2022 Honda Pilot Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
As a three-row SUV with a solid engine and quality mechanical components, the 2022 Honda Pilot has the space and capability that many buyers are looking for. For many years, the Pilot has remained popular, not necessarily because of its style but more so because of its practicality and reliability. It's a model that people can count on to get them safely from one point to another, and it has many convenient amenities in its cabin.
What's New for 2022?
The trim lineup used to start out with the LX and EX trims. Those have been ditched this year, so the EX-L is now the entry-level Pilot. This is a welcome change for those who appreciate that an eight-inch touchscreen, smartphone compatibility, and full LED headlights are now standard. However, it also means that the starting price of the Pilot has gone up significantly. Honda is betting that the upgrades will be worth the additional price.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Honda Pilot – The Pros
1. Powered By a Solid Engine
Every trim uses the same type of V6 engine. It has a displacement of 3.5 liters, and it can crank out 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. With this amount of power, drivers can tackle challenges with confidence. Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds when the SUV has all-wheel drive and all of the right equipment.
2. Capable Enough to Handle Tough Terrain
All-wheel drive is available on three trims, which are the EX-L, Special Edition, and Touring. Its standard on the two others, which are the Elite and Black Edition. All-wheel drive can do an effective job at enhancing traction, and it's important to note that it can make adjustments on its own whenever it senses any issues with grip.
Intelligent Traction Management is another feature to appreciate. It's actually included in all models of the Pilot. When the Pilot has front-wheel drive, it would have a mode for snow. When the Pilot has all-wheel drive, it would have modes for snow, sand, and mud.
3. Has the Coveted Third Row of Seats
Some households absolutely need three-row vehicles, while others simply prefer having them because of the flexibility they provide. The Pilot has three rows of seats, so it's going to stand out in a competitive SUV market. It can either have room for eight or seven, depending on whether there is a pair of captain's chairs or a bench seat in the middle row. The back row has room for three passengers.
4. Seating Area Feels Upscale
To start, all trims of the Honda Pilot have heated front seats, and two trims have ventilation in those seats, too, to provide comfort year round. Three out of the five trims have heated second-row seats, and all trims come with leather upholstery. This isn't commonly seen outside of the luxury world, so it's certainly a nice perk. In addition, the power-adjustable driver's seat comes standard with a two-position memory function.
5. Cargo Space Is a Plus
When the second and third row seats have been folded down, the total cargo volume in the Pilot is about 84 cubic feet. This is a massive amount of space that can be used to hold bikes, furniture, and other bulky items. It's easy to fold those seats down, as the second-row seats have a one-touch operation and the third-row seats can fold flat.
Even if all the seats are upright, there would be about 16 cubic feet of storage space in the back. This is a decent amount of cargo volume that could be perfect for grocery shopping or when running errands around town.
6. Keeping People Connected to Technology
As mentioned earlier, the Pilot now comes standard with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and an eight-inch touchscreen. Other standard parts of the infotainment package are a seven-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, SiriusXM, HD Radio, and HondaLink. With HondaLink, an app on a smartphone can be used to connect with the Pilot. This means that people can use their phones to remotely start their engines, pinpoint the location of their vehicles, lock or unlock the doors, and more.
On the higher trims, wireless charging is standard, and three trims are automatically equipped with navigation, voice recognition, ten-speaker audio systems, and Honda HD Digital Traffic. Plus, they have rear entertainment systems to keep passengers happy. One of these systems comes with a 10.2-inch screen, a Blu-Ray player, a pair of wireless headphones, and the ability to use certain apps. These same trims have Wi-Fi capability so that it's easier to stream content and stay in touch with others from the road, and they have in-vehicle intercoms.
7. Works to Prevent Accidents
Every trim of the Honda Pilot has Honda Sensing equipment. The vehicle can use its driver-assist technologies to actively work to keep people safe. Honda Sensing systems include collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control.
These are fancy ways of saying that the SUV can correct steering and braking, as necessary, to avoid accidents. It does so by using the information received from various monitors placed around the vehicle. When they detect an issue, the driver is warned, and the vehicle has the ability to take action if the situation calls for it. For example, if the Pilot is approaching another car too quickly and the driver doesn't seem to be slowing down, the Pilot will independently apply pressure to the brakes.
Other standard features are automatic high beams, a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, rear cross-traffic monitoring, and blind spot monitoring.
8. Making Things Convenient
Given all the responsibilities that people have, it's nice that Honda has built the Pilot with convenience in mind. There are a lot of things that are simple to use. For starters, there's push-button start, which allows people to keep to keep their keys safely tucked away while they drive. The cargo area has four tie-down anchors so that items can be secured, there are bag hooks and beverage holders in various places around the cabin, and every row has map lights so that they can see what they're doing at night.
In addition, most trims have hands-free power tailgates. With the key fob in hand (or in a pocket) and by gently waving one's foot underneath the rear bumper, someone can lift that tailgate easily.
9. Looks the Part
With its athletic stance, the Honda Pilot looks like it could be right at home just about anywhere. Of course, this SUV is seen a lot in city and suburban streets, but it can do well off the beaten path, too. One trim has 18-inch wheels, while the others all have 20-inch wheels. The Black Edition trim, in particular, looks more rugged with its black exterior accents, black wheels, black leather seats, and red ambient LED lighting in the cabin.
10. High-End Exterior Elements
Each Pilot gets to have a moonroof. It can be opened and closed with just one touch, and it can either slide or tilt open. The moonroof gives the vehicle a more expansive feel. Two trims - the Elite and Black Edition - benefit from having even larger panoramic roofs.
Every trim has advanced lighting as well. LED headlights are standard, as are LED brake lights, LED reverse lights, and LED fog lights.
Finally, the side mirrors in every trim have heating elements, integrated turn signals, a memory function, and a tilt-down function to assist with parking and maneuvering. Some trims have side mirrors that can also dim automatically dim when bright lights are shining at them.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Honda Pilot – The Cons
1. No Hybrid Powertrain Available
The trend seems to be moving in the direction of hybrids and electric vehicles. With the current model of the Pilot, Honda is sticking to tradition and has not yet made a hybrid Pilot. This may push some customers in a different direction if they're exploring the idea of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric SUVs.
2. Third Row Isn't That Spacious
While it's very nice that there are three rows of seats in the Pilot, the reality is that the third row is fairly cramped. It only offers 31.9 inches of leg room. It would be a tight squeeze for an adult to ride in the back, and fitting three adults back there would be very, very difficult. This row is best left for children to use.
3. It's a Little Pricey
As mentioned at the top of this article, the two lower trims were dropped from the 2022 lineup. The EX-L trim, the first one in the new lineup, has a starting price about $39,000. This is more expensive than what some other three-row SUVs cost, and it could be too expensive for some buyers.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 Honda Pilot vs 2022 Mazda CX-9
The CX-9 is Mazda's three-row SUV. It's sleek and stylish, but it can't match what the Pilot can do in terms of power. It only has 227 horsepower, compared with the Pilot's 280 horsepower. Further, it has the ability to tow 3,500 pounds. This is the same as what a 2WD Pilot can do, but a 4WD Pilot can tow 5,000 pounds.
Another big factor is the the CX-9 has a maximum seating capacity of seven. Its third row only has room for two extra passengers. Having one less seat than the Pilot has could be a detriment.
2022 Honda Pilot vs 2022 Subaru Ascent
Subaru has thrown its hat into the ring as well. Its three-row model is the Ascent. While it's strong and capable, it doesn't meet the mark that the Pilot has set with its horsepower. It comes close, with 260 horsepower.
The Ascent has a good infotainment system, but it's not as advanced as what the Pilot has. For instance, the standard touchscreen only measures six inches, and there's no available rear-seat entertainment system.
There are many reasons why the Honda Pilot has stuck around for so long. This SUV makes sense for those who are interested in its size, technology, safety features, and capability.