Bottom line: You do not have to spend $47,000 to get into the 2016 Honda Pilot family. That’s the fully loaded Elite’s transaction price. You can enter at $29,995 with a Honda Pilot LX. It’s worth a serious look.
Ride, acceleration and handling: Top marks in all three.
Head-turning quotient: It looks more like a family vehicle than its more aggressively styled predecessor.
Body style/layout: The 2016 Honda Pilot is a front-engine, mid/full-size carbased sport-utility vehicle available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive (with power shifting front to rear or side to side as needed). It has four side doors and a rear hatch. There are five basic trim levels — LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Elite. Note that the EX and EX-L trim levels can be distinguished in pricing by different equipment offered within the trim line (think “high EX” or “low EX”).
Engine/transmissions: The 2016 Honda Pilot Elite comes standard with a 3.5-liter, 24-valve direct-injection gasoline V-6 with variable valve timing (280 horsepower, 262 pound-feet of torque.) In Elite trim, that engine is linked to a nine-speed automatic transmission. In lower trim levels, a sixspeed automatic is used.
Capacities: Depending on the types of seats ordered, seating can be for up to eight people. The Elite, equipped with two second-row “captain’s chairs,” has seating for seven. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 18.5 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 19.5 gallons of gasoline (regular grade is okay).
Mileage: I averaged 25 miles per gallon in highway travel.
Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear); a four-wheel anti-lock brake system; emergency braking assistance; traction and stability control; front, rear and third-row head air bags; front fog/ driving lights; and rear-door child safety locks.
Pricing: The 2016 Honda Pilot Elite with all-wheel drive starts at $36,420, with a dealer’s invoice price of $42,415. Price as tested is $47,300, including an $880 factory-to-dealer transportation charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $43,295.