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The Honda Pilot is a well-regarded SUV that has been around since 2003. However, though more so than others, it’s not a perfect vehicle. There are specific used Honda Pilot models that buyers should stay away from. Luckily, even the worst used models of this Honda SUV are better than most of its competitors, but they still have avoidable problems. 

Here are the three worst-used Honda Pilot models. 

The Honda Pilot 2016 is best avoided

A blue 2016 Honda Pilot
2016 Honda Pilot | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Despite the Honda Pilot 2022 being one of the recent best, not all the later models are well regarded. One of the worst is the 2016 Honda Pilot. While the complaints are not super severe regarding this SUV, there are far better alternatives for a used Honda SUV. However, there are a few issues with the engine, although none are very costly. 

The first issue is that the check engine light comes on for a couple of different reasons. One is that the valve train rocker pins tend to stick. This issue also causes an unsettling noise but can be fixed by replacing the rocker assembly, according to RepairPal. This used Honda Pilot model also has problems with the idle air control system, which impacts fuel consumption and engine stability. It also causes the check engine light to illuminate. 

Another Honda Pilot 2016 problem is that the engine sometimes takes a while to start. Issues with the EVAP canister vent solenoid cause this. Essentially, corrosion causes the solenoid not to open and close as it should, which impacts the engine starting correctly. In addition, problems with the EVAP canister vent solenoid decrease fuel efficiency. This issue primarily affects the 2WD and AWD models. People in the market for a more modern version should look into the Honda Pilot 2022.

The 2013 model also has issues

3 worst used Honda Pilot models
2013 Honda Pilot
2013 Honda Pilot | Honda

Quite a few Honda Pilot problems come with the 2013 model. The biggest complaint is that the low-beam headlights could fail due to wires overheating. Of course, this is an issue that may already be fixed on 2013 Honda Pilots being sold today, but there’s always the chance the original light system is in place. This is an overall easy fix.

Another Honda Pilot problem in the 2013 model is a knocking noise that emanates from the suspension area. The noise is a result of worn stabilizer bar links. Typically, replacing both links fixes the problem, but it seems they become worn down sooner than they should. Luckily, this is relatively inexpensive to fix.

The 2013 Honda Pilot also experiences issues with starting. Like the 2016 model, this is caused by problems with the EVAP canister vent solenoid. In addition to difficulty starting, this model runs a bit rougher than other models due to the engine excessively vibrating. Like other issues, this also hurts the fuel economy of the Honda SUV.

The 2003 Honda Pilot is strongly advised against

A Red 2003 Honda Pilot
2003 Honda Pilot | EFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

 As far as used Honda Pilot models go, the 2003 edition is often called the worst. It has many of the same issues as other bad models, but it adds quite a few, making it an even bigger headache. One problem with the 2003 Honda Pilot is water leaking inside the vehicle. This leak is due to a worn side marker wire harness seal. Of course, this is a relatively easy fix.

Oil leaks are another big issue with the Honda SUV. The leaks happen as a result of porous engine block casting. This isn’t the easiest fix since the leaks can come from various places. To help, Honda issued a service bulletin. This could be an issue that may be already fixed in used models, but there have been reports of it being an ongoing problem.

Overall, the Honda Pilot is a great SUV from one of the most trusted automakers. However, it’s also a vehicle with some problematic models. Most of the Honda Pilot problems aren’t that bad, but there are far too many great model years for anyone to pick a bad one. Unfortunately, not every edition can be as great as the Honda Pilot 2022.

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