2019 Honda Pilot Elite AWD Test Drive

“2019 Honda Pilot Elite AWD”
Redesigned and Refreshed with New Technology
Honda-Pilot-Elite-RSF

The first generation Honda Pilot bowed in 2002 as a 2003 model and ran through 2008, with the second generation taking over in 2009 continuing through the 2015 model year. The 2016 Honda Pilot launched the third generation, joining the Honda CR-V and the HR-V as the flagship in an expanded lineup of the Japanese automaker’s SUV offerings. It was designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., in Los Angeles and Ohio, and is manufactured exclusively by Honda Mfg. Alabama, Inc. in Lincoln, Alabama. More than 1.4 million Pilots have been sold over the past 12 years.

Honda-Pilot-Elite-LSF

Overview

The 2019 Honda Pilot 8-seat SUV hits showroom floors with bold new front and rear styling cues, powertrain refinements and a host of technology upgrades. The new Pilot is available in five basic levels of trim: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and the flagship Elite. All but the Elite are available in either a FWD or AWD configuration, which only comes in AWD. Pilot EX-L is available with or without Navigation and Rear Entertainment system, and the Touring models are available with or without Rear Captain’s chairs.
Honda-Pilot-Elite-Whl
MSRP pricing will range from $31,450 (LX 2WD) to $49, 015 (Elite AWD) with a $995 Destination charge to be added to all. Honda Sensing® suite of advanced driver assistive and safety technology is now standard fare for all trim levels.

Go Power


Honda-Pilot-Elite-Eng

Supplying power to the new Honda Pilot lineup is a transversely mounted 3.5-liter, SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC® V6 engine with Direct Injection, variable cylinder management, active noise cancellation and remote start. The engine produces 280 horsepower at 6,000 rpm while also developing 262 pound feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. Energy is directed to the either the front wheels or to all wheels via Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management AWD System. Gearing the engine’s motive force to the driving wheels is a six-speed automatic transmission for lower trim levels, or a nine-speed automatic with shift-by-wire and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.

Bold Look

Honda-Pilot-Elite-Nose
The enhanced exterior styling of the 2019 Honda Pilot is reflective of its surprising off-road capabilities without losing its familial appeal. Up front, integrated into the new front bumper are enlarged fog light housings (now available in LED form), along with a redesigned grille which is a reinterpretation of Honda’s “flying wing” design with its chrome trim band extending above the headlights. There’s also a “skid” garnish on the bumper’s lower edge. The turn signals are slimmer. Out back, are new taillights featuring amber turn signals as well as LED backup lights.
Honda-Pilot-Elite-Tail
Honda-Pilot-Elite-Gte

In profile, a chrome trim strip runs along the vehicle’s side, wrapping around the rear bumper and highlighting its lower skid-type styling. Wheels benefit from a more rugged appearance, with 18-inch designs for LX, EX and EX-L, and a bold new 20-inch design on Touring and Elite trim models. New features in addition to the enhanced styling include: an available, hands-free power tailgate; an available new Display Audio touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration and a volume knob.
Honda-Pilot-Elite-RSD

Comfort and Convenience


Honda-Pilot-Elite-Int
Entering the Pilot’s cabin, updates include: new vent surround trim, available 3-way heated front seats and wider fold-down driver and front passenger armrests. Second-row retractable sunshades find their way into EX-L, Touring and Elite trim levels.
Honda-Pilot-Elite-RInt
Along with the Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration, the 2019 Pilot benefits from several enhancements and upgrades to its audio/connectivity and driver convenience features such as an easier to use all-new available Display Audio system with customizable shortcuts and simplified menus.
Honda-Pilot-Elite-Dsh
A redesigned instrument cluster serves up a larger thin-film transistor (TFT) screen with a variety of user-selectable displays with driver-selectable customizable features, such as audio system information, a detailed trip computer, phone information, and turn-by-turn route guidance on navigation-equipped models. Drivers negotiate the new TFT menu via a new steering wheel with enhanced controls, redesigned for more intuitive operation. Rear seat occupants benefit from an available updated Rear Entertainment System) with a larger screen and new capabilities. Pilot is now also available with a 4G LTE-based Wi-Fi hotspot.

Connectivity and Infotainment

The Honda-developed operating system is built on Android and is easily updatable and upgradeable either through a USB stick or over-the-air using the Pilot’s available 4G LTE data plan, the customer’s smartphone-powered hotspot, or any available Wi-Fi network.

HondaLink®, CabinControl™ and CabinTalk™ are all available features to enhance convenience, connectivity and infotainment.

The 2019 Pilot’s all-new state-of-the-art, factory-integrated Rear Entertainment System features a ceiling-mounted 10.2-inch WSVGA (1024×600) display that swings down, allowing for easy viewing with low glare and better second- and third-row viewing.

The Rear Entertainment System includes a fun, kid friendly, puppet-themed “How Much Farther?” app. with a colorful on-screen animated marionette play that counts down time and distance to the destination that has been set into the navigation system.

My test pre-volume production 2019 Honda Pilot was in Elite trim, sporting an Obsidian Blue Pearl exterior finish and a Gray interior. The base sticker read $48,020., with the final tally registering $49,015 after adding the Destination and Handling charge. The vehicle was fully loaded with no options. I later had the opportunity to review an Elite AWD Pilot on my home turf with the same pricing structure and equipment and feature content but with a rich Black Forest Green Pearl exterior.

Performance

Piloting the Honda Pilot Elite delivered the optimum SUV experience. It was at home on virtually any surface with a surprising level of capability and stability. The horsepower was more than adequate and the torque delivery was smooth over a broad range.
Honda-Pilot-Elite-OR-TV
The Electric Power-Assisted Rack-and-Pinion Steering provided a positive, on-center feel and the overall handling characteristics were sporty in nature. The ride quality was both solid, and comfortable with good seating support.

The Honda Sensing® suite including: Collision Mitigation Braking System™ with Forward Collision Warning; Road Departure Mitigation; Lane Keeping Assist System and Adaptive Cruise Control is a confidence builder along with Honda’s available Blind Spot Information System, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor.

OurAutoExpert’s Take

Pilot additionally offers numerous other driver-assistive features, such as automatic high beams and a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, both standard on all trims. The new Pilot was designed to provide a high level of active and passive safety protection and targets a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Honda-Pilot-Elite-RSR
If you’re looking to tow a trailer, boat, race car or side-by-side? The Pilot is capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds when properly outfitted.
Honda-Pilot-Elite-Trlr
Bottom line, the 2019 Honda Pilot Elite AWD is a reasonably priced, attractive, comfortable and quite capable SUV on or off-road.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Honda Pilot Elite AWD

Base Price: $48,020.
Price as Tested: \$49,015.

Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter, SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC® V6 with Direct Injection, variable cylinder management, active noise cancellation and remote start.

Horsepower (bhp): 280 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 262 @ 4,700 rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic with shift-by-wire and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.

Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Intelligent Variable Torque Management AWD System

Suspension: Front – MacPherson Strut with 25.0 mm solid stabilizer bar
Rear – Multi-Link with 26.5 tubular stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD, BA, VSA with Traction Control, Hill Start Assist, Intelligent traction management with selectable modes and TPMS.

Tires: Continental CrossContact Cross LX Sport 245/50 R20 102H M&S mounted on intricate 15-short/long-spoke Machine face and paint combination.

Wheelbase: 111.0 inches
Length Overall: 196.5 inches
Width: 78.6 inches
Height: 70.6 inches
Curb Weight: 4,319 lbs.
Turning Circle: 39.4 ft.
Approach angle: 19.7 degrees
Departure Angle: 20.8 degrees
Ground Clearance: 7.3 inches – unladen
Fuel Capacity: 19.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19.0 mpg city / 26.0 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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Overview

The 2019 Honda Pilot 8-seat SUV hits showroom floors with bold new front and rear styling cues, powertrain refinements and a host of technology upgrades. The new Pilot is available in five basic levels of trim: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and the flagship Elite. All but the Elite are available in either a FWD or AWD configuration, which only comes in AWD. Pilot EX-L is available with or without Navigation and Rear Entertainment system, and the Touring models are available with or without Rear Captain’s chairs.

MSRP pricing will range from $31,450 (LX 2WD) to $49, 015 (Elite AWD) with a $995 Destination charge to be added to all. Honda Sensing® suite of advanced driver assistive and safety technology is now standard fare for all trim levels.

Go Power

Supplying power to the new Honda Pilot lineup is a transversely mounted 3.5-liter, SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC® V6 engine with Direct Injection, variable cylinder management, active noise cancellation and remote start. The engine produces 280 horsepower at 6,000 rpm while also developing 262 pound feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. Energy is directed to the either the front wheels or to all wheels via Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management AWD System. Gearing the engine’s motive force to the driving wheels is a six-speed automatic transmission for lower trim levels, or a nine-speed automatic with shift-by-wire and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.

Bold Look

The enhanced exterior styling of the 2019 Honda Pilot is reflective of its surprising off-road capabilities without losing its familial appeal. Up front, integrated into the new front bumper are enlarged fog light housings (now available in LED form), along with a redesigned grille which is a reinterpretation of Honda’s “flying wing” design with its chrome trim band extending above the headlights. There’s also a “skid” garnish on the bumper’s lower edge. The turn signals are slimmer. Out back, are new taillights featuring amber turn signals as well as LED backup lights. In profile, a chrome trim strip runs along the vehicle’s side, wrapping around the rear bumper and highlighting its lower skid-type styling. Wheels benefit from a more rugged appearance, with 18-inch designs for LX, EX and EX-L, and a bold new 20-inch design on Touring and Elite trim models. New features in addition to the enhanced styling include: an available, hands-free power tailgate; an available new Display Audio touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration and a volume knob.

Comfort and Convenience

Entering the Pilot’s cabin, updates include: new vent surround trim, available 3-way heated front seats and wider fold-down driver and front passenger armrests. Second-row retractable sunshades find their way into EX-L, Touring and Elite trim levels.

Along with the Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration, the 2019 Pilot benefits from several enhancements and upgrades to its audio/connectivity and driver convenience features such as an easier to use all-new available Display Audio system with customizable shortcuts and simplified menus.

A redesigned instrument cluster serves up a larger thin-film transistor (TFT) screen with a variety of user-selectable displays with driver-selectable customizable features, such as audio system information, a detailed trip computer, phone information, and turn-by-turn route guidance on navigation-equipped models. Drivers negotiate the new TFT menu via a new steering wheel with enhanced controls, redesigned for more intuitive operation. Rear seat occupants benefit from an available updated Rear Entertainment System) with a larger screen and new capabilities. Pilot is now also available with a 4G LTE-based Wi-Fi hotspot.

Connectivity and Infotainment

The Honda-developed operating system is built on Android and is easily updatable and upgradeable either through a USB stick or over-the-air using the Pilot’s available 4G LTE data plan, the customer’s smartphone-powered hotspot, or any available Wi-Fi network.

HondaLink®, CabinControl™ and CabinTalk™ are all available features to enhance convenience, connectivity and infotainment.

The 2019 Pilot’s all-new state-of-the-art, factory-integrated Rear Entertainment System features a ceiling-mounted 10.2-inch WSVGA (1024×600) display that swings down, allowing for easy viewing with low glare and better second- and third-row viewing.

The Rear Entertainment System includes a fun, kid friendly, puppet-themed “How Much Farther?” app. with a colorful on-screen animated marionette play that counts down time and distance to the destination that has been set into the navigation system.

My test pre-volume production 2019 Honda Pilot was in Elite trim, sporting an Obsidian Blue Pearl exterior finish and a Gray interior. The base sticker read $48,020., with the final tally registering $49,015 after adding the Destination and Handling charge. The vehicle was fully loaded with no options.

Performance

Piloting the Honda Pilot Elite delivered the optimum SUV experience. It was at home on virtually any surface with a surprising level of capability and stability. The horsepower was more than adequate and the torque delivery was smooth over a broad range.

The Electric Power-Assisted Rack-and-Pinion Steering provided a positive, on-center feel and the overall handling characteristics were sporty in nature. The ride quality was both solid, and comfortable with good seating support.

The Honda Sensing® suite including: Collision Mitigation Braking System™ with Forward Collision Warning; Road Departure Mitigation; Lane Keeping Assist System and Adaptive Cruise Control is a confidence builder along with Honda’s available Blind Spot Information System, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor.

OurAutoExpert’s Take

Pilot additionally offers numerous other driver-assistive features, such as automatic high beams and a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, both standard on all trims. The new Pilot was designed to provide a high level of active and passive safety protection and targets a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you’re looking to tow a trailer, boat, race car or side-by-side? The Pilot is capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds when properly outfitted.

Bottom line, the 2019 Honda Pilot Elite AWD is a reasonably priced, attractive, comfortable and quite capable SUV on or off-road.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Honda Pilot Elite AWD
Base Price: $48,020.
Price as Tested: $49,015.

Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter, SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC® V6 with Direct Injection, variable cylinder management, active noise cancellation and remote start.

Horsepower (bhp): 280 @ 6,000 rpm Torque (ft./ lbs.): 262 @ 4,700 rpm Transmission: Nine-speed automatic with shift-by-wire and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.

Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Intelligent Variable Torque Management AWD System

Suspension: Front – MacPherson Strut with 25.0 mm solid stabilizer bar
Rear – Multi-Link with 26.5 tubular stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD, BA, VSA with Traction Control, Hill Start Assist, Intelligent traction management with selectable modes and TPMS.

Tires: Continental CrossContact Cross LX Sport 245/50 R20 102H M&S mounted on intricate 15-short/long-spoke Machine face and paint combination.

Wheelbase: 111.0 inches
Length Overall: 196.5 inches
Width: 78.6 inches
Height: 70.6 inches
Curb Weight: 4,319 lbs.
Turning Circle: 39.4 ft.
Approach angle: 19.7 degrees
Departure Angle: 20.8 degrees
Ground Clearance: 7.3 inches – unladen
Fuel Capacity: 19.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19.0 mpg city / 26.0 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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