By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.8
For many buyers the 2014 Honda Pilot will be the perfect SUV. It's mid-size on the outside, with all the resultant benefits in maneuverability and parking ease, yet with the 8-passenger capacity of full-size models. Factor in proven Honda reliability and customer satisfaction, the pleasurable driving experience, good resale value, its comprehensive offering of features and that it's the most fuel-efficient 8-passenger SUV on the market, and it's very difficult not to like the 2014 Pilot. Its competitors include the Nissan Pathfinder, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander, all having their own attributes and attractions, but seating only seven passengers and lacking the Pilot's appeal. The 2014 Pilot is a near-ideal choice for reliable and efficient transportation for families and their gear.
Need room for eight people? Don't want a minivan? Don't want to mess with something bigger? Concerned about fuel economy? Looking for the peace of mind of proven reliability and customer satisfaction? Check out the 2014 Honda Pilot.
Maybe you really do need something bigger, or you tow a larger trailer than the 4,500-pound capacity the Pilot will handle. You probably ought to shop for something with a V8.
For 2014 the Honda Pilot continues without any significant changes.
Driving Impressions The 2014 Honda Pilot's driving characteristics are not what you might expect from its upright and somewhat squared-off look but, from behind the wheel, it feels very much like a...good-handling sedan, and not a particularly big one, at that. It starts with unit construction, a fully independent suspension and responsive rack-and-pinion steering, and the result is a smooth and comfortable ride, excellent directional stability on the highway and precise, predictable handling in the curves. The 250-horsepower V6 is willing but certainly not the most powerful in the group, yet delivers more than ample performance for daily driving or merging with freeway traffic. The Pilot with 4-wheel drive (4WD) should be excellent on assorted slippery surfaces, including snow. This is probably not the vehicle for severe off-roading, but the "lock mode" of the VTM-4WD system delivers the maximum-possible transfer of torque to the rear wheels to help deal with extremely low-traction conditions.
AUTOMATIC 4-WHEEL DRIVE
The Pilot's available Variable Torque Management (VTM-4) system includes fully automatic 4-wheel-drive capability and a "lock mode" that can send the maximum-possible torque to the rear wheels to help with extremely low-traction situations, such as getting out of stuck conditions.
VERSATILE 2ND-ROW SEATING
The 2014 Honda Pilot's 60/40-split 2nd-row seats slide and recline to comfortably accommodate adult-sized passengers. In addition, each of the three seats incorporates the LATCH child-safety system.
The 2014 Honda Pilot's interior is a study in efficiency. All controls are logically placed and easy to operate; there's nothing eye-popping, just basic good design that works well. Still, the interior is not bare or bland, and in the EX-L trim level it is luxuriously plush. Each of the three rows of seats provides more-than-adequate legroom, welcome in the mid-size category. Cargo capacity behind the rear seat is roughly equivalent to the trunk of a large sedan, there's a generous storage bin below the rear floor and plenty of roof space for a carrier rack.Exterior
With a fairly long wheelbase, short overhangs and generous interior space, the exterior of the 2014 Honda Pilot is defined by function and thus tends to upright and somewhat boxy. But it's not unpleasant and will certainly not go out of style in the next model cycle. Details include turn signals integrated into the halogen headlights, 17-inch steel wheels on the LX trim, 5-spoke, 18-inch alloy wheels on the EX and EX-L trim levels, and 6-spoke alloys with machined surfaces on the Touring models. The rear glass flips up for access to the cargo area.
The 2014 Honda Pilot LX includes 3-zone climate control, an 8-inch multi-information display with a rearview 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 memory for the front seats, rear sonar proximity sensors and a premium sound system. Safety items include comprehensive electronic stability controls and driving aids and a full complement of occupant-protection features.
Options for the 2014 Honda Pilot are mostly linked to the various trim levels. Among the available features are Variable Torque Management 4-wheel drive (VTM-4), a ceiling-mounted rear-seat DVD entertainment system and voice-activated navigation with integrated FM traffic data.
Admittedly not the strongest engine in the class, the 2014 Honda Pilot's 3.5-liter V6 makes 250 horsepower and is a willing and responsive performer for any reasonable driving situation the Pilot is likely to encounter. The 5-speed automatic transmission includes Grade Logic Control for maintaining the optimum gear selection when ascending or descending grades, thus minimizing annoying "hunting" between gears. With Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) the engine operates in 6-cylinder mode for maximum power or 4-cylinder or 3-cylinder mode for enhanced efficiency. The rear-wheel-drive (RWD) Pilot has the highest fuel-economy rating of any 8-passenger SUV, and the 4-wheel-drive Pilot (4WD) has the highest rating for any mid-size 4WD SUV. The Pilot also meets the tough ULEV-2 (Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle) rating of the California Air Resources Board.
250 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
253 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (RWD), 17/24 mpg (4WD)
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the base model 2014 Honda Pilot LX trim level with rear-wheel drive is right around $30,000. The well-equipped EX-L model, with leather and 4-wheel drive, is near $37,000, while a fully loaded Touring with 4WD, navigation and Rear Entertainment System is well over $41,000. Generally speaking, aside from Toyota's base 4-cylinder Highlander, most of the Pilot's likely competition will be priced starting in the low-$30,000 range. Before heading off to the dealership, check KBB.com for the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price and an indication of what the Pilot is actually selling for in your area. Resale is also a plus with the 2014 Honda Pilot, as it is expected to maintain residual values that are roughly competitive with those of the Toyota Highlander and Nissan Pathfinder and higher than those for the Chevrolet Traverse and Ford Explorer.
By Dick on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good gas mileage."
Cons: "Fit not up to stds. Braking on downhill! Aye!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Nice ride. Navigation not easy to operate. Voice command can't understand what you say. braking on steep downhill - front end shakes and vibrates, can't apply brakes hard."
By Tony on Sunday, March 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I purchased a 2014 have already put 10000 mi. on it ,went to Florida and back averaged around 21 MPG,NICE RIDE AND COMFORT,since owning have averged 18.9 MPG ABOUT 50/50 DRIVING.I traded a 2013 CRV with 24000 mi. in for the pilot to get more cargo space and,comfort,and it accomplised that mission,the CRV is also a great vehicle, but not enough space for my needs.I plan on driving this pilot for a long time,it can do it all with the 3rd row seating and towing capacity and the MPG not that bad for the size of vehicle,it also does very well in the IL. snow."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Pilot-owner_in-Maryland on Friday, March 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort, space, ride quality, smooth transmission!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My first Pilot was an '05 model, that I had for 7 years and 100K miles. Now I have a new 2014 EX 4WD that I love already. It's more hi-tech than my first Pilot, with a Bluetooth hands-free link and USB/MP3 ports. It's got the same strong, smooth engine and transmission as my first Pilot. Same spacious interior and cargo area. Same wonderful, smooth ride. A significantly quieter interior that blocks out almost all road noise. An even more beautiful exterior, that is unlike most other modern SUVs that have an ugly, glorified station wagon look. The same solid, very tough build. I love everything about this Pilot and if I were Honda, would not change a thing. It's a terrific vehicle!!!!"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By oshidashi on Monday, March 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfy, roomy, fun, versatile, pretty, practical"
Cons: "Nothing yet"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Had this SUV for 6 months of touring western US. Ran great in desert, beachside, and in mountains. Incredible space, and comfort for family of 7: 5 adults + 2 kids. We all fit and were very comfortable and all our "stuff" for a week in Yellowstone fit. Lots of nice extras like plenty of cup holders, lights for each row, hidden storage spaces, electric outlets, ... Ran great, got 18 mpg fully loaded, 4WD got us easily through some snow issues and mountain passes. Now setting it to tow a travel trailer - can tow a max of 4,,,,500 lbs. with its 4WD. Looks great, super visibility for driver, great stereo- played our iPods and we could adjust it play to only in front, all over, or only back. Same with AC and heater - each section of car could adjust to their needs. An A+++ ranking from our family. Mahalo Honda!"
11 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Al on Thursday, March 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good solid workhorse"
Cons: "Road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"It is good and solid, with a comfortable ride and plenty of pep. The only negative I can think of is the very annoying, excessive road noise."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Ken on Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Very disappointing gas mileage, both city and hwy. 18-19/22-23 Computer system is difficult to use and looks like a last minute add on. Nav. system is very difficult to operate and not up to date. Need touch system Back floor is slanted to the rear so that items slide out. Oil change at 3750 is very outdated. Most new cars are between 5000 and 7500. Downshift to 3rd gear is outdated. Most new cars downshift with touch of the brake. Sound system is adequate but not premium. Transmission should be a six speed. Comments are on a 2013 Honda Pilot Touring with all available options."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful