Crossover & Midsize

The 2015 Honda Pilot Is the Perfect Used SUV for Your Family

Most people with families are looking for ways to save money, and a great way to do that is by buying a used vehicle instead of a new one. People with kids also want to make sure their vehicle is reliable to safely drive the family around. One midsize SUV that appears on AutoList.com’s “Best Used SUVs Under $20,000” is the 2015 Honda Pilot. Here’s a look at why this might be the perfect used SUV for your family.

How is reliability measured?

2016 Honda Pilot at the 107th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Honda Pilot | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Consumer Reports and CarComplaints.com are two sources of reliability information about used vehicles. Consumer Reports sends surveys to its members asking about any problems they’ve had in 17 different categories with their vehicles during the past 12 months. Those vehicles are then compared with other vehicles from the same model year.

CarComplaints.com collects complaints from site visitors and compiles the information into helpful, visual graphs. They keep their focus on older vehicles and don’t rank new ones when giving out their “Seal of Awesome.”

The 2015 Honda Pilot gets CarComplaints’ “Seal of Awesome”

CarComplaints.com is working on a new list of their top-rated vehicles. They gave these vehicles their “Seal of Awesome.” Several Honda Pilot model years made the cut, with the 2015 being the most recent. The top three complaints for the 2015 Honda Pilot are an uncomfortable headrest, that the check engine light is on, and the brakes are skipping.

While it might seem better to get the 2016 model year since it’s newer, this first year of a new generation seems to have had some issues. It has far more complaints listed on Car Complaints. The complaints are also more serious, with the top two issues listed as transmission jerks and transmission failure. This year got Car Complaints’ “Beware of the Clunker” seal.

Consumer Reports ranks the 2015 Honda Pilot model year as the most reliable

Consumer Reports agrees that the 2015 Pilot is a strong model year. In a long list of threes and fours for reliability verdict scores, the 2015 Pilot is rated a five out of five by Consumer Reports (along with the 2005 Pilot). One of the few possible reliability trouble spots is the brakes, with some owners reporting they needed to do early repairs.

Consumer Reports liked the driving dynamics and said the engine and transmission “operate very smoothly.” It has a 250-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. Consumer Reports proclaimed that the 2015 Pilot “provides plenty of space and convenient functionality within a comparatively small package.”

However, they also said the model year is showing its age as the last year of the generation, since it doesn’t include the latest safety and driver-assistance features, like forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring. The 2015 Pilot does have three recalls, all involving the air bags, and it gets too much road noise.

Great for the family

In addition to being reliable, the 2015 Pilot is a good fit for families. This SUV has three rows with comfortable first- and second-row seats, which can seat up to eight. Consumer Reports says the second row can comfortably seat three adults and has “generous leg room.” They found the third-row seats are fine for three kids but a bit snug for adults since the seat is low down with less leg room. Accessing the third row requires sliding a seat forward and then crawling in, which is likely not a problem for children.

The Pilot also has 12 cup holders and lots of storage. In addition to the glove compartment and center console, there is also dash storage, a shelf above the glove compartment, map pockets on each passenger door, two pockets on each front seat back, and an overhead fold-down holder for sunglasses. Consumer Reports says the cargo storage space is also “ample.”

The 2015 Pilot has three LATCH anchors for child seats in the second row and one on the right side of the third row. There are top-tether anchors on all six rear seats. Front-facing child seats fit into all the rear seats, but rear-facing ones may not fit into the third row.

If you’re looking for a used SUV, the 2015 Honda Pilot’s reliability and room for eight people plus their gear make it a strong contender.