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 adadto3 (VA) on Monday, December 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great poor weather/snow vehicle"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"In 2009, purchased a new 2009 Pilot Touring 4WD and with 61000 miles on it now, I really have few bad things to say about it. Getting used to the feel of the vehicle when it is in ECO mode was an adjustment but other than that very satisfied. Seats 8 (several of them need to be small people to be comfortable), very good audio system, and slices through snow with little effort. It can carry a lot of people or stuff but not both. The fold down seats allow you to do a little of both but it is not a massive SUV. Gas mileage is OK, I get about 17 in the city and have done as good as 26 on the highway with 5 passengers total, no AC. Stock tires (in 2009) on the vehicle really provide great grip and I was able to get them again when I replaced them around 50000. They are more like an off road tire than a road tire but they do well and were quiet until about 50000. Honda needs to redesign this vehicle and when you buy the top trim level there is an expectation for things like automatic retracting side mirrors for example and even the 2014 doesn't offer them. Had a couple of quality issues with a visor (installed with no screws) and a rear power plug and needed a transmission repair (under an extended warranty) but other than that and regular oil changes, it has been dependable and inexpensive to keep on the road. Finally, this vehicle drives more like a truck than a car and provides that elevated view that I like. I would purchase another one but not before a redesign."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Dont Buy Honda (NY) on Tuesday, December 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "It starts in the morning"
Cons: "Paid $30,000 + for a re-furbished vehicle"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Purchased a NEW (2 miles on it) Honda Pilot. Within 3 weeks I noticed a 'defect' in the paint. After working with the dealership and Honda it was confirmed that, at the Honda Plant, they repainted the rear quarter of the vehicle. Honda's response was to paint it a 3rd time and they would give me some mudflaps for my inconvenience. When they repainted it (at the Factory), they left masking tape under the wheel well, re-installed rubber moldings that are warped and did a poor job painting it too. Honda will not stand behind their vehicle that should have had the paint work disclosed in the first place."
By Lee in Missouri (MO) on Tuesday, September 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very smooth and quiet driving SUV"
Cons: "Not enough power, needs more HP, and 6 speed trans"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"My Pilot EX-L has 11000 miles on it. It drives very quiet and smooth.MPG'S average about 19-21, highest on trip was 26.5. Seats are very comfortable with power adjust. Lumbar does not work very well. Dealer service has been excellant, with reasonable service prices. This is my 3rd Honda,( 2 prior cars were Odysseys."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Jeff (AZ) on Friday, September 13, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Utility, Smooth, Quiet Ride, Nice Electronics,"
Cons: "Cheaper Plastic dashboard, cluttered controls"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I purchased a new 2013 Pilot EX because of the room inside to put two bikes inside. I've had a Grand Cherokee, a Cherokee, an FX35 and now the Pilot EX. What I love: I get 24MPG city (got an extra 2MPG after replacing the air filter with a K&N). I can always tell when the ECO kicks in. It was annoying at first because you can feel the bump in the engine, but after a while, it reminds me to make subtle changes to the accelerator to keep it in ECO mode. I also love the bluetooth audio streaming and phone connections. The milage screen is awesome! Radio is adequate in the EX, but just adequate for a sub $30k automobile. Acceleration is also adequate, but not abundant. It's fine for me, because mileage is my priority. The car tends to look boxy, but I do like the look. The car is comfortable and quiet, despite some of the prior reviews. Storage is amazing and the car is forgiving and handles like a much smaller vehicle. This is one vehicle that once I get in, I don't speed and enjoy the ride. I find myself not in a rush all the time. What I don't love: The plastic dashboard and squeezed in controls. My Infiniti had all the buttons in the world but was smartly designed. The buttons, especially the A/C controls, are squeezed in together, which requires excessive looking when driving. The plastic dashboard makes it look "childproof," which was not the look I was going for, as a single guy. But overall, I'm very satisfied!"
10 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By AMH (OK) on Saturday, September 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great to drive, lots of space, and safe"
Cons: "Would always love better gas mileage!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I tell my husband all the time, "I love this car!" I love how it drives/handles, I feel very safe in it, I love the height/visibility, and I love the space for my kids. Strollers fit easily in the back and we can haul the kids, the dog, and all of our gear. Before this, I had two different Mercedes and then we had kids. We had a Jeep with a V8 that I enjoyed driving once strollers entered the picture, but the gas mileage was out of control. We got rid of that and bought this and could not be happier with the Pilot. Oh, I also love the fact that it takes regular gas and the maintenance compared to the German cars is wonderfully priced. I will drive these for a long time."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Emma (CO) on Wednesday, September 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned 4 Hondas over the years and switched to the 2011 4runner limited and wished I had purchased the pilot, I traded it in for the Honda and love every thing about it. I use it to tow a trailer and it has better power than the 4runner had. I will never buy anything but Honda from here on, lesson learned!"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful