2014 Honda Pilot SE new car reviews

The new Honda Pilot has been a family favorite for quite some time. This small SUV offers the space and practicality needed with a smaller footprint.

We were excited to get our hands on this new version since our Honda Ridgeline is one of our favorite haulers.

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Tim Suddard Tim Suddard
Publisher

I spent a lot of time in this Honda Pilot. It is an extremely useful tool. It is easy to drive. It holds six people admirably. It is fast enough. it is comfortable enough and if experience teaches us anything, it will be reliable and give years of trouble free service.

I say that, because we have a 2006 Honda Ridgeline. Based on an earlier version of the same basic Pilot platform. That truck is rapidly approaching 200,000 miles on its odometer.

I can also say that the newer Pilot we drove is not really a step up from our 2006 Ridgeline. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the Ridgeline is still one of our favorite haulers that we have ever driven. You could say that familiarity breeds comfort, and it is hard to judge one vehicle when you are used to another that is very similar. That said, the move from a simple column shifter to the shifter on the dash was uncharacteristically stupid for Honda. It is now easy to knock the car out of gear when reaching for the radio. This is potentially embarrassing, if not dangerous.

Another thing to consider, is that the Pilot is up for a total redesign in 2015. A new Ridgeline is reported to be following in late 2015 as a 2016 model. There is no 2015 Ridgeline.

So do you wait for the new Pilot (or Ridgeline) or jump on this current one? That is your choice. We are waiting to see what the 2016 Ridgeline (based on the all new 2015 Pilot) looks and drives like.

So is this a bad review? Yes and no. The 2014 Pilot is an absolutely wonderful, practical, nearly flawless vehicle to haul people and gear with total safety and reliability and a modicum of comfort.

That said, other than a slight bump in fuel economy (though still not completely acceptable, from the people who nearly invented good fuel economy) there is very little different (at least from an owner’s perspective) in the 2014 vs the previous model.

As an earlier generation owner, I was excited to get the Pilot and was expecting to be wowed by the improvements over my ten year old version. I wasn’t. In fact, I was a bit annoyed by how the navigation is harder to use, the dash layout is bit more confusing and certainly no better. And the new styling (not unlike the previous styling) is bland at best.

Oddly, I was mildly disappointed while driving the 2014 Honda Pilot, one of the best vehicles I have ever driven. Perhaps, you cannot improve on perfection. I am going to wait until next year to find out, because I believe you can, and Honda will figure out how to improve on this nearly flawless vehicle.

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Comments

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EdHigginbotham
EdHigginbotham Editorial Assistant
12/16/14 12:44 p.m.

Click the link to read the actual review. Right now it's only posting the introductions for new car reviews. We're working on it.

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