Expert Reviews

2024 Honda Pilot Review

AutoTrader SCORE
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Safety

As far as referrals go, Honda gets plenty of owner and expert recommendations.

Those after a compact car are urged to check out the award-winning Civic, while the CR-V is an easy choice for buyers with small families and reasonable budgets. However, for those looking for a three-row crossover, the 2024 Honda Pilot struggles to stand out among the recently redesigned – and in some cases all-new – competition.

Styling: 7/10

The exterior styling is perhaps the best trait of the latest Pilot. Boxy and rugged in all the right ways, the styling is inspired more by the Ridgeline pickup than the softer CR-V or HR-V. Our tester featured an eye-catching coat of Diffused Sky Pearl paint, which is exclusive to the brand’s off-road-inspired Trailsport trims but costs an extra $300.

The Ridgeline Trailsport arrives with chunky all-terrain tires wrapped around 18-inch wheels, which help give it a bit more ground clearance. With that additional clearance, the Trailsport also includes protective steel skid plates underneath for the times when more adventurous routes beckon. Meanwhile, a black grille and roof rails, and grey wheels round out the rough-and-tumble look.

The cabin of the Pilot lacks personality but oozes practicality. The Trailsport has a bit of flair thanks to orange stitching in the upholstery with the trim’s logo and name embroidered on the headrests. Other vehicles in this class, like the Hyundai Palisade, have little details – like knurled controls – that help spice up the cabin.

Safety: 7/10

Though bland, the Pilot delivers plenty of safety-oriented features and technology. The list includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and an adaptive cruise control system that can bring the vehicle to a stop and continue again. Long known for its safety innovations, Honda continues its quest here with a new airbag for the front-seat passenger that acts like a baseball glove and cradles that occupant’s head in the event of a crash to prevent neck rotation. Better still, all these goodies are standard across the Pilot lineup.

Features: 7.5/10

A notable addition to this Trailsport trim is a full-size spare tire. It’s the only trim to offer this feature, and handy for anyone considering actually tackling a trail in their Trailsport.

Elsewhere, the cabin includes many of the features customers should expect in a mainstream three-row crossover like this. Those include heated front and second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, three-zone climate control, and a panoramic sunroof. The Pilot has a few USB-A and USB-C ports, although more would be nice, and a wireless phone charger. Higher trim levels include a head-up display, ventilated front seats, and built-in navigation.

On the family-friendly front, the Pilot has a broadcast system that amplifies the driver’s voice to the rear speakers. However, it’s missing the kind of convex mirror or video feed that’s handy for keeping an eye on kids from the front seats.

User-Friendliness: 7.5/10

There are several physical buttons and knobs for audio control and climate settings, helping drivers and occupants get comfortable and acquainted with the Pilot quickly and easily. There’s a nine-inch touchscreen (with basic models sporting a seven-inch unit) in the middle of the dashboard with integrated support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. However, only Android users get wireless functionality; iPhone users must use a cable to connect. The system is average at best, with a reasonable response, though it seems to take a while for some information to show on the screen during start-up. For example, grid lines on the rearview camera might not pop up immediately.

The seven-inch digital instrument display has plenty of information available to the driver in an easy-to-read and customizable format. Higher trims get a 10.2-inch setup.

Practicality: 8/10


Although it doesn’t have best-in-class cargo capacity, there are other ways the Pilot feels extra practical and family-friendly. A massive storage cubby is in the armrest, along with extra shelves on the door panels and on the dash in front of the front passenger, provide plenty of places for small items. The Trailsport also has a sizable rubber shelf between the second-row seats.

Due to the full-size spare tire here, the Trailsport has slightly less cargo room behind the third row than the rest of the Pilot lineup, with just 618 L of space compared to 635 L. There’s 1,685 L of space behind the second row of the Trailsport and Sport trims, while other trims have 1,702 L.

The Trailsport makes up for its reduced capacity when measuring from the first row, as it boasts 3,219 L of space compared to 3,175 L in the top trims, 3,183 L in the EX-L trim, and 3,166 L in the Sport.

The Pilot is at its best with the third row of seats folded, as it has tons of space for cargo and plenty of rear-seat space thanks to the sliding second row. Folding and raising the third row is done with straps, but it’s far from the elegant powered option found in some competitors.

Comfort: 8/10

The seats are reasonably plush and comfortable, though not the most bolstered or supportive to promote good posture. The front and second-row seats are heated, offering extra comfort on colder days, while the steering wheel is heated as well.

Ride quality is smooth when motoring around on pavement, though the Trailsport’s all-terrain tires make a bit of noise, which can be grating on longer trips. However, wind noise is managed well thanks to the standard active noise cancellation.

Power: 7/10

The Pilot is motivated by a 3.5L V6 engine with 285 hpand 262 lb-ft of torque. That power is routed through a 10-speed automatic transmission to an automatic all-wheel drive system. Altogether, the powertrain works adequately, allowing the three-row crossover to make passes with confidence and also cruise at a comfortable pace on the highway.

However, the competition offers more performance and efficiency. Rivals from Kia and Hyundai boast more horsepower, while offerings from Toyota and Mazda have hybrid options with more power and efficiency. While the Honda powertrain is smooth, it feels a bit dated.

Driving Feel: 8/10

Perhaps the best part of the Pilot is its on-road manners, which are docile and gentle. The ride quality is smooth, the steering is effortless, and the visibility is excellent. Some drivers may want a more responsive, dialled-in suspension, but the Trailsport is more on the floatier side, with an acceptable amount of body roll.

However, the safety nannies do get a bit oversensitive, especially with braking warnings – a common concern with Honda products.


Fuel Economy: 6/10

According to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the Pilot Trailsport model is a bit thirstier than the rest of the lineup, with an expected consumption of 13.0 L/100 km in the city, 10.3 on the highway, and 11.8 combined. That’s compared to an 11.0 L/100 km combined figure for other trims. Our week of testing saw the Pilot hover around 12.8 L/100 km.

Value: 6/10

The 2024 Honda Pilot starts at $55,350 including freight, while the Trailsport is priced at $61,850. A fully loaded Elite trim is $67,100. These prices seem a bit out of touch, as Kia, Hyundai, Mazda, and Toyota all offer competing vehicles with lower starting prices and standout features, including more tech, hybrid powertrains, and more space.

The Verdict

While the 2024 Honda Pilot has everything a family could want in a three-row crossover, other options in this class offer a bit more for the same or even less money. The redesigned Chevrolet Traverse, for example, has more power, and space while offering a hands-free driving feature. The Toyota Highlander and Grand Highlander can be equipped with fuel-sipping hybrid powertrains. The Mazda CX-90 offers a plug-in hybrid option. The Hyundai Palisade has massage seats and ventilated second-row seats. And the list goes on

As a result, the Pilot seems outclassed by its competition despite checking plenty of boxes. It’s good, but nothing spectacular, and given its pricing, you may find a better deal elsewhere.


Engine Displacement 3.5L
Engine Cylinders V6
Peak Horsepower 285 hp @ 6,100 rpm
Peak Torque 262 @ 5,000 rpm
Fuel Economy 13.0 / 10.3 / 11.8 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb
Cargo Space 618 / 1,685 / 3,219 behind 3rd/2nd/1st row
Model Tested 2024 Honda Pilot Trailsport
Base Price $59,850
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $2,000
Price as Tested $61,950