Best Used Honda Pilot Model Years According to CarComplaints

The Honda Pilot has been a fixture of the midsize SUV market since its introduction in 2002 to replace the Passport model. At least 120,000 units have been sold every year since 2014, per figures from GoodCarBadCar. Go back to 2010 and at least 100,000 models have sold on a yearly basis. Those sales figures means there are plenty of Pilot models on the used car market. But what are the best years for Honda Pilot models? Here’s what you need to know, thanks to data from CarComplaints.

What is the best model year for a used Honda Pilot?

RELATED: The 2023 Honda Pilot Is Getting a Much Needed Overhaul

According to CarComplaints data, four models stand out as the best years: 2007, 2008, 2014, and 2015.

The 2007 Honda Pilot was part of the first generation, and it’s one of the best. Only 66 total complaints were noted. CarComplaints data shows the most common complaint was the windows/windshield problems category, with 19 in total. The worst problem overall was power window failure (17 complaints), estimated to start at an average of 97,000 miles. It was a relatively easy fix, though, at an average of $300. Other common complaints include body/paint problems (13) and engine problems (11). Overall, CarComplaints says “the 2007 Honda Pilot is a solid trouble-free model year with no major problems reported.” 

Of the four standout models, the best used Honda Pilot year on the list is the 2008 model. That was the final model year of the first generation and had few issues of note, with just 36 complaints noted by CarComplaints data. Nearly a third of those complaints (11 of 36) were engine problems. The most common problem was engine failure due to oil leaking into coolant, but that was only reported four times. If you’re looking for the best used Honda Pilot, the 2008 model is arguably the best option.

The 2015 best used Honda Pilot model
2015 Honda Pilot | Honda

Like the 2007 model, the 2014 Honda Pilot was one of the last years of the second generation. CarComplaints shows 68 total complaints with the most common by far categorized as body/paint problems (33 in total). All 33 of those were because paint was peeling off at around 76,150 miles. The average repair cost is around $1,380. The second most common complaint category is engine problems (14), with some complaints noting excessive oil consumption around 65,000 miles.

The 2015 Honda Pilot was the final model year of the second generation. With just 42 complaints noted by CarComplaints, the 2015 model is one of the best used Honda Pilot years. The most common category for complaints is engine problems (11 total) and the most commonly reported problem is the check engine light coming on around 5,000 miles. But that was only reported six times and most solutions were covered under warranty.

Which Honda Pilot model years should you avoid?

RELATED: Should You Get an Acura MDX, or Its Cheaper Honda Pilot Cousin?

Upon reviewing the CarComplaints database, there are three Honda Pilot model years to avoid: 2003, 2016, and 2005.

The 2003 Honda Pilot was the first year of the model and there were plenty of problems reported. The most common of the 255 complaints reported are related to ignition switch problems. CarComplaints warns to be wary of when a 2003 Pilot passes 100,000 miles due to two defect trends: transmission failure and ignition switch problems.

The 2016 model was the first of the latest generation of Honda Pilot models and registered 191 total complaints. The most common problems are transmission related (41) and electrical (37). CarComplaints specifies drivers reporting jerking while accelerating and fuel injector malfunction at an average of 41,000 and 59,000 miles, respectively. 

The 2005 Honda Pilot has a total of 145 complaints on file, with the most common one being transmission problems (65). Transmission fluid leaking into the radiator (46 complaints) and transmission failure (16) were the worst problems reported. CarComplaints also notes another problem reported for the 2005 Pilot was the car unexpectedly braking. A recall was issued in 2013 by the company to fix the vehicle stability system.

Is the Honda Pilot a reliable SUV?

Though there are a few model years to avoid, the Honda Pilot is a reliable midsize SUV. Few other SUVs are listed among the best vehicles by CarComplaints as often as the Pilot. RepairPal gives the model an above average reliability rating. That puts it 13th out of 26 vehicles in the midsize SUV category.

Data shows the annual cost for repairs is $542 — less than the average midsize SUV ($573) or all vehicles ($652). But it also shows slightly more frequent stops to the repair shop — 0.51 times per year — compared to the average of 0.4 per year for both midsize SUVs and all vehicles overall.