2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition review: Embracing the darkness

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

This SUV is ageing gracefully.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Living up to its name, the 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition is, well, black. Providing this three-row SUV its murdered-out appearance is exclusive Crystal Black Pearl paint, black-concluded twenty-inch wheels and a blacked-out grille. You can find black headlight and aspect trim, in addition the doorway handles and fog-light-weight accents are rendered in this pitch-dim hue. Black Edition badges are located on the grille and liftgate, in addition the entrance bucket seats are embroidered with the identical textual content, stitched with black thread as a result of the black leather. You get the issue Honda has absent overboard with black. But even if you prefer additional visually vibrant motor vehicles, there’s nevertheless a great deal to like about this Pilot.


  • Decent comfort in all three rows
  • Supple journey quality
  • Crisp steering come to feel
  • Snarling VTEC V6

Do not Like

  • Transmission could be additional responsive
  • Interior starting off to look dated
  • Homely instrument cluster

It may not be the most enjoyable model in its course, but Honda’s venerable household hauler is nevertheless handsome and cleanly created. Its entrance stop is helpful and approachable even though the rear is a basic, no-nonsense affair. Much too negative its wheelbase is towards the smaller-stop of the three-row crossover SUV section. In profile, this will make the Pilot look a bit uncomfortable, like its entrance and rear overhangs are too very long. 

A comfy inside which is displaying its age

But what’s within is considerably additional critical and this three-row utility is starting off to show its age. No, there’s absolutely nothing inherently wrong with the Pilot’s cabin — well, aside from its uncomfortable foot pedal-operated parking brake that seems to be like something pulled from a car crafted in the seventies. It truly is truly quite great within, roomy, well crafted, comfortable and loaded with technology. It truly is just other automakers are likely higher than and further than these times.

The new Toyota Highlander, for instance, has a fashionable inside which is additional upscale than the Pilot’s. The Subaru Ascent’s cabin trimmings have an edge as well, but the versions that have seriously elevated the bar for inside quality the two hail from South Korea. 

The Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride come to feel additional quality than nearly anything else in the three-row crossover section, with eye-catching types, thoughtful touches and top rated-notch supplies. Inspite of its age, the Pilot nevertheless has an edge in excess of the new Explorer. This Ford’s inside is disappointingly slapdash, with a somewhat uncommon design and style and a great deal of small-hire supplies.

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

A basic general format and superior-quality supplies are hallmarks of the Pilot’s inside.

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My exam-model Pilot’s leather seating surfaces are quite great, soft and sleek, in addition the plastics employed on the dashboard and doorway panels are squishy to the contact and attractively grained. 

As for comfort, the Pilot is suitably coddling. Its entrance seats are supportive, no grievances there, but the next-row is significantly less than excellent. Those buckets are too flat for very long-length comfort and their decreased cushions are tipped ahead at an odd angle.

Astonishingly, this vehicle’s third-row seat is additional adult helpful than what you get in some rivals. You can find sufficient headroom in the Pilot’s way-back again and even first rate amounts of legroom, indicating grownups is not going to put up with undue hardship if seated there. 

Reducing the gymnastics necessary to entry that third-row seat, this Honda’s next-row buckets tilt and slide ahead at the drive of a button, offering a fairly broad pathway.

When it really is time to haul freight as an alternative of people, those people backseats fold quickly, opening up a generously portioned cargo keep. At the rear of the third row, you get up to sixteen.five cubic feet of room. Fold those people backrests down and that determine grows to all over 47. Fall the next-row seats and the Pilot tops out at just shy of 84 cubic feet. These figures review incredibly favorably to most rival versions.

Checkin’ the tech

When it arrives to technology, there’s a great deal in the Pilot, nevertheless the Honda Sensing suite of highly developed driver assist techniques is the headliner. Graciously, it is typical throughout the model selection. This bundle features points like automatic crisis braking, lane-keeping assist, street-departure mitigation and adaptive cruise management with lane centering. That last product is particularly valuable. Not only does it immediately regulate car velocity centered on visitors situations, it also can help maintain the Pilot locked in the center of its lane, lessening the sum of input necessary and helping curb driver tension on very long outings. Additionally, Honda has accomplished a superior career implementing this technology than many other automakers. Not only is it rapid to reply, it really is really sleek, as well.

The Pilot’s infotainment procedure is colourful and mostly nice, with a crisp, 8-inch touchscreen mounted superior on the dashboard. The main menu has a selection of large, finger-helpful icons that can be quickly rearranged. The general responsiveness of this procedure is mostly praiseworthy, nevertheless a cleaner consumer interface with a tuning knob may well be great. Of training course, High definition and Sirius XM radio are provided in the Pilot Black Edition, ditto for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a wi-fi cellular phone charging pad and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.

Amid many other attributes, drive-button start off and a gigantic middle console are typical in just about every variation of the Pilot, nevertheless my tester also attributes three-zone weather management and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, in addition heated and ventilated entrance chairs. You can find even a rear-seat entertainment procedure with a ten.2-inch show and a Blu-Ray participant to maintain the kiddies occupied on very long drives.

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

This is not my beloved infotainment procedure, but it functions well more than enough.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

VTEC ability to the persons

Honda is arguably most famed for its engines, from superior-winding 4-bangers to one-cylinder industrial examples employed in transportable turbines and garden mowers. I imply, “motor” is suitable in the firm’s formal name. Legitimate to sort, the Pilot’s powertrain is a pretty piece of do the job.

All versions of this household hauler feature a 3.five-liter V6. With one overhead camshafts, i-VTEC variable valve timing and direct gas injection, it pumps out a balanced 280 horsepower with a course-aggressive 262 pound-feet of torque. Serving to reduce gas intake, it also attributes cylinder deactivation as well as the two noise cancellation and energetic motor mounts to quell unwanted sounds and vibration when it really is working on less than a fifty percent-dozen cylinders. 

Curiously, Honda presents two transmissions in the Pilot. Larger-volume trims such as the LX and EX household variants soldier on with a six-velocity automatic, but Touring, Elite and Black Edition versions feature a highfalutin’ 9-ratio cog-swapper. A acquainted ZF-sourced unit, I have truly experienced this transmission in three distinct purposes a short while ago. In addition to Honda, the two Chrysler and Land Rover use this transmission. Unexpectedly, I located it shifted the smoothest and was most responsive in the Pacifica I a short while ago reviewed, nevertheless the overall performance, even though nevertheless Okay, was least desirable in the Discovery Activity I also analyzed a couple weeks in the past. The Pilot falls someplace in involving, trending additional towards the minivan than that SUV. This transmission feels a minimal gradual to go into equipment when you decide on 1, and downshifts can be a bit lethargic as well. At least it really is reasonably sleek.

On the flip aspect, the  Pilot’s acquired a great deal of mojo, scooting when you nail the accelerator. In regular Honda vogue, the motor sounds superior than competitors’ offerings, emitting a balanced snarl, particularly as the tachometer needle sweeps previous the five-grand mark and VTEC switches in excess of to additional aggressive camshaft profiles. Driven in a additional affordable manner, that V6 continues to be hushed and is just about no cost of vibration. 

Boosting traction in a broad selection of situations, all-wheel generate is typical on Pilot Black Edition versions. It arrives with 4 selectable modes such as Standard, Snow, Mud and Sand, so you can tailor the vehicle’s response to many driving conditions. 

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

You can call this the corral since it really is the place the horses stay.

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Resist the temptation to wind that V6 motor out and the Pilot is estimated to return 26 miles for every gallon on the highway. About city you can assume 22 mpg. Put together, it really is rated at 19 mpg.

Of training course, if you approach on towing with your Pilot, those people figures go suitable out the window. All-wheel-generate versions of this SUV can drag up to five,000 kilos, a course-aggressive determine. Entrance-generate versions can only handle 3,five hundred kilos. 

Safeguarding proprietors from surprising concerns, the 2020 Honda Pilot arrives with a 3-12 months/36,000-mile confined guarantee. In the US, Puerto Rico and Canada, 24-hour crisis roadside help is provided throughout that period of time. As for the powertrain, it really is assured for five a long time or 60,000 miles, whichever arrives very first.

More than-the-street refinement

Inspite of rolling on generously portioned twenty-inch wheels, the Pilot’s journey is astonishingly limber. Impacts are nicely absorbed, with minimal harshness from the street felt by travellers. Suspension tuning is on the softer aspect, as evinced by a bit of float when driving in excess of large bumps or heaves in the street. 

Given its unexpectedly supple journey, you’d in all probability consider the Pilot’s dealing with would be sloppy and ponderous, but this isn’t the situation. Its steering is light-weight and quite crisp, with uncommon precision for a car in this section.

Matching its journey quality, this Honda’s inside is well insulated against wind and tire noise. Even at freeway speeds, the cabin continues to be great and peaceful.

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

You can find a lot to like about the Honda Pilot.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Again in black

The Black Edition model is the pinnacle of the Pilot selection and it really is priced appropriately. My tester rang up at $50,840, such as $1,120 in desired destination and dealing with costs. That’s similar to top rated-stop versions of the Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Atlas and Kia Telluride, nevertheless a Ford Explorer Platinum is significantly pricier. Of training course, if which is too abundant for your blood, you can normally grab a Pilot LX, Honda’s entry-level model. Which includes shipping expenses, it commences at suitable all over $33,000. 

You can find no lack of three-row crossovers accessible today. Inspite of its advancing a long time, in the deal with of withering competitors, the Honda Pilot continues to be an exceptional possibility. Sure, its inside could be a bit snazzier and I desire that 9-velocity transmission had been a minimal additional attentive, but it drives well and is the two roomy and astonishingly comfortable in all three rows. What additional could you question for in a large crossover?