Here’s the thing: the Pilot may be classified as such, but really there are hints of full-sized characteristics in this baby. Start with the interior, which has ample enough space to comfortably fit up to eight passengers. That’s full-sized right there. Also factor in the typical Honda stamp of reliability and fuel efficiency, which, again, is a star on the Pilot’s windshield.
It’s hard to find a whole lot of things to be wary of on the Pilot. But if there is one, you have to look outside where the Pilot isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire with its aesthetics. Sure, the dimensions are right, and it does have nice maneuverability, but the fascia looks totally boring.
Still and all, buyers who have to think of family trips on their next SUV purchase would be wise to consider the Pilot, snoozy looks notwithstanding.
Click past the jump to read more about Honda Pilot
The fascia is arguably the weakest link of the Honda Pilot’s full package. Actually, it’s those sleepy-looking eyes that will practically doze off anytime the SUV is mired in traffic. The boxy and upright look also doesn’t do much in the way of tickling our aesthetic senses either. When you compare to it to SUVs like the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Toyota Highlander, two rivals that have been refreshed cosmetically, the Pilot doesn’t hold up.
But as far as practicality goes, that’s where the Pilot makes a comeback. See, the upright look of the SUV comes with a purpose. It’s got a relatively long wheelbase, short overhangs and generous interior space. Plus, those 17- and 18-inch steel or alloy wheels are nothing to sneeze at.
Just because it looks pretty bland, doesn’t mean Honda doesn’t know where the Pilot’s actual strengths are.
2014 Honda Pilot - Exterior Specification
|Curb Weight (lbs, 2WD / 4WD)||4306 / 4503|
|Weight Distribution (%, front/rear, 2WD/4WD)||56/44 (55/45)|
|Ground Clearance (in, unladen)||7.97|
|Approach/Departure Angles (degrees)||24.4 / 22.1|
Gallery Honda Pilot
Hop into the cabin of the Honda Pilot and immediately, you begin to understand why this might be a full-size SUV disguised in midsize clothing. Space and legroom are no issues for the Pilot because it can accommodate as many as 8 passengers, something only full-size SUVs can boast of.
Up front, the design of the dashboard is really a shining example in efficiency. There are no wasted spaces; only controls that are logically placed on where they should be. Honda doesn’t care much for fancy consoles with complicated buttons, knobs, and control switches.
Cargo capacity could be a little better, but that you shouldn’t be a problem if the rear seats are folded down.
You can call this a simple cabin with plenty of room to spare, but that only underscores just how Honda allocated all that equipment into that space.
2014 Honda Pilot - Interior Specification
|Headroom (in, front/middle/rear)||40.0 / 39.8 / 38.2|
|Legroom (in, front/middle/rear)||41.4 / 38.5 / 32.1|
|Shoulder Room (in, front/middle/rear)||61.5 / 62.2 / 58.9|
|Hiproom (in, front/middle/rear)||58.6 / 56.9 / 48.4|
|Cargo Volume (cu ft, behind 3rd-row)||18.0|
|Cargo Volume (cu ft, behind 2nd-row)||47.7|
|Cargo Volume (cu ft, behind 1st-row)||87.0|
|Passenger Volume (cu ft)||153.7|
The 2014 Honda Pilot’s 3.5-liter, V-6 engine isn’t the most powerful powertrain in its class. But that’s a drawback that we’re prepared to let pass. After all, 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque out of that six banger isn’t all that bad. Besides, the Pilot is pretty responsive for an SUV carrying all that weight, a welcome trait given how some of these SUVs tend to get a little rough around the edges in not-so-ideal driving conditions.
No performance numbers have been thrown out, but given its makeup and engine characteristics, we think the Pilot can cover 0 to 60 mph in a little over nine seconds to go with a top speed of around 125 mph. Not too shabby.
2014 Honda Pilot - Drivetrain Specification
|Output (HP @ RPM)||250 @ 5700|
|Torque (LB-FT @ RPM)||253 @ 4800|
|Bore and Stroke (MM)||89 x 93|
|Valve Train||24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC|
|Towing Capacity (lbs, 2WD / 4WD)||2000 / 4500|
A fully independent suspension and responsive rack-and-pinion steering, makes for a smooth and comfortable ride on the Pilot. Add the stability on long drives and better-than-expected handling on tough roads and you won’t have too many problems on how the Pilot behaves when it’s out and about.
Pricing for the Honda Pilot goes from $29,670 for the base LX 2WD all the way up to $41,420 for the top-of-the-line Touring 4WD with RES and Navi model.
|Pilot LX 2WD||$29,670|
|Pilot EX 2WD||$31,920|
|Pilot EX-L 2WD with RES||$36,770|
|Pilot EX-L 2WD with Navi||$37,170|
|Pilot Touring 2WD with RES and Navi||$39,820|
|Pilot LX 4WD||$31,270|
|Pilot EX 4WD||$33,520|
|Pilot EX-L 4WD||$36,770|
|Pilot EX-L 4WD||$36,770|
|Pilot EX-L 4WD with RES||$38,370|
|Pilot EX-L 4WD with Navi||$38,770|
|Pilot Touring 4WD with RES and Navi||$41,420|
The newly refreshed 2014 Traverse may not be the crown jewel of Chevy’s lineup, but it does hold its own appeal as a crossover version of the more popular Suburban. For starters, it features seating for seven or eight passengers (depending on seating options) and is actually quite comfortable on the highway.
Power is handled by GM’s 3.6-liter V-6, producing a stout 281 horsepower. But with that comes a caveat, the Traverse’s fuel efficiency numbers aren’t what you’d expect from an SUV in its class - just 17city/24 highway - yet it certainly makes up for it by its massive girth and impressive towing capabilities.
Starting price runs $30,795 and escalates to a competitive $45,000 for a four-wheel-drive LTZ model.
Gallery Chevrolet Traverse
The Hyundai Santa Fe is a strong competitor that carries it with a fresh new look for the sunshine. It’s capable of only seating six, but a stout 3.3-liter V-6 making 290 horsepower and getting 18/25/21 mpg city/highway/combined gets some good marks from us. And like every Hyundai, The Santa Fe comes with the famous 10 year/100,000 mile warranty.
As far as the aesthetics goes, the Santa Fe is clearly more appealing than the Pilot, and while Honda is noted for its reliability, Hyundai’s slowly creeping up those ranks, too. Starting price for the base GLS trim is $29,900 and grows close to $37,000 for an AWD in Limited trim.
Gallery Hyundai Santa Fe
The Honda Pilot makes no bones about what it is and what it’s not. It doesn’t care too much for the exterior aesthetics more than it does providing families with a comfortable mid-sized SUV that checks a lot of domestic requirements. It’s got the space, the clever simplicity, and the impressive handling credentials that’ll definitely attract its share of buyers.
- Lot’s of trim options to choose from
- Appropriately priced
- Not the strongest engine in the class
- Looks boring
- Roomy interior
- Lacks cargo room
Gallery Honda Pilot
Designed as the "Ultimate Family Adventure Vehicle" and boasting the highest EPA-rated fuel economy any eight-passenger family SUV, the award-winning Honda Pilot is back for 2014 and goes on sale today with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) starting at $29,6701. The Pilot combines an EPA-rated highway fuel economy2 of 25 mpg (2WD models), a high degree of practicality with its versatile and functional cabin, a choice of 2- or 4-wheel drive, and up to 4,500 pounds towing capability3 (4WD models), and a fun-to-drive character. Together with Honda’s trademark quality, safety and low cost of ownership, the 2014 Pilot is an ideal transportation solution for families with varied and active lifestyles.
The 2014 Pilot is available in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L (leather) and Touring. A Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™4 and a Rear Entertainment System are available on the EX-L model and standard on the Touring model. The Pilot is powered by a refined 250-horsepower5 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine, and is available in both 2- and 4-wheel-drive configurations. View, build and price a 2014 Honda Pilot at http://automobiles.honda.com/pilot.
Fuel-Efficient V-6 Power
The Pilot’s advanced 24-valve all-aluminum V-6 engine offers numerous friction-reduction technologies, "intelligent" Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control® (i-VTEC®) and Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™). The VCM system allows the V-6 engine to operate in 6-cylinder mode for maximum power and in either 4-cylinder or 3-cylinder mode for increased efficiency. The Pilot’s EPA fuel economy2 ratings give the 2014 Pilot 2WD the highest fuel economy rating of any eight-passenger SUV and the Pilot 4WD the highest fuel economy rating (highway) for any mid-size 4WD SUV. In addition, the Pilot meets the stringent ULEV-2 (Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle)6 emissions rating of the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
A standard 5-speed automatic transmission features Grade Logic Control to help maintain the most appropriate gear when climbing or descending steep grades, helping minimize gear "hunting." The available Variable Torque Management® (VTM-4®) system on Pilot 4WD models adds fully automatic 4-wheel-drive capability, and features a "lock mode" that can deliver the maximum-possible torque transfer to the rear wheels to aid extraction from extremely low traction or stuck conditions.
Functional Exterior Styling
Bold and expressive, practical and elegant, the 2014 Pilot presents its own unique blend of function and style. The Pilot’s grille and front fascia feature a distinctive 3-bar horizontal design, while multi-reflector halogen headlights and integrated turn signals contribute to the premium look. Pilot LX models are equipped with 17-inch styled-steel wheels, while Pilot EX and above models have 5-spoke, 18-inch aluminum wheels. Touring models feature an exclusive 6-spoke alloy wheel design with a high-contrast machined surface.
Eighteen cubic-feet of cargo space behind the third row seats matches or exceeds the trunk space of a typical large sedan. For maximum cargo space, the second and third rows fold flat to provide 87.0 cubic-feet of total cargo space and sufficient width for carrying 4-foot-wide items such a sheets of plywood or drywall. The cargo area also has a hidden storage well that provides 2.8 cubic-feet of additional space. The tailgate (power operated on EX-L and Touring models) features a lift-up glass hatch for convenient access to the rearmost cargo area.
Comprehensive Interior Features
Sophisticated design, high-quality materials, advanced electronic features, and low noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for passengers in all three rows. The roomy accommodations include 16 different seating configurations for the 60/40 split-folding second- and third-row seats.
All Pilot models come equipped with a high-resolution 8-inch intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) with rearview camera display (multi-angle on EX-L Navi and Touring), iPod album artwork display, and user-loadable wallpaper function, plus Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, Bluetooth® Audio, USB connection and automatic climate controls. The Pilot EX and EX-L models include a 2GB CD Library (CD-L), while Pilot EX and above models also include a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and tri-zone automatic climate control.
The available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™4 offers 60 GB of total system memory (including 15 GB allocated for user media) and voice recognition for three languages. Its hard drive can store thousands of minutes of music, which is accessible by simple voice commands using the Song By Voice™ feature. And the free FM Traffic feature provides continuous updates on traffic and incidents.
Responsive and Refined Chassis
The Pilot’s rigid body structure and fully independent suspension –with MacPherson strut front and multi-link with trailing arm rear – provides the foundation for its responsive, comfortable and stable ride and handling. The 67.7-inch front/67.5-inch rear track improves cornering capability while the 109.2-inch wheelbase facilitates a smooth ride; and a tight turning diameter of 37.9 feet aids maneuverability in tight parking situations.
Numerous advanced chassis features and components directly benefit fuel efficiency, including a variable-displacement power steering pump, low-rolling-resistance tires, and low-drag front ventilated and rear disc brakes. Finely tuned aerodynamics, aerodynamic front strakes, splash shields and inner fenders, and minimal frontal area also contribute to overall fuel efficiency.
Utilizing Honda’s unique Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, the 2013 Pilot was rated as a "TOP SAFETY PICK by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The ACE body helps reduce the amount of crash energy reaching the passenger compartment in a frontal collision and can enhance frontal collision compatibility with vehicles of different sizes and ride heights.
Active safety features, including anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), are standard on all models. Passive safety features include 3-row side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor, driver’s and front passenger’s front and side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), and active front head restraints.
Developed and Manufactured in America
The Pilot is produced by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC, in Lincoln, Alabama7. The Pilot was designed, developed and engineered in the U.S. by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. at its R&D centers in Raymond, Ohio, and Torrance, California.