• Performance
  • Comfort
  • Interior Design
  • Exterior Design
  • Fuel Economy

by: Mike Ginsca, MGReviews.com

The Honda Pilot is the three-row SUV in Honda’s lineup and has been around since 2003. In that time it’s gone through three generations and for 2019, it receives a few minor tweaks to improve the formula. So how does it compare to the other crop of three-row SUVs?

Although a lot of manufacturers are opting for smaller and turbocharged engines, Honda has continued to refine the V6 engine. Under the hood of the Pilot is a 3.5L naturally aspirated V6 producing 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It doesn’t have the same low-end grunt of a turbocharged engine but once the rpms climb, the engine just keeps pulling and pulling. Another benefit to not having a turbocharger is excellent throttle response.

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Fuel economy is surprisingly good well for such a big engine. During my week and putting about 300km on the SUV, I averaged 12.8L/100km (18.4 mpg) which is higher than the claimed fuel economy figure of 12.4L/100km (19 mpg) that Honda officially states in a city. But it was a very cold week with the Pilot and I did use remote start every morning to warm up and defrost the windshield.

The Honda Pilot is first and foremost a family SUV and you immediately notice that when getting behind the wheel. Steering feel is vague but responsive. There is no joy in driving through a mountain road with the Pilot unlike one of its competitors, the Mazda CX-9. From a driver’s perspective, the CX-9 and even the Pilot’s brother, the Acura MDX, are better 3-row driver’s SUVs.

As a family focused SUV, the 2019 Honda Pilot is brilliant. The suspension is set to absorb bumps to provide a comfortable ride whether taking the kids to school or going on a long distance trip. The seats also aid in providing an added level of comfort with supportive cushioning and the second row seats can move forwards or backwards and recline.

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Front and second row passengers have a good amount of room for both leg and head room. The third row can be a bit tight for adults over 6-feet but it’s a lot better than the seats in the CX-9 for example. Getting into that third row is also a breeze thanks to a press of a button on the second row seats that automatically fold and slide forward to allow easy access to the back. Best of all, when pulling back the second row seats, they return to the position they were at before.

In terms of entertainment, the Honda Pilot is available with navigation, CarPlay and Android Auto, rear entertainment system, WiFi hotspot, WiFi tethering, bluetooth… basically anything to keep the kids entertained on a long journey. It also has CabinTalk. It’s the same system that’s on the Honda Odyssey where the front passengers can communicate with occupants in the 3rd row via the car’s speakers. Similar to a PA system.

If you’ve had to say goodbye to the sports car because family is now your priority, then the Honda Pilot is not your best bet. The Mazda CX-9 or Acura MDX are better driver’s SUVs than the Pilot. But for nearly everyone else, the 2019 Honda Pilot should be at the very top of your list for a three-row family SUV. Comfortable, reliable, and at $52,490 as tested price, it’s within the same price point as other SUVs of this size.

Thank you to Honda Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Honda.ca

Head to MGReviews.com to read the full review and view more pictures: MGReviews.com/2019-Honda-Pilot