2020 Honda Pilot Review: The Perfect 3-Row SUV

Harnessing the power of a proficient 280-hp V6 and offering 8 comfy seats, loads of cargo space, and handy features, the 2020 Honda Pilot is as well-rounded as 3-row SUVs get. Plus, with Honda’s incredible reliability ratings always in play, the Pilot is a safe bet. When hunting for your next family vehicle, your list wouldn’t be complete without this 8-seater at no. 1.

Honda Pilot: Comfort

“The Honda Pilot does comfort better than many in the segment…The front seats have supportive backs and bottoms, providing hours of comfort. The second-row seats are similarly cushy and can recline and slide.” – Edmunds

Boasting a plentiful amount of room for you and up to 7 passengers, the new Pilot is certainly spacious enough to make road trips feel less like road trips. Opting for mid-row captain’s chairs on Touring, Elite and Black Edition trims reduces seating capacity to 7, with the trade-off being an upgraded level of comfort.

Despite being one of the most affordable SUVs in America, the new Honda Pilot is geared to serve families. And that’s most evident once the mobile chalet is packed. Headroom throughout the cabin is excellent, with the most being awarded to passengers in the captain’s chairs-equipped Pilot models. Legroom is equally impressive, particularly for front and middle passengers.

Honda Pilot Seating

Those in the back row will give Pilot the “Ease of Entry” award, too, as the third-row bench is situated lower to the ground than rival large SUVs. (Useful power-sliding One-Touch 2nd-Row seats definitely help.)

All things considered, we’ll let Pilot’s spec sheet* tell the whole story:

  • Headroom (front/middle/rear) – Up to 40.1 in / 40.9 in / 38.9 in
  • Legroom (front/middle/rear) – Up to 40.9 in / 38.4 in / 31.9 in
  • Shoulder Room (front/middle/rear) – Up to 62.0 in / 62.0 in / 57.6 in
  • Hiproom (front/middle/rear) – Up to 59.1 in / 57.3 in / 44.6 in
  • Passenger Volume – Up to 153.1 cu. ft.

Honda Pilot: Performance & Fuel Efficiency

“On the road, the 2020 Pilot drives a lot like a minivan, and we mean that as a compliment. The steering is more precise than that of competitors like the Subaru Ascent, the Toyota Highlander and the GMC Acadia, and in general, the Pilot feels more nimble than those. A more sophisticated AWD system than most helps in that area, as well.” – Autotrader

A 3.5-liter V6 engine keeps all Honda Pilot models running at peak efficiency. Paired with either the standard 6-speed automatic transmission or available 9-speed gearbox, this V6 churns out 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s ample power to push Honda’s largest SUV up steep hills or zip smoothly past right-lane traffic.

Nimble on the road, the Pilot is a well-designed specimen of exquisite handling and low-speed maneuverability. It tackles corners gracefully, so you can feel confident tilting into each winding turn. Slap on 18-inch wheels, and the 2020 Honda Pilot absorbs road bumps and imperfections incredibly well, too. Jacksonville drivers, rejoice!

“Fuel economy is strong within Honda’s showroom, and the Pilot is very efficient for such a large and practical vehicle, according to both the EPA and our real-world testing.” – Car and Driver

Like all Honda vehicles, which never put fuel efficiency on the backburner, the 2020 Pilot SUV is quite good at sipping unleaded. Equipped with 2WD and the standard 6-speed transmission, 2020 Honda Pilot returns 19 city/27 highway mpg*. Those numbers dip by 1 – to 18 city/26 highway mpg* – on AWD models. Pilot models fitted with the upgraded 9-speed transmission and AWD return 19 city/26 highway mpg*.

Compared to other large midsize SUVs with 3 rows, these fuel economy numbers are on par with the Tellurides, Palisades, and Traverses of the segment. We thank the i-VTM4® AWD System for that.

Honda Pilot: Technology & Features

“From a feature perspective, the Pilot’s 8-inch infotainment system shines. You get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, text-messaging capability, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a quick-charge USB port. Cabin Control is also part of this system, allowing rear passengers to have smartphone-app remote control over various vehicle settings.” – J. D. Power

Stylistically, the 2020 Honda Pilot is a dream. Inside, you’ll find high-quality materials, trimmings and upholstery bolstering the clean dashboard and tech-driven cockpit – the latter of which is Pilot’s most prized asset.
Its infotainment system, an 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen, is easy to use and quickly responds to tapping, pinching and swiping. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and keyless ignition are musts these days, and

Pilot’s 10-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support is a blessing for any parent. The addition of tri-zone climate control, a 10.2-inch rear entertainment system, wireless device charging, Wi-Fi, ventilated seats, and premium speakers with a unique Multi-Zone audio system make the Pilot an excellent choice for anyone keen on the latest gadgets.

Honda Pilot CabinControl

Perhaps coolest of all is Pilot’s inclusion of CabinControl and CabinTalk. CabinTalk, Honda’s in-car PA system, gives parents the ability to communicate with every passenger without shouting a lung out. CabinControl enables passengers to change music, adjust temperature settings and perform other actions using their own smartphone (via the CabinContol app).

Of course, you’ve got the confidence-inspiring inclusion of Honda Sensing as standard fare on every 2020 Honda Pilot trim. Enough said.

Honda Pilot: Overall Value

“The Pilot also comes well-equipped for the money and should hold its value better than most. We also can’t ignore Honda’s sterling reputation for reliability. In other words, opting for the 2020 Pilot would be a pretty sensible choice.” – Autoblog

As the competition grows in the 3-row SUV class, you can bet the Honda Pilot remains at the top. Designed to put families first, the utilitarian 2020 Pilot is a smart, practical buy that’s loaded with value. Explore the 2020 Pilot at your First Coast Honda Dealers to see it in action. We have Honda dealerships throughout the Jacksonville area, including Lake City and St. Augustine, FL, as well as Brunswick and Waycross, GA. Visit us today.


*Interior measurements vary by trim and package. *19 city/27 highway/22 combined mpg rating for 2WD 6AT trims. 18 city/26 highway/21 combined mpg rating for AWD 6AT trims. 20 city/27 highway/23 combined mpg rating for 2WD 9AT trims. 19 city/26 highway/22 combined mpg rating for AWD 9AT trims. Based on 2020 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.