The 2016 Honda Pilot is completely redesigned from top to bottom, with a new, sleeker look and a revised powertrain for better fuel economy and power. But for all of Honda’s big-picture changes to this midsize SUV, most Pilot buyers will be more intrigued to find out about the crossover’s family-friendly details that give it even more practicality and versatility than before. Here are eight of the best new features on the 2016 Honda Pilot.
Reversible cargo floor
The significantly larger cargo area behind the third-row seats now has a new party trick. A nifty reversible cargo floor has carpeting on one side and a more durable, rubberized surface on the other. A simple flip of the false floor turns the cargo area into a place for dirty gear that’s much easier to clean. The storage area under the floor is also trimmed in this same rubberized plastic surface.
Active safety features
The old Honda Pilot was decidedly behind the times in terms of safety technology, but the new model remedies that with its available suite of Honda Sensing active safety technologies including blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and a rear cross-traffic alert. Expect these features to be available as an option package on the higher-trim versions of the 2016 Honda Pilot.
Honda is targeting best-in-class fuel economy for the 2016 Pilot and its new 3.5-liter V-6 engine, and a newly available engine start-stop system will be offered for the first time. This system will be offered in versions of the Pilot equipped with the nine-speed automatic transmission that’s also in the Acura TLX and MDX, and should help improve EPA city fuel economy from the current AWD Pilot’s low 17-mpg rating.
Rear-seat passengers will get some extra sunlight thanks to the new Pilot’s optional panoramic sunroof that stretches over the second-row seats. This glass panel is fixed, but does have a movable shade, and there’s still a traditional sliding sunroof over the front seats.
Walk-in second-row seats
The third-row seats aren’t just roomier than before, they’re also easier to access thanks to a new flip-and-fold feature for the second row seats. A button on the seatback slides and tilts the standard second-row bench seat to provide a wide opening to get into the way back. The 2016 Honda Pilot also offers second-row captain’s chairs for the first time, reducing seating capacity to seven but providing second-row passengers with heated seats and a center console.
Just like the 2015 Acura TLX, 2016 Honda Pilot models with the nine-speed automatic transmission will have a new pushbutton shifter design that frees up more space on the center console. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel and a special “Sport” driving mode will also be standard on Pilots so equipped.
With up to eight seats, the new Pilot needs plenty of power outlets to accommodate the multitude of electronic devices that are sure to make their way into the SUV on long road trips. A whopping five USB ports are included, four of which have a 2.5-amp capacity to charge iPads and other tablets.
Center console “tech locker”
To provide space for all of these devices, the center console has been redesigned to provide much more space. Below the sliding lid is a large, completely open, rectangular compartment that can hold iPads, laptops, purses, and more.