A Look at the Honda Pilot’s History and Third Generation

January 14th, 2015 by

2015 honda pilot

The fully-redesigned Honda Pilot Will Emerge in Summer 2015

2014 and 2015 honda pilot-inventory

Honda has a big year planned for 2015. Not only is the highly anticipated Honda HR-V being released in the spring, but the Honda Pilot is getting a full redesign this summer, according to Columbus Biz Insider. The Pilot was first released with the 2003 model year, and the 2016 model year redesign will be the third generation Pilot. How does the upcoming third generation compare to the previous generations?

Related: 2015 Honda Pilot Standard Features

First Generation Pilot (2003-2008)

When the Pilot first debuted it was the answer for parents who were looking for versatility and cargo space, but didn’t want to purchase a minivan.

“At its debut, the Honda Pilot essentially defined the emerging market for midsize crossover SUVs. Offering decent V6 power, above-average fuel economy, easy maneuverability, plenty of interior comfort and versatility, and seven-to-eight-passenger seating, the Pilot was exactly the kind of vehicle that families leery of the minivan stigma were looking for,” according to Edmunds.

In 2003, the Pilot was solely available with a V6 engine and all-wheel drive drivetrain. It got 15 city/21 highway mpg* and 240 horsepower at 5,400 RPM. From 2006 on the Pilot was available in AWD and front-wheel drive options. The Pilot was one of the first midsize crossover SUVs available with a third-row seat.

Related: 2015 Honda Pilot Accessories Offer Versatility and Style

Second Generation Pilot (2009-2015)

second generation pilot

This is a second-generation 2009 Honda Pilot.

The current generation Pilot “debuted for the 2009 model year and represented a huge change from the vehicle it replaced,” according to Edmunds. “There was more usable interior space and Honda’s latest selection of features and interior controls, but in terms of character it’s more trucklike.”

In 2009, the Pilot was available in four trim levels including LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The first generation was offered in three trims levels sans Touring. An SE trim level was introduced in the late first generation model years. This trim level included a sunroof and DVD player. The 2015 Pilot EX-L trim level offers these features:

  • One-Touch Power Moonroof with Tilt Feature
  • Power Tailgate
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Automatic-Dimming Rearview Mirror
  • Passenger’s Seat with 4-Way Power Adjustment
  • Leather-Trimmed Interior
  • Heated Front Seats
  • SiriusXM Radio

Those who opt for the EX-L with RES get the added benefit of a rear entertainment system. This system includes a DVD system with a 115-volt power outlet. The EX-L with Navigation includes several added features like Honda’s Satellite-linked navigation system with voice recognition, a hard-disk drive with 15-GB audio memory, and a multi-information display.

The 2015 Pilot has better gas mileage than its predecessors with 18 city/25 highway mpg* in the front-wheel drive option and 17/24 mpg* in the all-wheel drive model. The Pilot offers plenty of safety features on all trim levels with vehicle stability assist, brake assist, a rearview camera, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Related: 2015 Honda Pilot Safety Features

Third Generation Pilot (2016- )

UPDATE: 2016 Honda Pilot makes Global Debut at Chicago Auto Show


This is the third-generation 2016 Honda Pilot prototype.

Not much is known about the upcoming third-generation Pilot, however it will make its global debut at the Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 12, according to Honda. What is known about the Pilot is that it will still have seating for 8, according to World Car Fans. The website also says that the grille is revised and includes LED-infused headlights. “Nothing is official but the model is expected to be powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine.”

The Motor Authority believes the 2016 Pilot is 3 inches longer than the previous generations and that it will have more horsepower at 290, while it currently has 250 horsepower. In the interior the vents are now rectangular, whereas before they were circular. “It also looks like the current model’s dash-mounted gear lever is making way for a more conventional shifter, and a new LCD screen will be mounted to the center stack,” the website also says.

Call Fisher Honda in Boulder, Colo., at 303-245-6417 if you are interested in taking a look at the 2014 and 2015 Honda Pilot.

*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.