Having introduced the current third generation of the Pilot two years ago, I expect the Pilot to carry over without major changes for the 2018 model year. The automaker is working on shorter-wheelbase Pilot but I don’t expect Honda to introduce it mid-cycle; we have to wait until the fourth generation to see such a model. This is supported by the fact that Honda revealed that production of the short-wheelbase version will commence in September of 2018 meaning the model will likely hit dealerships in early 2019 as a 2020 model car.
The full-size SUV will thus carry over with subtle changes. The exterior will bear most of the new changes as the automaker tries to tone down the boxy look of the current model in favor of a more rounded shape. This development is also meant to shake the SUVs tagline of being a modified 2018 Odyssey minivan. The automaker has kept information of the model under tight lock but we have managed to gather the following:
2018 Honda Pilot Exterior
We are yet to see the Pilot in its 2018 body but our sources reveal that the automaker has toned down the boxy look of the outgoing model. The corners of the SUV now feature rounded edges. The sources further reveal that the new design is inspired by the CR-V. The SUV will feature LED headlights as standard while on the sides the Pilot’s 18-inch wheels will have a 2-spoke design for a bolder look. The new design also makes the Pilot look more of an SUV rather than a blend between a minivan and an SUV. Other than the toning down of the boxy look, many of the features in the current Pilot will carry over.
The next generation of the model is however expected to fully adopt an SUV look. According to rumors, the much-anticipated shorter-wheelbase, 2-row Honda Pilot will have a shorter overhang, shorter rear three-quarter windows, and rear doors will also decrease in size; however, most of the other features will be similar to those of the bigger Pilot.
Inside, Honda has also upgraded the cabin including new upholstery materials. The cabin will have a shiny-piano black trim which adds a stylish look to the cabin. The 2018 Honda Pilot will carry over with its three seating rows that carry up to 8 passengers (Enthusiasts will wait until probably late 2019 or early 2020 to see the shorter-wheelbase version of the Pilot that will be offered in two rows that will accommodate 5 passengers but with more seating and cargo space).
The 8.0-inch capacitive touch screen mounted on the center stack is carried over unchanged; however, the navigation system has been upgraded. The system integrates USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity.
The Honda Sensing suite introduced in 2016 will be upgraded for the 2018 models. This suite bundles together various active safety technologies including a tire pressure monitoring system, lane departure warning and mitigation, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning among others.
Engine and performance
Honda offers the Pilot with a single power-plant, a 3.5 L, V-6 that produces 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque (In Asia, the engine produces 250 hp). All trims except the Touring and Elite feature a 6-speed automatic transmission system while the Touring and Elite trims feature a 9-speed automatic transmission system. All trims can be had in either Front Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive except the range-topping Elite trim that features AWD as standard. Asian-bound models will only feature a 6-speed transmission system and AWD. To enhance the Pilot’s economy, Honda has paired the engine with an auto start/stop technology.
Price and release date
Honda will likely release the Pilot to dealerships in late 2017. As for the price, all trims will slightly be expensive with the base LX trim starting at around $31,000, the EX will likely start at $33,500 while the EXL could fetch $37,000 and around $42,500 for the Touring trim. AWD will likely attract an extra $1,800 on all trims like the case with current models. The top-of-the-range Elite trim will see buyers spend around $48,000 and over $50,000 with options.