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2013 Honda Pilot

Overview
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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 274 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
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Excellent Family Car and traveling

By on Friday, July 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great Price. Good MPG. Holds 2 adults 4"

Cons: "radio lacking some options."

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

"Great car. Purchased one new for 29,000. We have put a lot of miles on this car in 1 year. Over 20,000. Lots of traveling on road trip up the mountains and to the beach. Handles great in the snow. Good MPG around 25MPG on long trips packed with 2 dogs and 4 small children. ONly complaint is the radio, lacks some controls. But the bluetooth is easy to use and the radio is very good. I love how the seats can move around. Easy to carry 2 adults 4 children and 2 dogs!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great SUV!!

By on Sunday, June 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, Roomy, Great Quality"

Cons: "Pricey"

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

"I love the Honda Pilot. This is the 2nd one that I have owned. My current Pilot has 105,000 miles & still going strong. It has never been in the shop, other than routine maintenance. This vehicle has plenty of room and drives great. In the past, I have owned another Pilot, a Chevy Trailblazer, and a Chevy Tahoe. For the money, I would have to say with the Pilot you get more bang for your buck. Although the Tahoe was a great vehicle, gas prices are much better with the V6 engine that you get with the Pilot. Also with Honda's reputation, I am sure this car will be good for at least another 100,000 miles."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Very good SUV

By on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Does almost every thing well, and in comfort"

Cons: "Plastic interior parts and clunky navigation"

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

"We leased a 2011 Touring 4WD, and bought it out at the end of the term because we really liked the car and it has been a very reliable SUV. It does most every thing well. Only complaints are that the navigation interface is kind of clunky and there is lots of cheap plastic inside the cabin. The carpet in the cargo area unfortunately grabs sand and debris and won't let go. Overall a very nice, roomy, dependable SUV that we expect will probably last us well for several more years. Don't think we could have made a better choice on a 2011 vehicle."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great Value and Car for the Money

By on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great value, easy to drive, safe, fast for segment"

Cons: "lacking in some new "2014 Features""

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

"By no means is this car considered to be in "luxury" segment, but in this car, its not missed. Its functional, practical, reliable, honest, and useful. In the two years we have owned this car, it has started up, every single time, without failure. The only place where this car is lacking is in the active safety features and cheap plastics on the interior. It should have BSM (Blind Spot Monitoring), LDW (Land Departure Warning), and FCW (Forward Collision Warning) seeing as this is a bigger car. Although the visibility is good, it would be nice to see and have added safety as children are typically in this car. Within the interior, there are many soft touch, padded, leather wrapped materials, but the center stack and dashboard are lacking in quality. They look cheap but the fit and finish is excellent. It has been very comfortable on long trips. The kids do not complain of anything in the back seats, and the front seats are very supportive and have a good range of motion. This car drives as a much smaller car yet, the limits are quickly approached, and there is a noticeable amount of body roll. It has a smooth 5 Speed A/T although that produces a smooth, agile, and refined ride, although if Honda Opted to go with a 6 or even 7 speed A/T this car would not suffer as much at the pump. Overall, we have been very happy with this vehicle as it has been easy to maintain, reliable, and comfortable."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I've ever owned!

By on Thursday, June 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,678

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "roomy, fun to drive, economically sound"

Cons: "maintenance costly; dealership hikes up prices"

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

"I had always heard about the great reviews Honda vehicles got year in and year out. However, I was never financially able to own one. The first chance I got and when I did become financially able, I purchased one. Now I know why other Honda owners have cars that are 10, 15, & 20 years old. I love this vehicle. So much so that I bought it for myself. I bought my wife another vehicle from another brand and she immediately switched with me because of how much she liked the overall better quality and feel. Guess I'm stuck unless I can financially buy another!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

My 5th Honda Pilot

By on Wednesday, June 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Plenty of room and easy to drive."

Cons: "Fit and trim is marginal."

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

"I have owned a 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010 and now a 2012 Honda Pilot. I love them but have noticed that the quality of interior fit and trim has gone down. In addition the software has become much more difficult to set up and use. I am hoping this will improve for the 2015 Model, if not I may have to look at Toyota."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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