2013 Honda Pilot Review
Test drivers say the 2013 Honda Pilot offers a decent list of standard features, but falls well short of other midsize crossovers in terms of performance.
The Pilot comes equipped with a V6 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission on all trims. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. The 2013 Honda Pilot isn’t the most powerful SUV in the class, but reviewers think its power is adequate in most circumstances. Critics say the Pilot’s handling is decent for the class, but they say it’s harder to maneuver in city driving compared to other midsize SUVs, and has squishy brakes. The Pilot has good fuel economy estimates for the class, with 18/25 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive.
While a few automotive critics think the interior of the 2013 Pilot is bland, some like the basic look, which they say helps keep the controls and gauges intuitive, even when equipped with the optional navigation system. The Honda Pilot seats eight, and auto writers praise the first- and second-row seats, saying they are supportive and comfortable. The third row gets mixed reviews. Some say it is adult-friendly, while others feel that the seats should be left to kids. Standard features include Bluetooth, a backup camera and a touch-screen infotainment system. Notable optional features include navigation, an upgraded stereo system, satellite radio and a power liftgate.
- "It may not have the Ford Explorer's off-road credentials or the engaging persona of the Mazda CX-9, but the 2013 Honda Pilot succeeds in its ability to provide practical-minded buyers with dependable, comfortable and efficient transportation for their families." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Pilot delivers a rewarding combination of performance, utility, and passenger accommodations. … This remains a well executed crossover and one that's very much worth of a top spot on any family's shopping list." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Honda Pilot is a spacious and efficient mid-size crossover." -- Left Lane News
- "Overall, the … Honda Pilot still falls short of making the honor roll, though. The biggest issue remains unacceptably long stopping distances, which are significantly worse than its competitors. This, along with its sluggish acceleration, makes the Pilot tough to choose over well-rounded crossovers like the Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer and Mazda CX-9." -- Edmunds (2012)
Other SUVs to Consider
The Chevrolet Traverse is a good alternative to the Pilot because of its solid reliability rating and excellent cargo space. Reviewers think the Traverse is a good all-around SUV with a comfortable interior and car-like handling. It also has excellent safety scores.
If you want a capable commuter SUV that can also go off-road, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is worth a look. The Grand Cherokee has legendary off-road performance and reviewers say its interior is comfortable no matter if you’re on the highway or climbing steep mountains. The Grand Cherokee has a comparable reliability rating, but has lower fuel economy than the Pilot and only seats five.
Details: 2013 Honda Pilot
The eight-seat 2013 Honda Pilot comes in four trims: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. All trims come with a V6 engine matched to a five-speed automatic transmission. 2013 sees new standard equipment, which include Bluetooth, a touch-screen infotainment system, USB port and a backup camera. Higher trims include leather seats, heated front seats and satellite radio. The Pilot hasn’t been redesigned since 2009, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2009 to 2013 model years.