The Honda Pilot has been a very successful SUV in the U.S.and serves a pivotal role in combining practicality and opulence all at once. While the introduction of the third-generation Pilot dates back to 2016, the overall design has stayed quite the same if not exact. So you could guess that the Japanese SUV is certainly not a looker but is not ugly either. For the 2022 model year, Honda has equipped all the trim levels with LED headlights and foglights for a step towards modernity. Powering the mid-size SUV is a tried-and-tested 3.5-liter V-6 which drives through the front wheels as standard. The availability of an all-wheel drive system is present throughout the trim list. Honda took a hard move to remove two of their entry level trims: LX and EX, and added a new Sport trim which is more younger-buyer focused and has interesting features like 20-inch wheels, heated front seats, along with loads of driver assistance features such as blindspot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Doing so has made the starting price of the Pilot a whopping $36,830 which is about $4,280 more expensive than the outgoing model year’s LX trim. But there’s no need to worry as Honda has equipped the Sport trim well with an eight-inch touchscreen display along with the integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While it looks like a promising deal it is not the best you could buy in the segment. Want to know why? Scroll down!
Trims and Features
Upon canceling the base LX and EX trims, Honda added a new entry level Sport trim and an off-road biased TrailSport trim to the list. So there are a total of seven trims: Sport, EX-L, SE or Special Edition, TrailSport, Touring, Elite, and Black Edition. All the trims have the same powertrain which is a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6 engine coupled to a nine-speed shiftable automatic with power sent to the front wheels as standard. However, Honda is offering a torque-vectoring AWD as an optional add-on through the trim list except for the TrailSport, Elite, and Black Edition, where it comes as standard. For a detailed trims and specifications overview, we have pointed out the top features and listed them below.
Standard driver assistance features which come with the Pilot are:
SE (Special Edition).
Exterior: Typically Honda but doesn’t have the looks to stand out
It is very much clear that the Pilot looks like it is the oldest among the other competitors like the Kia Telluride or the Volkswagen Atlas. It misses out on the contemporary design language which others are adopting faster, but it doesn’t necessarily look bad. You will get to see full-LED headlights and foglights at the front with the 2022 Pilot. The design of the headlights looks sharp though along with creases on the bonnet. The intake grille is a bit smaller if you take a glimpse of Honda’s newest design philosophy. The base Sport trim gets 20-inch alloys whereas the EX-L and the TrailSport get the 18-inch ones. From the sides, the Odyssey might come to your mind and it is quite identical because of the stretched rear. The LED taillights remain unchanged as do the rear bumper and the roof spoiler. The off-road specific TrailSport gets rugged front and rear looks with plastic claddings and a set of all-terrain tires. The wheel arches have a squared-out shape which we have seen in quite a lot of off-road SUVs, especially Jeeps.
For the exterior dimensions, the Pilot seems to be one of the most compact three-row SUVs among its competitors at 196.5 inches long length, 78.6 inches width, and a decent height of 70.6 inches. The wheelbase, however, is the shortest with 111 inches and the ground clearance is set at 7.3 inches which is just above the Atlas but the Telluride sits eight inches above the ground. In terms of the overall curb weight, you guessed it right, the Pilot is the lightest with just 4,030 pounds followed by the Telluride at 4,211 pounds. The Durango weighs the most with 4,750 pounds.
2022 Honda Pilot Exterior Dimensions
|Model||2022 Honda Pilot |
|Curb Weight ||4,030 lbs.|
|Length||196.5 in. |
|Width ||78.6 in.|
|Height||70.6 in. |
|Ground Clearance ||7.3 in. |
|Wheelbase ||111.0 in. |
Interior: A big, comfy Honda
What is typical in the segment is that every other SUV has a lot of interior space and added features to make you feel upmarket and updated. Here, inside the Pilot, you will feel at home. But, since the eight-seater did not get significant updates after its 2016 launch, the design is kind of boring, especially if you compare it to the Kia Telluride and Volkswagen Atlas. Getting in and out is much easier due to wider door openings. Once you get inside the cabin, you feel all the comfort for which Honda still sells better than most of its competitors. The quality of the cabin seems pretty much the same for what you pay but we think that the implementations of the materials have made it feel a bit upscale than let’s say the Telluride. Plastics are present but not everywhere. There are soft touches on the dash, the door trims, and even the central armrest. The steering wheel comes leather-wrapped with the available heating options. The instrument console now houses a multi-information display between the two analog clocks. The center of the dashboard has been updated with an eight-inch touchscreen display. With Honda chucking out the entry level trims, the new Sport has a lot going on for the price. Tri-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable driver seat, and heated front row seats come fitted as standard.
Now that you know a lot about the interior, let’s talk about one of its vital aspects: comfort. The Pilot is after all a Honda and comfort is nothing more than a piece of cake. By default, you will be getting leatherette seats and they are one of the most comfortable ones we have ever sat on. The driving ergonomics is quite upright and will provide a nice outward viewing, even from the second row. The higher trims can be optioned with seven seats, which means that the second row will be swapped with two captain’s chairs. As you already know how compact the Pilot is in the overall length and wheelbase, still it manages to provide a good first and second-row space with up to 40.2 inches of headroom. The front legroom is set at 40.9 inches, while the second row has 38.4 inches. Now coming to the third row, the seats could be a bit tighter there for your taller family members but that is expected for its slightly compact form factor. There are 38.9 inches of third-row headroom while the legroom has been shrunken to 31.9 inches which is slightly better than the Telluride and slightly less than the Atlas by 1.8 inches. Overall, for a compact three-row SUV, the 2022 Pilot is superbly comfortable. The cargo capacity is just 16.5 cubic feet which is the smallest followed by the all-American muscle Durango with 17.2 cubic feet. The Telluride and Atlas have about 21 cubic feet after the third row, making them the most practical SUVs for holiday trips. A few of the interior features of the 2022 Pilot that might impress you would be:
2022 Honda Pilot Interior Dimensions
|Model||2022 Honda Pilot|
|Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)||40.1/62.0/40.9|
|Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)||40.2/62.0/38.4|
|Third Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)||38.9/57.6/31.9|
|Cargo Capacity ||16.5 cu.ft.|
All Pilot trims get an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment display which has been upgraded for the lower trims and the screen is quite responsive. The system is quite refined and the learning curve is shorter than that of Volkswagen’s. As standard, Honda has equipped the 2022 Pilot with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, satellite radio, and speed-sensitive volume control. The base Sport trim gets a seven-speaker audio unit whereas the Elite and trim onwards get a ten-speaker premium audio system with 590-watt sound output. The last three trims come with a rear entertainment system which includes a 10.2-inch display coupled with a Blu-ray player. A few of the other standout features are as follows:
Performance and Handling: Just the way it should be, no complaints
If you are looking for straight-up performance, then the Pilot might not make you the happiest but its 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6 has enough grunt to tow your kids to school or be it about attending a family party at your friend’s. The engine puts out 280 horsepower when it hits 6,000 revs and a pretty good 262 pound-feet of torque available at 4,700 revs. Yes, the torque might take a bit of time to build in busy traffic but there aren’t a lot of turbocharged engine options in the segment except for the Volkswagen Atlas. But its 2.0-liter engine produces lesser power figures. Anyway, back to the Pilot’s V-6, it gets mated to a nine-speed shiftable automatic transmission and drives either the front wheels or all four of them, depending on which trim you choose.
If you compare the power figures, The Durango and the Telluride have more raw power while the Atlas has very much similar power figures to the Pilot with its optional V-6 engine. Now that we have talked well about the power figures on paper, let’s emphasize more on how they deliver all this power to the roads. So, the AWD-equipped Pilot does 0-60 miles per hour in about 6.2 seconds, as tested by Car And Driver. Side-by-side the Durango takes about 7.5 seconds to clock 60 miles per hour (it has a more powerful engine remember?) while the Kia Telluride makes it slightly quicker with 7.0 seconds. Yeah, we know what you are thinking! It is just because of the overall curb weight which makes the Pilot take a slight edge over the competition. Even the standing quarter-mile timings are in favor of the Pilot with 14.8 seconds while the Telluride takes about 15.3 seconds.
The Pilot feels just as refined as it can get even inside city limits and feels just like a flying sofa on the highways. The stability of the SUV is unmatched even when you ring the engine. But just like any other SUV, the driving isn’t engaging and that includes lesser steering feedback and a lot of body rolls. Honda says that with the FWD Pilot, you can tow up to 3500 pounds, whereas it can bump up to 5,000 pounds if you opt for the optional AWD. Talking about the AWD, Honda is the only company to provide a torque vectoring AWD to the Pilot which not only helps driving in all-weather conditions but also serves an upper hand if you have a knack for off-roading.
2022 Honda Pilot Performance Stats
|Model||2022 Honda Pilot|
|Engine Type||3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6|
|Transmission||9-speed shiftable automatic |
|Power ||280 hp @ 6,000 RPM|
|Torque ||262 lb-ft @ 4,700 RPM|
|0-60 (mph) ||6.2 seconds|
|Top Speed||113 mph|
|Towing Capacity||5,000 lbs. (max)|
People love Honda cars not only because of how practical and reliable they are but also how efficient. The V-6 engine is refined and has the cylinder deactivation tech to minimize fuel consumption. The EPA rates the FWD variant of the PIlot with 20/27/23 for the city/highway/combined which is not bad for a chunky eight-seater. The Kia Telluride has been rated relatively similar with just a mile lesser per gallon on the highways. The Atlas and the Durango produce sub-par mileage figures as per the EPA with their respective V-6 engines. The 19.5-gallon gas tank is just enough for your long drives and it is expected to deliver about 525 miles on the highways and about 390 miles in the city. The AWD-equipped Pilot returns just a mile lesser in both the city and highway than the FWD variant. If you want to choose the Pilot AWD, then you should know that it is comparatively more economical than the Atlas, Durango, and even the Telluride which is its direct rival.
2022 Honda Pilot Fuel Economy
|Model||2022 Honda Pilot||2022 Honda Pilot w/ AWD|
|Tank Capacity (Gallons)||19.5||19.5|
|Range (City, Highway, Combined)||390.0/526.5/448.5||370.5/507.0/429.0|
How safe is the 2022 Honda Pilot?
Another USP of the Pilot is how safe it is on the road, and it certainly proves that well. The NHTSA rates the Japanese SUV well with full-on five stars while the IIHS rates the same with “Good” majorly. We expected the Pilot to get the “Top Safety Pick” award but it is what it is. As standard, the 2022 Pilot gets a full set of advanced driver assistance features such as:
Other traditional safety features include airbags for all three rows, stability control, engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring system, and auto-high beams.
Should you consider the 2022 Honda Pilot over the competition?
Yes, you should go for the 2022 Pilot for it is in its best version for the third generation. Honda will possibly bring out a new generation for the 2023 model year, so it might be the last third-gen model year. It might look a bit inferior compared to the more modern Kia Telluride or the Volkswagen Atlas but the features are even better like the whole set of advanced driver assistance features. Do not forget how reliable Hondas are and the Pilot is certainly one of them. So if you get a Pilot now, it will stay with you for the rest of your life with little to no trouble.
How powerful is the 2022 Honda Pilot?
The 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6 puts out 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of maximum torque. The AWD-equipped Pilot does 0-60 miles per hour in 6.2 seconds.
How efficient is the 2022 Honda Pilot?
The EPA rates the standard Pilot with 20/27/23 and 19/26/22 to the AWD variants for city/highway/combined.
Is there a new Pilot coming soon?
Officially there are no claims but it seems that the third-gen Pilot has been aging finely and now perhaps it will be revived with an all-new design and powertrain(s).
Should I consider Kia Telluride over the Pilot?
The Telluride is a great mid-size SUV from Kia and it is a modern SUV with upmarket tech and design. Comparatively, the Pilot looks a bit dated, especially in the interior. But the Pilot has more advanced driver assistance features as standard and a lot of added standard features that are present but are optional with the Kia.