Around the summer of last year we spent a week reviewing the second generation 2015 Honda Pilot. We knew at the time a brand new third generation Pilot was about to go on sale pretty soon. It did go on sale soon after and last week we finally got our hands on the all-new 2016 Honda Pilot Touring.
The new Pilot promises to be sleeker, more powerful, more fuel efficient, and full of the latest tech gadgetry… and it also comes with a lot of seats and loads of space.
The 2016 Honda Pilot is offered in quite a few trims, giving customers a lot of options based on their needs and budgets. The base Pilot LX 2WD has a starting price of $35,490 and the top of the line Touring trim is priced at $50,490. Below is a chart for the starting prices on all trims.
|LX – Honda Sensing||AWD 6AT||$39,490|
|EX-L RES||AWD 6AT||$45,490|
|EX-L Navi||AWD 6AT||$45,490|
The new Honda Pilot is powered by a direct injection 3.5 liter V6 engine, across all trim levels, producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That’s an increase of 30 HP and 11 pound-feet of torque. The Pilot is offered with a 6-speed or 9-speed automatic transmission, the later is only available on the top Touring trim.
According to Honda, the AWD with 6-speed automatic transmission equipped Pilots should consume 13.0/9.3/11.3 L/100 km city/highway/combined, while the 9-speed equipped AWD Pilots consume 12.4/9.3/11.0 L/100 km. For our week-long review, the on-board computer showed 11.4 L/100 km in mixed city/highway driving, mostly in the “Econ” mode.
The direct injection V6 engine, combined with the new 9-speed automatic transmission makes a huge difference in driving dynamics of the new Pilot versus the 2015 model we reviewed last year. The Pilot is no sports car, but it felt very lively when not in the “Econ” mode and it took off from stops with very good launch speeds. The extra gears do help a with the acceleration and also improve fuel economy. The 9-speed automatic is very smooth and seems to be always in the right gear. The new Pilot feels a lot quicker than its predecessor.
The Touring trim also comes with the auto start/stop feature, which is great for saving fuel in the highly congested streets of Vancouver. The transition between engine on/off is seamless, a lot of the times I didn’t even notice the engine turning off or on. I had commented on the smoothness of this system on the Acura RLX, it’s very impressively smooth and a few of the other manufacturers could learn a thing or two Honda’s start/stop system.
The exterior on the 2016 Honda Pilot is also very different from the boxy design of the 2nd generation Pilot. The old design may not have been for everyone (I personally liked it), the new design is much smoother and should appeal to a wider customer base. I quite like the way the new Pilot looks, the front end looks very upscale and dare I say, it probably is the best looking Honda vehicle currently available in Canada. The exterior design is more upscale and could even be mistaken for a Acura MDX from certain angles.
The interior is also a huge leap forward, again the interior is almost on par with Acura products. The interior design is much more traditional CUV-like, with high quality materials and an easy to understand layout. The dashboard features an 8” touchscreen at the center, which displays controls for various features, it also acts as a display for the navigation system, and the rear camera and the LaneWatch camera, which is surprisingly not available on the Touring model.
One of my favorite parts about the interior was the gauges, they have a simple layout but for some reason the gauges are really easy on the eyes and they have a very elegant look to them. I can’t say I’ve felt this way about gauges in any of my previous review cars.
The interior is also very roomy, comfortable, and quiet. The 10-way power adjustable driver and 4-way power adjustable passenger seats with heating and ventilation are very comfortable and good for long journeys. The second row captain’s chairs are also quite comfortable and can slide forward and backward for added leg room and ease of entry into the third row seats. The second row seats have lots of leg and head room and come with heating. The third row offers seating for three, but realistically two adults can comfortably fit there, leg room isn’t as plentiful as in the second row seats, but it is adequate.
The 3rd generation Honda Pilot also comes with a long list of tech/convenience/safety features, listed below:
- Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system
- Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) system
- Hill Start Assist
- LED daytime running lights
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with tire fill assist
- Trailer Stability Assist
- Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
- Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
- Auto high beam
- Blind Spot Information (BSI) system
- Rear Cross Traffic Monitor system
- Honda LaneWatch blind spot display (not available on Touring trim)
- 12-volt power outlets x 3
- 110-volt power outlet
- Acoustic windshield and front door glass
- Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
- Auto-dimming rear view mirror
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Display Audio System with Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System and bilingual Voice Recognition
- Electronic gear selector
- HandsFreeLink bilingual Bluetooth wireless mobile phone interface with steering-wheel mounted controls
- HomeLink remote system
- Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System
- Integrated second-row sunshades
- Maintenance Minder system
- Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
- One-touch turn signals
- Power windows with auto-up/down driver and passenger window
- Proximity key entry system with push button start
- Remote engine starter
- Tri-zone automatic climate control
- Walk-away door lock
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Heated second-row captain’s chairs
- 540-watt Premium audio system with 10 speakers including subwoofer and 5.1 Surround Sound
- Blue-ray Rear Entertainment System with 9-inch display
- Bluetooth Streaming Audio
- MP3/auxiliary input jack
- HDMI input jack
- HD Radio
- 5 USB outlets
- Siri Eyes Free compatibility
- SMS text message/E-mail function
- Speed-sensitive Volume Control (SVC)
- Wi-Fi tethering
Overall, the 2016 Honda Pilot is a great vehicle for families that need the space. It is a very comfortable vehicle to be in on short or long drives, comes with lots of tech features to keep everyone in your family happy. The engine is powerful and the AWD makes it an ideal vehicle for snowy Canadian climate, it’s also pretty fuel efficient, considering it’s a large cross-over.
For more information, visit honda.ca.