What's New for 2018?
Honda is following its new global platform, which extends the wheelbase and slightly widens the vehicle, allowing more hip space for passengers throughout the cabin. However, since it was redesigned for 2016, don't expect too many major changes.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Honda Pilot – The Pros
1. Tons of Cabin Space
Even before Honda implemented the new global platform, the Pilot was pretty spacious. No matter where you are in the vehicle, you will find that there is more than enough head, shoulder, and leg space. Even taller individuals can feel comfortable sitting in the rear. The second row is spacious whether you opt for the split-row bench or the captain's chairs, both of which are surprisingly comfortable.
2. Well-Designed Interior
Overall, the interior seems well-thought-out and is very user-friendly. The seats are well-bolstered for comfort, and the interior trim adds a nice-looking touch. Also, there are plenty of small storage compartments to be found throughout the cabin, and there is even a bit that holds bulky Plus-sized smartphones. The center stack has a crisp and clear design, and all knobs and buttons are easy to access while driving.
3. Plenty of Cargo Space
The third-row rear seats fold down. If you fold them down, you can get 55.9 cubic feet of cargo space. If you remove the second-row seats, you can maximize your cargo space to a whopping 109 cubic feet. You won't have a problem storing bulky groceries or toting your camping gear in the 2018 Honda Pilot.
4. Phenomenal Safety Scores
Honda has received high safety ratings for years on end, and the 2018 Honda Pilot is no exception to this rule. The Pilot has earned an overall grade of five stars from the NHTSA and "Good" scores from the IIHS. Its crash-avoidance technology has been rated by IIHS as being "Superior".
5. Plenty of Infotainment
The standard 5.0-inch touchscreen display isn't much to delight in, but the optional 8.0-inch upgrade is quite excellent. Graphics look clear, and, for the most part, functions are easy to use. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both integrated into the infotainment system, and all trims come with Bluetooth connectivity. Higher trim levels add additional USB ports. The Elite model adds HD radio.
6. Good Acceleration
The 2018 Honda Pilot is a big vehicle, weighing in at 4,054 pounds on the low end. Therefore, it is pretty surprising that the Pilot is nimble enough to get from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.0 seconds. Regardless of which transmission you pair the 3.5-L V6 direct injection engine with, its 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque are more than enough to get this SUV up-and-moving.
7. A Smooth Ride
The Pilot provides one of the smoothest rides you can imagine, especially when the optional all-wheel drive is equipped. While you will get some suspension noise, the suspension seems to handle rough road conditions rather well, and AWD makes it easy to stick to the road during harsh winter months.
8. Great Ground Clearance
The Pilot gets 7.3 inches of ground clearance, which is more than sufficient for making drives along difficult road surfaces. While this isn't the most off-roader-friendly SUV on the market, it can handle most situations with ease, especially with AWD equipped. Drivers can rest assured that it would be pretty difficult for them to bottom-out this vehicle.
9. A High Driving Position
The high driving position gives the driver plenty of visibility. Drivers of any size won't have a problem finding a good driving position, and the slender roof pillars and wide windshield give an impeccable forward view.
10. Numerous Standard and Optional Features
The Pilot comes packed with many standard and optional features. The second trim level up, the EX, comes with a power driver's seat, satellite radio, and remote start. Each trim level packs in exponentially more features, including lane-departure and forward collision warning systems on the Touring and heated second-row seats on the line-topping Elite.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Honda Pilot – The Cons
1. Exterior Looks Bland
The 2018 Honda Pilot's biggest drawback is what it looks like on the outside. While you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, some customers might be more attracted to the Pilot's more athletic-looking competitors.
2. Blind Spot Monitoring Only Comes on the Elite Trim
Blind spot monitoring is a great safety feature to have and works well, but it is only available on the pricy Elite trim. Unfortunately, many people might not want to pay that much extra for blind spot monitoring.
3. Awkward Shifting on the 9-Speed Automatic
Shifting seems a bit slow and dull on the 9-speed automatic. The shifting seems to jerk too much, which is not a problem on the 6-speed automatic. Overall, the shifting on the 9-speed doesn't feel as effortless as you would expect.
4. One-Touch Seats Only Come On Higher Trims
One-touch seats only come on higher trim levels. You cannot order the LX and EX trims with one-touch second-row seats. You will have to spend more money on an EX-L or higher trim level to get this helpful feature.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2018 Honda Pilot vs. 2018 Ford Explorer
Like the Pilot, the Explorer comes loaded with plenty of great features and is quite comfortable. Unfortunately, that comfort diminishes in the third-row, as space back there is cramped. It does, however, look a bit more athletic on the exterior than the Pilot.
2018 Honda Pilot vs. 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe
The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe is incredibly sporty-looking and has plenty of space throughout the cabin. It comes with numerous convenience and safety features, and Hyundai offers a very generous warranty. However, fuel economy is subpar, and the bulky roof pillars make it difficult to see out of the rear window.
While the 2018 Honda Pilot could use some updates to its exterior and its 9-speed automatic transmission, this SUV deserves praise for its comfort and emphasis on safety. Drivers with small children will appreciate how family-friendly this vehicle is, as it borders the line between SUV and mini-van.
• Why buy a 2017 Honda Pilot? w/ pros vs cons