2016 Honda Pilot – Blurring the lines between minivan and crossover

Background

Families who drive minivans have made a smarter decision – in my opinion – than those who buy crossovers. However, no matter how hard I try, I can’t convince families to buy a minivan even though it is clearly the superior vehicle. Case and point, the 2016 Honda Pilot. It doesn’t have the superior sliding side doors that the Odyssey has, but it might as well. On the inside, the Pilot now features a button on the second row seats that folds up and slides forward to allow easier access to the third row. They also lowered and widened that access point. All of this helps to disguise the Pilot as the functional minivan it is.

WHAT IS IT?

  • Inexpensive, 5-passenger, compact crossover
  • Available in Front or All-Wheel Drive

WHO IS IT FOR?

  • Young families looking for utility, but not a ton of room
  • Older couples on a budget who want a crossover that’s reliable, cheap to buy and inexpensive to own

HOW MUCH IS IT?

  • Starting price is just under $20,000
  • Fully-loaded it’s around $25,000

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT?

  • It’s a Honda so it’s reliable and will have great resale value
  • It’s priced right and gets good fuel economy
  • Magic seats make it the most versatile vehicle in the segment

WHAT’S BAD ABOUT IT?

  • Infotainment controls are a bit quirky. Not very user-friendly
  • It’s not fast. The engine is adequate, but don’t try going uphill with a full load
  • It’s not the most engaging vehicle and those who really want to drive, would be better served with a Mazda CX3

COMPETITORS & RECOMMENDATIONS?

  • Mazda CX3, Chevy Trax, Fiat 500X, Nissan Juke

The HR-V is an easy recommendation to make to friends & family looking for a compact crossover. However, I’d buy the Mazda CX3. Honda makes cars for the masses while Mazda makes cars for the purists. The masses will always buy more cars, but the purists will have a better time driving them.

Starting Price
$30,000
Expert Rating
90
Crossover
3.5-Liter V6
280
252
FWD/AWD
6sp or 9sp Auto
1
8
2
5