By on February 12, 2015


Under the cold light of morning, the 2016 Honda Pilot bowed at the first media day of the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

Ditching its previous boxy exterior for more curves in its third iteration, the Pilot gains three inches in length for both greater cargo space behind the third-row seat. The SUV also loses 300 pounds over the outgoing model, engineers having found where to best trim-away whatever was deemed unnecessary.

Under the hood, a 3.5-liter V6 with direct injection funnels its power through either a six-speed or a new ZF nine-speed automatic to the front or all four corners, depending on what the customer chooses. The V6 also uses cylinder deactivation and start-stop technology to bolster fuel economy. Power and economy figures for the mill were not given at this time.

Other features include: optional LED projector headlamps with automatic high beams; panoramic roof; heated/ventilated front seats; Android-based connected-vehicle system; lane-departure warning; collision mitigation; blind-spot monitoring; and 20-inch wheels.

The 2016 Honda Pilot is due in U.S. showrooms this summer. Pricing was not announced as of this writing.

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57 Comments on “Chicago 2015: 2016 Honda Pilot Revealed At Last...”

  • avatar

    It’s nice to see Honda is starting to offer more high-end equipment in Honda models, instead of leaving it only for Acura. I never understood that. If people want a loaded Honda instead of an Acura, let them have it.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s just like the situation with the 2013 Accord Touring (like my own car pictured in the avatar). It was Honda’s first use of Adaptive Cruise Control (in US trim only, which required a move to the RDX or ZDX to obtain), and the first use of LED headlights on ANY Honda product (as the RLX came out just after the Accord).

  • avatar

    Remember when the Gillette razor chrome stairstep grille debuted on the first-generation Fusion and everyone mocked it?

    Now, it seems more like it was a… game changer.

  • avatar

    Back to the future with a Ford Fusion Gillette front end. And why drop the middle seat in the second row for a counsel, unless this is an option?

  • avatar

    Looks like bloated Nissan Pathfinder. I’m sure it will sell well with the soccer moms and ones hanging out at the gym all day.

  • avatar

    You seem to have mixed up your pics with a Ford Edge.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep the Gillette grill returns.

      But the buttons? Why so many buttons? They are EVERYWHERE… the steering wheel, the radio, the drive selector. Reminds me of the Saab my wife looked at before getting her Volvo, the dash had a button for everything. I even think there was a button that opened a compartment which contained, you guessed it: MORE buttons!

  • avatar

    Looks like there will be more criticism with the knob less audio system… seems like they are putting that same system in all their cars now.

  • avatar

    Ah HA! Still 7 passenger I see!

    (I’m assuming there will still be a 2nd row bench available. The preview teaser talked about it going 8 seat, I didn’t see that happening without a substantial increase in width.)

    • 0 avatar
      Car Ramrod

      Pilots have always had 8 seats– this one will continue that setup with a second row bench (probably only on certain trims).

      We had a 1st gen, and the seat belts were too close together to even get a booster between them.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve looked at the rearmost seat pic several times and cannot find a third seatbelt. 2 passengers upfront, 3 in the middle, 2 in the third seat equals 7.

        • 0 avatar

          PrincipalDan is correct – I could only see two seatbelts. Also the contouring of the seats makes it clear the back is for two only. Which is honest at least because three in the third row is normally reserved for small kids.

          • 0 avatar

            “For the first time, upper-trim Pilot models will have available two second-row captain’s chairs, providing for easy walk through between the second and third rows, in addition to the standard second-row three-person 60/40 split seat for 8-passenger seating capacity.”

            Straight from Honda;

          • 0 avatar

            This is an 8 passenger. In the photo of the rear seat, you can plainly see a middle headrest. The shoulder belt spools from the roof, which is at the very top of the photo.

          • 0 avatar

            I’m surprised more automakers haven’t followed Toyota’s idea of having a bench that turns into captains chairs through some clever folding and storing of the center seat.

  • avatar


    The Pilot was one of the few crossovers that still had SUV pretenses in it’s styling; it looks like they’ve gone full lifted-minivan in this version.

    Which is fine, but it makes the case versus the Odyssey rather less compelling.

  • avatar

    Cylinder deactivation in a six? Interesting.

  • avatar

    Not impressed. Looks like a mash-up of a Ford and a swollen CRV. The interior is the least impressive part – its design, detailing, and construction appear to be an accountant’s dream, i.e. just the lowest cost solutions to get the job done with little regard for style or visual excitement. The current Pilot is bad in this regard – the new one appears to be no better, and possibly worse.

  • avatar

    Honda has always had good interior packaging, this is probably no exception…….that’s about all the constructive praise I can muster at this point.

  • avatar

    Damn it. Good bye handsome and chiseled Honda Pilot.

    Hello generic 7 passenger CUV thingy

  • avatar

    The Pilot’s target demographic is mostly looking for zero-drama, reliable, economical, comfortable, spacious and conservatively styled family transportation.

    Something tells me that Honda will sell a lot of these.

  • avatar

    this will be a hit. Looks like a larger CR-V (already America’s favorite), and with weight loss I wouldn’t be surprised to see it become the first real family vehicle that can realistically crack 30mpg on the highway. Gas is cheap now but there are plenty of people who are financially wounded enough from the past few years to not forget. This and many other reasons (Honda name/reputation/resale$$/not-a-minivan/spaceefficiency) will guarantee success. Honda seems to be gliding under the radar and not drawing much attention but producing fantastic vehicles for the biggest markets. CR-V, Pilot, latest generation Accord all seemed to hit the mark.

    • 0 avatar

      Where they fail to hit a homerun is sound insulation. Even the Acura versions are noisy. How much can some better insulation cost? Toyota abuses them on this.

      More quiet could steal them a few points of market share from Toyota.

      • 0 avatar

        Thank you. Are all the engineers deaf at Honda from racing? Road noise is not an attractive feature. I could not drive my Honda’s with the stereo off because I could not stand the road noise. Wind and engine were not bad at all, just the damn road noise! Argghhhhh!

    • 0 avatar

      The smaller RDX is only quoted at 29mpg highway with the 9 speed, so I doubt this will hit 30. Even with the big (and welcome) weight loss this thing is still going to be ~300 pounds heavier than an RDX.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    The all-new 2016 Momjeans. FIFY, Honda.

  • avatar

    I think that you guys are missing the point on this one. Yes it is homely. Yes it is boring inside and out. But you have to look at the specs. 9 speed automatic, v6 with cylinder deactivation and start stop. A 300 pound weight loss and is 3 inches longer than it used to this is done correctly they would have the best space capacity of any crossover and its segment along with which will probably be the best gas mileage available for a size
    .now I have not a Honda fan by any means however it appears to me as a CX 9 owner that there any for the very top of this segment. Think about it if they can claim 29 to 30 miles per gallon on the highway this thing Will sell

    • 0 avatar

      Having had the displeasure of piloting four vehicles with this ZF 9 speed, three of them Acuras and one Chrysler, I cannot imagine this one will be any better. Just dreadful.

      By employing this annoying device in the TLX, MDX and now Pilot, Honda have completely removed my desire to own a Honda V6, an engine I love.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    It’s the Honda of large CUVs, with all the good and bad those two concepts entail. If you like Hondas and large CUVs, you’ll love this. If you don’t, you won’t.

    In somewhat related news, my dad picks up his new, fourth CRV next week, bought over the phone with nary a test drive or comparison shopping session necessary. Gave him $15k for his 67k mile 2013 (?) and $27k for the new one. Waste of money IMO, but…

  • avatar

    mazda is really going to have to step up their game with the new cx-9 it is coming out in two years. At this point I don’t know what type of engine transmission combinations are going to throw at it. However sky active will surely have to be implemented along with more checking the engine and a higher gear number in order to compete. At this rate it would have to lose about 400 pounds or at least 300 real-world pounds at 8 to 10 speed automatic transmission with cylinder deactivation and start stop along with the e loop technology they are introducing in their sedans at this time

  • avatar

    “engineers having found where to best trim-away whatever was deemed unnecessary.”

    Sound insulation!

  • avatar

    I don’t know that it was the best idea to slap the rear from the current MDX on there. It’ll drag the MDX down market. It’s pretty generic, and doesn’t even say Pilot on it. Without any labels it reminds me of a Mazda 5.

  • avatar

    Too bad this wont hit the used market for a while or I’d be replacing my 08 Pilot with one of these pretty soon. Instead, I’ll be looking at a Minivan.

  • avatar

    Looks like a fat kid wearing hiking boots. I’m sure they’ll sell a zillion of them – a lot more than the existing Pilot, which stood out in a market (oversized mom-mobiles) where it pays to blend in – but that just means I’ll have to see more of these bloated things at the mall for the next six years.

  • avatar

    I have a strong feeling I’m going to hate anyone who drives behind me in one of these. Every big SUV shaped liked CRV tail gate just about anything they can get their front lights in sight of. I also got tailed gated by a Mercedes today the guy looked as if he was about to blow the top of his head off.

    Now on to the Civic refresh when is it coming so I can stop being bored about Nissan’s mini take over. This will look good in person unlike the new 200s the old ones are filling up the streets making the new ones look giagantic and bulbous. The old 200s look like poor mans BMW the new ones make me want to throw up I think its the a$$ part.

  • avatar
    Offbeat Oddity

    It looks like a winner to me- it’s handsomely and inoffensively styled inside and out, weighs less, has more room, and a sorely needed updated powertrain. Also, kudos to Honda for the relatively large greenhouse. I’m tired of the styling trend of making vehicles look like a coupe by reducing glass space.

  • avatar
    Minnesota Nice

    I like the front and side – interior looks like a typical Honda…glad to see it’s not too cheap, but it doesn’t really stand out either.

    The standard touch screen has been a huge issue for me since Honda started putting them in cars for 2014. I had a Civic EX-L sedan as a rental and I hated that screen. I own a 2013 Civic Si sedan with the standard head unit. It’s intuitive, simple, and the i-Mid read out on the dash shows every piece of information I would want.

    The touch screen, however, looks dated, was laggy, the lack of the volume button was utterly infuriating, and the information was redundant to what was on the i-Mid 90% of the time. Far too many screens in the car for my taste. I could stomach it if they’d put a volume knob on it. I can’t even fathom how the HR-V is going to have a touch HVAC as well. That put me off ever even considering the car.

    Lastly, these taillights…they look terrible. This is a $30-40K+ vehicle, and those taillights, to me, look very unfinished.

  • avatar

    Digital speedometer, and no dedicated volume knob?

    No thanks.

    Never mind the Explorer taillights, Fusion grill, and dash design with the little square blanks to the left of the wheel which tells me they just phoned it in.

  • avatar

    Totally hate this crossover. Probably the 9 speed will increase mpg and the interior finally looks decent and doesn’t look like it was pulled from a first gen Ford Escape BUT damn this is ugly. As peopled mentioned the Gillette chrome front, Pathfinder’s twin, bloated CRV styling don’t help this crossover. At least with the last gen boxy look I would have bought the car but I guess Honda has done their research and knows soccer moms mostly drive these now.

    My disappointment is only further fueled by Acura’s lame update to the RDX. Honda/Acura still makes very good cars but they have become so boring.

  • avatar

    The body looks okay, but those wheels look structurally retarded.

  • avatar

    Is it just me or does that center touch screen console look off centered. I’m sure there’s probably some buttons to the left of it.

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