KBB Logo Expert Review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.

Editor's Overview

Given its spacious cabin and sizable exterior dimensions, the Honda Pilot offers unexpectedly responsive driving dynamics and agility. On top of Honda's long-standing reputation for reliability and high resale value, the 2013 Pilot is also the most fuel-efficient 8-passenger SUV on the market.

You'll Like The 2013 Honda Pilot If...

If you need a fuel-efficient vehicle with room for eight passengers, but refuse to get behind the wheel of a minivan, the 2013 Honda Pilot is the right choice. It doesn't take an engineering degree to operate the interior controls and Honda's solid reputation for quality and reliability provides an extra measure of peace of mind.

You May Not Like The 2013 Honda Pilot If...

Honda's decision to group popular options by model grade helps simplify the purchasing process, but this ordering structure makes it difficult to outfit the Pilot with your favorite individual options without shelling out the cash for a high-line trim level.

What's New

Three-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and an 8-inch multi-information display with a rear backup camera have been added to the Honda Pilot's list of standard equipment for the 2013 model year.

Interior Features

In keeping with Honda's simple but functional design philosophy, the 2013 Pilot SUV's interior is a study in efficiency. The dash and instruments are easy to operate and logically placed. There are no fancy light shows here, no radical designs that look neat but don't work well in the real world, just the basics. Still, the Honda Pilot's interior is by no means stark, and in EX-L trim it is downright plush. Legroom is more than adequate in all three rows, an unusual and welcome attribute in this class. Rear cargo space with the third-row seat in place, however, is not so abundant. Luckily, there is a large storage bin below the rear cargo floor for random items, as well as ample roof space for a carrier rack.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Honda Pilot has a softer, less boxy and bland look than the previous generation, making it a bit more palatable to the fashion-conscious SUV driver. Still present are the Pilot's long wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs, a design that not only makes the Pilot SUV appear more solid and stable, but allows for easy maneuvering in tight spots. Honda's ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) body structure ensures maximum strength from the unit body, permitting the front end to absorb more energy in the event of an impact and protecting the passenger compartment and its contents. Stylistically, the 17- and 18-inch wheels really bring out the best in the Pilot SUV's design, while clever features such as the flip-up glass window on the tailgate and the standard integrated tow hitch serve a more functional purpose.

Driving Impressions

Despite its size, the 2013 Honda Pilot rides and drives very much like a large sedan. The Pilot's taut suspension limits body roll, squat and dive, yet is not so firm as to punish its passengers with every passing pothole or road distortion. On the highway the Pilot SUV tracks straight, and even strong wind gusts have little effect on its intended course. While the standard V6 delivers better fuel economy than the majority of its rivals, it is also the least powerful 6-cylinder of the group. Still, 250-horsepower is sufficient thrust for most daily driving situations. Although we didn't have a chance to test the Pilot's AWD system in the snow, we did venture up some dirt fire roads and found the VTM-4 AWD setup to be fairly capable of keeping the Pilot moving forward through dirt, loose gravel and mud. A lock mode on the Pilot's transmission mimics a low-range transfer case, keeping power permanently flowing to all four wheels at speeds under 18 mph.

Pricing Notes

There being, of course, no such thing as a free lunch, there is also no such thing as no-cost standard equipment. Case in point, the 2013 Honda Pilot and its more comprehensive roster of standard features has raised the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for the base LX version to just over $30,000, an $800 price increase over the outgoing 2012 model. Well-equipped EX-L trims start around $36,000, while the fully-loaded Honda Pilot Touring with 4-wheel drive flirts with the $43K mark. Apart from the base 4-cylinder Toyota Highlander, most of the Pilot's competition starts in the low-$30,000 range. Before heading to the dealership, be sure to take a look at KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page to see what buyers in your area are actually paying for the 2013 Honda Pilot. In terms of resale, the Pilot is expected to maintain the highest residual values in the segment.

Notable Equipment

The base 2013 Honda Pilot LX comes generously equipped with three-zone climate control, an 8-inch multi-information display with a backup camera and a 7-speaker audio system with Bluetooth. EX models add a 10-way power driver's seat, fog lights and automatic on/off headlights, while EX-L trims include a moonroof, leather seating with heated front seats and a power liftgate. Top-level Touring models include a 2-position memory feature for the front seats, rear sonar proximity sensors and a premium sound system. Occupant protection consists of six airbags, the usual sprinkling of electronic stability controls and active front head restraints to lessen the severity of whiplash-related injuries in the event of a rear-end impact.

Notable Options

Since most feature content is tied to trim level, the Honda Pilot's short list of optional equipment includes variable torque management four-wheel drive, a ceiling-mounted rear seat DVD entertainment system and voice-activated navigation with integrated FM traffic data.

Favorite Features


Reversing in tight quarters can be a bit unnerving at times, especially in a bulky 8-passenger SUV. To help eliminate most of the guesswork from backing out of parking spaces, every 2013 Honda Pilot features a standard rear backup camera linked to an 8-inch display.


The 2013 Honda Pilot's 60/40-split second-row seats slide and recline to comfortably accommodate adult-sized passengers. In addition, each of the three seats incorporates the LATCH child safety system.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Honda Pilot's 3.5-liter V6 engine employs Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology, which provides improvements in horsepower and torque as well as fuel economy. This VCM technology, similar to the system used in the current Honda Accord, allows the vehicle to run seamlessly on three, four or six cylinders, depending on driving conditions and requirements.

3.5-liter V6

250 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm

253 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 17/24 mpg (4-wheel drive)

Editors' Notes

Many SUVs have a tendency to excel in certain areas and struggle in others, but the 2013 Honda Pilot strikes the right balance between value, performance and utility. The Honda Pilot offers the 8-passenger seating capacity of a full-size SUV while retaining the fuel economy of a mid-size model. The 7-passenger rivals, such as the new Nissan Pathfinder, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander, each offer a slightly different take on what the ideal mid-size SUV should be. It may not have the Ford Explorer's off-road credentials or the engaging persona of the Mazda CX-9, but the 2013 Honda Pilot succeeds in its ability to provide practical-minded buyers with dependable, comfortable and efficient transportation for their families.

Road Test Video Reviews

2013 Honda Pilot Owner Reviews

254 Reviews
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Perfect family vehicle with lots of hauling room and flexibility.

2013 Honda Pilot EX

The Honda pilot is a great family vehicle. I have 2 children so I rarely use the third row, which provides me with a lot of space for hauling. . When I do have more people with me, it is easy to raise up the third row to seat up to 8 people. There is plenty of legroom for everyone. I particularly like all of the cubbies for storing small items. . I do wish I had upgraded to a higher model as the lx is very basic. It is small items such as a compass, outside temperature, heated seats, etc that I wish I had. However, they are small items that would not prevent me from buying another pilot in the future. . While it is a bigger SUV, I do not feel like it is too big. I do not have trouble finding parking spots or going down narrow roads. . I like the 2013 model as it still has the boxier appearance. I get all of the features of a minivan without the appearance. The pilot handles well, especially on highways. In town gas mileage is not great, but what you expect for an SUV. Interstate gas mileage is excellent and I frequently get 22 to 23 miles per gallon while taking long road trips. We have taken many long trips in the pilot and always have plenty of room for our whole family, including our two large dogs. Overall, I am very happy with my pilot and plan on getting another in the future, although I feel like my current one will laat me many more years.

- Melissa J

Comfortable and roomy vehicle! That acts as a vehicle to fit up to 8 passengers.

2013 Honda Pilot EX

Biggest problem with the Honda pilot 2013 is the paint job. I understand there are similar complaints of peeling paint job, this is peeling down to the metal. Mine happened in year 4 on the very top of the car above the windshield. Also, the leather interior is cracking, ripping and tearing in year 4. This is on the seats, front driver and door handle that is leather covered. The reliability of the vehicle has been great. I have had this vehicle serviced regularly and have not had any problems or extra expense except for maintenance, such as, new tires, brakes, spark plugs and recommended timing belt replacement. I am now at 207,000 miles and the vehicle has proven to be very reliable. The vehicle is very comfortable, roomy, with added comfort of seat warmers for the winter in the front seats. The very back seat folds up for an extra row of seats for extra guests in my car. The very back seat is a split seat and you can fold up 1 seat only or an entire row. The back 2 rows of seats fold down to carry large items. This is a very handy, comfortable car for a single person or a large family.


Dependable Trustworthy and gives me feeling of safe arrival to my destination.

2013 Honda Pilot LX

Comfort and dependable. Very costly when needs servicing. Pretty good gas mileage for an 8 person SUV. Wider and less compact than my previous 2004 pilot. Liked the way my 2004 drove in comparison and had better gas mileage. Love the standard features that now come on the 2013 pilot models because I had to pay for them on my previous pilot. Bought an extended warranty with my previous pilot but only used it twice in 9 years so did not bother buying one on my 2013 model. Wish I had cause it has been in shop 6 times since I bought it new in 2013 that I have had to pay for costly repairs and this is in addition to my 30/45/60/75/90/105/120 preventive maintenance service packages these are also expensive cause the 15/45/75/105 miles service packs run around 200.00 each while the 30/60/90/120 mile pkgs are more inclusive and run around 400.00 for each service. However the preventive maintenance service packages are worth it and keep it the dependable transportation I need. Other than a popped or flat tire I have never had either pilot break down unexpectedly.

- Anita W

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