2020 Honda Pilot Changes
2020 Honda Pilot Changes It looks as if Honda had brought the current generation pilots to the market yesterday, but given the competitiveness of the mid-range SUV segment, it’s not surprising that the three-row SUV is already getting updates. The 2019 Honda Pilot received a variety of changes — from an improved nine-speed transmission to a new infotainment system with Cabintalk and Cabincontrol, as well as updated styling-—, to maintain the sale.
In our long-time 2016-pilot elite, we had replaced the transfer under warranty to 21,428 miles after experiencing ruckelkeit and audible Chirps. Editor-in-chief Ed Loh, who has curbed this pilot and documented his experience in a number of updates, was not yet satisfied with the new ZF transmission, which noted a poor acceleration and slow reaction of the paddle sliders. It seems as if Honda has listened to us and to many customers who have complained about the behaviour of the transmission. For 2019, the pilot’s nine-speed transmission has received hardware and software changes that address these problems.
Honda replaced the clutch and hydraulics to move speed and consistency, and modified the valve structure to improve the ongoing shifts. Honda claims that the response of the paddle slider is faster, and that it updates the strategy of shift selection to maintain performance and combat the shift frequency. Honda has made further revisions to the start-stop system, which now starts the engine a little faster. In normal driving conditions, the gearbox starts in the second gear for a smoother start, but this changes when driving is more aggressive or when the pilot is in sport mode.
We spent a few hours driving the 2019 Honda Pilot elite on the winding roads and highways Southern California and noticed the changes in the transmission. The shifts occur smoothly and at the right time, although the gearbox is always on the hunt for the highest gear to increase fuel consumption. This changes when driving in sport mode, in which the motor turns around at higher RPMs and can be switched with the paddles, which showed no delay. The start-stop system also works faster when the motor is restarted in sport mode, although you still notice noise and vibrations, whether the motor is on or off. The system is not as smooth as the ones we have seen in the recent Fords and Chevrolets, but it is not as excited as that of BMW. We’re going to have to spend more time with the 2019 pilot to make sure we don’t experience any more problems.
Regardless of the trim, all pilots are powered by the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which develops 280 hp and 262 lb-ft torque. LX, ex and ex-L trim strips come with a six-speed automatic transmission, and touring and elite models will receive the updated nine-gear. In a push to bring more safety for Honda owners, the Japanese brand Honda sensing has implemented as standard equipment for all pilots, which means that you can use the collision warning with emergency braking, road exit, Lane holding assistant and adaptive Cruise control. Blind spot monitoring and rear-end cross-traffic alarm are, however, only standard for EX, ex-L, touring and elite models.
In terms of tech, the 2019-pilot with Apple CarPlay and Android car comes to ex and above trims, and he adds Honda’s new infotainment system, which gets Cabincontrol (ex and above) and Cabintalk (ex-L and higher). Cabincontrol, a downloadable smartphone app that we have seen for the first time on the Odyssey, allows passengers to control the pilot’s audio system, the rear entertainment system (if equipped) and the automatic air conditioning. The passenger can also send a specific address directly from his smartphone to the pilot’s navigation system, which can be helpful to the driver. With Cabintalk, the driver can talk to the back seat of passengers via headphones when watching a movie, or over the rear speakers. The wireless charging comes in the 2019 pilots elite, and a speakerphone is now standard on touring and elite.
As we have already reported, the pilot receives an updated front fascia, and there is a new sling set on the lower part of the anterior bumper. The rear lights were redesigned on the back, as was the rear bumper. Unless you’ve owned a 2018 pilot or are looking at a side-by-side with the 2019 model, the changes are hard to see at first glance. Something that will distinguish the 2019 pilots is the cool graphics package ($350) that contains decals for the center of the hood, vehicle sides and wheels. The package is available in silver, blue, red and orange and can be added as an accessory. If you want your pilot to look more sporty, this is definitely the right way.
In addition to a regular road trip, we also tested the pilot on an off-road track. Although this course was built specifically for the pilot, it was much more dramatic than what the average consumer would do with a three-row SUV. Equipped with torque vectoring control, the pilot system can send up to 70 percent of the torque to the rear wheels and 100 percent of that torque to the left or right rear wheel. There are four modes available: normal, snow, mud and sand. These change different settings, from throttle mapping to AWD management, which fit the pilot to the respective terrain.
The sand mode was the right mode to use on this off-road track, which had dirt hills, steep gradients, river rocks and dirt holes. It was amusing to get the pilot on three wheels, but it was even more fun to glide the rear end through the high-speed dirt section. It is obvious that if a manufacturer builds an off-road track for his vehicle at a press start, this car will not be stuck. But it was fascinating to see how a family SUV went through the course without any problems.
2020 Honda Pilot Changes
I also got a chance to haul a bourgeois si racing car that weighed 2,700 pounds on a 1,200-pound pendant. Front-wheeled pilots can still haul up to 3,500 pounds, but those with AWD can haul 5,000 pounds, which should be enough to haul a boat depending on size. When towing 3,900 pounds, the 2019 pilot elite AWD felt comfortable. The gearbox keeps the gears longer, and when you go uphill, the engine turns significantly higher to provide more torque.
The pilot I drove to the test was equipped with a towing package containing a hook receiver ($360); Hook wire Harness ($225) and a transmission cooler ($385). It also had an aftermarket trailer brake because Honda does not offer any. Honda says if you drag less than 3,500 pounds, you don’t need the transfer cooler.
With prices starting at $32,445 and topping at $49,015, Honda wants to keep the momentum running with its light trucks. Pilot sales have risen by more than 38 percent by July of this year, and with more features, competitive prices and an updated transfer, Honda should have no problem maintaining that pace.