12 Best Family Cars: 2017 Honda Pilot
As one of the most recommendable vehicles in the industry, the 2017 Honda Pilot earns its standing among top family cars for a wide range of reasons. Roomy, value-packed, and unexpectedly refined, the Pilot is a complete package, which is also why we named it our Midsize SUV Best Buy two years running.
Unlike minivans, midsize SUVs don’t offer a great deal of rear cargo room when all three rows of seats are in use, but the Pilot offers a bit more than most. The cargo area also includes a handy underfloor cubby that can be used to hide valuables. The removable floor panel also stores neatly at the bottom of the bin when not in use. Folding down all rows of seats transforms the Pilot’s rear quarters into a cavernous storage bay that would make a U-Haul employee swoon.
When it comes to people moving, the Honda Pilot’s third-row seat is the best in the segment. While many 3-row SUVs can fit only two occupants in third row, the Pilot offers seating for three, upping max seating capacity to eight. Making matters even better is the fact that the Pilot’s third row isn’t some claustrophobia-inducing penalty box, either, but a legitimate seating arrangement capable of comfortably accommodating average-sized adults. Not to mention it’s also among the easiest third rows to access, particularly in upper trim levels that require just the push of a button to collapse and slide forward the second row.
Offered as twin captain’s chairs or a three-across bench, the 2017 Pilot’s sliding and reclining second row can comfortably seat just about anyone. Available second-row accouterments consist of individual climate controls, USB ports, DC power ports, manual window shades and a built-in video entertainment system. Finally, the front row serves up functionality in the form of a giant storage bin between the front seats, logically arranged cupholders, optional heated and ventilated front seats, a plethora of easy-access space for personal items, multiple USB ports, as well as a quick-witted, high-resolution touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
Mainstream nameplate, premium product
The Pilot’s interior is a case study in how mainstream vehicles are approaching luxury-like levels of refinement. There are soft-touch surfaces in all the right places, consistent interior panel gaps, and supportive front seats wrapped in soft leather (on models so equipped). This upscale ambiance continues on the road, where the Pilot’s cabin suppresses road and wind noise with the aplomb of a bona fide luxury crossover. Cornering performance, ride quality and acceleration all come off as class-above.
High-end feature content includes a panoramic moonroof, heated steering wheel, LED headlights, ambient interior lighting, and heated second-row seats. To put it another way, the Pilot can be fitted with just about everything available on a luxury-branded equal for at least $10,000 less.
Safety in all its forms
That a modern vehicle like the 2017 Honda Pilot earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) isn’t exactly groundbreaking news. But the Honda Pilot offers a slew of safety systems that help prevent an accident in the first place. The Honda Sensing suite of active safety systems is standard on Touring and Elite models and available on EX and EX-L models for a modest $1,000 premium. It adds automatic collision warning and braking, lane departure warning and assist, adaptive cruise control, and road departure prevention. That's in addition to standards like a multi-angle rear camera and Honda's right-side-view camera system dubbed Lane Watch. Plenty of automakers offer similar systems – apart from Lane Watch -- but with the Pilot you can get them on the mid-tier EX model for right around $34,000. The Honda Pilot makes certain safety and value need not be mutually exclusive.
More 2017 Honda Pilot
To learn more about the 2017 Honda Pilot, you can read our full review. If you’re ready to take the next step, build and price your own Pilot to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more. And if you want to keep looking around, head over to our Midsize SUV Buyer's Guide.