After receiving an extensive mid-cycle refresh for 2012 that included more refined styling, fuel efficiency improvements and upgraded feature content, the Honda Pilot returns for 2013 as the most fuel-efficient and flexible eight-passenger SUV. The Pilot combines family-friendly features with excellent EPA-rated fuel economy ratings (25 mpg highway on 2-wheel-drive (2WD) models), and solid towing capability (4,500 pounds1 on 4-wheel drive models (4WD) models). Upscale exterior and interior designs, advanced electronics and safety features and a choice of 2WD or 4WD, makes Honda’s Pilot a truly versatile transportation solution. The 2013 Honda Pilot goes on sale September 6, and pricing begins at $29,4202.
For 2013, the Pilot offers a significant number of new standard features, including Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, Bluetooth® Audio, USB integration, high-resolution 8-inch intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID), automatic climate controls and a standard rearview camera. Also new for 2013 is a dramatic Obsidian Blue Pearl exterior color (replacing Bali Blue Pearl).
As in previous years, the Pilot is available in LX, EX, EX-L (leather) and Touring trim levels, with a Honda Satellite-Linked4 Navigation System™ and a Rear Entertainment System available on the EX-L model and standard on the Touring model. All 2013 Pilots are powered by a refined 250-horsepower 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine with VCM that includes numerous measures for reducing friction and improving fuel efficiency.
Models and Features
As with the prior model year, the 2013 Pilot is available in four model choices (LX, EX, EX-L and Touring), and each is offered in either a 2-wheel-drive or 4-wheel-drive configuration.
Standard 2013 Honda Pilot features include:
- Simplified center stack
- High-resolution 8-inch intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID)
- Rearview camera display
- Tri-Zone Climate Control
- 2GB CD-Library
- Album artwork display
- User-loadable wallpaper function
- Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®
- Bluetooth® Audio
- USB connection
- Automatic climate controls
Standard comfort and convenience features on the Pilot LX include automatic climate control and a rear air conditioning system with air-filtration system, high-resolution 8-inch intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID), Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® and Bluetooth® Audio, USB connection, rearview camera, tilt and telescope steering column, cruise control, power windows with auto-up/down driver’s and passenger’s window, power door and tailgate locks, AM/FM/CD stereo system with seven speakers including a subwoofer and Radio Data System (RDS), AAC audio file playback capability from data discs to the CD player, trip computer, heat-rejecting tinted glass, integrated Class III tow-hitch receiver, and more.
The Pilot EX adds a tri-zone automatic climate control system with humidity control and air filtration, a power driver’s seat with 10-way power adjustment with lumbar support, security system, XM5 Radio®, body-colored side mirrors and door handles, alloy wheels, fog lights, exterior temperature indicator, HomeLink® Remote System, 2 GB CD Library (CD-L), and more.
Additional Pilot EX-L features include leather-trimmed seating surfaces, heated front seats, 4-way power front passenger’s seat, one-touch power moonroof, a power tailgate, an automatic-dimming rearview mirror and the availability of either the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™2 or the Honda DVD Rear Entertainment System with a 9-inch screen. The addition of either the navigation or the entertainment system also adds a 115-volt power outlet in the center console.
Pilot EX-L with Navigation
The Pilot EX-L with Navigation adds an upgraded navigation system with a high-resolution VGA display and an internal hard drive. Additional features include FM Traffic, Song by Voice™, rearview camera with a multi-view display and a Multi-Information Display in the center of the gauge cluster.
The top-of-the-line Pilot Touring includes the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™2 with rearview camera, a Premium Audio System with 10 speakers, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink® and Audio Streaming (with selected phones), the Honda DVD Rear Entertainment System, 2-position memory seats, roof rails, corner and backup sensors, side-mirror integrated turn indicators and more.
Colors available for 2013 include Alabaster Silver Metallic, Obsidian Blue Pearl (replaces Bali Blue Pearl), Crystal Black Pearl, Dark Cherry Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic, Taffeta White, White Diamond Pearl and Dark Amber Metallic. Fabric and leather interior color choices, which are matched to selected exterior colors, include beige, black or gray.
Power comes from an advanced 24-valve, all-aluminum engine with “intelligent” Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) technology with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM). The VCM system allows the V-6 engine to operate in 6-cylinder mode for power and 4- or 3-cylinder modes for efficiency. The Pilot has an EPA3 city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 17/24/20 mpg on 4-wheel-drive models and 18/25/21 mpg on 2-wheel-drive models. This gives the 2013 Pilot 2WD the highest fuel economy rating of any 8-passenger SUV and the Pilot 4WD the highest fuel economy rating for any mid-size 4WD SUV.
Engine friction-reduction technologies including a plateau-honed engine block, low-friction piston treatments, ion-plated piston rings and 0W-20 oil contribute to the high fuel efficiency. Additional fuel efficiency-enhancing measures include the use of a load-variable alternator, high-efficiency spark plugs and a wide VCM operating range.
The 5-speed automatic transmission features Grade Logic Control to help maintain the most appropriate gear when going uphill or downhill, thereby avoiding gear “hunting.” The available VTM-4 system on Pilot 4WD models adds fully automatic 4-wheel-drive capability. VTM-4 delivers seamless, “decision-free” application of 4-wheel-drive when needed, a key benefit compared to conventional systems. The system also provides a “lock mode” – available when in first or second gear up to 18 mph and activated by a button on the instrument panel – that can deliver the maximum-possible torque transfer to the rear wheels to aid in extraction from extremely low traction or stuck conditions.
The Pilot’s grille and front fascia feature a distinctive 3-bar horizontal design, while multi-reflector halogen headlights and integrated turn signals contribute to the premium look. A front air dam and optimized strakes (the rectangular air deflector in front of the wheels) help reduce unwanted air turbulence, which can help improve fuel efficiency. The Pilot EX and above models have a 5-spoke, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheel design, while Pilot Touring alloy wheels feature an exclusive 6-spoke design with a high-contrast machined surface. Pilot LX models are equipped with 17-inch styled-steel wheels.
The tailgate features a lift-up glass hatch for convenient access to the rearmost cargo area. The model’s 18.0 cubic-feet of cargo space behind the third row matches or exceeds the trunk space of a typical large sedan and can accommodate items as large as a mid-size cooler or a folded stroller. For maximum cargo space, the second and third rows fold flat into the floor to provide sufficient width for 4-foot-wide items.
The cargo area has a hidden storage well that provides 2.8 cu-ft. of additional space and can combine with the above-floor storage area by securing the hinged cover against the seatback. The Pilot Touring also provides a load-supporting cargo net (20 lbs. maximum weight) to further subdivide the rear cargo area. In exterior dimensions, the 2013 Pilot is 78.5 inches wide, 71.0 inches tall (72.7 inches for Pilot EX, EX-L and Touring), and features a 109.2-inch wheelbase and 67.7-inch front / 67.5-inch rear track. Overall length is 191.4 inches, while ground clearance is 7.97 inches.
The suspension is a fully independent system with front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link with trailing arm designs that contribute to responsive driving characteristics for an SUV. The 109.2-inch wheelbase facilitates a smooth ride. A tight turning diameter of 37.9 feet aids maneuverability in tight parking situations.
Advanced chassis features that directly benefit fuel efficiency include a variable-displacement power steering pump, low-rolling-resistance tires, and low-drag front ventilated and rear disc brakes. Finely tuned aerodynamics, the front strakes, splash shields and inner fenders, and minimal frontal area also contribute to improved fuel efficiency.
Sophisticated interior styling, high-quality materials and advanced electronic features provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for passengers in all three rows of seating. Standard features include 16 different seating configurations, 60/40 split-folding second- and third-row seats, and generous cargo room, plus an estimated fuel-economy display, three voice-recognition languages, and an intuitive audio interface.
For 2013, the Pilot LX and EX add a simplified center stack that was previously exclusive to EX-L and Touring models. The upgrade means that all Pilot models now include a high-resolution 8-inch intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) with rearview camera display (multi-angle on EX-L and Touring), iPod album artwork display and user-loadable wallpaper function, plus Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, Bluetooth® Audio, USB connection and automatic climate controls. The Pilot EX and EX-L models include a 2GB CD Library (CD-L), while Pilot EX, EX-L and Touring models additionally include a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and tri-zone automatic climate control.
The latest version of the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™2 offers 60 GB of total system memory (includes 15 GB allocated for user media) and voice recognition for three languages. The system uses multiple global positioning satellites covering all of the U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. Its included FM Traffic feature provides free, continuous updates on traffic and incidents, helping drivers avoid gridlock. The hard drive can store thousands of minutes of music, which is accessible by simple voice commands using the Song By Voice™ feature. Additionally, 2013 Pilot models with navigation feature a multi-view rear camera (wide view, normal view and top-down view), with the image displayed on the navigation screen for convenient parking help when in Reverse.
Adding to the comfort level of the 2013 Pilot is pleasingly low noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Enhanced body seam sealing around the unit-body connection points, and specially tuned rear suspension sub-frame mounts, result in lower noise levels in the passenger cabin. Other specific NVH countermeasures include body-seam sealants to reduce air leaks, enhanced pillar separators, revised insulation materials and acoustic windshield glass on all models.
Interior dimensions include front headroom of 40.0 inches for Pilot LX and EX (39.3 inches for moonroof-equipped Pilot EX-L and Touring), second-row headroom of 39.8 inches and third-row headroom of 38.2 inches. Legroom is 41.4 inches in front, 38.5 inches for the second row, and 32.1 inches for the third row. Passenger volumes are 153.7 cu-ft. for Pilot LX and EX (152.7 cu-ft. for Pilot EX-L and Touring), and the cargo volume is 87.0 cu-ft. total (47.7 cu-ft. behind second-row seats and 18.0 cu-ft. behind third-row seats).
Safety technology includes the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that helps reduce the amount of crash energy reaching the passenger compartment in a frontal collision and can enhance frontal collision compatibility. Additional standard safety equipment includes 3-row side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor, driver’s and front passenger’s front and side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), active front seat head restraints and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist. Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) is standard on all models.
Awards, Accolades and Ratings
From building initial quality impressions to providing fun-to-drive character with lasting durability and reliability, the Pilot carries forward the essential DNA that defines all Honda vehicles. These traits have earned the redesigned Pilot multiple awards, including “Family Car of the Year” from Cars.com, which took special note of the Pilot’s size, roominess, efficiency and versatility. The Pilot also took the top spot in the “USA Today, MotorWeek and Cars.com $37k and Under SUV Shootout,” which touted it as “the perfect SUV for buyers who want to comfortably haul the entire family and all of their gear.” And finally, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the Pilot as a “2012 Top Safety Pick.”
The Pilot is assembled from domestic and globally sourced parts at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln, Alabama. Honda RD Americas designed and developed the Pilot in Raymond, Ohio, and Torrance, California.
Additional media information including detailed pricing features and high-resolution photography of the 2013 Honda Pilot is available at www.hondanews.com. Consumer information is available at automobiles.honda.com/pilot.
Connect with Honda:
Media Newsroom (for journalists): http://www.hondanews.com/channels/honda-automobiles-pilot
For consumers: http://automobiles.honda.com/pilot/
1 Requires surge-type or electric trailer brakes, available Honda accessory towing package with automatic transmission cooler and hitch ball. Premium unleaded fuel is recommended when towing above 3,500 lbs. Towing capacity for Pilot 2WD without automatic transmission cooler is 2,000 lbs.
2 MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $830.00 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
3 Based on 2013 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
4 The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ is available on the Pilot EX-L model and standard on the Pilot Touring model in the United States, except Alaska. Please see the navigation system manual for details.
5 Required XM Radio subscription sold separately after 90-day trial period. Subscriptions are governed by the XM Customer Agreement available at xmradio.com/serviceterms.
Third-party trademarks: The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd., is under license. Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. and its subsidiaries.
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