By Cars.com EditorsFebruary 12, 2015
About the video
From the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2016 Honda Pilot.
(trunk slamming) (upbeat music) (brakes squealing) Here we are with the fully redesigned Honda Pilot, a big three row SUV that's larger than its predecessor, yet lighter, and Honda says will have class leading fuel efficiency.
Let's take you through it. Obviously big changes up front here. It looks a lot like kind of a larger version of Honda's CR-V recently updated as well. LEDs here for the daytime running lights as well as the headlights themselves. Kind of a lot going on here between the openings here along the outsides of the bumper and this center section of the bumper here. They're not really on the same level. They're not really on the same plane here. You get around back. Honda hides the tailpipes on the new Pilot. Kind of something it's been doing on a lot of cars. I kind of wish it went for a sportier appearance and actually exposed the tailpipes. But overall, a much sleeker appearance than before, than kind of the boxier Pilot that preceded this. It looks a little smaller, but it's actually bigger. About three and a half inches longer bumper to bumper, according to Honda. Much more flowing dashboard than the last generation of the Pilot, which had a pretty upright kind of industrial look and feel to it, both in terms of materials and design. Not the case here. Lots of kind of low gloss, very premium feeling materials here about the dashboard and the upper doors areas where your arms and your elbows land. And still a fairly open layout, thanks to a nice low center console here. Now, not as many kind of storage nooks and crannies along the dashboard that the last generation Pilot had, but Honda says it compensated by making this glove compartment very large. Much larger than the last Pilot's. And the center console here is deeper and larger as well. Actually, a lot of space in there if you want to throw something in. And this kind of nice sturdy roll top cover here allows you to balance something like a heavy purse over it. Lots of storage space along the doors. A couple of different levels of storage there as well. So that's nice to see. Now this display here in the center part of the dashboard, it's got capacitive touch controls. We've used this similar system in other Hondas before. Very easy to use in terms of the touchscreen, but we're not big fans of the capacitive controls themselves, especially things like the volume slider knob here, but overall, a pretty intuitive layout otherwise. The push button gear selector here instead of a traditional gear shifter. That clears up some space down in the console area. And tons of available connections here. Two 12 volt outlets, a 115 volt household style outlet, two headphone jacks, an HDMI port, and up to five USB ports. You could pretty much go and buy out an entire Best Buy and test it out in the new Pilot. Now interior quality takes a little bit of a dive in back in terms of just upper door materials here. They're kind of cheaper, harder plastics back here, but a lot of room for adults. This is where I'd sit to drive. I'm six feet tall. Lots of leg room left over here with the seat all the way kind of in its farthest back position. And a decent sort of seating position for adults here. Now the seats, they move forward and backward quite a bit here. And there's nice large kind of hip point levers here to recline a few degrees if you need to. Honda says there's a standard kind of one touch button actuated feature to get into the third row of the Pilot here. You simply push a button that's actually right here along the bottom of the seat. And then that exposes the sort of walk-in feature. You hop in like so. And now you're all the way back. This is with the second row all the way back. Leg room here for the third row for adults, it's passable. And if you want, you can negotiate some of that room. Kind of move forward from the second row seats. Now I've actually got pretty decent leg room for the third row here. Not a bad setup. Now this car here at the auto show is on a raised platform. So don't take my hip point here to seem like this cargo floor here is really high up off the ground. Cargo specs still coming, but Honda maintains that this is significantly more cargo room than in the prior generation Pilot. In fact, it's large enough back here to fit an 82 quart cooler without having to put this third road down. Now, speaking of. Pretty simple when you want to do that. You just pull this strap right here. Head restraint comes down as part of the process. Just tips forward to increase cargo space. Flat floor here. Now, if you just want maximum room, this is removable and actually stows down here to lower the load floor. It gives you a little bit more vertical space there. Again, a pretty decent setup. Despite the extra size, Honda says the Pilot is around 300 pounds lighter than its predecessor. Now details on the V6 engine, the transmission, and more importantly, the gas mileage are still forthcoming, but Honda says this car will have the best gas mileage in its entire segment. Stay tuned for more details on the Pilot, closer to its on sale date in the summer of 2015. (engine revving)