SEATTLE — The Pilot is easily one of the best-selling SUVs around and for many good reasons. It’s a Honda, which helps consumers feel confident in its reliability and resale value and it also offers plenty of features to make it a worthy contender.
The all-new Black Edition features a Crystal Black Pearl paint job with black wheels, tinted windows, as well as a black grille. While one could make the case that Honda has gone overboard on the black, there’s no doubt that it looks cool.
Under its hood is the now all-too-familiar 3.5-liter V6 VTEC engine that’s good for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The nine-speed automatic features shifter paddles on the steering wheel and does a good job of both holding the gear when needed and finding a good, smooth transition between gears. You’ll hear a nice little growl from the exhaust as you press firmly on the accelerator pedal. Honda has done an admirable job of keeping overall sounds at bay as well by using activate engine mounts and cylinder deactivation.
The EPA gives a rating of up to 26 miles per gallon at highway speeds and only 19 in city driving, or a combined rating at 22 miles per gallon. Towing capacity is rated at 5,000 pounds.
All-wheel-drive is standard on this Black Edition and features four selectable drive modes, including Normal, Mud, Sand and Snow. This selectability between traction types gives the driver a good sense of control during the most demanding road conditions. While the Pilot isn’t exactly an off-road-worthy SUV, you can do some mild to moderate off-roading. Just bear in mind it’s somewhat limiting height limitations.
Inside, the black theme continues with some great-looking, comfortable black leather seats, black surfaces that are augmented with some nice contrasting tones. Even though the tech in the navigation system is starting to show a big of age, you do get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, standard on the top two trim levels. The audio quality is good, but a far cry from the systems we find in Honda’s competitors.
This top-trim level also included a drop-down video screen for DVD viewing, along with two pairs of headphones so passengers can listen discretely to either movies or the various audio input selections.
As far as driver aids go, you have standard land departure warning and lane-keeping assist as well as adaptive cruise control and blind-spot warning indicators.
Its four captain chairs offer excellent comfort and support for long drives. Even the third row is rather spacious compared to other competitive vehicles. Cargo is 16.5 cubic feet with the third-row up, 46.5 with it folded down, and with both rows down, you get an ample 84 cubic feet.
What’s great about the Pilot is how well it handles itself on the road. It’s very comfortable for extended road trips, has very good handling and excellent acceleration. The creature comforts for all passengers is amongst the best you’ll find in any three-row SUV.
The torque-vectoring spends 70-percent of its power to the rear wheels, which is one of the big reasons we love driving it.
While the Black Edition Pilot is the most expensive trim-level of the Pilot line at just over $50k – it’s only an additional $1500 over the Elite version.
If you’re shopping for a fully-capable, seven-passenger SUV, then you definitely owe it to yourself to book a test drive on this Black Edition Pilot. It’s a worthy competitor as it offers good looks, good power, good tech, and Honda reliability.