12 Best Family Cars: 2019 Honda Pilot
- Honda’s 3-row SUV has standard seating for 8, with 7-passenger setup optional
- HondaSensing suite of safety and driver assist features is standard
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard on all but base trims
- Slew of features aimed to make transporting the kids safer and less stressful
- V6 standard across the lineup
- Pricing starts at $32,445 | Price yours
Three-row SUVs are the popular members of today’s class of family haulers, and the Honda Pilot is a role-model student among them. In fact, it might just be the valedictorian. Like its little sibling the CR-V, the Pilot is so well-rounded that it’s almost astonishing. Honda’s 3-row SUV is brimming with safety features, has ample room for up to eight passengers, boasts the latest technology, and holds its value for years to come. Under the hood is a standard V6 engine, there’s an available all-wheel drive system with a surprising penchant for adventure, and of course Honda’s well-regarded reliability. The 2019 Honda Pilot is a repeat winner on this list, and multi-year winner of the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award for midsize SUVs.
The 2019 Honda Pilot is offered in five trims, from the relatively simple LX to the upscale Elite that could pass for a luxury vehicle. No matter which you choose, the Pilot comes with the Honda Sensing. This suite of safety and driver-assistance features includes systems that can keep the vehicle within lanes and from running off the road, and another that can automatically apply the brakes to prevent or lessen the severity of a collision. Also included is adaptive cruise control, a potential stress reliever if your commutes involve slogging through highway traffic.
We recommend stepping up at least one trim, to the EX, which adds blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The former will warn you of other vehicles in your – you guessed it – blind spot, while the latter will alert you of cars approaching when backing out of a parking spot. EX models and above also come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. If you haven’t used these systems, you’ll never want to go back after doing so.
Room for friends, nifty features
The Pilot is among the roomiest 3-row crossover SUVs in its class, with standard seating for eight. Also available is a 7-passenger setup that swaps the second-row bench seat for a pair of comfortable captain’s chairs. Behind the last row is good space for gear, and we appreciate the under floor storage that securely holds even more.
If you need further proof that the Pilot was made with families in mind, just consider one of its niftiest features: CabinTalk. This acts as a PA system, enabling you as the driver to communicate with the kids in back via the speakers or, if they are using rear-seat headphones, directly into their ears. Combined with the “conversation mirror,” these features can save your voice and sanity.
V6 power, all-wheel drive
The Honda Pilot continues to come with a V6 that offers good power and respectable abilities. The Pilot is front-wheel drive by nature, but all-wheel drive is offered and a good idea if you deal with slick roads or desire some off-highway adventure. You won’t exactly be rock crawling, but we can attest that an all-wheel drive Pilot has far more capability than you might expect, and combined with its Intelligent Traction Management system in EX and above models, you can optimize the SUV to better tackle snow, mud, and sand.
The Pilot also puts up some good towing numbers. Front-drive models are rated to pull up to 3,500 pounds, while AWD variants can do 5,000 pounds. Put it all together, and the Pilot equates to a safe, comfortable, and practical crossover that lives to faithfully transport families and their stuff.
More 2019 Honda Pilot