda Pilot returns an EPA-estimated 19/27 mpg city/highway, which is an improvement over the 2015 model’s 18/25 mpg rating.
Inside, the 2015 Pilot drew criticism from reviewers when it was new for its cheap materials, but the 2016 model has a very upscale cabin, critics say, while some assert that its quality rivals that of Acura, Honda’s luxury brand. Test drivers also report that the front seats are some of the most comfortable in the class and the third-row seats can adequately accommodate adults, which is rare praise for a midsize SUV's third row. The new touch-sensitive audio controls can be slow to respond, reviewers say, but the navigation and infotainment systems are easy to use.
The Honda Pilot is also available with several new driver assistance technologies for 2016, including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and Honda’s LaneWatch passenger side blind spot camera.
While the 2016 Pilot is an appealing midsize SUV, make sure you check out some competitors before making a decision. The redesigned 2016 Kia Sorento returns better fuel economy than the Pilot with its base four-cylinder engine at an EPA-estimated 21/29 mpg city/highway, and it also earns praise from critics for its premium cabin materials, spacious seating and powerful optional V6 engine. The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe has a potent available turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a touch-screen audio system that is very easy to use, test drivers say, and they like the Santa Fe Sport’s nimble handling.
If you’re considering buying used, there are better options than the Pilot, as the 2013 Honda Pilot currently ranks in the bottom half of 2013 affordable midsize SUVs. A strong alternative is the 2013 Buick Enclave, which has more cargo space than the Pilot as well as an adult-friendly third-row seat and composed handling, reviewers said when it was new.
U.S. News Best Cars rankings are based on the consensus opinion of America’s top automotive journalists. Our team gathers every published, credible review of a vehicle, and for each third-party review, we score the vehicle on three components: Performance, Interior and Critic’s Rating, which is how strongly a reviewer recommends the vehicle. We combine these scores, along with reliability data from J.D. Power and Associates and safety data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, into a weighted average that is based on what car buyers say matters most to them. The result is an overall score for each new car on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best possible score. Our rankings are continually updated as more reviews of a vehicle become available, as well as when new safety and reliability data is released.
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