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2020 Honda Pilot Review

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The biggest SUV in the Honda family, the 2020 Honda Pilot can seat up to eight passengers. It comes with advanced driver aids as a standard feature and earned a five-star safety rating. It’s highly rated by experts and is considered one of the best full-size SUVs on the market, though it’s also one of the priciest.

2020 Honda Pilot pricing and trims

The most expensive Honda Pilot you can get is the Black Edition, a new addition for 2020, at a $49,620 manufacturer’s recommended price (MSRP). The least expensive is the LX trim, at $31,550 MSRP. Both prices can increase even within the trim level, depending on the options you would like to add, such as all-wheel drive (AWD) and wheel size.

2020 Honda Pilot Pricing and Trims
Trim LX EX EX-L Touring Elite Black Edition
MSRP Front-Wheel Drive $31,550 $34,430 $37,860 $42,620 NA NA
MSRP All-Wheel Drive $33,550 $36,430 $39,860 $44,620 $48,120 $49,620
Standard Features Honda Sensing, V6 Engine, 6-Speed Automatic Transmission, Active Noise Cancellation, LED Daytime Running Lights Tri-Zone Climate Control, Heated Front Seats, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Remote Start Automatic-Dimming Rearview Mirror, Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel, Navigation, 9-Speed Automatic Transmission, Interior Blue Ambient LED Lighting Heated and Ventilated Front Seats, Wireless Phone Charger, Panoramic Roof, Rain-Sensing Wipers All-Black Interior and Exterior Styling, Interior Red Ambient LED Lighting

*MSRPs are accurate as of the date of publishing

You do not necessarily have to pay MSRP for a vehicle. Depending on where and when you shop, you may be able to find a 2020 Honda Pilot for less than MSRP due to dealership sales or manufacturer rebates. Shop around and use industry guides such as NADAguides or Kelley Blue Book to see what the fair market price is in your area.

What about AWD? All-wheel drive is optional on all trims, except the top two; it comes standard on the Elite and Black Edition trims.

What about seating? All Pilot trims come with three rows, but the maximum number of passengers can vary. Trims LX to EX-L seat up to eight passengers. The Touring Trim can seat eight or seven, depending on your choice of seating for the second row — either two captain’s chairs with an aisle in between for easy access to the third row or a bench seat that can buckle in three passengers. The Elite and Black Edition trims automatically come with the captain’s chairs and only seat seven.

Is it family-friendly? Just short of being a minivan, the Honda Pilot is very family friendly, with enough cup holders for the entire soccer team and then some. The Touring trim and above includes an advanced rear entertainment system and an in-car PA system, so the driver doesn’t have to turn around or yell to be heard by all the rear passengers.

What’s next? Once you pick out the car you want, a car loan is usually next. Shop around for the best auto loan for you. It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply to a few lenders any more than it does to apply to one if you do all your applications within a 14-day window. Potential lenders could include Honda financing or your bank, credit union or online lender. You could also fill out a single online form at LendingTree to receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.

2020 Honda Pilot safety

The 2020 Honda Pilot earned a five-star crash test safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). And while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn’t yet tested the 2020 Pilot, it did name the 2019 Pilot a Top Safety Pick. It’s worth noting that the Pilot was redesigned for 2019, adding Honda Sensing as a standard feature and several “infotainment” upgrades. We’ll talk more about Honda Sensing, the manufacturer’s suite of safety features, below.

Honda Sensing includes:

  • Forward Collision Warning / Collision Mitigation Braking System. If the car senses it is about to run into something front-first, it can warn the driver visually and audibly, and apply the brakes if it senses a collision is impending.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control. The car can adjust its cruising speed depending on the vehicle in front of it.
  • Lane Departure Warning / Lane Keeping Assist System. The car can warn the driver visually and audibly if it senses that it is drifting out of the lane of traffic. It can adjust its steering to help keep itself in a lane.
  • Auto High-Beam Headlights. The car can adjust its high-beams if it senses oncoming traffic.

One Honda Sensing feature not included on the LX trim, the Blind Spot Information System (BSI) with Cross Traffic Monitor, is included on the EX trim and above — this feature can warn the driver visually and audibly if it senses another vehicle in a blind spot.

2020 Honda Pilot competitor comparison

If you’re not loyal to the Honda brand and you’re still comparison shopping, check out these highly-rated competitors. Often compared to the Toyota Highlander, the Highlander recently outpaced the Pilot with double the July sales. However, the Pilot is priced similarly and has the highest expert scores. 2020 versions of the Atlas, Murano and Highlander were not available as of publication.

2020 Honda Pilot vs. Competitors
Vehicle 2020 Honda Pilot 2019 Volkswagen Atlas 2019 Nissan Murano 2019 Toyota Highlander
Base MSRP $31,550 $30,895 $31,270 $31,530
Expert Scores 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.1
Standard Technology Honda Sensing, Active Noise Cancellation, V6 Engine, LED Daytime Running Lights Forward Collision Mitigation, Blind-Spot Monitoring, LED Automatic Headlights Automatic Emergency Braking, 8″ Touch Screen; Apple CarPlay/Android Auto 6.1″ Touch Screen, Toyota Safety Sense, Hill Start Assist Control, Keyless Entry
Fuel Economy Combined/City/Hwy 22/19/27 MPG 22/20/26 MPG 23/20/28 MPG 23/21/27 MPG

*Chart data is for base models. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is combined/city/highway mileage per gallon as defined by the EPA for the lowest trim model.

The bottom line on the 2020 Honda Pilot

The Pilot is one of the largest three-row SUVs on the market and with Honda Sensing standard on the lowest trim, you could get a lot of bang for your buck. You also have options within the model — the difference in MSRP between the lowest trim and top trim is over $18,000, so you could jazz up the Pilot as much as your heart desires and budget can handle. If you are looking for something from a more luxurious brand though, you could check out these best luxury SUVs.


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