Best Bet
  • (4.4) 56 reviews
  • MSRP: $3,898–$11,370
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 19-21
  • Engine: 244-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x4
  • Seats: 8
2006 Honda Pilot

Our Take on the Latest Model 2006 Honda Pilot

What We Don't Like

  • Lack of Low-range gearing
  • Short seat bottoms
  • Nonstandard radio controls
  • Occasional uncertainty in turns

Notable Features

  • 244-hp V-6
  • Variable Cylinder Management V-6 available
  • Standard AWD
  • Eight-passenger capacity
  • Tire-pressure-monitoring system
  • Navigation and entertainment options

2006 Honda Pilot Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Honda launched the midsize Pilot sport utility vehicle for 2003, billing it as "not too big, not too small." Larger than the company's compact CR-V and youth-focused Element, the Pilot replaced Honda's Passport.

New for 2005 was a 255-horsepower V-6 that operated via a drive-by-wire throttle system. Upper gear ratios in the five-speed-automatic transmission were modified to yield smoother transitions. All trim levels added a tire-pressure-monitoring system.

More standard features, including a Maintenance Minder and three-row side curtain-type airbags, go into 2006 models. For the first time, a two-wheel-drive version with Variable Cylinder Management is available. The VCM system can automatically switch the Pilot's 3.5-liter V-6 between six- and three-cylinder modes to improve fuel economy.

Under new Society of Automotive Engineers testing standards, Honda's V-6 engine is now rated at 244 hp and 240 pounds-feet of torque. Actual performance is the same.

Three versions are available: LX, EX and top-of-the-line EX-L. Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist electronic stability system and XM Satellite Radio are standard on the EX-L. A new rear camera is integrated into models with the navigation system.


Exterior
Headlights and taillamps have been revised for 2006. Only modest bodyside cladding is used on the Pilot, which exhibits a clean look. A large greenhouse yields what Honda calls "panoramic views for all occupants." The hood slopes down to a wide grille that is flanked by wraparound headlights. All models have body-colored bumpers, and the EX adds body-colored side moldings.

Unibody construction includes front and rear subframes. Equipped with a fully independent suspension, the Pilot has 8 inches of ground clearance for offroad treks. Fog lamps have been added to EX and EX-L models for 2006.


Interior
Up to eight occupants can fit inside the Pilot, which features 60/40-split, folding seats in the second and third rows. Theater seating provides a better view for rear occupants. Leather upholstery is standard in the EX-L edition.

Cargo volume totals 90.3 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded. A 4-foot-wide sheet of plywood will fit flat on the floor. Options include a DVD-based navigation system and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.


Under the Hood
Using SAE's new standards, the Pilot's 3.5-liter V-6 produces 244 hp and 240 pounds-feet of torque and runs on regular unleaded gasoline. A column-mounted lever controls the five-speed-automatic transmission. The all-wheel-drive system includes an electronically locking differential.

Safety
All-disc antilock brakes and side-impact airbags are standard. New driver position and passenger weight sensors control front-airbag deployment. Seat belt pretensioners and headrests are installed for all eight seating positions.

Driving Impressions
Honda did nearly everything right with the Pilot. Carlike traits are immediately noticeable, and the vehicle's slightly heavy feel is mixed with considerable overall refinement.

Performance is strong and confident, if not exactly blistering. Response is quick, easy and seamless from the engine and automatic transmission. The seats are firm and very supportive, and a large speedometer is easy to read.

Drivers can expect a smooth ride on good roads and a satisfying experience on rougher pavement. The Pilot stays reasonably flat in curves, but it's not quite as surefooted as some SUVs on narrow twisty roads. It seems a trifle uncertain through some demanding turns.


Consumer Reviews

4.4

Average based on 56 reviews

Write a Review

Definition of a Commuter Vehicle

by EJamel1115 from NJ on September 11, 2017

The Honda pilot is a great commuter vehicle it causes limited problems in his first couple of years but once a gets older it eventually start developing a lot of problems. I purchased my vehicle use ... Read Full Review

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6 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2006 Honda Pilot trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Honda Pilot Articles

2006 Honda Pilot Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Honda Pilot EX

Head Restraints and Seats
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Honda Pilot EX

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
G
Overall Rear
G
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Honda Pilot EX

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Honda Pilot EX

Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Front Seat
Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 5 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,400 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years