May 19, 2024


The Internet Generation

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition review: Embracing the darkness

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

This SUV is ageing gracefully.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Dwelling up to its title, the 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition is, very well, black. Offering this three-row SUV its murdered-out overall look is specific Crystal Black Pearl paint, black-finished 20-inch wheels and a blacked-out grille. You will find black headlight and aspect trim, plus the doorway handles and fog-light accents are rendered in this pitch-darkish hue. Black Edition badges are found on the grille and liftgate, plus the entrance bucket seats are embroidered with the identical text, stitched with black thread by means of the black leather-based. You get the level Honda has absent overboard with black. But even if you like a lot more visually lively motor vehicles, you will find nonetheless plenty to adore about this Pilot.


  • Good convenience in all three rows
  • Supple ride good quality
  • Crisp steering feel
  • Snarling VTEC V6

Really don’t Like

  • Transmission could be a lot more responsive
  • Interior starting to seem dated
  • Homely instrument cluster

It may perhaps not be the most thrilling design in its course, but Honda’s venerable family hauler is nonetheless handsome and cleanly built. Its entrance conclude is helpful and approachable while the rear is a simple, no-nonsense affair. As well negative its wheelbase is towards the lesser-conclude of the three-row crossover SUV section. In profile, this helps make the Pilot seem a bit uncomfortable, like its entrance and rear overhangs are too long. 

A comfortable inside which is showing its age

But what’s inside is far a lot more crucial and this three-row utility is starting to present its age. No, you will find very little inherently incorrect with the Pilot’s cabin — very well, apart from its uncomfortable foot pedal-operated parking brake that looks like a thing pulled from a vehicle crafted in the nineteen seventies. It is really essentially rather awesome inside, roomy, very well crafted, comfortable and loaded with technologies. It is really just other automakers are likely higher than and past these days.

The new Toyota Highlander, for instance, has a trendy inside which is a lot more upscale than the Pilot’s. The Subaru Ascent’s cabin trimmings have an edge as very well, but the versions that have genuinely elevated the bar for inside good quality equally hail from South Korea. 

The Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride feel a lot more top quality than nearly anything else in the three-row crossover section, with beautiful layouts, thoughtful touches and major-notch supplies. Even with its age, the Pilot nonetheless has an edge more than the new Explorer. This Ford’s inside is disappointingly slapdash, with a somewhat abnormal style and plenty of very low-rent supplies.

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

A simple general layout and large-good quality supplies are hallmarks of the Pilot’s inside.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

My test-design Pilot’s leather-based seating surfaces are rather awesome, soft and smooth, plus the plastics applied on the dashboard and doorway panels are squishy to the contact and attractively grained. 

As for convenience, the Pilot is suitably coddling. Its entrance seats are supportive, no grievances there, but the 2nd-row is significantly less than suitable. Those buckets are too flat for long-length convenience and their decreased cushions are tipped ahead at an odd angle.

Shockingly, this vehicle’s 3rd-row seat is a lot more adult helpful than what you get in some rivals. You will find enough headroom in the Pilot’s way-back again and even good quantities of legroom, meaning grownups is not going to undergo undue hardship if seated there. 

Lessening the gymnastics needed to obtain that 3rd-row seat, this Honda’s 2nd-row buckets tilt and slide ahead at the thrust of a button, delivering a reasonably vast pathway.

When it truly is time to haul freight alternatively of people, those people backseats fold very easily, opening up a generously portioned cargo hold. Guiding the 3rd row, you get up to sixteen.five cubic ft of place. Fold those people backrests down and that determine grows to all-around forty seven. Fall the 2nd-row seats and the Pilot tops out at just shy of 84 cubic ft. These figures look at pretty favorably to most rival versions.

Checkin’ the tech

When it will come to technologies, you will find plenty in the Pilot, however the Honda Sensing suite of superior driver help devices is the headliner. Graciously, it is regular across the design assortment. This bundle includes factors like automated emergency braking, lane-retaining help, road-departure mitigation and adaptive cruise handle with lane centering. That previous item is especially practical. Not only does it instantly alter vehicle speed centered on traffic circumstances, it also aids preserve the Pilot locked in the middle of its lane, minimizing the quantity of enter needed and encouraging suppress driver tension on long journeys. On top of that, Honda has completed a better position employing this technologies than a lot of other automakers. Not only is it swift to reply, it truly is extremely smooth, as very well.

The Pilot’s infotainment method is vibrant and mainly pleasurable, with a crisp, eight-inch touchscreen mounted large on the dashboard. The primary menu has a assortment of significant, finger-helpful icons that can be very easily rearranged. The general responsiveness of this method is mainly praiseworthy, however a cleaner user interface with a tuning knob could possibly be awesome. Of program, Hd and Sirius XM radio are incorporated in the Pilot Black Edition, ditto for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a wireless cell phone charging pad and an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot.

Between a lot of other attributes, thrust-button start out and a gigantic center console are regular in each and every version of the Pilot, however my tester also attributes three-zone weather handle and a leather-based-wrapped steering wheel, plus heated and ventilated entrance chairs. You will find even a rear-seat enjoyment method with a ten.2-inch screen and a Blu-Ray participant to preserve the kiddies occupied on long drives.

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

This is not my most loved infotainment method, but it performs very well more than enough.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

VTEC electricity to the people

Honda is arguably most well-known for its engines, from large-winding 4-bangers to single-cylinder industrial illustrations applied in portable generators and lawn mowers. I imply, “motor” is proper in the firm’s official title. True to type, the Pilot’s powertrain is a charming piece of function.

All versions of this family hauler feature a 3.five-liter V6. With single overhead camshafts, i-VTEC variable valve timing and direct gasoline injection, it pumps out a healthier 280 horsepower with a course-aggressive 262 pound-ft of torque. Aiding reduce gasoline usage, it also attributes cylinder deactivation as very well as equally sounds cancellation and active motor mounts to quell undesirable sounds and vibration when it truly is functioning on less than a 50 %-dozen cylinders. 

Curiously, Honda offers two transmissions in the Pilot. Larger-volume trims including the LX and EX family variants soldier on with a six-speed automated, but Touring, Elite and Black Edition versions feature a highfalutin’ 9-ratio cog-swapper. A familiar ZF-sourced unit, I have essentially skilled this transmission in three various apps lately. In addition to Honda, equally Chrysler and Land Rover use this transmission. Unexpectedly, I found it shifted the smoothest and was most responsive in the Pacifica I lately reviewed, however the general performance, while nonetheless Okay, was the very least desirable in the Discovery Sport I also examined a few months ago. The Pilot falls somewhere in involving, trending a lot more towards the minivan than that SUV. This transmission feels a minimal gradual to go into equipment when you decide on one, and downshifts can be a bit lethargic as very well. At the very least it truly is fairly smooth.

On the flip aspect, the  Pilot’s received plenty of mojo, scooting when you nail the accelerator. In typical Honda style, the motor sounds better than competitors’ offerings, emitting a healthier snarl, especially as the tachometer needle sweeps earlier the 5-grand mark and VTEC switches more than to a lot more intense camshaft profiles. Pushed in a a lot more affordable way, that V6 stays hushed and is practically totally free of vibration. 

Maximizing traction in a vast assortment of circumstances, all-wheel travel is regular on Pilot Black Edition versions. It will come with 4 selectable modes including Usual, Snow, Mud and Sand, so you can tailor the vehicle’s response to numerous driving situations. 

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

You can call this the corral because it truly is where by the horses reside.

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 freeway. Around town you can count on 22 mpg. Put together, it truly is rated at 19 mpg.

Of program, if you approach on towing with your Pilot, those people figures go proper out the window. All-wheel-travel versions of this SUV can drag up to five,000 pounds, a course-aggressive determine. Front-travel versions can only tackle 3,500 pounds. 

Defending owners from unpredicted issues, the 2020 Honda Pilot will come with a 3-yr/36,000-mile minimal warranty. In the US, Puerto Rico and Canada, 24-hour emergency roadside guidance is incorporated in the course of that time period. As for the powertrain, it truly is assured for five yrs or sixty,000 miles, whichever will come 1st.

Above-the-road refinement

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

Offered its unexpectedly supple ride, you’d probably consider the Pilot’s handling would be sloppy and ponderous, but this just isn’t the scenario. Its steering is light and rather crisp, with abnormal accuracy for a vehicle in this section.

Matching its ride good quality, this Honda’s inside is very well insulated in opposition to wind and tire sounds. Even at freeway speeds, the cabin stays awesome and silent.

2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

You will find a great deal to like about the Honda Pilot.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Again in black

The Black Edition design is the pinnacle of the Pilot assortment and it truly is priced accordingly. My tester rang up at $50,840, including $1,120 in place and handling costs. That’s comparable to major-conclude versions of the Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Atlas and Kia Telluride, however a Ford Explorer Platinum is noticeably pricier. Of program, if which is too loaded for your blood, you can generally seize a Pilot LX, Honda’s entry-degree design. Like shipping charges, it commences at proper all-around $33,000. 

You will find no lack of three-row crossovers obtainable nowadays. Even with its advancing yrs, in the experience of withering competition, the Honda Pilot stays an superb option. Sure, its inside could be a bit snazzier and I would like that 9-speed transmission had been a minimal a lot more attentive, but it drives very well and is equally roomy and remarkably comfortable in all three rows. What a lot more could you check with for in a significant crossover?