2016 Honda Pilot: Car Seat Check

16HondaPilot_SO_ES_CSC_Lead.jpg 2016 Honda Pilot | photo by Evan Sears

CARS.COM — When Honda redesigned its three-row Pilot SUV for 2016, the automaker added more family-friendly features, including second-row captain’s chairs. That model did well in our Car Seat Check, but we’ve been waiting to see how a Pilot with a second-row bench seat performs. The answer? Very well. The bench seat increases the Pilot’s capacity to eight passengers and its accessible anchors ease installation. Even better: Three car seats can fit on the wide, flat second row.

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Three, but we used a seat belt to install the middle car seat because the middle position’s Latch anchor placement pushed the seat too far to one side.

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

What We Like

  • There are three sets of lower Latch anchors in the second row, one more than usual, and all the anchors are exposed for easy access. The three top tether anchors at the base of the seatbacks are also well marked and easy to use. In the third row, there’s one additional set of anchors and connecting wasn’t a problem.
  • In the second row, both the infant and the convertible in rear-facing form installed easily, and we did not need to move the front passenger seat forward to accommodate either one.
  • After removing the head restraint, the forward-facing convertible also fit well and was no problem to install in both the second and third rows.

What We Don’t

  • Our booster fit well in the second row, but the bench seat’s floppy buckles could make it difficult to buckle up independently.
  • Similarly, in the third row, the booster also fit well, but the buckles are on floppy straps that fall behind the booster, complicating connection.
  • Although the second row slides forward with the push of a button, the opening is narrow, complicating third-row access.

Grading Scale

A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn’t impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.  

B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.

C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row when available.

D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.

F: Does not fit or is unsafe.

About’s Car Seat Checks

Editors Jennifer Geiger, Jennifer Newman and Matt Schmitz are certified child safety seat installation technicians. 

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a shorter passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.

We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row’s middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. To learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks, go here.

Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.

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