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2013 Honda Pilot

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2013 Honda Pilot Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.9

Many SUVs have a tendency to excel in certain areas and struggle in others, but the 2013 Honda Pilot strikes the right balance between value, performance and utility. The Honda Pilot offers the 8-passenger seating capacity of a full-size SUV while retaining the fuel economy of a mid-size model. The 7-passenger rivals, such as the new Nissan Pathfinder, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander, each offer a slightly different take on what the ideal mid-size SUV should be. It may not have the Ford Explorer's off-road credentials or the engaging persona of the Mazda CX-9, but the 2013 Honda Pilot succeeds in its ability to provide practical-minded buyers with dependable, comfortable and efficient transportation for their families.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need a fuel-efficient vehicle with room for eight passengers, but refuse to get behind the wheel of a minivan, the 2013 Honda Pilot is the right choice. It doesn't take an engineering degree to operate the interior controls and Honda's solid reputation for quality and reliability provides an extra measure of peace of mind.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Honda's decision to group popular options by model grade helps simplify the purchasing process, but this ordering structure makes it difficult to outfit the Pilot with your favorite individual options without shelling out the cash for a high-line trim level.

What's New for 2013

Three-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and an 8-inch multi-information display with a rear backup camera have been added to the Honda Pilot's list of standard equipment for the 2013 model year.

Driving the Pilot

Driving Impressions Despite its size, the 2013 Honda Pilot rides and drives very much like a large sedan. The Pilot's taut suspension limits body roll, squat and dive, yet is...

not so firm as to punish its passengers with every passing pothole or road distortion. On the highway the Pilot SUV tracks straight, and even strong wind gusts have little effect on its intended course. While the standard V6 delivers better fuel economy than the majority of its rivals, it is also the least powerful 6-cylinder of the group. Still, 250-horsepower is sufficient thrust for most daily driving situations. Although we didn't have a chance to test the Pilot's AWD system in the snow, we did venture up some dirt fire roads and found the VTM-4 AWD setup to be fairly capable of keeping the Pilot moving forward through dirt, loose gravel and mud. A lock mode on the Pilot's transmission mimics a low-range transfer case, keeping power permanently flowing to all four wheels at speeds under 18 mph.

STANDARD REAR-CAMERA DISPLAY
Reversing in tight quarters can be a bit unnerving at times, especially in a bulky 8-passenger SUV. To help eliminate most of the guesswork from backing out of parking spaces, every 2013 Honda Pilot features a standard rear backup camera linked to an 8-inch display.

VERSATILE 2ND-ROW SEATING
The 2013 Honda Pilot's 60/40-split second-row seats slide and recline to comfortably accommodate adult-sized passengers. In addition, each of the three seats incorporates the LATCH child safety system.

2013 Honda Pilot Details
Interior

In keeping with Honda's simple but functional design philosophy, the 2013 Pilot SUV's interior is a study in efficiency. The dash and instruments are easy to operate and logically placed. There are no fancy light shows here, no radical designs that look neat but don't work well in the real world, just the basics. Still, the Honda Pilot's interior is by no means stark, and in EX-L trim it is downright plush. Legroom is more than adequate in all three rows, an unusual and welcome attribute in this class. Rear cargo space with the third-row seat in place, however, is not so abundant. Luckily, there is a large storage bin below the rear cargo floor for random items, as well as ample roof space for a carrier rack.

Exterior

The 2013 Honda Pilot has a softer, less boxy and bland look than the previous generation, making it a bit more palatable to the fashion-conscious SUV driver. Still present are the Pilot's long wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs, a design that not only makes the Pilot SUV appear more solid and stable, but allows for easy maneuvering in tight spots. Honda's ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) body structure ensures maximum strength from the unit body, permitting the front end to absorb more energy in the event of an impact and protecting the passenger compartment and its contents. Stylistically, the 17- and 18-inch wheels really bring out the best in the Pilot SUV's design, while clever features such as the flip-up glass window on the tailgate and the standard integrated tow hitch serve a more functional purpose.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base 2013 Honda Pilot LX comes generously equipped with three-zone climate control, an 8-inch multi-information display with a backup camera and a 7-speaker audio system with Bluetooth. EX models add a 10-way power driver's seat, fog lights and automatic on/off headlights, while EX-L trims include a moonroof, leather seating with heated front seats and a power liftgate. Top-level Touring models include a 2-position memory feature for the front seats, rear sonar proximity sensors and a premium sound system. Occupant protection consists of six airbags, the usual sprinkling of electronic stability controls and active front head restraints to lessen the severity of whiplash-related injuries in the event of a rear-end impact.

Optional Equipment

Since most feature content is tied to trim level, the Honda Pilot's short list of optional equipment includes variable torque management four-wheel drive, a ceiling-mounted rear seat DVD entertainment system and voice-activated navigation with integrated FM traffic data.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Honda Pilot's 3.5-liter V6 engine employs Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology, which provides improvements in horsepower and torque as well as fuel economy. This VCM technology, similar to the system used in the current Honda Accord, allows the vehicle to run seamlessly on three, four or six cylinders, depending on driving conditions and requirements.

3.5-liter V6
250 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
253 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 17/24 mpg (4-wheel drive)

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2013 Honda Pilot Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 312 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Great vehicle!

By on Monday, June 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Lots of room."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is my second Honda Pilot and I am very happy with it. The 2011 model offers lots of cargo and passenger room."

34 people out of 61 found this review helpful

LOVE my Pilot Touring. First car at this level

By on Monday, June 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quality, roomy, fun to drive, bigger on the inside"

Cons: "gas pedal angle, sloping cargo floor,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Purchased my Honda Certified Pre-owned 2011 Pilot-Touring off a 2 yr lease that was turned in early, 17K mi. I had to replace front bushings in my 2nd year of ownership(about 49k mi) but Honda service replaced both for $200 when it was just out of warranty range. No other problems, drives like a dream. There is more road noise than should be at this luxury level of a car but far better than my old Odessey(which I also loved). The Pilot is bulkier than the Odessey Mainly because you can see the hood! However, it handles just as easily and you get used to it. The Pilot parks with ease but takes some getting used to if you are moving up from a smaller car. I really like sitting up higher and feel safe. Love the bumper impact warning sensors! Smooth luxurious ride. It has an excellent turning radius. I love the third row useable seat but a little hard to get to for many adults. Still has nice room behind 3rd row seats. Lots of room with all of seats folded down. Easy to transform to needed configuration. I would buy another certified Pre Owned Pilot Touring. Bad things: 1-Front passenger seat is beginning to show tiny cracks in the leather already. This shouldn't be happening. Cargo floor slopes a little when all seats are folded down. Flat would be nice but not critical. 2-The Pilot's Gas pedal is at an slightly odd angle. Both my husband and I noticed it right off. Hard to rest your foot. I got used to it. Noticeable on long trips. 3-Gas mileage is about 17 avg., as stated. 4-some road noise but not bad. I expected even less though, at this luxury level."

16 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Great vehicle. Terible mileage

By on Tuesday, June 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "All of the amenities"

Cons: "Terrible in town mileage."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my Pilot. I do not like the mileage I get in town. Sticker said 17 to 24 mpg. I get as low as 12 in town and a reasonable 23 on the highway. I have had no issues with this vehicle and I would buy another if and when the time is right."

19 people out of 51 found this review helpful

I LOVE MY PILOT TOURING!

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, Smart interior, good gas mileage"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my all time favorite car! This is my second one after my 2004 Pilot that has over 160,000+ problem free miles on it. I know that this is really early to say if the car is any good or not but I can already tell that it is superior to everything else! I know that the design is old but it is so smart and everything just works the way that it should. I looked at everything under the sun before going back to the Pilot. This includes Mercedes-Benz and other way more premium cars and the Pilot in my opinion is still the best! There is nothing that has the quality and the value of the Pilot or has the smart interior of this car. Also the exterior is tastefully traditional SUV which makes it not look like a tall Minivan without sliding doors. The powertrain is super smooth and gets excellent gas mileage! Honda really hit it out of the park with this car, if you purchase one you will not be disappointed!"

34 people out of 60 found this review helpful

pretty satisifed

By on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,800

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I love the SE model on the pilot, but chose for affordability to go with the LX. The seating is extremely comfortable. Very roomy and handles well."

12 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Love It!

By on Sunday, April 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My husband did not want anything but a Chevy, Ford, or Dodge. I wanted a CRV. He went with me so I wouldn't make an impulsive decision (ha ha). He loved the look, the ride, the mechanics, the price, and that most of it was made or assembled in the USA or Canada. He refused to test drive the CRV, but we left that day with the Pilot. I was reluctant, but it won me over too. The third seat is ideal for extra passengers and we have lots of room. The mileage is about 18-22 MPG, depending on in town or highway driving. The only thing that bothers me is, I usually have to back in and out of the parking space to get the big vehicle in the center of the parking spot. People still manage to give me "dings". I imagine that happens with most large vehicles. We plan to keep it for a long time."

22 people out of 38 found this review helpful

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