Trucks & SUVs

2018 Honda Pilot: A Reliable Used Midsize SUV

The Honda Pilot is one of the best-selling midsize SUVs. Its user ratings on Cars.com help demonstrate why. Looking at just the 2018 Honda Pilot shows that it has a 4.8 out of five rating, and 92% of drivers would recommend the SUV. It also has top ratings for comfort and reliability. Here’s a look at the details of the 2018 Honda Pilot and what to know about this used SUV.

Pros of the 2018 Honda Pilot

Consumer Reports calls the 2018 Honda Pilot “extremely functional and pleasant.” It’s a practical choice for family transportation, offering flexible seating for eight people. It’s also easy to access the third row, and the interior has plenty of features.

The 3.5-liter V6 engine provides good power and acceleration, producing 280 hp. It’s also got a quiet engine. It’s matched with a six-speed automatic transmission on most trim levels and has all-wheel drive. The EPA has rated its fuel efficiency for between 21 and 23 MPG.

Redesigned in 2016, the third-generation Pilot was improved over the previous generation with “a more comfortable ride, a quieter cabin and better furnished interior,” according to Consumer Reports. The pleasant ride is due in part to the smooth suspension, which is great on the highway and absorbs most bumps. It does sway a bit on uneven roads.

The interior has a nice feel, with good materials and lots of space. It isn’t a luxury SUV, but it matches competitors like the Hyundai Santa Fe or Toyota Highlander. There is also plenty of storage in the cabin, and the cargo area is large.

The second row slides to adjust its position, giving more room to passengers or cargo. With a high driving position and large windows, there is good visibility for drivers. It also comes standard with a backup camera.

Cons of the 2018 Honda Pilot

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Not everything about the 2018 Pilot is great though. Consumer Reports points out that it isn’t an exciting vehicle. It has all the practical functionality of a minivan without actually being a minivan.

Despite the improved ride, the 2018 Pilot doesn’t have great handling. Consumer Reports says it “maneuvers like an apartment building on wheels.” Its steering isn’t responsive, and it has trouble with cornering. It also doesn’t brake quickly on wet pavement.

While Consumer Reports liked the six-speed automatic transmission, it found the nine-speed transmission in the Touring and Elite trims to be “neither smooth nor responsive.” It’s also operated with “an infuriating and unintuitive push-button shifter.”

The Pilot can tow up to 5,000 pounds if there aren’t more than two people in the car; however, its tow hitch is no longer standard. It’s available as an accessory. 

On all except the base trim, the infotainment system is not easy to use, and getting things taken care of can be frustrating. Plus, there aren’t any knobs or buttons, so everything is done through the screen. It is helpful to use the controls on the steering wheel instead. The base trim doesn’t have a touchscreen, but its system is easy to use and includes knobs and buttons.

One safety feature that the 2018 Pilot includes is the LaneWatch system, which has the camera display what’s in the blind spot when the turn signal is on. While useful, this isn’t as good as the blind-spot monitoring feature that alerts to hazards at all times. The blind-spot monitoring feature is only available on the top Elite trim though.

The Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist features can be added to most lower trims and comes standard on the top two trims. Along with LaneWatch, it includes forward-collision warning with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and road-departure mitigation.

Current pricing for this used Honda SUV

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According to Consumer Reports, the 2018 Honda Pilot is currently priced between $24,125 and $35,300. The prices on Cars.com are similar, ranging from about $25,200 to $33,990. For comparison, the new 2020 Pilot has starting prices ranging from $31,650 to $49,720.

The 2018 Honda Pilot’s features add up to make it a practical used midsize SUV great for family use. Although, others looking for more handling or luxury might prefer a different option.