Kelley Blue Book rated last year's Honda Pilot as the Best Buy of the Year among midsize SUVs. That's not surprising because Honda is known for its value and reliability. In the crowded midsize SUV segment, the Honda Pilot is on everyone's shopping list.
The Pilot offers seating for up to 8 passengers in three rows, if you get the bench seat in the second row. That seat is standard on the more basic trims, but our test vehicle was Honda's top of the line luxury Black Edition. In the top trims, you can get heated leather captain's chairs in the second row, as well as heated and ventilated leather seats up front, which limits the Pilot to 7 people. As is typical with Honda, access to the third row is easy, with one-touch folding second row seats in all but the most basic trim.
The third row also folds down easily, creating a large cargo area. The Pilot will hold up to 18.5 cubic feet behind the third row, and that grows to 55.9 cubic feet behind the second row. Fold all the seats down and you can pack up to 109.2 cubic feet of stuff into a Pilot.
Honda offers a good tech and safety package with the Pilot, even in the most basic LX trim with a starting price of $31,650. But all trims except the base come with an 8-inch touchscreen system, and the top trims add onboard GPS navigation and a second-row entertainment system.
All Pilot trims come with an advanced Honda Sensing safety package. This includes forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist and lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. Every Pilot also includes a multi-angle rear-view camera.
Under the hood, the 2020 Honda Pilot offers the reliable 3.5-liter V6 engine that Honda has been using for years. It's got 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The Pilot is not extremely heavy, so this engine yields good performance with the standard 9-speed automatic transmission. In lower trim levels, you can choose standard front-wheel-drive or optional all-wheel-drive. At the higher end of the price walk, you'll get AWD as standard.
On the road, the 2020 Honda Pilot is smooth, quiet, and comfortable. It's easy to drive this SUV, even if you're coming from a smaller vehicle. With the amount of cargo and people-carrying capability and the standard technology, it's no wonder that the Pilot is so popular. If you're considering a midsize SUV this year, be sure to put the Honda Pilot on your test-drive list.
2020 Honda Pilot AWD Black Edition
Base price: $49,620
Price as tested: $50,715
Type: Midsize SUV
Engine: 3.5-liter V6 (280 hp, 262 lbs-ft)
Transmissions 9-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 19/26
Overall length: 196.5 inches
Curb weight: 4,319 pounds
Final assembly: Lincoln, Alabama
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