How Safe Is the Honda Pilot?

SUVs are quite popular these days and can be good for transporting families and large groups. Safety is, of course, a top priority when looking for a family vehicle. Buyers looking for an SUV with top safety ratings that’s large enough for a family should consider the 2020 Honda Pilot.

2020 Honda Pilot

The Pilot has three rows and can seat up to eight people. Plus, it has plenty of space for cargo. While Car and Driver says it’s not the most stylish SUV, the Pilot has excellent fuel economy ratings. The 2020 model year doesn’t have a lot of changes, although there is a new top-of-the-line trim called the Black Edition. The Black Edition joins five lower trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite.

The Pilot has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a six-speed transmission, except on the Touring, Elite, and Black Edition trims, which have a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Elite and Black Edition trims come standard with all-wheel drive, but it is also possible to upgrade any of the other trims to all-wheel drive. The LX trim has a 5.0-inch display screen, while the higher trims have an 8.0-inch touch screen that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2020 Pilot currently has a starting price of $31,650.

The Pilot’s safety features

Car and Driver says the Pilot comes with lots of driver-assistance technology. All of the Pilot’s trims come with the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist features, which includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist. The EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite trims also have blindspot warning with cross-traffic monitoring.

IIHS safety ratings

The 2020 Pilot received the highest rating of Good in the majority of the categories from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In the crashworthiness category, the Pilot got a Good rating for small overlap front: driver-side but got Acceptable for the passenger-side. It received Good for crashworthiness in moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats.

For the crash avoidance and mitigation category the rating for headlights depended on the trim. The Touring and Elite trims have LED reflectors for both low beams and high beams. These trims were given a Good rating. The LX, EX, and EX-L trims have LED projector low beams and halogen reflector high beams. These trims were given an Acceptable rating. The rating for front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle was given a superior rating.

The IIHS also gave an Acceptable rating for the child seat LATCH anchors ease of use. It pointed out three safety features that come standard: daytime running lights, lane departure warning, and lane departure prevention. Blindspot detection is optional. The 2019 model earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

NHTSA safety ratings

2019 Honda Pilot Elite
2019 Honda Pilot Elite | Honda

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration looked at both the all-wheel-drive and the front-wheel-drive 2020 Pilot, but both versions received the same strong ratings. The 2020 Pilot was given five out of five stars for its overall safety rating.

In frontal crash tests, it has four out of five stars for the overall front star rating, with five for front driver side and four for front passenger side. It did even better in side crash tests, with five out of five stars for its overall side star rating. It earned a five for each subcategory too: combined side barrier and pole ratings (both front seat and rear seat), side barrier (both driver and rear passenger), and for overall side pole star rating. In rollover tests, the Pilot got four out of five stars and has a rollover risk of 16.4%.

The NHTSA looked for four major safety features and found that they all come standard on the Pilot: forward collision warning, lane departure warning, crash imminent braking, and dynamic brake support. There is one recall listed to have incomplete body welding repaired.

With high ratings from both the IIHS and NHTSA, the 2020 Honda Pilot is a very safe SUV for buyers looking for a family-size vehicle.