$24,818 - $37,441

2018 Honda Pilot Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.1

Most of the 2018 Honda Pilot’s cabin surfaces are soft to the touch. Hard plastic materials here and there keep the Pilot from competing with luxury brands, but the cabin is on par with class rivals. The seats are roomy and comfortable, even in the third row. Cargo space is also plentiful. The base Pilot has a good amount of standard features, with popular goodies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available as add-ons. The optional touch-screen infotainment system is less refined than rival setups, and it doesn’t offer enough physical controls.

  • Cabin finish hits the class average, rivaling competitors like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Highlander. The top of the dashboard and door panels are padded, but most other materials are hard. Everything looks good and proper at a glance, but it falls short of being luxurious." -- Consumer Reports
  • "The 2017 Honda Pilot interior boasts soft-touch surfaces on the dash and doors, which combine with on-road quiet and comfortable seats for a sophisticated feel." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "Numerous padded surfaces and available two-tone color schemes give the interior an upscale appearance." -- Consumer Guide (2016)

Seating

There are three rows of seats in the Pilot. Most models seat eight, but top-level Elite models have heated second-row captain’s chairs that decrease capacity to seven. Cloth upholstery is standard. Leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and heated and ventilated front seats are optional.

Up front, the Pilot has comfortable seats with good padding for long highway cruises, and its second row is accommodating. Unlike many SUV with 3 rows, the Pilot’s third row is quite roomy. The available one-touch second-row seats provide easy access to the third row. Also, the second-row seats slide front to back to give passengers some wiggle room. However, taller folks may find the low third-row seat cushion uncomfortable.

The Pilot has a complete set of LATCH child-seat connections in each of the second-row seats and one in the passenger-side third-row seat. There is also a tether-only connection in both the third-row middle and driver’s side seats. Some of the hardware can be difficult to find or work with, but the system is mostly easy to use.

  • Big and wide, the front seats are well-padded and flatly contoured for comfort rather than corner-hugging capability.” -- Consumer Reports
  • "The 2nd-row seats are comfortable, and the one-touch folding mechanism borrowed from the Acura MDX eases 3rd-row access." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "As would be expected of a vehicle this size, there's plenty of adult room in the 1st and 2nd seating rows. More surprising is the amount of room in the 3rd row. The 2nd-row seats slide fore and aft to adjust available 3rd-row legroom, and a low 3rd-row seat cushion allows for plenty of headroom, albeit with a knees-up seating position." -- Consumer Guide (2016)

Interior Features

The 2018 Honda Pilot comes standard with push-button start, a seven-speaker audio system, a 5-inch display, multi-angle rearview camera, Bluetooth for phone calls and streaming audio, and a USB port.

There are extra multimedia options like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 10-speaker audio system, Pandora integration, satellite radio, HD Radio, and navigation. Other upgrades include a proximity key, a moonroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, a rear-seat entertainment system, and a household power outlet.

While the base Pilot sports a 5-inch infotainment display, all other models employ an 8-inch touch screen. The upgraded system relies too heavily on touch controls, leaving some to yearn for physical knobs and buttons. Changing climate settings is easy, but making simple audio adjustments can be cumbersome. The available navigation system is fairly straightforward.

See 2018 Honda Pilot specs »

  • Using the touch-screen radio, found on most higher trimlines, is a mess, but other controls are mostly easy. Big, clearly-labeled climate control buttons are welcome." -- Consumer Reports
  • Thankfully, Honda has upgraded its navigation system for one from Garmin, although not everyone will like the cartoonish colors." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • This [infotainment] system works pretty well, but Honda should add separate knobs for volume and tuning." -- Autotrader (2016)

Cargo

The Pilot offers more space than the average SUV with 3 rows. It has a 16.5-cubic-foot cargo hold behind the third row with enough room for four large suitcases. That increases to 46.8 cubic feet with the third row folded and 83.9 with the second and third rows collapsed. A power tailgate is standard in the EX-L trim and above.

In-cabin storage is also impressive. There are small cubbies throughout the cabin and a sizable bin in the center console. The Pilot has a compartment underneath the cargo floor for larger items that you want to keep hidden.

  • "The cargo area offers a ton of versatility and volume. With all of the rear seats folded, the cargo area can easily swallow bicycles, kayaks, and that over-the-top weekend trip to the hardware store." -- Consumer Reports
  • "A large storage area resides just behind the shift lever. In addition to being large enough to hold a moderately sized purse, the cover is also rigid enough to support additional items. Smaller items can be stashed in a small cubby-hole that includes power outlets just under the center stack." -- Left Lane News (2016)
  • "The Pilot can swallow just about anything you can toss inside, be it small stuff — like mobile devices, snacks or purses — or bigger cargo, like coolers and strollers." -- Cars.com (2016)

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