Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Used Honda Pilot

March 12th, 2021 by

A white 2020 used Honda Pilot is shown from the front driving down a twisty road.

First introduced to the auto market back in 2002, the Honda Pilot quickly became one of the most popular midsize SUVs on the roads. As the largest crossover in the Honda fleet, it offers three rows of seating for bigger families. It also shares a platform with its minivan sibling, the Honda Odyssey, and it comes with a unibody design and independent suspension system. These features make it feel more like a car from the rider’s perspective, but it still has all the SUV capabilities you need. If you have been thinking about purchasing a budget-friendly transport with plenty of space, then you may seriously want to consider a used Honda Pilot.

First Generation

This initial version of the Honda Pilot began flying off of dealership lots in 2003. With a 3.5-liter V6 engine underneath the hood, this model produces 240 hp and 242 lb-ft of torque. However, the powertrain was revised in 2005. These models push out 255 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Another thing to note is that these models all come with a four-wheel drive system, which means that a used Honda Pilot from 2003 to 2005 is a great vehicle for adventures.

In 2006, the Pilot was changed to come standard with front-wheel drive, while four-wheel drive became an available option. However, you might be able to find a pre-owned model from this production run that comes with the Variable Torque Management four-wheel drive system and the optional towing package. With these two added features, the vehicle should be able to pull up to 4,500 pounds. Other revisions made to the 2006 models include a redesigned grille insert and fascia and new exterior lighting.

Aside from a few minor changes to the exterior paint colors in 2007, there weren’t many upgrades to the Pilot until 2008. This was when the VP (Value Package) trim replaced the LX base model. Also, the SE (Special Edition) trim was added to round out the lineup.

A mother and daughter are shown in the front seats of a 2020 used Honda Pilot.

Second Generation

From 2009 to 2015, the second generation saw plenty of updates. Making its debut at the North American International Auto Show, this revamped SUV was offered in five unique trims. Today, you can find them on the used market. They are the LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and SE. Every model uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 250 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive (four-wheel drive was optional), you can expect to get around 19 MPG combined (17 MPG city and 23 MPG highway). Other enhancements include a power liftgate, driver-seat memory settings, and a relocated gear shift.

In 2011, the Honda Pilot underwent a minor revision with the voice-controlled navigation system made available on the EX-L trim instead of being exclusive to the Touring trim. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system was also added to the Touring trim. If you want a vehicle that will keep the kids busy during long trips, a used 2011 Honda Pilot Touring will be a great choice.

The 2012 update was mostly cosmetic. New alloy wheels were installed, and the front fascia was refreshed again. If you are looking for more tech upgrades, then the 2013 version might be your best bet. A rearview camera was installed on every trim, and tri-zone climate control was added into the mix. You will also get a better infotainment system. This one is displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen that operates with Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and audio streaming. By the end of the second generation, the Honda Pilot was a comfortable and well-equipped vehicle even by modern standards.

A blue 2020 used Honda Pilot is parked by a lake near a woman fishing.

Third Generation

As for the third and current generation, these will be the used Honda Pilot models that are loaded with the most advanced technology. They tend to cost more, but they also provide you with the best features. If you have a bit more wiggle room in your budget, you should certainly consider a third-generation used Honda Pilot.

Premiering at the Chicago Auto Show in 2016, this Pilot boasts a sleeker exterior design. The older models were a bit boxier, and the engineers at Honda wanted to reduce the amount of drag with a more streamlined body style. Enhancements made to this particular model include standard LED exterior lighting for a distinctive and eye-catching look. Meanwhile, the brand new Elite trim level offers automatic high beams, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a panoramic sunroof.

As for safety, Honda really stepped up its game with the LaneWatch passenger-side mirror camera option. Serving as a blindspot monitor, this added system was designed to prevent you from changing lanes when it is unsafe to do so. Other safety systems that you might find on used Honda Pilots from this generation include Forward Collision Warning, a Collision Mitigation Braking System, a Lane Keeping Assist System, a Road Departure Mitigation System, and Adaptive Cruise Control. These are all systems that come with the Honda Sensing package.

The third-generation Pilot models are all equipped with a revised 3.5-liter V6 motor. Using direct injection and start/stop technology, this powertrain boasts an improved fuel economy of around 23 MPG combined (20 MPG city and 27 MPG highway). Generating 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, this is the most powerful version of the Pilot. Lower trims will come with a 6-speed automatic transmission. However, the higher trims are equipped with a smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission. In 2021, the 9-speed was made standard for all Pilot trims.

If you find a used 2017 model, it will come with upgraded connectivity features. Known as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, this type of smartphone integration is highly sought-after. You can sync your mobile device and use the interface as you would your phone. The only model from 2017 that doesn’t come with this popular upgrade is the base LX trim.

As for the 2019 used Honda Pilot models, the grille, front and back bumpers, wheels, and exterior lighting have all undergone changes. You may also find a vehicle with a hands-free power liftgate. Inside the cabin, you will notice a revised vehicle information cluster and a new infotainment system with the HondaLink software installed. Optional features that you might come across also include a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot and a rear-seat entertainment system. Finally, the Honda Sensing suite of safety systems is standard at this point.

The last used Honda Pilot vehicles that you can find are the 2020 models. Aside from the Black Edition trim being added to the lineup, there are no significant changes to this production run. If you are looking to save money but still get the best technology, you can easily find a 2019 used Honda Pilot.

Find a Used Honda Pilot

Here at Gwinnett Place Honda, we offer an extensive selection of used vehicles. Since we specialize in Honda vehicles, we highly recommend taking a peek at our current stock of used Honda Pilots and other Honda models when considering the pre-owned vehicles on our lot. If you have your heart set on a used Honda Pilot, get in touch with our team of experts today. From our sales team to our finance department, they can help you find the perfect match to suit your budget and your daily driving needs.

Posted in Used Honda Pilot