The Honda Pilot is a well-rounded three-row SUV. It’s been that way ever since this generation Pilot launched a few years ago, and with its smooth powertrain, great interior functionality and competitive pricing, none of that changes as we head into 2020.
For 2020, the biggest update to the Pilot is a new, which adds dark-finished 20-inch whees, as well as blacked-out headlight trim, foglights and body elements. Otherwise, the Pilot is largely the same as its ever been — and that’s OK by us.
Powertrain and specs
Every 2020 Honda Pilot is powered by the same engine: a naturally aspirated, 3.5-liter V6, producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Most models use a six-speed automatic transmission, but the higher-level Touring, Elite and Black Edition trims have a more sophisticated nine-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. Only the top-end Elite and Black Edition models come standard with all-wheel drive.
Fuel economy differs between models due to driveline and transmission configurations, but in its most efficient spec (2WD Touring), the Pilot is EPA-estimated to return 20 miles per gallon in the city, 27 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. With all-wheel drive and the nine-speed transmission, fuel economy drops to 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.
With front-wheel drive, the Pilot is rated to tow 3,500 pounds — enough for a small trailer. With all-wheel drive, the towing capacity increases to 5,000 pounds, regardless of transmission.
Most Pilot models can carry eight passengers, via two front seats and a pair of three-across benches in the second and third rows. Optional on the Touring and standard on Elite and Black Edition models, second-row captain’s chairs reduce the seating count to seven, but offer a bit more comfort and luxury. Honda offers easy access to the third row via a tilt-slide function for the second row.
Pilots come with cloth or leather upholstery, depending on trim. All sorts of interior features are available, including a power sunroof, heated and cooled seats, automatic climate control and more. A rear-seat entertainment system is also available to keep the kiddos happy on longer trips.
The Pilot offers lots of room for cargo, too. In its most capacious spec, the Pilot has 16.5 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 46.8 cubic feet with the third row folded and a whopping 83.8 cubic feet with both rows folded flat. That makes the Pilot one of the most functional vehicles in the three-row SUV class.
The base Pilot LX gets a rudimentary infotainment system, with a 5-inch color LCD screen, Bluetooth connectivity and not much else. Every other model uses an 8-inch Display Audio headunit, with standard, , SiriusXM satellite radio and HondaLink vehicle connectivity. Upper trims can be had with a Wi-Fi hotspot, a wireless phone charger and embedded navigation.
Driver-assistance tech is in high supply; every Pilot comes with the Honda Sensing suite of features. This means every Pilot comes with lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic headlights. Blind-spot assistance with a cross-traffic monitor are standard on all but the base LX model.
Models and pricing
The 2020 Honda Pilot is priced from $32,645, including $1,095 for destination, for a front-wheel-drive LX model. From there, the Pilot’s pricing structure is as follows (all prices include destination):
- Pilot LX AWD: $34,645
- Pilot EX 2WD: $35,525
- Pilot EX AWD: $37,525
- Pilot EX-L 2WD: $38,955
- Pilot EX-L AWD: $40,955
- Pilot EX-L w/ Navi 2WD: $40,955
- Pilot EX-L w/ Navi AWD: $42,955
- Pilot Touring 2WD: $43,715
- Pilot Touring AWD: $45,715
- Pilot Elite AWD: $49,215
- Pilot Black Edition AWD: $50,715
The 2020 Honda Pilot is on sale now.