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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 335 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

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

most reliable vehicle ever owned

By on Friday, July 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "dependable, engine excellent, comfort ride, loaded"

Cons: "needs shocks"

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

"This Honda is the best car I ever owned. The only reason I'm selling is that I want to downsize and have a car with fewer miles on it to be my last car (my age is 75). The only thing wrong with it that I know of is that it needs shocks. I have complete service records; it has been serviced always at proper intervals. No Current Photo available"

IT IS THE BEST CAR/SUV I HAVE EVERT HAD.

By on Thursday, July 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

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: "JUST FUN."

Cons: "ALL GOOD"

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

"I LOVE THIS CAR THE KIDS LOVE THIS CAR AND MY WIFE LOVE THIS CAR. ON ROAD TRIPS THIS IS THE WAY TO GO."

Great Car

By on Monday, June 6, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: 50,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, smooth ride and good on gas."

Cons: "Tank like feel on the road due toits square shape"

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

"I really enjoyed driving the 2011 Pilot it handeled the road well, decent gas milage for the size and I traded it only to upgrade the safety features."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great Vehicle!

By on Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

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: "Lot's of nice features;great ergonomics inside-out"

Cons: "Gas mileage could be improved"

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

"We just bought our's, but it's already working wonders for us. We purchased it for a hefty number, so we hope we made a smart purchase. My husband and I have had a long positive history with Hondas and we hope that, that legacy continues. We enjoy the smoothness of the drive. How heavy the vehicle is for better traction. The all wheel drive is something new for us and the eco option that kicks in automatically. That hidden built in LCD screen for the back camera is unique! LOve it. We have a 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

3 family members have them this is my 2nd

By on Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "safe reiable roomy"

Cons: "not so good gas mi. 19-24mpg"

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

"I owned a 03 and put 165k miles on it, no repairs other than normal; tires brakes oil change etc. Always did scheduled maintenance (No need for Extended warranties)only traded in because back at that time third row was too small for my 5 grand-kids. A a few years and disappointments from Scion and two fords Finally was able to go out and purchase a used 2011 (More room in 3rd row now)My daughter also went out and purchased 2011 pilot also (Her husband bought a 2015 also) I can't say enough on how safe and liable our pilots have been"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Decent SUV with some odd omissions

By on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Decent SUV"

Cons: "Basic features are considered "luxuries""

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

"The 2011 Honda Pilot is a reasonable SUV, but Honda made some strange design decisions on it. For example, on the base model only the driver's door unlocks automatically when you remove the key from the ignition. Having all the doors unlock is considered a "luxury" and requires an upgrade to a higher trim level. Also, yes, it seats eight, but if you're going on a road trip with that many people, there is no room for all their stuff. The amount of space for luggage in that case is comparable to a compact car, so you'd have to rent or buy a trailer. Also, by 2011 portable music players are very much the standard, so why should USB ports to connect players be considered a "luxury" also demanding a trim upgrade? That said, think carefully before investing in this model year Pilot based on the lack of features in the base model. That aside, mechanically it is decent, but somewhat lacking in power. Also, the gas tank is small for an SUV."

6 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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