3 Bold Features of the 2016 Honda Pilot: First Drive

2016 Honda Pilot Front

I know, I know, the Honda Pilot isn’t the most exciting vehicle on the planet. But hey, knowing the ins and outs of almost every vehicle we can is part of the job. If you’re not interested, here’s a Lamborghini Veneno.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way— yes, I drove the all-new Honda Pilot. And in between fancy drinks and the booming Ohio nightlife (I’m kidding, Cincinnati was great), I got some wheel time in Honda’s latest and possibly greatest SUV offering.

You’ve already seen my HR-V review, but where the HR-V sits at the very bottom of Honda’s SUV lineup, the new Pilot is Honda’s big three-row performer. And it definitely performs.


2016 Honda Pilot Trunk

You have to admire any brand that brings a new way to make life easier in any SUV. Like Ford’s foot-activated lift gate, for example. What Honda did in their new Pilot, than, was make sure intuitiveness was at an all time high.

First and foremost being third row access. One button— that’s it. The easy to push button moved and lifted the whole seat allowing children and small adults easy access to the back.

And then there’s the trunk. Honda was pretty excited about this nifty little feature. Instead of the ridiculous strap and pulley setup they used in the previous Pilot, the new Pilot featured a single cover that had carpet on one side and plastic on the other. You could leave it flat on top, or stow it down in the bottom to make like a little cubby for groceries or plants or what have you like you see in the picture above. Of course, the back seats also fold down flat, so you can fit your dogs, kayaks, bodies, etc. in the back with ease.

It may all seem pretty trivial, but those little tweaks in design make mommy and daddy efficiency even that much greater.

Interior Quality

2016 Honda Pilot Interior

Most of the time when we’re talking about three-row SUVs, we need to make sure the interior is durable, comfortable, and a little bit advanced. Good news then that Honda hit the nail on the head with those three areas.

You’re met first and foremost with Honda’s new touchscreen system. And while I’m not a fan of any touchscreen system in any car, it wasn’t overly obnoxious. It took a bit of finagling at first to figure it out, but it is one of the best systems on the market right now. At least there were simple buttons and knobs for air conditioning and other simple features.

And then you look at the overall quality of it. Everything feels good— no plastic, no cheap material. It was a really nice place to be, and considering you’re driving a big SUV, it needs to be a nice place for everyone involved. For a while.

Overall Improvement

2016 Honda Pilot Rear

From the first gen to now is like looking at two different SUVs. Like I mentioned, gone is the cheap plastic interior, in its place is modern, sophisticated cabin. The exterior also gets a major redesign— ditching the likable boxy look in place of something prettier and more mainstream, the Pilot looks more grown-up in the three-row segment

Putting the two SUVs next to each other— it’s like night and day. And driving the two felt the same way. That seemed like something Honda was pretty proud of considering they had both on hand for us to take a look at.

At the end of the day, I was pretty impressed with Honda’s new SUV. Modern, sophisticated, and much improved. As far as three-row SUVs go, you’d be hard pressed not to get the new Pilot.

Quick Specs:

Engine: 3.5-liter V6

Horsepower: 280

MPG: 20 city/27 highway (all-wheel drive)

Price: $29,995 – $46,420

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