2016 Honda Pilot Preview

FAST FACTS
  • Completely redesigned
  • New, more powerful and fuel-efficient drivetrain
  • Improved interior comfort and utility
  • Expanded list of available features
  • Updated infotainment systems
  • HondaSensing suite of safety technologies
  • On sale in summer of 2015

Introduction

The 2016 Honda Pilot is completely redesigned, and debuted at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The new 8-passenger crossover SUV "sets a new benchmark in the midsize SUV class with an unmatched combination of sophistication and utility," said Jeff Conrad, Honda senior vice president and general manager.

Exterior Features

Designed in California, engineered in Ohio, and built in Alabama, the new 2016 Pilot is 3.5 in. longer than the 2015 model, adding enough extra cargo space that this SUV can now carry an 82-qt. cooler behind the third-row seat, according to Honda. Multiple trim levels will be offered, all equipped with LED headlights.

Interior Features

The new Pilot continues to offer 8-passenger seating capacity, and a new one-touch walk-in feature makes it easier to access the third-row seat. Honda also lowered the Pilot's step-in height, and increased third-row entry space by 2.5 in.

Honda says the new Pilot is quieter than the model it replaces and employs soft-touch materials and LED map lighting within the cabin. A new center console is designed to hold and conceal a tablet computer or a purse, and has a recessed top that can be used as a tray between the front seats.

Optional Features

Honda will offer numerous new optional features for the 2016 Pilot, ranging from safety equipment to new infotainment technologies. Additional highlights include second-row captain's chairs, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, heated steering wheel, and a panoramic sunroof. Exterior upgrades include LED running lights and 20-in. aluminum wheels.

Under the Hood

Weighing 300 fewer pounds, the new Pilot is more powerful and more fuel-efficient than the outgoing model. A new 3.5-liter V-6 engine debuts with direct fuel injection, Variable Cylinder Management technology, and an available Idle-Stop system. Final horsepower figures have not been released, but this same engine makes 290 horsepower in the Acura MDX.

A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard, while upper trim versions of the new Pilot will have a 9-speed automatic with the same control design as the Acura. Front-wheel drive is standard, and the Pilot gets a new, optional all-wheel-drive system for 2016.

Safety

In additional to underlying structural enhancements for improved crash protection, the 2016 Pilot is equipped with a new tire-pressure monitoring system with individual tire display.

Depending on the trim level selected, elements of the company's HondaSensing suite of safety systems are available for the new Pilot. Highlights include a multi-angle reversing camera, LaneWatch right-lane monitoring, traditional blind-spot information system, forward-collision warning with autonomous braking, lane-departure warning with autonomous correction, lane-keeping-assist technology, rear cross-traffic alert system, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights.

In addition to a more robust structure, the 2016 Pilot employs a new ultra-high-strength door ring to better protect occupants in a crash.

In the event that a collision occurs, the HondaLink smartphone services technology that is included with the optional navigation system features automatic 911 emergency services calling following a collision in which the Pilot's air bags have deployed.

Technology

For 2016, Honda claims it is easier to pair a smartphone to the Pilot's Bluetooth system. Up to five USB ports are also included for the new Pilot, most with quicker 2.5-amp charging capacity.

An 8-in. capacitive touch-screen infotainment system with a new Android-based operating system is available for the Pilot, along with a new navigation system featuring improved graphics and 3-D map display.

A Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system with a 9-in. screen is also available, along with HDMI video game inputs and a 115-volt power outlet.