2020 Honda Pilot

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2020 Honda Pilot Review: A V6 Up Front And Eight In The Back.

It's been a while since the Honda Pilot has seen extensive work done to keep the model up-to-date, but that doesn't mean it is falling behind the pack. With a capable 280-horsepower V6 engine under the hood and remarkably responsive handling for a three-row midsize SUV, the Pilot is still a firm contender against rivals like the Mazda CX-9 or Kia Telluride. Some rivals will beat the Honda's 16.5 cubic feet of cargo volume, while others come with more standard features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but few are as well-rounded as the Pilot with its spacious interior and myriad safety features under the Honda Sensing umbrella. And, once you start climbing the trim levels to access the more advanced features, its weaknesses flake away to reveal a strong contender in the midsize SUV segment. With competitive mileage figures, ample towing capabilities, and seating for up to eight, the crossover is as comfortable around town as it is in the great wide open. When looking for a reliable, well-appointed family SUV, there is no reason that the Honda Pilot shouldn't be one of your first considerations.

Read in this review:

8.4
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2020 Honda Pilot Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Pilot?

The Honda Pilot enters 2020 with no serious changes. However, the line-up has been expanded to include the stylish Black Edition trim, which comes equipped with all the high-tech features of the Elite and a sleek all-black exterior, unique badging, embossed front seats, and red interior accents.

Pros and Cons

  • Good handling dynamics for a bulky eight-seater
  • Smooth ride quality
  • Plenty of standard advanced safety features
  • Ample cabin storage with adequate trunk space
  • Competitive towing capacity and fuel economy
  • Minivan-like appearance might be unappealing to some
  • Upper-tier trims can get pricey
  • Limited customization options
  • Dated, uninspired interior

Best Deals on 2020 Honda Pilot

2020 Honda Pilot Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LX
3.5L V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$31,650
EX
3.5L V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$34,530
EX-L
3.5L V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$37,960
Touring
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$42,720
Elite
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$48,220
See All 2020 Honda Pilot Trims and Specs

2020 Pilot Exterior

2020 Honda Pilot Front View Honda
2020 Honda Pilot Front View 1 Honda
2020 Honda Pilot Front View 2 Honda
See All 2020 Honda Pilot Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 196.5 in
  • Wheelbase 111.0 in
  • Height 70.6 in
  • Max Width 78.6 in
  • Front Width 66.3 in
  • Rear Width 66.3 in
  • Curb Weight 4,036.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Lunar Silver Metallic
  • Crystal Black Pearl
  • Modern Steel Metallic
  • Platinum White Pearl
  • Steel Sapphire Metallic
  • Deep Scarlet Pearl
  • Obsidian Blue Pearl
  • Black Forest Pearl

2020 Pilot Performance

2020 Honda Pilot Front View Driving Honda
2020 Honda Pilot In Motion Honda
2020 Honda Pilot Engine Bay Honda

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    3.5L V6 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Automatic, 9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Honda Pilot, despite its chunky proportions and hefty weight, is remarkably athletic on the road without sacrificing off-road capability. That's not to say it's genuinely sporty, but it's more so than rivals like the Ford Explorer or Hyundai Palisade.

While the Pilot can handle itself off-road, it is primarily designed to be a family-focused town driver, and its steering matches this application. It's light, allowing for quick low-speed maneuvers, but it doesn't offer loads of road feel or heft, even at higher speeds. Where the Honda SUV does surprise is in its handling. For a three-row SUV, it is not as ponderous as one would expect, handling corners with unusual grace. You won't want to take corners at break-neck speeds, but you can feel confident leaning into them a little without worrying that the plethora of safety features will start blaring their warnings. The Intelligent Variable Torque Management is particularly helpful when it comes to keeping the SUV composed on rugged terrain, although its tight approach and departure angles keep it from leading the segment off-road; it is a crossover after all.

Ride quality is quite good, but we recommend you stick with the 18-inch wheels where possible, as the larger wheels do a much worse job of absorbing road imperfections. Road and wind noise is also managed well thanks to the well-built and -damped cabin.

2020 Pilot Interior

2020 Honda Pilot Dashboard Honda
2020 Honda Pilot Steering Wheel Honda
2020 Honda Pilot Steering Wheel Controls Honda
See All 2020 Honda Pilot Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    8-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.9 in
  • Front Head Room 40.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.2 in

2020 Pilot Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Honda Pilot Luggage Space Honda
2020 Honda Pilot Trunk Space Honda
2020 Honda Pilot Interior Overview Honda

2020 Pilot Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2020 Honda Pilot A Good SUV?

The three-row midsize SUV segment is becoming more competitive each year. The idea that bigger is better seems to be taking hold, but many buyers don't want to sacrifice the comforts and driving experiences offered by smaller vehicles. Thus, manufacturers are trying to design an SUV that delivers on every front, and the Honda Pilot is a strong contender in this regard.

With space for up to eight passengers, where most three-row SUVs only supply appointments for seven, the Pilot doesn't sacrifice too much on spaciousness for the extra seating. Third-row seats are always cramped in such crossovers, but the Honda's rear seats are surprisingly utilitarian, while the first and second rows are downright spacious. The trunk might not be as cavernous as some rivals but it's certainly not lacking either. The Pilot also manages to be quite nimble on the road, and despite its size and weight, it still delivers a more engaging driving experience than is usual for the segment. When you add in the slew of advanced driver-assistance features that come standard at every trim level with Honda Sensing, the SUV certainly recommends itself as the complete package. However, it does suffer a little on the infotainment front, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto locked behind a trim upgrade. With an attractive price tag, competitive fuel economy, and more than adequate daily usability, the Honda Pilot deserves a place on any prospective buyers' shortlist - preferably near the top.

2020 Honda Pilot Comparisons

Toyota Highlander CarBuzz
Acura MDX Acura
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Honda Pilot285 hp18/23 mpg$39,150
Toyota Highlander 265 hp22/29 mpg$36,420
Acura MDX 290 hp19/26 mpg$49,550

2020 Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander

Newly redesigned for 2020, the Toyota Highlander certainly looks set to give the Honda Pilot some stiff competition. Right off the bat, the Highlander presents buyers with a stronger V6 engine, developing 295 hp, while also offering a more economical hybrid powertrain option. Much like Honda's SUV, the Highlander includes advanced safety features as standard, such as forward collision avoidance and lane departure warning, but it doesn't skimp on infotainment as the Pilot does. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the base Highlander, along with SiriusXM and Amazon Alexa. The large Toyota SUV also offers the choice between seven or eight seating appointments, although it provides slightly less standard cargo space at 16.1 cubic feet. Untested at the time of writing this review, we can't say how the new Highlander will match up to the Pilot in terms of handling, but if the rest of its strengths are anything to go by, it will certainly give the agile Honda crossover a run for its money.

See Toyota Highlander Review

2020 Honda Pilot vs Acura MDX

As a close cousin to the Pilot by way of their shared parent company and underpinnings, the Acura MDX bears a close resemblance to the capable midsize SUV, although it dresses in more stylish attire. Bearing the price tag of a luxury midsize SUV, the MDX naturally aspires to offer a more premium experience to buyers. And it does just that, if you can afford it. The interior is more upscale and stylish than the uninspiring Pilot, though some design choices have cost the MDX some cargo space, offering only 15 cubic feet as standard. Head- and legroom all-round have also taken a minor hit, but the improved comforts and longer list of standard features help to distract from this. The Acura's standard V6 is also marginally stronger than the Pilot's, delivering 290 hp and 267 lb-ft to your choice of the front or all four wheels, but the MDX is also available with a hybrid powertrain. Overall, with better luxury features, comparable spaciousness and utility, and similar handling dynamics, the Acura MDX looks to be the better choice. But overlooking that price tag might be too much of a hurdle for most buyers.

See Acura MDX Review

2020 Honda Pilot Popular Comparisons

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