2024 Honda Pilot

Strong choice for families seeking a three-row midsize SUV

Roseville, Calif.- Although the competition has increased in recent years, the reliable and well-rounded Honda Pilot has remained in the upper echelon for families seeking a three-row midsize SUV.

A year ago, the Pilot was completely restyled and with slightly larger dimensions. Apparently, the company was satisfied with the changes, because the 2024 Honda Pilot arrived essentially unchanged. The essence of the Pilot remains – versatility, comfort, efficiency, and a reputation for reliability.

Redesign includes…

The redesign included exterior and interior styling that helped modernize the Pilot, giving it a boxier, more rugged appeal with less curves. Although it primarily remains an appealing family-friendly SUV that has lots of storage and above-average performance, one version of the Pilot is capable of some off-road fun.

interior of 2024 Honda Pilot

Test driven here for a week, the Pilot TrailSport can handle light off-road duty due to its extra ground clearance (8.3 inches), an inch more than the standard Pilot. As we found out here, it provides increased traction when navigating snowy or icy roads. There are certainly better off-road vehicles, but the standard all-wheel drive TrailSport does offer some versatility.

Standard equipment for the TrailSport includes higher ground clearance, steel skid plates, all-terrain tires and off-road tuned suspension. Note that the TrailSport trim previously debuted on the Honda Passport.

Among the top choices

When it comes to midsize SUVs, the Honda Pilot has always been among the top choices. Virtual twins, the Kia Telluride and the Hyundai Palisades are the latest rivals that have put a dent in Pilot sales the past few years. Sales dipped below 100,000 in 2022 (99,567) – the first time in 12 years. However, the redesign helped, pushing last year’s sales up to 110,298.

Performance remains a strong selling point for the Pilot. The engine is a 3.5-liter, V6 that produces 285 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Last year the engine received a small horsepower increase and a new 10-speed automatic transmission, replacing the 9-speed transmission.

The front-wheel drive Pilot (AWD is an option) goes 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds and gets 19-27 mpg. It has seven drive modes – Normal, Econ, Sport, Snow, Trail, Sand, and Tow. The maximum towing is 5,000 pounds when equipped with all-wheel drive.

AT A GLANCE – 2024 HONDA PILOT

  • Performance: 3.5-liter, V6, 285 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 19-27 mpg
  • Price estimate: $37,100 – $52,500
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 3 years/36,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited

The Ride

Adding to the Pilot’s overall appeal is its ability to deliver a comfortable and composed ride. It offers reasonably precise steering and gives the driver a feeling of confidence in all situations. That includes an ability to maneuver on challenging roads, where the Pilot is steady and predictable.

The suite of driver safety assistance features includes automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlamps. There’s also a standard Traffic Jam Assist system that allows the adaptive cruise control to eventually come to a stop while keeping the Pilot in its lane.

Interior

Honda addressed some interior deficiencies with its redesign, but some issues remain. It comes standard with a smallish 7-inch touchscreen at a time when some rivals have a 12.3-inch screen. Even the Pilot’s optional touchscreen is only 9 inches. Overall technology is also a Pilot shortcoming, although we liked its simplicity and the many knobs for various functions.

Seating is comfortable in the first two rows. Second-row seating has been greatly improved, thanks to 2.4 inches of additional leg room. Even though third-row seating has been slightly increased, it remains an uncomfortable place to sit for adults. Space behind the third row is 22.4 cubic feet, among the best in the class. With the two rows folded to the floor, the Pilot offers a massive 113.7 cubic feet of cargo room.

The 2024 Honda Pilot remains a strong choice among all three-row, midsize SUVs. It’s a reliable family-friendly vehicle that has no major weaknesses.

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