The 2019 Honda Pilot gets a refresh this year with more rugged styling, upgraded standard safety features, and improved technologies that make this family hauler an even more appealing 3-row SUV.
There’s room for 8 passengers in the Honda Pilot, or you can opt for captain’s chairs in the second row if you’re okay with seating for only 7 passengers. This option is increasingly popular, so the 2019 Pilot not only has them standard on the top Elite trim but makes them optional on the Touring.
Styling changes give the Pilot a more rugged look in keeping with its capabilities. The average Pilot might spend most of its time on the road, but there’s more to this SUV than meets the eye. The Pilot has off-road chops. No, really, Honda even made an off-road course for us to drive as proof.
We took it through sand, across rocks, over moguls, and up and down steep hills and the Pilot handled it all without issue. We’re talking the kind of conditions that leave you with one wheel several feet in the air. It’s the sort of stuff the average person would never think to do in a Pilot, but we did it anyway.
The thing is, even if you don’t, that capability helps you in less arduous conditions. The touch of a button switches between normal, mud, snow, and sand drive modes. This alters throttle response and shift mapping to ensure you don’t lose traction and won’t get stuck. Even if it’s a snowbank at the end of the driveway instead of a mogul on an off-road course, the Pilot has you covered.
Power for the Pilot still comes from a 3.5-liter V6 with 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission in base trims or a 9-speed automatic in the Touring and Elite trims. Honda did some work on the 9-speed to make it smoother when snow, sand, and mud modes are engaged to get the best possible traction.
Technology improvements include upgraded infotainment with more intuitive menus and a new rear seat entertainment system with a bigger screen. Infotainment icons can be rearranged, just like on your smartphone, to put them where they make the most sense to you and it’s easier to keep the family connected with an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
One of the biggest changes this year is the addition of Honda Sensing as a standard feature on every trim level. Even the base LX has this suite of safety technologies that includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.
The Pilot isn’t the most affordable 3-row SUV you can buy, but it offers a significant value. Those safety features often require buying a higher trim or adding on an expensive option package. Getting that safety on the base Pilot makes it very competitive with other similarly equipped vehicles.
Although this isn’t an all-new Pilot, it boasts a host of improvements that make it a considerably more well-equipped choice. Its capability, technology, and strong standard safety make it a great option for families shopping for a full-size SUV.
It also keeps pricing close to where it was last year. The five-trim range starts with the Pilot S at $31,450 and goes up to the Elite at $48,020. That range of trims includes a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive and the features busy families crave.
You can check out the refreshed 2019 Honda Pilot at dealerships nationwide right now.