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2013 Honda Pilot Review

With its poor crash test results and a V6 engine that is slow to accelerate on the highway, a used 2013 Honda Pilot may not be the best option for you. Due to these downfalls, it sits in the bottom third of our rankings.  

Pros & Cons

  • Straightforward navigation and center stack controls
  • Ponderous handling
  • Low-rent cabin materials

Rankings & Research

The 2013 Honda Pilot's #16 ranking is based on its score within the 2013 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Honda Pilot has a score of 7.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 68 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 8.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Honda Pilot Overview

Is the 2013 Honda Pilot a Good Used SUV?

The 2013 Honda Pilot is not a good used SUV. Its interior is filled with hard plastics, and the third row is cramped. It doesn’t maneuver around town as well as some rivals, and its automatic transmission doesn’t shift smoothly. While the Pilot has an above-average reliability rating, there are better 3-row options in the affordable midsize SUV class, like the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse.

Used 2013 Honda Pilot Performance and Interior

A 250-horsepower V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission powers the 2013 Pilot. It has standard front-wheel drive, while four-wheel drive is available. Acceleration is adequate for most driving situations, but the Pilot’s heavy curb weight and sloppy transmission do this engine no favors. The steering wheel offers little feedback, especially in city driving.

The Pilot’s four-wheel-drive system delivers good grip on loose gravel and mud. The Pilot is one of the more fuel-efficient midsize SUVs, with an EPA rating of 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The four-wheel-drive Pilot has a rating of 17/24 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Pilot performance »

The 2013 Pilot seats eight across three rows on standard cloth upholstery. Leather seating is available. The first and second rows are spacious; the second row even slides forward to increase cargo space and backward to improve leg room. Some adults might find the third row cramped, but it should be fine for children. The Pilot has complete LATCH connections for child seats at all three second-row positions and the outboard passenger side in the third row. The driver’s side third-row seat has a tether anchor.

The base Pilot is well-equipped. It includes Bluetooth, an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, and tri-zone automatic climate control. Also standard is a seven-speaker audio system and a USB port. Some Pilots are available with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and satellite radio. The Pilot has a well-designed infotainment system with logically placed controls.

Read more about Pilot interior »

Used 2013 Honda Pilot Prices

The price of a used 2013 Honda Pilot ranges from about $16,600 for the LX trim with front-wheel drive to around $23,700 for the Touring trim with a rear-seat entertainment and navigation system. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 68 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 68 Honda Pilot reviews and included information on safety, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a comprehensive overview of the 2013 Pilot.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Honda Pilot?

The 2013 Honda Pilot has a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is average for the auto industry.

See Pilot reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Pilot?

The 2013 Honda Pilot earned four out of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It received four stars for the frontal and rollover crash tests and five stars for the side crash test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2013 Pilot a Top Safety Pick. It earned a Good rating – the highest possible – for the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and rear crash tests. However, the IIHS gave it the lowest possible rating of Poor for the small overlap front crash test on the driver’s side.

A rearview camera is the only standard active safety feature. A multiangle rearview camera is available.

See Pilot safety scores »

Is the 2013 Pilot the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Honda Pilot is part of a generation that launched for the 2009 model year. Honda gave the Pilot a mid-cycle refresh in 2012 and a full redesign for 2016. If you are looking to save money, the 2012 Pilot may suit you, but it lacks the standard rearview camera and Bluetooth.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Pilot » 

Which Used Honda Pilot Is Right for Me?

The Pilot is available in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The LX’s standard equipment includes keyless entry; tri-zone automatic climate control; Bluetooth; three 12-volt power outlets; and a 60/40-split, flat-folding, sliding, and reclining second-row bench seat. The third row also splits 60/40 and folds flat. The EX has fully automatic headlights, alloy wheels, and a 10-way power driver’s seat. The Honda Pilot EX-L adds leather seats, cruise control, a power moonroof, a power liftgate, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a four-way power passenger seat, and satellite radio. The Touring trim includes roof rails, parking sensors, a voice-activated navigation system, a rear DVD entertainment system, a 115-volt power outlet, and a 10-speaker stereo system. The EX-L, with an available rear DVD entertainment system, makes the most sense for total passenger comfort.

With the Pilot’s average reliability rating, you might want to consider a certified pre-owned model for added peace of mind. Honda extends its original new-car limited powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles for all certified pre-owned models, and it extends the new-car non-powertrain warranty to four years or 48,000 miles. If the CPO Honda you purchase is more than four years old or has more than 48,000 miles, you’ll receive a one-year/12,000-mile non-powertrain limited warranty. Honda CPO vehicles must pass a 182-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Honda’s warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Honda certified pre-owned program » 

2013 Honda Pilot and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Honda Pilot or 2013 Toyota Highlander?

Respectable fuel economy, decent four-cylinder engine horsepower, and strong safety scores make the 2013 Toyota Highlander a better SUV. The Highlander also has a well-constructed interior with quality materials. Finally, the Toyota has slightly better reliability ratings and ownership costs than its Honda rival.

Which Is Better: 2013 Honda Pilot or 2013 GMC Acadia?

The 2013 GMC Acadia delivers more horsepower than the Pilot and is the segment leader for cargo volume. It also has a roomy second row and an adult-friendly third row. Finally, it has a better safety rating than the Pilot. The Pilot does have standard three-zone automatic climate control, but the Acadia is the much better SUV.

Which Is Better: 2013 Honda Pilot or 2013 Ford Explorer?

Choosing between the 2013 Ford Explorer and the Honda Pilot means choosing between safety (advantage: Ford) and reliability (advantage: Honda). Whichever you favor, know there are better options in the highly competitive midsize SUV class.

Compare the Pilot, Highlander, and Acadia »

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