The 2013 Honda Pilot earns an average Total Car Score for the Large SUVs & Crossovers segment.
Considering the 2013 Honda Pilot comes just one year after a mid-cycle freshening, one would expect this model to coast on last year’s revisions without adding anything new. Honda had other ideas, though, and decided to turn several formerly optional components into standard features for the ’13 model. Automatic climate controls and Bluetooth -- both phone connectivity and streaming -- are now standard, as are an 8-inch display screen and a backup camera.
Automotive critics tend to give the Pilot mixed reviews. Its packaging gets a big thumbs-up, as it’s a rare midsize crossover that actually offers ample interior room for all three of its seating rows. When it’s time to haul cargo, both the second and third seat rows fold flat into the floor, and its boxy greenhouse will easily swallow big, bulky items. The Pilot’s 25-mpg highway fuel economy is a definite bonus, too.
Where the Pilot falls short is in its driving experience. The V6 engine is just adequate at moving this burly ute around, and the five-speed automatic feels dated to some. Also, the Pilot’s chassis is tuned for comfort, not for speed, so its handling has been described as “soft” and “sleepy.”
There are worse criticisms to lob at a vehicle than “too comfortable." These days, if you want sporty handling in your family hauler, there are options. But if you don’t need sporty, and instead want minivan-like practicality in a SUV package, the 2013 Honda Pilot is a worthy choice.
The 2013 Honda Pilot is a five-door midsize crossover that can seat up to eight passengers in three rows of seats.
The Pilot’s sole powertrain is a 3.5-liter V6 that sends 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque through a five-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels or all four with the optional VTM-4 AWD system.
There are five trim levels of the Pilot. Standard features on the base LX model include 17-inch steel wheels, a tilt/telescope steering column, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, an 8-inch display screen, backup camera, and a seven-speaker audio system with a USB port. The EX model rolls on 18-inch alloy wheels and adds foglights, a power driver’s seat, satellite radio and a security system.
The EX-L includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power moonroof and a power tailgate, while the EX-L with Navigation brings a navigation system with a high-resolution display and a multi-view backup camera.
Finally, the top-shelf Touring model includes all that equipment plus a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, corner and backup sensors, and an upgraded 10-speaker audio system.
According to the EPA, the Pilot returns 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined in 2WD trim, 17/24/20 in AWD.
Properly equipped, the 2013 Honda Pilot earned a maximum tow rating of 2,000 pounds for 2WD models, 4,500 pounds for AWD versions.
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