People who like SUVs really like the Honda Pilot. It’s good for families, dependable, and can do different things. But, it has had some tough times too. This story is about the best and hardest years of the Honda Pilot. We’ll find out why each year was special or tough.
The best years for Honda Pilot are generally seen as 2008 to 2015, and also the latest 2021 to 2023. These models are known for being reliable, tough, and having lots of space inside. They also come with advanced safety features that the older ones didn’t have. The worst years were 2003 to 2007. Some of these Pilots had issues with their transmission, electrical stuff, and engine. But remember, not all of them had problems, and most of them are reliable.
The Honda Pilot is a mid-size SUV. It started in 2003 and families liked it right away. It’s roomy inside, rides comfortably, and always works well.
The first Pilot had two engines to pick from a 3.5L V6 or a 3.0L V6. It came in two versions: LX and EX. Critics and people who buy cars both liked the Pilot a lot, and Honda sold many.
In 2008, the new Pilot came out. It looked more modern, had a stronger engine, and was more fancy inside. This time, you could also get all-wheel drive. More people loved the second Pilot, and it became a top choice among mid-size SUVs.
In 2016, the third Pilot was here. It had an even nicer design, a fancier interior, and more things that come standard. Plus, you could now get a third row of seats. This Pilot still does great, and lots of people want it.
What Makes People Like the Honda Pilot
- Trustworthy: The Pilot is known for not breaking down. People always say it’s dependable, and that’s a big deal.
- Feels Good: Driving or riding in the Pilot is comfy. There’s a lot of space inside, and the seats are nice, even on long trips.
- Cool Stuff: The Pilot has lots of cool things, like a sunroof, heated seats, a camera that helps you see behind you, and a GPS. It’s also got safety things like a warning if you start to leave your lane or if you’re getting too close to the car in front.
- Good Deal: The Pilot doesn’t cost too much for what you get. It’s priced fair compared to other SUVs like it. And it has many nice features for the price.
The Best Years of Honda Pilot
- 2008: The 2008 Pilot was the first to have an all-wheel drive. It got better in many ways – a stronger engine, smoother ride, and fancier inside. Great for families who wanted a tough and comfy SUV.
- 2011: In 2011, the Pilot got cool updates. It looked different in the front and back and had a new inside too. Plus, the new engine used less fuel. A good choice for those who wanted a SUV that’s friendly with gas.
- 2016: The 2016 Pilot was totally new. It looked more modern, had more space inside, and had smarter technology. Perfect for people who wanted a stylish and tech-savvy SUV.
The Worst Years For Honda Pilot
According to NHTSA reports, and consumers Review reports. 2003 To 2007, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020 are the worst years for Honda Pilot. Because these Models years have got many more recalls and complaints. That’s why, these are the worst years for Honda Pilot.
Interior comfort and spaciousness improvements
|Feature||2003 Model||2023 Model|
|Front legroom||40.1 inches||41.3 inches|
|Front headroom||38.9 inches||40.3 inches|
|Second-row legroom||37.7 inches||39.3 inches|
|Third-row legroom||29.5 inches||32.0 inches|
|Cargo space behind third row||16.5 cubic feet||18.5 cubic feet|
|Cargo space behind the third row||46.8 cubic feet||83.9 cubic feet|
Notable Changes and Upgrades
- 2008: The Pilot got a big makeover in 2008. It looked more modern outside and got fancier inside. Plus, a new engine made it use less fuel.
- 2011: In 2011, the Pilot got some updates. It got a new face and cool taillights on the outside. Inside, it got better technology like a camera for looking behind and Bluetooth.
- 2016: The Pilot got another big change in 2016. It got tougher on the outside and more comfy inside. Also, a new engine made it perform better and use less fuel.
- 2020: In 2020, the Pilot got a little update. It got new lights outside and a touchscreen inside. It also now works with phones like Apple and Android.
- 2023: Big changes came in 2023. The Pilot got a new look in the front and back, and inside it became fancier. A new engine also made it perform better and use less fuel.
Significant updates that have occurred during the Honda Pilot’s production
|Year||Exterior Updates||Interior Updates||Technology Updates||Safety Updates|
|2008||Major redesign||The new front fascia, taillights, and wheels||New engine, Bluetooth, and rearview camera||New side-curtain airbags|
|2011||Mid-cycle refresh||New front fascia, taillights, and wheels||Rearview camera standard, new technology features||New Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning systems|
|2016||Major redesign||The new front fascia, taillights, and wheels||New interior layout, standard touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto||New Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control systems|
|2020||Minor update||New headlights and taillights||The new front fascia, taillights, and wheels||New Road Departure Mitigation system|
|2023||Major update||The standard touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto||New interior layout, standard Honda Sensing suite of safety features||New Traffic Jam Assist system|
Consumer Feedback and Ratings
2003-2007 Model Years
- Good Things: People liked the roomy inside, the comfy ride, and how well it worked. They also liked the price and all the things it came with.
- Issues: Some folks didn’t like how much fuel it used. Others had trouble with the transmission and electrical stuff.
- Solutions: Honda fixed these issues in newer models. They made it use less fuel, and they made the transmission and electrical stuff more dependable.
2008-2015 Model Years
- Good Things: People liked how it looked outside, the strong engine, and how it used less fuel. They also liked the safety features that came with it.
- Issues: Some folks found the third-row seat a bit small, and the blind spot system had issues.
- Solutions: Honda made the third-row seat more spacious in later models and made the blind spot system better.
2016-Present Model Years
- Good Things: People liked the modern look, the room inside, and the strong engine. They also liked the safety features and the all-wheel drive option.
- Issues: Some folks thought it was a bit pricey, and there were problems with the infotainment system.
- Solutions: Honda improved the infotainment system in newer models and made a more affordable version called the LX.
Awards and Recognitions
The safety awards and crash test ratings for the Honda Pilot
|2008||Top Safety Pick+||5-star|
|2011||Top Safety Pick+||5-star|
|2016||Top Safety Pick+||5-star|
|2020||Top Safety Pick+||5-star|
|2023||Top Safety Pick+||5-star|
Best-in-class accolades for the Honda Pilot in various categories
|Safety||IIHS Top Safety Pick+|
|Fuel economy||EPA-estimated 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway|
|Cargo space||83.9 cubic feet behind second row|
|Passenger space||160.5 cubic feet|
|Value for the money||U.S. News & World Report Best SUV for Families award|
Longevity and Mileage
Long-term durability and performance of Honda Pilot models in relation to mileage
|Model Year||Reliability||Durability||Mileage Rating|
|2003-2007||Generally reliable||Generally durable||Good|
|2008-2015||Very reliable||Very durable||Excellent|
|2016-Present||Reports suggest reliability and durability are on par with previous generations||Early reports suggest durability is excellent||Excellent|
1. What are the best years of the Honda Pilot?
The top years for the Honda Pilot are generally seen as 2008 to 2015. These models are known for being reliable, tough, and having lots of space inside. They also come with advanced safety features that the older ones didn’t have.
2. What are the worst years of the Honda Pilot?
The worst years were 2003 to 2007. Some of these Pilots had issues with their transmission, electrical stuff, and engine. But remember, not all of them had problems, and most of them are reliable.
3. What are some of the most common problems with the Honda Pilot?
- Transmission: Some Pilots might have transmission issues, like slipping or pausing. Fixing these can be costly.
- Electrical: Lights blinking or gauges acting strange could be electrical problems.
- Engine: Watch for oil leaks or overheating. Serious engine problems can lead to a breakdown.
4. How can I avoid buying a Honda Pilot with problems?
- Buy from a trusted seller: Go to a dealer you trust. They’ll know if a Pilot has problems.
- Check before you buy: Get a check done before buying. It can catch problems early.
- Choose a certified used Pilot: A certified used Pilot is checked by Honda and comes with a warranty.
5. What should I look for when buying a used Honda Pilot?
- Check the history: Look at the history report for any accidents or damage.
- Mileage matters: A Pilot with high mileage might give you more trouble.
- Inspect inside and out: Make sure both the inside and outside of the car are in good shape.
- Test drive it: Take it for a spin to see if it drives smoothly and quietly.
Umut Karanfil is a dedicated Design Engineer at Ford Motor Company, based in Istanbul, Turkey. A graduate of İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi, he boasts expertise in 3D modeling, mechanical design, and structural analysis. With a strong background in the Tier 1 automotive industry, Umut has participated in international projects and has hands-on experience in manufacturing feasibility.