2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition review: Embracing the darkness

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

This SUV is getting older gracefully.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Residing up to its name, the 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition is, nicely, black. Supplying this 3-row SUV its murdered-out physical appearance is special Crystal Black Pearl paint, black-concluded 20-inch wheels and a blacked-out grille. There’s black headlight and facet trim, in addition the door handles and fog-mild accents are rendered in this pitch-darkish hue. Black Edition badges are observed on the grille and liftgate, in addition the front bucket seats are embroidered with the very same text, stitched with black thread by way of the black leather. You get the stage Honda has gone overboard with black. But even if you desire more visually lively vehicles, there is certainly continue to a great deal to really like about this Pilot.


  • First rate convenience in all 3 rows
  • Supple experience excellent
  • Crisp steering sense
  • Snarling VTEC V6

Do not Like

  • Transmission could be more responsive
  • Inside starting up to glimpse dated
  • Homely instrument cluster

It may not be the most exciting design in its class, but Honda’s venerable loved ones hauler is continue to handsome and cleanly intended. Its front stop is pleasant and approachable whilst the rear is a simple, no-nonsense affair. Far too negative its wheelbase is towards the smaller-stop of the 3-row crossover SUV phase. In profile, this would make the Pilot glimpse a bit uncomfortable, like its front and rear overhangs are also lengthy. 

A comfy inside that is exhibiting its age

But what is within is considerably more essential and this 3-row utility is starting up to present its age. No, there is certainly very little inherently wrong with the Pilot’s cabin — nicely, apart from its uncomfortable foot pedal-operated parking brake that appears like something pulled from a car built in the seventies. It is in fact rather nice within, roomy, nicely built, cozy and loaded with technology. It is just other automakers are going above and outside of these times.

The new Toyota Highlander, for occasion, has a classy inside that is more upscale than the Pilot’s. The Subaru Ascent’s cabin trimmings have an edge as nicely, but the versions that have actually lifted the bar for inside excellent both equally hail from South Korea. 

The Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride sense more quality than everything else in the 3-row crossover phase, with beautiful styles, considerate touches and top-notch resources. Even with its age, the Pilot continue to has an edge more than the new Explorer. This Ford’s inside is disappointingly slapdash, with a fairly uncommon structure and a great deal of reduced-lease resources.

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

A simple in general structure and high-excellent resources are hallmarks of the Pilot’s inside.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

My take a look at-design Pilot’s leather seating surfaces are rather nice, gentle and smooth, in addition the plastics made use of on the dashboard and door panels are squishy to the contact and attractively grained. 

As for convenience, the Pilot is suitably coddling. Its front seats are supportive, no problems there, but the next-row is less than ideal. People buckets are also flat for lengthy-length convenience and their lessen cushions are tipped forward at an odd angle.

Remarkably, this vehicle’s 3rd-row seat is more grownup pleasant than what you get in some rivals. There’s enough headroom in the Pilot’s way-again and even good quantities of legroom, this means grownups will not likely experience undue hardship if seated there. 

Minimizing the gymnastics expected to accessibility that 3rd-row seat, this Honda’s next-row buckets tilt and slide forward at the press of a button, delivering a relatively huge pathway.

When it is time to haul freight rather of people, those people backseats fold easily, opening up a generously portioned cargo keep. Powering the 3rd row, you get up to 16.5 cubic feet of space. Fold those people backrests down and that determine grows to all-around forty seven. 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 will come to technology, there is certainly a great deal in the Pilot, though the Honda Sensing suite of highly developed driver guide programs is the headliner. Graciously, it is conventional throughout the design range. This bundle contains points like automatic emergency braking, lane-holding guide, road-departure mitigation and adaptive cruise management with lane centering. That very last item is specially practical. Not only does it quickly adjust car pace based mostly on targeted visitors conditions, it also allows retain the Pilot locked in the center of its lane, cutting down the amount of enter expected and assisting curb driver tension on lengthy journeys. Also, Honda has finished a improved task employing this technology than lots of other automakers. Not only is it rapid to reply, it is really smooth, as nicely.

The Pilot’s infotainment technique is colourful and mostly enjoyable, with a crisp, 8-inch touchscreen mounted high on the dashboard. The key menu has a range of significant, finger-pleasant icons that can be easily rearranged. The in general responsiveness of this technique is mostly praiseworthy, though a cleaner user interface with a tuning knob may well be nice. Of class, Hd and Sirius XM radio are provided in the Pilot Black Edition, ditto for Apple CarPlay, Android Vehicle, a wi-fi telephone charging pad and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.

Among the lots of other features, press-button begin and a gigantic centre console are conventional in every single edition of the Pilot, though my tester also features 3-zone local climate management and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, in addition heated and ventilated front chairs. There’s even a rear-seat leisure technique with a 10.two-inch exhibit and a Blu-Ray participant to retain the kiddies occupied on lengthy drives.

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

This is not my beloved infotainment technique, but it performs nicely plenty of.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

VTEC energy to the men and women

Honda is arguably most well-known for its engines, from high-winding 4-bangers to single-cylinder industrial illustrations made use of in moveable turbines and lawn mowers. I necessarily mean, “motor” is appropriate in the firm’s formal name. True to type, the Pilot’s powertrain is a lovely piece of operate.

All versions of this loved ones hauler function a three.5-liter V6. With single overhead camshafts, i-VTEC variable valve timing and immediate gas injection, it pumps out a healthier 280 horsepower with a class-aggressive 262 pound-feet of torque. Aiding decrease gas usage, it also features cylinder deactivation as nicely as both equally sound cancellation and lively motor mounts to quell unwanted seems and vibration when it is functioning on less than a 50 percent-dozen cylinders. 

Curiously, Honda provides two transmissions in the Pilot. Increased-quantity trims such as the LX and EX loved ones variants soldier on with a 6-pace automatic, but Touring, Elite and Black Edition versions function a highfalutin’ nine-ratio cog-swapper. A acquainted ZF-sourced device, I have in fact knowledgeable this transmission in 3 different applications not too long ago. In addition to Honda, both equally Chrysler and Land Rover use this transmission. Unexpectedly, I observed it shifted the smoothest and was most responsive in the Pacifica I not too long ago reviewed, though the performance, whilst continue to Alright, was least attractive in the Discovery Sport I also examined a several weeks back. The Pilot falls someplace in involving, trending more towards the minivan than that SUV. This transmission feels a minor slow to go into equipment when you select a person, and downshifts can be a bit lethargic as nicely. At least it is reasonably smooth.

On the flip facet, the  Pilot’s bought a great deal of mojo, scooting when you nail the accelerator. In typical Honda style, the motor seems improved than competitors’ choices, emitting a healthier snarl, specially as the tachometer needle sweeps past the 5-grand mark and VTEC switches more than to more aggressive camshaft profiles. Pushed in a more sensible method, that V6 stays hushed and is nearly cost-free of vibration. 

Maximizing traction in a huge range of conditions, all-wheel drive is conventional on Pilot Black Edition versions. It will come with 4 selectable modes such as Normal, Snow, Mud and Sand, so you can tailor the vehicle’s reaction to many driving conditions. 

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

You can call this the corral because it is in which the horses are living.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

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

Of class, if you strategy on towing with your Pilot, those people figures go appropriate out the window. All-wheel-drive versions of this SUV can drag up to 5,000 kilos, a class-aggressive determine. Entrance-drive versions can only manage three,five hundred kilos. 

Preserving homeowners from sudden troubles, the 2020 Honda Pilot will come with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty. In the US, Puerto Rico and Canada, 24-hour emergency roadside support is provided for the duration of that period of time. As for the powertrain, it is confirmed for 5 yrs or 60,000 miles, whichever will come 1st.

About-the-road refinement

Even with rolling on generously portioned 20-inch wheels, the Pilot’s experience is surprisingly limber. Impacts are properly absorbed, with minor harshness from the road felt by passengers. Suspension tuning is on the softer facet, as evinced by a bit of float when driving more than significant bumps or heaves in the road. 

Presented its unexpectedly supple experience, you’d probably feel the Pilot’s dealing with would be sloppy and ponderous, but this is just not the case. Its steering is mild and rather crisp, with uncommon precision for a car in this phase.

Matching its experience excellent, this Honda’s inside is nicely insulated versus wind and tire sound. Even at freeway speeds, the cabin stays nice and peaceful.

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

There’s a ton to like about the Honda Pilot.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Back in black

The Black Edition design is the pinnacle of the Pilot range and it is priced accordingly. My tester rang up at $50,840, such as $one,one hundred twenty in destination and dealing with fees. Which is equivalent to top-stop versions of the Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Atlas and Kia Telluride, though a Ford Explorer Platinum is significantly pricier. Of class, if that is also wealthy for your blood, you can usually seize a Pilot LX, Honda’s entry-stage design. Such as shipping and delivery prices, it starts off at appropriate all-around $33,000. 

There’s no scarcity of 3-row crossovers available currently. Even with its advancing yrs, in the experience of withering levels of competition, the Honda Pilot stays an excellent choice. Yes, its inside could be a bit snazzier and I would like that nine-pace transmission were being a minor more attentive, but it drives nicely and is both equally roomy and surprisingly cozy in all 3 rows. What more could you check with for in a significant crossover?