2022 Honda Pilot
Honda Pilot Expert Review
The Honda Pilot could use a full redesign, as the current generation debuted way back in the 2016 model year. This won't happen for 2022, as the three-row SUV soldiers on with the same design, powertrain, and interior. An overhaul in the trim structure, however, means all Pilots are now well-equipped. The Pilot holds its own against popular competitors including the Toyota Highlander and Hyundai Palisade.
For the 2022 model year, the lower LX and EX trims exit the lineup. They will be replaced by a new, yet unnamed entry-level trim that Honda says will be well-equipped and aimed at younger buyers. A new Sonic Gray Pearl paint color also joins the lineup.
What We Think
Generally speaking, the Pilot has aged gracefully. After all these years, it's still quite competent on the road. It benefits from a smooth ride, and despite its size, precise steering makes it easy to maneuver. The standard V-6 engine is well-tuned and provides quick acceleration, but you may notice an occasional harsh shift from the nine-speed automatic transmission.
Open the doors, and the Pilot offers generous space all around. Even the third row can fit adults in a pinch. Third-row access is easy, too, since the second-row seats slide forward enough to give you ample room to climb inside. We appreciate thoughtful features such as a deep center console to store small items.
Where the interior falls short is its dated look. Still, this flaw wasn't enough to hold the Pilot back from winning a comparison test against the Toyota Highlander, which didn't feel as spacious or drive as well as its archrival.
Despite its age, the Pilot remains one of the more versatile three-row SUVs on the market. With a spacious, practical cabin, abundant safety features, and strong performance, the Pilot ticks off most of the important boxes.
Performance and Fuel Economy
All Pilots utilize a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. This power is routed through a nine-speed automatic transmission. We clocked the Pilot hitting 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, an exceptionally good time in its segment.
Fuel economy comes in at 20/27 mpg on FWD models and 19/26 mpg on AWD models. Those numbers are better than the 2022 Kia Telluride (20/26 mpg with FWD and 19/24 mpg with AWD).
Safety Ratings and Features
The 2022 Honda Pilot earns a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. This rating includes four stars in the front crash and rollover tests, and five stars in the side crash test. The 2021 model doesn't receive a Top Safety Pick designation like some of its competitors. The Pilot is held back by an Acceptable score in the passenger-side small overlap front crash test, which replicates what happens when the right corner of a car strikes an object at 40 mph.
The Pilot comes with a host of standard safety features. These include lane keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.
Cargo Space and Interior Room
When looking at the specs sheet, the Pilot isn't as impressive as the Telluride when it comes to cargo space and legroom. But when you actually hop inside the Honda, it feels plenty spacious for people and their gear. Unlike a lot of three-row SUVs, the third row is not a penalty box, offering a decent amount of space for children or adults. The Pilot seats up to eight people, although higher trims have second-row captain's chairs and will only seat seven.
Cargo space (behind first/second/third rows):
2022 Honda Pilot: 83.8/46.8/16.5 cubic feet
2022 Kia Telluride: 87.0/46.0/21.0 cubic feet
Legroom (first/second/third rows):
2022 Honda Pilot: 40.9/38.4/31.9 inches
2022 Kia Telluride: 41.4/42.4/31.4 inches
The Pilot is equipped with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Lower trims come with a seven-speaker sound system, but higher trims upgrade to a 10-speaker system. Other optional goodies include a wireless phone charger, on-board navigation, and a rear seat entertainment system with a 10.2-inch screen.
What Is the Honda Pilot Black Edition?
As its name suggests, this model features black exterior accents, including a black grille and black 20-inch alloy wheels. Inside the cabin, look for red ambient lighting and red stitching on the seats, as well as Black Edition badging. The Honda Pilot Black Edition is available exclusively with AWD and in seven-passenger configuration.
Honda offers six trim levels for the 2022 model year: the yet-unnamed base model, EX-L, Special Edition, Touring, Elite, and Black Edition. Expect prices to range from somewhere in the mid-$30,000s to more than $50,000 for the top model.
We're most tempted by the $40,000 EX-L trim, which feels upscale with its leather upholstery, heated front seats, and 10-way power driver's seat, as well as its one-touch power moonroof and electronically controlled second-row seats.