Pilot buyers can take their pick from a half-dozen trim packages: LX, Sport, EX-L, TrailSport, Touring, and Elite. An eight-passenger layout is the default, but the EX-L and TrailSport get a pair of captain’s chairs in the middle row to increase comfort but limit occupancy to seven.
A 3.5-liter V6 engine making 285 hp and 262 lb.-ft. of torque pairs with a 10-speed automatic transmission to form the Pilot’s robust powertrain. Most trims are available with the standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive, but the TrailSport and Elite come with AWD only. With FWD, you can tow as much as 3,500 pounds, which rises to 5,000 lb. with AWD. Honda includes a drive mode selector with these settings: Normal, ECON, Snow, Tow, and Sport). A Trail & Sand mode is added in conjunction with AWD.
The Pilot is reasonably efficient, especially for its size: FWD versions are rated by the EPA to return 19 miles per gallon in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway. Most trims with AWD achieve 19 city/25 highway, but the outlier is the TrailSport, which dips slightly to 18 city/23 highway because of the added weight of its offroad-oriented equipment.
The LX gets tri-zone automatic climate control as mentioned, along with proximity keyless entry for both front doors and tailgate, push-button start, automatic on/off LED headlights, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, rear privacy glass, a dual-level cargo floor, a 7-inch gauge cluster, a USB-A smartphone/audio interface, three USB-C charging ports (one up front and two in the second row), and a 12V power outlet a hidden storage compartment, and second- and third-row 60/40-split bench seats (with single-touch fold feature for the second row). The Sport trim’s upgrades are heated front seats with seatback storage pockets, a moonroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power front passenger’s seat, LED fog lights, rooftop rails, and chrome exhaust outlets.
The EX-L omits the chrome exhaust pipes and roof rails, but adds leather upholstery, wireless phone charging, smartphone pockets on the backs of the first-row seats, a conversation mirror, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, illuminated vanity mirrors, driver’s-seat position memory, climate controls for the middle row, two USB-C charging ports for the third row, a second cargo-area 12V power socket, a power tailgate, heated exterior mirrors with position memory and reverse gear tilt-down, a larger hidden storage compartment, second-row sunshades (manually operated), and Honda’s in-car PA system, CabinTalk. The second-row captain’s chairs can be swapped for the bench seat.
The TrailSport gets the roof rails and is distinguished by gloss-black exterior accents, a heated steering wheel, rugged simulated-leather seats with contrast stitching in orange, all-weather floor mats, power-folding side mirrors, a heated windshield-wiper zone, front and rear recovery points, all-terrain tires, skid plates, a Class III trailer hitch, and a 110V power socket.
The Touring builds from the EX-L’s equipment roster by adding the chrome exhaust pipes and roof rails as well as a hands-free liftgate, a stowable second-row middle seat, in-trunk seat storage, LED interior lighting, and an advanced proximity entry system that unlocks every door. The Elite earns its name with ventilated front seats, heated outboard second-row seats, perforated leather upholstery with accent piping, a head-up display, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors with reverse gear tilt-down and position memory, LED door trim lighting, a 110V power outlet, and a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster. Like the TrailSport, it has a heated steering wheel and a heated windshield-wiper zone.
Honda Sensing is a proprietary collection of advanced safety technologies that comes standard across all trims. The base package has a driver attention monitor, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation, traffic jam assist, and traffic sign recognition. A blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is added at the Sport level; the higher trims also get low-speed braking control and front and rear parking sensors. A multi-view camera system featuring TrailWatch is installed on the TrailSport and Elite for a complete view of the Pilot’s surroundings.
The infotainment system on the LX and Sport features a 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, smartphone connect (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), and seven speakers for the sound system. The EX-L and TrailSport move up to a 9-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone connect, HD radio, SiriusXM satellite radio, and nine speakers. The Touring and Elite spoil their occupants with a premium 12-speaker Bose sound system with multi-zone audio, plus voice recognition, navigation, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.