2019 Pilot New Car Test Drive
The popular Honda Pilot is the most vanilla of full-size family crossovers while being among the most versatile of them, or at least the most versatile of all Hondas. It does everything with competency, including seating up to eight passengers.
The strengths of the 2019 Pilot include an engine worthy of a luxury car, a soft ride even on rough pavement, crisp handling, vast cabin space, and safety.
Now in the fourth year of its third generation, the Pilot's styling gets updated for the 2019 model year. More significantly, active safety equipment becomes standard on all models. Other changes include new wheels, a new available infotainment system with an actual volume knob, and some improvements to the 9-speed automatic transmission.
All Pilots use a smooth 3.5-liter 280-horsepower V-6. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available; additionally, there's an optional traction management system to improve grip in snow or mud. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds with all-wheel drive. The basic LX, EX, and EX-L trims use a stout and smart 6-speed automatic transmission, while Touring and Elite (with standard all-wheel drive) models use a 9-speed automatic that isn't as decisive as the other transmission.
There's no hybrid powertrain available and fuel economy is just average. With front-wheel drive and the 6-speed automatic, the Pilot is rated by the EPA at 19 miles per gallon City, 27 Highway, and 22 Combined; that drops to 21 mpg with all-wheel drive. The 9-speed transmission improves that by about one mile per gallon.
The 2019 Pilot aced its crash tests. Standard automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control match the equipment found on rivals from Toyota and Subaru, and better that of American competitors. .
The 2019 Honda Pilot comes in LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite models, but with mechanical equipment choices and trim levels, the price sheet shows 13 models. The base LX ($31,450) comes standard with cloth upholstery, air conditioning, cruise control, seven-speaker 200-watt sound system with 5.0-inch color touchscreen, USB port, 17-inch wheels, Bluetooth with audio streaming, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. As with most models Pilot LX is available with all-wheel drive for $1,900 more.
The Pilot EX ($34.330) upgrades with three-zone climate control; a power driver seat; a right-side camera; satellite radio; remote start; two more USB ports; and Pandora audio streaming and texting capability. EX and EX-L trims get a larger 8.0-inch display and the Android-based Display Audio interface, with its big tiles and icons and generally friendly operation.
Pilot EX-L ($37,760) sports leather; a power tailgate; a power moonroof; heated front seats; and the one-touch second-row seat.
Pilot Touring ($42,820 for 8 seats, $42,520 for 7) ) and Pilot Elite AWD ($48,020) come with a 10-speaker, 540-watt premium audio system. Pilot Touring models adopt more advanced safety technology; Blu-ray DVD entertainment; a navigation system; 20-inch wheels; memory seats; parking sensors; two more USB ports, for a total of five; ambient lighting; stop/start for improved fuel economy; and a 115-volt outlet.
Pilot Elite upgrades with LED headlights; a second panoramic roof panel over the rear seats; rear heated seats; cooled front seats; a heated steering wheel; automatic high beams; HD radio; and second-row captain's chairs. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.) .