When Honda launched the third generation pilot for the 2016 model year, it was not long before we declared it one of our favorite three-row SUVs. We have quickly added a Pilot Elite to our long-term test fleet. For a full year we praised its smooth driving quality, thoughtful load configurations and adult-friendly third seats. If you followed, you were probably tired of how often we disguise their virtues.
However, as much as we loved our fully loaded crowd, there were a few aspects we were not so fond of. The infotainment system was often distracting to use and we criticized our Pilot Elite's 9-speed automatic transmission for its pristine and clunky changing. Fortunately, the updated 201
Next Gen Infotainment
We removed Pilot's previous infotainment system for its confusing menu structure, messy user interface, strangely shaped virtual buttons and slow response times. It also did not have a volume button, and it was difficult to operate the replaced digital volume control. Since this system was standard on every trim except LX, owners had to live with it if they wanted a Pilot with a wider range of features.
2019 The Honda Pilot touchscreen system now features the user interface from the new Accord, Odyssey and Insight. This system uses smartphonelike tiles – instead of horizontally oriented rectangles – and virtual buttons that are further spaced apart. As such, you do not have to be so precise when you press buttons, which reduces the amount of time you see on the screen to beat what you're aiming for.
There is also a physical volume button instead of the digital volume slider. Even though it stands out from the screen quite infinite, the knob is significantly easier to use. However, some menu screens are still cluttered. For example, if you select the audio source, press a small button on the audio submenu that is not clearly marked. Overall, Honda's new system is a welcome upgrade. As with last year's Pilot, the 8-inch infotainment screen comes as standard on EX trim and above and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The other big sore spot was sometimes rough and befuddled shifting comes from nine-stage automatic. Ever since the 2016 debut we have recommended Pilot buyers, avoid the expensive Touring and Elite trims, and get an LX or EX with the more satisfying six-stage automation.
We need to revise our recommendation in light of 2019 Pilot's new transfer shift program. The pilot now goes from a stop in the second gear, as sometimes it overturns the hard 1-2 shift. (You can still get the first gear by pressing the S button on the shifter or pull the steering wheel to select gear manually.) The result is smoother shifting and better response to the accelerator inputs. Since it is still not perfect, we recommend performing back-to-back test runs between models equipped with six-speed to ensure you are comfortable with their behavior.
New Features, Standard Safety Tech
Honda Updates to 2019 Pilot extends beyond the new infotainment interface and nine-step modifications. Each pilot receives new styling for front and rear fascias, LED front lights, rear lights and grill. There is also a digital dashboard and a new steering wheel. The Honda Sensing package with advanced safety features – including adaptive cruise control, lane error warning and intervention, and forward-air warning with automatic braking – is now also standard. These features were not even optional on the base LX model last year, and now they are included with its $ 32,445 MSRP (including destination).
The pilot's meat and potatoes EX trim ($ 35,325) also gets more features. Its revised touchscreen and LED fog lights are new to the Pilot, while heated front seats, a blind spot monitor with rear traffic warning, HD radio, and the easily accessible third row feature are new to EX. The EX-L ($ 38,755) is now enhanced with driver seat settings and other racing axes, and the available rear entertainment system has a larger screen.
The Touring model ($ 43,515) now features a hands-free tailgate, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and a more powerful audio system; These are new features for the Pilot. There will also be surrounding lighting and the possibility of second row captain's chairs. At the top of the Pilot trim structure is Elite ($ 49,015), which now offers multiple elements (similar to the front lights on Acuras), a wireless charging pad and power switch and automatic dimming mirror. 19659002] Even with the additional features at each level of fitness, prices have not changed much. LX, Touring and Elite models cost $ 550 more than a corresponding 2018 version. EX and EX-L models cost $ 1000, although the price difference is the same if the 2018 model was fitted with the Honda Sensing package.
There are many good choices available for a three-row medium SUV and we think it's advisable to cross the store Pilot with its primary competition, including the Chevrolet Traverse, Mazda CX-9, Subaru Ascent, Toyota Highlander and Volkswagen Atlas. Overall, the improvements for 2019 make the Pilot even easier to recommend.