2018 Honda Pilot Introduction – In terms of three-row crossovers, Honda is near the top of its class with their Pilot. Even though these days three-row crossovers seem to be a lot more similar to a minivan than they used to, people still buy them thanks to their arguably better looks and improved off-road prowess. The third generation of the Pilot is not that far from the Odyssey. The two share the same platform, engine, transmissions and even parts of the interior.
However, the Pilot is higher off the ground, and it comes with a different suspension setup. On top of that, it looks nothing like a minivan which appeals to many more people than otherwise. Even though the third generation of the car has been around for roughly two years, it seems an update is on its way.
UPDATE May 23, 2017 – The Pilot is a practical three-rows crossover released not that long ago by Honda. The car has been completely reworked over its predecessor, so it features the latest available technologies. However, it seems things are about to change in the near future. Not that long ago reports about a smaller version of the car started to surface on the internet. It seems that this new model would be built in the US specifically for the US market at Honda’s Alabama plant. The details are still scarce, but it seems the car will commence production in September 2018. Considering how close this date is, we wouldn’t be surprised if the new smaller Pilot is well under development.
2018 Honda Pilot Price and Release Date
The update is expected to be released with the upcoming 2018 Honda Pilot and it should include a few cosmetic upgrades and some changes under the skin as well. The overall feel of the car will remain similar, but it should offer a slightly better driving experience than before. One of the biggest griefs with the current model has been the suspension system. The car is great as a cruiser but the suspension is just too soft. Luckily though Honda listens to their customers so it seems we may see a similar setup to that on the Ridgeline which is a bit stiffer, nicer to drive while maintaining the comfort levels unchanged. The new model is expected to be released in early 2018, and it should hit the market shortly after. It will still cost just as much as before with the top end models going up to $50,000 which might be the upper limit of its class.
UPDATE / What is it?
This smaller version of the car is expected to use the same platform as the Pilot but with a shorter wheelbase. This will give it all the benefits of the Pilot with none of the drawbacks. Many expected it to be based on Honda’s new modular platform. However, being based on the same chassis as the ongoing Pilot would allow them to retain the 5,000 pounds tow rating and a few other quirks. The car is likely going to be considerably cheaper than the Pilot. In fact, some suggested it may start at around $26,000 which is where most of its rivals are.
The current model is quite good looking and follows Honda’s latest corporate front end design. The 2018 Honda Pilot might come with a few upgrades but nothing major. In the front, we expect the same grille and bumper but we may see new fog lamps housings, likely a new set of LED headlights as well as a different insert for the lower grille. New wheels might also be added into the mix on certain models, but these will be available to retrofit on older cars as well. The rear could do with a new set of tail lights and possible a slightly less intrusive bumper.
UPDATE – Even though it will be smaller, the new two-row 2018 Honda Pilot is more than likely going to be very similar to the current car. Due to the shorter wheelbase, the rear doors are bound to get smaller. The rear overhang will also decrease and so will the rear three-quarter windows. However, the rear end, as well as the car’s front end, are expected to remain mostly identical to the Pilot. The interior won’t be much different either, so the car will definitely be a step above its smaller sibling when it comes to the features it will be able to offer.
Inside the Cabin
Here the Pilot has a small edge over some of its rivals thanks to the great materials used and the great NVH levels. It seems that the upcoming 2018 Honda Pilot will keep most things the same. However, there will be a few new features. Things like a better stop/start system, standard collision warning, and brake assist as well as a larger infotainment screen are going to be standard. The layout of the cabin and most of the dashboard are more than likely going to be carried over completely unchanged.
Under the Hood
The ongoing model uses Honda’s 3.5 liters naturally aspirated V6 which is mated to either a six-speed or a nine-speed automatic. The latter is only available on the top-end Touring and Elite model which is a bit of a shame. This is expected to change though. Not that long ago the new Odyssey has been released which sports a brand new transmission. It seems that this will make its way on the 2018 Honda Pilot as well even though Honda hasn’t confirmed it so far. This means that the base model will more than likely receive the nine-speed automatic as standard. The top end versions, on the other hand, might get to use the brand new ten-speed gearbox. This is an in-house design by Honda and it seems it is superior to the nine-speed ZF gearbox which was sometimes lacking. The 3.5-liter V6 engine might also get a small boost in power. It currently makes 280 horsepower and most rumors suggest it will get near 300 horsepower and around 270 lb-ft of torque. With the help of the ten-speed gearbox, the new Pilot should be at least as efficient while providing better performance than before. The tow rating, which was previously set at 5,000 pounds on the top end model, will more than likely remain unchanged.
UPDATE / Is it needed?
The short wheelbase 2018 Honda Pilot would be aimed at those looking to get a car similar to the current Pilot but do not need the third row of seats. The car would be able to offer considerably more interior space than the CR-V and a better set of features. On top of that, it would receive a much more refined engine than its cheaper counterpart which would make it a really desirable model. The car is more than likely going to feature the same 3.5 liter V6 as the Pilot which can make nearly 300 horsepower, a lot more than the 190 horsepower CR-V. A 10 speed automatic might be used as a standard which would be new for the Pilot range.
Take a look at the previous version while we wait for the new Pilot: