Focusing on putting families at ease, the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot made its debut today at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Honda says the new 2016 Pilot is a radical design departure from previous models while still relying on its core value of capability, reliability and safety.
Completely New Exterior Styling
On the outside, the new Pilot is indeed a departure from the older Pilot models. Honda says it really thought “outside the box” with sleek lines, sharp styling cues and 20-inch wheels, which are a first for Honda. The new front fascia and rear hatch are designed to be more engaging and striking.
“With looks that command attention and the powerful presence of true functionality, the 2016 Pilot sets a new benchmark in the midsize SUV class with an unmatched combination of sophistication and utility,” says Jeff Conrad, Honda Division senior vice president and general manager. “This means the all-new Pilot will comfort, entertain and assist active families in all aspects of their lives, whether it’s an evening out for two, a road trip adventure for all or just the chores of everyday life.”
Also breaking new ground for Honda is the use of optional LED lights which are brighter, more efficient and feature automatic high beam technology. There are also available LED daytime running lights and taillights. With these lights active, the new Honda Pilot will cut a striking silhouette at night.
Family First Interior
While the outside offers more character than previous models, the interior is really aimed at being more comfortable and family friendly.
Starting with the front, Honda has redesigned the entire instrument panel and added new high-quality, soft-touch materials throughout the cabin. Additionally, Honda added more luxury features than ever before, including heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated second-row seats. Plus, for the first time, upper-trim level Pilot models will be offered with second-row captain’s chairs.
As you move into the second row, Honda engineers worked on creating more space for families and to also make it easier to access the optional third-row. Speaking of accessing the third-row, there is a new push-button system that automatically moves the second-row seat forward and folds it down. Honda Pilot Chief Engineer Marc Ernst says the system is so easy “a child can operate it.”
Finally at the rear, Honda focused on increasing the cargo room while slightly increasing the vehicle’s length. By recessing the rear frame by using more high-strength steel, Honda was able to create so much room that an 82-quart cooler will easily fit. Plus, the third-row entryway was dropped 1 inch and overall width increased 2.5 inches.
Technology Plays Large Role
A key component of the new 2016 Honda Pilot is the extensive use of technology offerings throughout the cabin. From a new front-row center console with room to stow tablets and cell phones, to a scattering of five USB ports (four with 2.5 amps) that are able to charge up to four iPads simultaneously.
These technology options are further accented by a brand-new navigation system with more intuitive landmarks and instructions. This new navigation system has an 8-inch screen and is powered by Android software.
For the kids, the rear-seat entertainment system was also redone with an increase in screen resolution and the addition of Blu-Ray functionality. Also, there are additional headphone jacks, an HDMI jack for video games and two different charging options with two 12-volt power outlets and a 115-volt outlet.
Under the Hood
Powering the new 2016 Honda Pilot is a new 3.5L V6 engine that offers direct injection and Honda’s variable cylinder management. This engine is paired with either a six-speed automatic transmission or a new nine-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
The redesigned Pilot is also 300 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. Fuel economy, horsepower and torque numbers aren’t yet available, but these updates mean that the redesigned Pilot will likely offer best-in-class fuel economy.
New Honda-First Safety Features
With this new 2016 Honda Pilot, Honda says they are aiming for the top IIHS safety ratings. This is thanks to the extensive use of high-strength steel in the doors and in the frame. This design also provides a smoother ride with better handling.
Honda is offering the 2016 Pilot with available blind spot monitoring, forward collision alert, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and cross traffic alert. A new road departure mitigation system is also available.
The 2016 Honda Pilot is expected to hit dealerships in the fall of 2015. Pricing has yet to be announced.