Shopping for a Mid-Size SUV
The number of options on the market for a mid-size SUV with three rows of seating gets increasingly larger each year. It seems nearly every car manufacturer on the planet sought to release their own take on the lineup in an attempt to win fans over. One such manufacturer to always keep in your sights is Honda, as they offer some of the very best mid-size SUVs on the market, including one of our very favorites, the new 2020 Honda Pilot.
The Honda Pilot is no slouch when it comes to being one of the best mid-size SUVs on the road today. Each year they build upon the formula they set when the Pilot first began manufacturing in 2002. Because of this solid foundation, Honda has created a plethora of fans. They have the edge on the competition when it comes to providing exactly what you’d want in an SUV. The Pilot is not only sleek and very spacious, but it’s also surprisingly powerful and checks the boxes on everything your mid-size SUV should feature with the utmost finesse. With six available trims to select from, you can be sure you’ll find one you like, but even at the base trim, the experience you’ll receive will be exceptional.
The six trims that Honda offers for the Pilot are the LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, Elite, and the Black Edition. All six trims contain the same base engine because there is no need for variations when the standard is great. This engine is a 3.5L V6 that has the ability to produce 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. For trims including Touring and above, your engine will be paired with a 9-speed transmission, whereas the remaining trims receive a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Elite and Black Edition models come standard with all-wheel-drive. The option for AWD is available for other trims with a slight price tag increase; however, front-wheel-drive is standard on those models.
The Pilot is a great choice, especially if you need room for multiple passengers. What you’ll find on a majority of Pilot’s trims is a maximum seating capacity of 8 passengers among three spacious rows. However, you can opt for second-row captain’s chairs with the Touring trim, which will give your second-row passengers their armrests. This, however, is at the expense of seating capacity, and the maximum then drops to 7 people. It is important to note, the captain’s chairs do also come standard with both the Elite and Black Edition trims.
Base LX Trim
If you go with the Pilot’s base level trim, the LX, you will be treated to high-standard features that are incomparable to those of the competition. Even better, this comes at a price point that is equally deserving of your attention. The LX starts at an MSRP of $31,650 and is backed by Honda’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty while your powertrain receives a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty. The price point and warranties are a steal considering this mid-size SUV’s capabilities.
The LX is powered by the previously mentioned 3.5L V6 engine, and will get about 19 MPG (city) and 26 MPG (highway). The LX can also be equipped with AWD that contains Intelligent Variable Torque Management, a brilliant technology developed by Honda. The IVTM provides a dynamic distribution of engine torque to the front and rear of your vehicle and can change depending on various road conditions. Specifically, this provides you with enhanced stability in rough weather and even enhances the Pilot’s ability to make tight turns during dry weather! This technology, paired with AWD, is a combo you should definitely consider.
Among many other features, you can expect to see a push-button start, rear privacy glass, and both LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and LED low-beam headlights with auto on/off technology for this trim. The LX also comes standard with decently sized 18-inch alloy wheels and a multi-angle rearview camera to assist you in safely reversing out of your driveway or a parking lot. Once the camera is activated, it’s displayed on your Pilot’s infotainment screen.
It’s worth mentioning that the base LX comes with a standard 5.0-inch screen that lacks features some drivers might be seeking and would require you to purchase a higher trim level to acquire them. For example, the EX along with all higher trims come standard with an 8.0-inch screen with built-in features such as Sirius XM radio compatibility, voice commands, and most importantly, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration among others. If those features are important to you, it may be worth it to upgrade to a higher trim.
Safety with Honda
Something that Honda continually strives for is vehicle safety, and this couldn’t be more apparent through their efforts of implementing Honda Sensing into more lineups than ever. All of Honda Pilot’s trims receive the Sensing standard. Honda Sensing is a suite of safety features Honda has developed and bundled up for their lineups of vehicles. Because of Honda Sense, Pilot grants you safety features such as a Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), a Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM), Adaptive Engine Control (ACC), and a Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS). All of these technologies combined help to keep drivers safe in their Pilots.
You’ll appreciate the addition of this safety suite as the features can help you remain alert of your surroundings at all times. One of the best features is the Lane Keeping Assist System, which subtly provides steering input to help you stay in the center of your lane if/when the system notices you’re accidentally straying out of the lines. Of course, the addition of a Collision Mitigation Braking System is much appreciated and can help prevent an otherwise unavoidable collision by assisting in applying the brakes. The advantage of this technology is the fact the system may be able to react quicker than the driver in some cases and can help keep everybody involved safe.
Simply put, if you’re currently interested in a mid-size SUV, then the 2020 Honda Pilot should be your first choice. All six trims offer customization, and each one comes with increasingly luxurious features. But as we’ve seen, even at the base model, this mid-size SUV packs a punch against the competition. Honda deserves praise for this year’s Pilot, and it makes us look forward to what could be in store for the years to come.
Honda is continuing its journey of being one of the very best vehicle manufacturers on the planet, and pleasing fans all around the world is how they excel. It’s vehicles like the 2020 Honda Pilot that continue to prove why they’re masters of their craft. Since Honda’s inception over 71 years ago, they have become a household name due to their quality and dependability. This is a trend being continued in 2020, and you can expect to see it follow into the future as well. One of the main reasons people are always recommending Honda to their friends is because of their reputation of being long-lasting vehicles that rarely fail. You owe it to yourself to visit your local Honda dealership, take one for a test drive, and find out first hand how top-notch Honda really is.