Honda Refreshes HR-V and Pilot For 2019: Volume Knobs Are Back


Don't worry, there are other changes as well.

For the 2019 model year, Honda is releasing refreshed versions of its smallest (HR-V), and largest (Pilot) SUVs. Both 2019 models will go on sale in July, with the Pilot arriving on the 16th, and the HR-V arriving a few days later on the 24th. Honda is making a major course correction with a new Display Audio touchscreen system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, over-the-air updates, and most importantly, a volume knob. The fiddly touch-sensitive slider has finally been thrown to the scrap heap.

The updates aren't just contained to the infotainment system. The 2019 Pilot includes more aggressive exterior styling, an available hands-free power tailgate, and significant refinements to its 9-speed automatic transmission. Inside, technology improvements include 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi, a larger rear entertainment system with Blu-Ray and streaming video capability, a CabinTalk in-car PA system, and smartphone-enabled CabinControl app. The Pilot will also adopt Honda Sensing safety technology on all trim levels, which bundles in collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, active lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.

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Meanwhile, the HR-V will also receive Honda Sensing on EX and higher trim levels. Other improvements include refinements to the continuously variable transmission and available all-wheel drive system, additional sound deadening, and new variable-ratio electric power steering. While neither SUV is drastically different for 2019, both feature the most important change of all, the return of the volume knob. Like most publications, we hated the touch-sensitive slider, which was cumbersome to use on the move. Thankfully, Honda has learned the error of its ways, and learned that some things are best left unchanged.