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Honda Pilot Interior

The redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot impresses the automotive press with upscale materials throughout the cabin. They mention that the interior is incredibly quiet, and some add that the posh look and feel of the Pilot's cabin could give the Acura MDX a run for its money. Test drivers remark that the Pilot has very comfortable front seats, a surprisingly spacious third row and lots of small-item storage areas throughout the cabin.

  • "While the last Pilot was plagued by hard plastic surfaces, the 2016 model has quality, soft-touch materials on the dash, door panels and armrests. The result is an ambiance that would be expected in the MDX from Honda's upscale division, Acura." -- AutoTrader
  • "Numerous padded surfaces and available two-tone color schemes give the interior an upscale appearance." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Yet as stark as the contrast is outside, it's the interior that truly surprises. Gone is the hard plastic on every surface, replaced with high-end materials, soft-touch surfaces, and satin finishes. It really does look and feel great, to the point that we wonder if it could steal sales from Honda's upscale Acura MDX." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The interior of the Pilot is quiet enough to put some luxury models to shame. Road and wind noise are virtually nonexistent, even at highway speed. Even the electric windows in the Pilot go up and down with little more than a faint whisper." -- Left Lane News

Seating

Most Honda Pilot models have seating for eight people in three rows, though the top Elite trim has heated second-row captain chairs and seats seven. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats are available. Several test drivers write that the front seats are some of the most comfortable in the class. They say the second row offers ample space and comment that the third row is also very spacious and offers sufficient space for adults to be comfortable for short trips.

  • "Step in and sit down, and the leather seats are arguably the most comfortable in the segment. They do a decent job of lateral support as well." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "With either setup, the second row has plenty of space, as well as a button on each outboard seat bottom that tilts and slides the seat forward in one easy step. … The 3-passenger third row is large enough for two adults or three kids, with excellent headroom and decent legroom. The seat bottom sits too low for good thigh support, so adults won't want to sit back there on a long trip, but this is one of the best third rows on the market." -- AutoTrader
  • "As would be expected of a vehicle this size, there's plenty of adult room in the 1st and 2nd seating rows. More surprising is the amount of room in the 3rd row. The 2nd-row seats slide fore and aft to adjust available 3rd-row legroom, and a low 3rd-row seat cushion allows for plenty of headroom, albeit with a knees-up seating position." -- Consumer Guide
  • "It's still a little low for tall adults to fit comfortably for lengthy road trips (you'd still need a minivan for that), but after sitting back-to-back in the aft-most quarters of the Highlander, Explorer, Traverse and Nissan Pathfinder, the 2016 Pilot's third-row legroom ultimately feels second only to the big Chevy." -- Edmunds
  • "Front seats are pillowy soft and easily among the most comfortable in the segment. … A human being with average proportions can actually sit in the way-back without needing to first cut off their head and legs. As long as they're not claustrophobic, two six-footers could ride around in the back of the Pilot without issue." -- Left Lane News

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2016 Honda Pilot include push-button start, a seven-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port and a rearview camera. Optional features include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, Honda's LaneWatch passenger side blind spot camera, adaptive cruise control, a power sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, a rear-seat entertainment system, HD Radio, satellite radio, a 10-speaker audio system and an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment display.

Reviewers are not enamored of all of the Pilot's tech features. They find that the touch-sensitive audio controls in upper trims are sometimes unresponsive to input. A few also wish there were knobs rather than buttons for climate adjustments. Still, reviewers say that the available infotainment display has straightforward menus and they note that the navigation system is easy to use and responds quickly.

See 2016 Honda Pilot specs »

  • "This [infotainment] system works pretty well, but Honda should add separate knobs for volume and tuning." -- AutoTrader
  • "You'll either love or hate this recent emphasis on the touchscreen. We're more or less used to it at this point, though we do once again wish there was a traditional volume-adjustment knob. The ability to zoom in on the fast-acting Garmin-based navigation screen with a simple two-finger pinch (as on, say, an iPad) is slick, though." -- AutoWeek
  • "At least on the higher-line models tested, audio settings are controlled entirely through the touch screen or - for some basic functions - through redundant steering-wheel buttons. Some of this we find a bit cumbersome (the sliding volume bar in particular), though it probably gets easier with familiarity. Climate controls are adjusted with repetitive-step buttons or flippers, something we find to be far more tedious to use than rotary dials." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The new available navigation system is powered by Garmin and more helpful than the outgoing nav. The system includes features like area speed limit signs, real-time traffic rerouting and a 3-D buildings-and-terrain display mode. With a logical menu structure and clearly marked 'back' and 'home' buttons, the system is easy to use." -- Cars.com
  • "The Pilot's ample eight-inch display (standard on the Touring and Elite trims) has menus that are easy to manage. A version of the Android operating system and Garmin navigation make up a pleasing software suite. That said, the touch-capacitive controls that sit on the driver's side of the display aren't very responsive, and when combined with the lack of haptic feedback, left us wondering if the 'buttons' had even registered our inputs." -- Autoblog

Cargo

The 2016 Pilot has 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 46.8 cubic feet behind the second row and 83.9 cubic feet behind the first row. The Pilot's overall cargo space is typical for a midsize SUV. Reviewers remark that the Pilot has plenty of cargo space for stuff like luggage and coolers, and they appreciate the hidden storage compartment below the cargo floor. They also are impressed with the abundance of cup holders and small-item storage throughout the cabin.

  • "Despite its less boxy, utilitarian appearance, the 2016 Pilot is just as useful for storing your stuff. Up front, there is a large forward bin for stashing a plugged-in phone, useful cupholders and a deep bin that's large enough to store at least one tablet or a small purse under its roll-away lid. There are also high-mounted bins and cupholders in the doors, the latter of which are boxy and a curiously perfect fit for Fiji water bottles." -- Edmunds
  • "Pilot has a decent amount behind the third row (16.5 cubic feet), second row (46.8 cubic feet) and first row (83.8 cubic feet). There's smart concealed storage beneath the load floor in the rear, a great place to stash a briefcase or computer bag out of site when parking." -- Forbes
  • "A large storage area resides just behind the shift lever. In addition to being large enough to hold a moderately sized purse, the cover is also rigid enough to support additional items. Smaller items can be stashed in a small cubby-hole that includes power outlets just under the center stack." -- Left Lane News
  • "The Pilot can swallow just about anything you can toss inside, be it small stuff - like mobile devices, snacks or purses - or bigger cargo, like coolers and strollers." -- Cars.com
Review Last Updated: 6/15/15

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