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2018 Honda Pilot

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2018 LX 4dr Front-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $30,900
2018 LX 4dr All-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $32,800
2018 EX 4dr Front-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $33,330
2018 EX 4dr All-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $35,230
2018 EX-L 4dr Front-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $36,760
2018 EX-L 4dr All-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $38,660
2018 Touring 4dr Front-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $41,970
2018 Touring 4dr All-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $43,870
2018 Elite 4dr All-wheel Drive Price:   -  From $47,470
Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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The Honda Pilot has been a mainstay of the crossover niche since 2002. Even with the segment's burgeoning popularity and the ensuing scramble by automakers to cash in on the stilted-wagon mania, the Pilot remains a top pick amongst buyers. Why? For the same reasons Honda's other mainstream offerings have been successful – it's intuitive, reliable, well-built, and has a dash of that quintessential Honda ingenuity. Unsurprisingly, those traits all persevere into 2018.

What's New for 2018

There are no notable changes for the Honda Pilot for 2018.

Honda Pilot

Choosing Your Honda Pilot

Another reason the Pilot sells like hot dogs at a baseball game is because Honda offers so many different versions. With five trim levels, and four of those offering a choice of AWD or FWD, buyers have nine distinct iterations they can choose from. Then there's the options list to consider, which offers further opportunities to turn the straightforward act of picking a Pilot into one with all the simplicity of the Free Bird guitar solo. Specifically, buyers can opt for a rear-seat entertainment system, a navigation system, and the Honda Sensing Suite of safety technologies, which includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.

Where buyers don't have much of a choice is in the engine bay. All 2018 Pilots come standard with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Honda fanboys will be happy to hear that the classic VTEC variable valve-timing technology is present and accounted for, and newer advances such as direct-injection and variable cylinder management also play a role here. Somewhat surprisingly, no four-cylinder engine is offered, even though competitors such as the Chevy Traverse and Mazda CX-9 do have four-pot power on tap.

The three lower-tier Pilots use a familiar six-speed automatic, but the top two trims – Touring and Elite – have a nine-speed automatic. The FWD six-speed units have an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 19 miles per gallon city, 26 highway and 22 combined, and AWD models return 18/25/21. The additional cogs of the nine-speed boost the FWD Touring's rating to 20/27/23; the MPG of the AWD Touring and Elite increases to 19/26/22 over six-speed equipped AWD models. Speaking of the AWD system, getting power to all four wheels costs an extra $2,000 across the board.

Honda Pilot


The bottom rung of the Pilot ladder is the LX, which starts at $31,875 (all prices include the $975 destination charge). Standard features include intermittent wipers, power side mirrors (black), a tilt and telescope steering wheel, push-button start, a seven-speaker sound system, a five-inch color LCD infotainment screen, Bluetooth, speed-sensitive volume control, and a multi-angle rearview camera. There are no available options for the LX – buyers need to bounce up to the higher trims to have access to goodies like navigation and Honda Sensing Suite.

Honda Pilot


The first step up over the base LX is the $34,305 Pilot EX. It includes LED running lights, Honda LaneWatch (which uses a camera to show the passenger side lane when the right signal is activated), auto on/off halogen headlights, heated power mirrors, smart entry, fog lights, tri-zone climate control, HomeLink, illuminated vanity mirrors, a 10-way power driver's seat, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment display, AppleCarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM radio, and exterior thermometer. The only option is the Honda Sensing Suite.

Honda Pilot


The middle child of the five-sibling Pilot, the EX-L starts at $37,735. Additional standard features here include a power moonroof, a power tailgate, an acoustic glass windshield, integrated sunshades, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, one-touch second-row seats, a four-way power passenger seat, leather upholstery, and heated seats. This is the only trim level where buyers can choose to equip their Pilot with the rear entertainment system ($1,600), navigation ($1,000), and/or the Honda Sensing Suite ($1,000).

Honda Pilot


The switch from mere letters to a full word denotes the high-spec nature of the $42,945 Touring trim. It comes with idle stop/start, the nine-speed automatic, heated and powered mirrors with reverse tilt-down function and integrated LED signal indicators, chrome door handles, roof rails, body-colored parking sensors, ambient lighting, illuminated front cup holders, and a 540-watt, 10-speaker sound system. Navigation, rear seat entertainment system, and the Honda Sensing Suite are all standard on the Touring.

Honda Pilot


As the name alludes, the Elite is the highest trim available, and odds are it'll truly be elite in rarity alone – this is, after all, a $48,445 Pilot. For that not-insubstantial lump sum, buyers get second-row heated captain's seats, auto high-beam headlights, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers, a panoramic roof, LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, perforated front seats, HD radio, a corner and backup sensor indicator, and customizable feature settings.

CarsDirect Tip

The Elite is far too close to $50,000, and the extra features it comes with are frivolous at best. Because of this, we'd avoid it – you're better off buying an Acura MDX if you want a dressed-to-the-nines crossover built by Honda. We'd also stay away from the LX for the opposite reasons – it's too sparsely equipped to be worth the cost savings. So, which one would we pick? The EX. It combines a reasonable price with list of standard features that'll keep most drivers comfortable and satisfied.

Get your price on a Honda Pilot »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Contributing Writer

Looking past its understated design, average fuel economy, and fussy nine-speed automatic transmission, the 2018 Honda Pilot offers solid, predictable handling, a well-organized and nicely-appointed cabin, and an attractive array of advanced safety features.

Best Value

Prices for the Pilot begin at $31,875 for a front-wheel-drive LX and top out at $48,445 for an all-wheel-drive Elite. In between is a bewildering array of trims that can be chalked up to Honda's reliance on distinct models rather than trim-level option packages. Thankfully, choosing an engine is simpler – the only choice is a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 paired with either a six- (on LX, EX, and EX-L models) or nine-speed automatic (on Touring and Elite trims) transmission.

The usual power features are accounted for as well as keyless push-button start, a 5.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, LED brake lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a rearview camera. EX and EX-Ls with Honda Sensing – along with Touring, and Elite trims – come with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, and road departure mitigation. Honda's Lane Watch passenger-side camera is standard on EX, EX-L, and Touring models, while Elites have blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Considering the Pilot's family-friendly mission, we'd suggest the mid-range EX-L with Honda Sensing that features easy-to-clean leather seats and additional standard features like a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, three-zone automatic climate control, One-Touch second row seats that electrically move forward for easier access to the third row, roof rails, a power driver seat, heated front seats, satellite radio, and fog lights.

Here’s how we’d build it:

  • Model: 2018 Honda Pilot EX-L
  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6
  • Output: 280 hp / 262 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: 19 City / 27 Hwy
  • Options: All-wheel drive ($1,900), Honda Sensing ($1,000)
  • Base Price:$37,735 (including the $975 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$40,635


Honda Pilot

The V6 offers crisp acceleration and pairs nicely with either the smooth-shifting six-speed or the double-downshift-capable nine-speed automatic that holds gears longer. The ride is soft with plenty of compliance, the AWD system is quick to respond, while the driver-selectable traction-management system provides very good all-weather capability.

At the same time, the six-speed automatic is slower off the line and winds higher at highway speeds, the nine-speed suffers from occasional jerky shifts, and, the suspension seems sloppier with less control over wheel rebound and more noise compared to rivals. Additionally, the steering is also light with little feedback to the driver, fuel economy is only average, while advanced safety features are unavailable on the base model.


Although understated, the Pilot's design still manages to hit the the sweet spot between too dressy and overly macho. It's wrapped around a well-finished interior that takes its design cues from the latest Accord and storage solutions from the CR-V. Seating is supportive, the driving position is high and commanding, and the controls are intuitive. Storage includes 109 cubic feet behind the front row, 55.9 cubic feet behind the second row, and 18.5 cubic feet behind a third row that features enough space for adults.

Minor nits include no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on the LX, the lack of a One-Touch second row on LX and EX models, mediocre leather seat side bolsters, and – most glaringly – the absence of a volume knob on the radio.

The Best and Worst Things

The Pilot tempts with a nicely-trimmed cabin that offers plenty of cargo space. We only wish the nine-speed automatic was smoother and the driving experience was more engaging.

Right For? Wrong For?

Honda Pilot

The Pilot's spacious, well-appointed interior and long list of advanced safety features should entice safety-conscious families.

At the same time, enthusiasts will find that a number of competing vehicles offer crisper handling.

The Bottom Line

Despite middling fuel economy, a finicky nine-speed transmission, and the lack of a volume knob for the radio, the 2018 Honda Pilot's confidant handling, spacious and well-organized cabin, and broad lineup of advanced safety features make it a top choice in its class.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
3.5L V-6 / 280 HP / 262 ft.lbs.
6-spd auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
19 / 27 / 23 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
3.5L V-6 / 280 HP / 262 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
19 / 27 / 23 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
19.5 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
83.9 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
153 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
194.5 "
Exterior Width
78.6 "
Exterior Height
69.8 "
Front Headroom
40.1 "
Rear Headroom
40.2 "
Front Legroom
40.9 "
Rear Legroom
38.4 "
Front Shoulder Room
62.0 "
Rear Shoulder Room
62.0 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
4,054 Lbs.
Wheel Base
111 "
Turning Radius
19.7 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
18.0 " Machined Aluminum / 20.0 " Black Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Body-colored / Front Body-colored With Chrome Insert
Grille Moldings
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Split-bench
Radio & Infotainment
Am/fm Stereo, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
One Touch Open Window
Driver And Passenger
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Smartvent Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Smartvent Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles

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