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2016 Honda Pilot Review

Outside of some high ownership costs and finicky infotainment controls, there’s a lot to like about the 2016 Honda Pilot, from its quality interior to its well-rounded driving dynamics. The Pilot ranks in the upper half of our midsize SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet, upscale cabin
  • Spacious rear seats
  • Lots of optional driver assistance features
  • Strong, efficient V6 engine


  • Touch screen can be frustrating
  • Some ownership costs are high for the class


Rankings & Awards

The 2016 Honda Pilot's #6 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2016 Best 3-Row SUV for the Money award and the winner of our 2016 Best 3-Row SUV for Families award. Currently the Honda Pilot has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 22 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Honda Pilot Overview

Is the 2016 Honda Pilot a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the 2016 Honda Pilot is a good used SUV. It has three spacious rows of seats that are capable of accommodating up to eight people, with enough room for adults to sit in the third row on short trips. Cargo space is good, and there are some handy available safety features. The Pilot also has a capable engine, good fuel economy estimates, composed handling, and a smooth ride. However, its infotainment system could be easier to use.

Why You Can Trust Us

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs for 10 years, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Is the 2016 Honda Pilot?

You can expect to pay between $26,000 and $38,000 for a used 2016 Pilot, based on more than 2,000 listings for this vehicle on our site. The average list price is around $32,000. What you pay will depend on the condition, mileage, features, and location of the used Pilot you select.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Honda Pilot Cost to Own?

Owning a car costs more than just what you pay to drive it off the lot. You have to pay for gas, maintenance, insurance, and repairs. Over five years, these four costs will amount to about $25,000 for the 2016 Pilot – or about $5,000 per year. These costs are slightly higher for the Pilot than for many other midsize SUVs. The 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2016 Kia Sorento each cost about $24,000 over five years, and the 2016 Ford Edge costs about $23,000.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Pilot?

A 2016 Honda Pilot has an average price of around $32,000, which is about $1,000 more than the base price for a 2018 Pilot. 2016 was the first year of the current generation, and there haven't been many notable changes since – though the 2018 does offer a few more features. This means that the 2018 and 2016 Pilots are similar vehicles, and choosing between a new and used model boils down to whether you're willing to pay a bit more money for a newer – but not all that different – SUV. With the new Pilot, however, you do get the benefit of the new car warranty, and you don’t have to concern yourself with a used SUV’s maintenance history.

Read about the new Honda Pilot »

The 2018 Pilot isn't the only new midsize SUV you might want to consider instead of a used 2016 Pilot. The Chevrolet Traverse was redesigned for 2018, and new models start at just under $30,000. The Toyota Highlander ranks highly in the class, and it starts around $31,000. And the Kia Sorento, one of our highest-rated midsize SUVs, actually has a much lower starting price than the Pilot – around $26,000.

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2016 Honda Pilot?

The Pilot has a reliability score of three out of five, which is average for the industry and midpack for a midsize SUV. Rivals like the Chevrolet Traverse and Hyundai Santa Fe have better ratings, while the Dodge Durango and Ford Explorer have worse ratings.

Read more about Pilot reliability »

2016 Honda Pilot Recalls

As of this writing, there are four safety recalls on the 2016 Honda Pilot. Two involve leaks and improper welds with the fuel tank, one involves the third-row seat belt, and one involves a software issue with certain warning lights. Before buying a used Honda Pilot, make sure these recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Honda Pilot safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Honda Pilot Is Best?

Honda redesigned the Pilot for the 2016 model year. It was the vehicle's first redesign since the 2009 model year. Compared to the 2015 model, the 2016 Pilot has 30 additional horsepower and an extra 2 mpg. It was also the first Pilot model to offer a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The 2016 model has slightly less cargo space (only by a couple of cubic feet), but it has many more features, including an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, Honda's LaneWatch passenger side blind spot camera, and adaptive cruise control.

After its redesign, the Pilot also saw a score bump. The pre-2016 generation's scores consistently hovered in the 7.7 to 7.9 range (out of 10), while the 2016 and all subsequent models earn scores of at least 8.3. So even though you can save money by buying an older model, it's probably worth it in this case to shell out some extra cash for a 2016 or newer model.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Pilot »

Which Used Honda Pilot Model Is Right for Me?

Honda offers the 2016 Pilot SUV in five trims: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. The LX has a 5-inch infotainment screen and keyless entry. The Pilot EX adds an 8-inch touch screen, Honda LaneWatch, remote start, and satellite radio. The Pilot EX-L adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power tailgate, and a moonroof. The Pilot Touring adds Honda Sensing, navigation, a rear-seat Blu-ray player, and parking sensors. The Pilot Elite adds heated second-row captain’s chairs, heated and ventilated front seats, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

While the additional features of the top trims are nice, many buyers will probably be just fine with the EX or EX-L trims, which don't cost as much but still have plenty of technology.

See 2016 Honda Pilot trims and specs »

What Does Honda's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Honda offers two levels of certification for its certified pre-owned vehicles: HondaTrue Certified and HondaTrue Certified+. Both levels come with a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, roadside assistance, up to two oil changes within the first year of ownership, and a 90-day SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription.

The vehicle’s model year determines which program and repair coverage it qualifies for. HondaTrue Certified covers vehicles from the 2015 through 2020 model years. For vehicles still under the new-car warranty, Honda extends coverage to four years from the original sale date or 48,000 miles. For vehicles outside the new-car warranty, Honda offers a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty. HondaTrue Certified+ is for 2019 to 2020 Hondas still under the new-car warranty. Honda extends these warranties to five years from the original sale date or 86,000 miles. Additional benefits may be available, so read Honda’s warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Honda’s CPO program is better than that offered by many other affordable carmakers. Still, Chevrolet, Kia, and Hyundai have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Pilot?

The 2016 Honda Pilot has one of the longest lists of safety features in the segment. It is available with lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic pre-collision braking. With these features, the Pilot can steer you back into your lane if you start to drift, maintain a set following distance behind the car in front of you, and automatically brake if you're about to hit something.

The Pilot also comes with Honda's LaneWatch system, which displays an image of your passenger-side blind spot on the touch screen when you activate your turn signal. Major rivals like the Kia Sorento and Nissan Pathfinder don't have lane keep assist or automatic pre-collision braking.

The Pilot's safety score is about average for the class. It earned the highest rating of Good in five crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as well as the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front test. Models equipped with pre-collision braking received a top-notch Superior rating for front crash prevention. Its headlights received the second-highest rating of Acceptable for forward visibility in the Elite trim and the lowest rating of Poor in every other trim.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, the Pilot earned an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests and five stars in the side crash test.

See Pilot safety scores »

2016 Honda Pilot Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Honda Pilot or 2016 Toyota Highlander?

You can’t go wrong choosing between the 2016 Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot. Both are among the best used three-row SUVs that you can buy. The two vehicles have a lot in common, including strong V6 engines, seating for eight people, classy cabins, and plenty of tech and safety features. On the one hand, the Pilot has a roomier third row and a lower average price, but on the other hand, the Highlander has more standard features. Go with the model that best suits your needs.

Which Is Better: 2016 Honda Pilot or 2016 Ford Explorer?

The 2016 Ford Explorer offers impressive value. It’s crisply designed inside and out, available with a long list of advanced safety systems, and offers family-friendly features like power-folding rear seats and rear-seat DVD players. Used Explorer SUVs often cost much less up front as well. However, the Pilot is the better value. It offers higher reliability, an easier-to-use touch screen, nicer accommodations in its rear seats, and one more seat than the Explorer.

Which Is Better: 2016 Honda Pilot or 2016 Acura MDX?

The 2016 Acura MDX and Honda Pilot are built on the same vehicle platform, but the Pilot is the superior choice. Although both midsize SUVs have good fuel efficiency and refined ride quality, the nonluxury Pilot can seat more people and has more legroom than the MDX. On average, the Honda also costs around $2,800 less to buy, making it a more affordable pick as well.

Compare the Pilot, Explorer, and MDX »

2016 Pilot Performance

How Does the 2016 Honda Pilot Drive?

The Pilot's 280-horsepower V6 engine makes it pleasant to drive. The engine provides ample passing power on the highway and makes the big SUV feel fairly lively around town. It’s mated to a standard six-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly. The optional nine-speed transmission makes it feel a bit faster when you're accelerating from a stop, but it sometimes takes longer than the six-speed to downshift, which can make highway passing maneuvers feel sluggish. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available.

The Honda Pilot checks most boxes on SUV shoppers' wish lists. It remains quiet on the highway, and it has a smooth ride over rutted pavement. Yet, the Pilot won't disappoint in corners. It feels composed for a 3-row SUV, thanks to its solid build quality and responsive steering. That means you can take a high-speed exit ramp or a windy bit of rural road without feeling out of control. Some of the Pilot's larger, more trucklike rivals aren't quite as nimble.

Does the 2016 Honda Pilot Get Good Gas Mileage?

Fuel economy in a base Pilot is 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, which is good for the class. All-wheel drive reduces that slightly to 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. That's still better than the fuel economy of most rivals, including the V6 Toyota Highlander and Kia Sorento.

2016 Honda Pilot Towing Capacity

The Honda Pilot can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Pilot performance »

2016 Pilot Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Pilot Seat?

Honda’s family-friendly, 3-row midsize SUV is spacious. It seats eight people when equipped with the second-row bench, and seven with the available second-row captain’s chairs. The cushioned front seats are some of the most comfortable in the segment. The second row can slide backward, so your passengers can enjoy some serious stretch-out space.

The big news, however, is in the third row. While most SUVs offer a compact third row that's meant only for small children, the Pilot's third row has enough head- and legroom for adults. Just note: the low-mounted seats mean tall passengers will ride with their knees up. In other words, they probably won't want to be back there on long trips. But for short jaunts around town, your third-row passengers will be a lot more comfortable than they'd be in most of the Pilot's rivals.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Honda Pilot?

The Pilot has four full sets of LATCH connectors – three in the second row and one in the third row. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Pilot's LATCH system its second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use.

2016 Honda Pilot Features

Standard features in the 2016 Honda Pilot include push-button start, a seven-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a rearview camera.

Available features include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, Honda's LaneWatch passenger side blind spot camera, adaptive cruise control, a power sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, a rear-seat entertainment system, HD Radio, satellite radio, a 10-speaker audio system, and an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment display.

See 2016 Honda Pilot specs »

Read more about Pilot interior »

2016 Honda Pilot Dimensions

Honda Pilot Cargo Space

At 83.9 cubic feet, maximum cargo space is about average for a midsize 3-row SUV. The Toyota Highlander has almost identical cargo space, and the Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Pathfinder only have a few cubic feet less. You can easily run your kids' – and their teammates’ – sports gear from game to game.

Even with all three rows in use, the Pilot’s 16 cubic feet of storage space can handle a large grocery run or a weekend's worth of luggage.

2016 Pilot Length and Weight

The 2016 Honda Pilot is just over 16 feet long and has a curb weight of 4,054 to 4,317 pounds, depending on the trim level and whether certain features are equipped.

Where Was the 2016 Honda Pilot Built?

The 2016 Honda Pilot was built in Lincoln, Alabama, at Honda's Lincoln Auto Plant.

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