Road Test: 2019 Honda Pilot Touring

Road Test: 2019 Honda Pilot Touring

Story by Jordan Allan, photos courtesy of Honda


Price(MSRP): $52,490

Engine: 3.5L 24-valve SOHC i-VTEC V6

Trans: 9-speed auto

Power: 280 hp@ 6,000 rpm

Torque: 262 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm

Curb Weight: 4,339 lbs./ 1,968 kg

Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) 12.4/9.3


New for 2019: The Honda Pilot underwent a slight refresh for 2019 with a new grille reminiscent of the sporty looking Accord’s as well as a slight change in the rear, moving the reverse lights up into the tailight cluster. An improved 9-speed automatic transmission comes standard on the higher trims and new tech features include an altered infotainment touchscreen.

Segment Competitors: Kia Sorento, Toyota Highlander, Acura MDX, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Murano, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Subaru Ascent

The Skinny: The Honda Pilot was one of the first of its kind when it came out back in 2002 and has enjoyed a fair amount of success since then. Backed by Honda’s great reputation for value, economy and reliability it has continued its success into its now third generation first introduced in 2016.

After undergoing a slight refresh for this model year, the Pilot is now much better looking and has all of the tech and infotainment features you’d expect.

The front seats are comfortable and allow the driver to have great sightlines while the back is optioned with either a bench seat or captain’s chairs in the middle on the higher trims. The 3rd row, as usual, is better used by smaller children but can be used by adults in a pinch.

With the 3rd row up the cargo area isn’t all that impressive, but when laid down, you are left with a huge, flat space that is great for any type of gear.

Driving the Pilot is also a pleasant experience, with a smooth overall ride and more than enough acceleration when merging onto the highway. As I said, visibility is no issue and although the new 9-speed is still not as smooth as the 6-speed transmission, it wouldn’t be enough to dissuade me from buying this car. The climate controls are completely separate from the infotainment system which is always a good thing and there are many large storage compartments throughout to keep most of your stuff hidden and out of the way.

Pros: I enjoyed the smooth ride, great fuel economy and overall comfortability of the Pilot however I wanted to make sure I made a point of mentioning what a great idea adding a volume knob for the infotainment system is.

Cons: I’m starting to think it’s just something I will never get used to, but I always have a hard time with push-button shifters.

Verdict: As mentioned before, Honda continues to carry a reputation of value, economy and reliability and has done so for many years. Given that the Pilot, like most if not all SUV/CUVs, finds itself in a crowded segment this reputation can go a long way in terms of getting customers to check out a Pilot rather than something else. It would tough to sit here and say that the Pilot is better than its competitors in every way, but it’s surely right on par with even its most successful competitors. This is where that aforementioned reputation should come in handy and get people to think of the Honda first.