For consumers in need of a midsize family sport utility vehicle, the Honda 2020 Honda Pilot checks a lot of boxes. The Pilot achieves the highest overall safety ranking possible in crash tests while providing a relatively low introductory price for a family SUV. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Pilot also provides a solid option for navigating dusty trails with lots of cargo space, a bike strapped to the back and a kayak mounted on an optional roof rack. Each trim package is available in all-wheel drive, making it a rugged option for areas with adverse weather conditions. Amenities include all the tech needed for less stressful vacations and commutes as well as the charging features required on a camping trip or at remote work sites.
The Pilot's standard models feature solid fuel-efficiency for a SUV with a 19/27 mpg average in city/highway driving. The base engine is a 3.5 liter V6 that provides 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is an option on all models, but it comes standard on the Elite and Black editions of the Pilot. The transmission varies between trim types. The LX, EX and EX-L, or the three starting packages on the Pilot, utilize a six-speed automatic transmission while the two upper models transition to a nine-speed automatic. Upper-level models move to a 20/27 mpg average in city/highway driving.
Interior features are solid on all Pilot models. The SUV provides seating for up to eight but smaller families can easily opt for two captain chairs in the mid-seat for added comfort on long trips. The transition to captain's chairs also provides second-row passengers with access to premium heating features. At the EX trim level, improved tech becomes available in the dashboard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Leather-trimmed seats become standard at the mid-range EX-L while premium audio, automatic LED headlights and a power tailgate start as primary features in the Touring package. Customers looking for even more will find a panoramic roof in the Elite model as well as heated and ventilated front seats. Approximately 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space is available in the Pilot with all seats up. With the rear seats down, the cargo space rises to 83.9 cubic feet.
The 2020 Honda Pilot all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive models both scored a 5-star rating in NHTSA crash tests with five stars in the side crash category and four stars in front crash and rollover crash. The NHTSA notes the presence of four recommend safety technologies - forward collision warning, lane departure warning, crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support. A blind spot information system provides drivers with alerts when vehicles are approaching in an adjacent lane, and the same sensors help provide information about cross traffic for added security when backing up out of a parking space or near an intersection. Rearview cameras feature multiple angles to increase safety. Adaptive cruise control helps drivers avoid following too closely by applying a set distance between vehicles, eliminating the need for manual speed adjustments.
The 2020 Honda Pilot LX starts at $31,550, but the price can quickly adjust upward with the addition of premium features and accessories. Among the primary models, the Elite is the most expensive at $48,120 while the EX starts at $34,430, the EX-L at $37,860 and the Touring model at $42,260. Special promotions on the 2020 Honda Pilot are not available as of Sept. 2019. However, Honda does offer a variety of discounts for recent graduates and members of the United States military.