Just yesterday, Honda released a flurry of all-new details surrounding its 2016 model year Pilot sport-utility vehicle. Rather than a press release talking from the 30,000-foot perspective, we're now seeing ALL of the magnificent details in a granular way.

This is the perfect information for an in-market consumer that may be considering an all-new, three-row SUV in the coming 12 months.

2015 Chicago Auto Show

Not only does Honda highlight the vehicle's mission statement, again, it also does a deep dive and show you just how the trim levels will break down and which trim gets what. Starting with the base LX you'll get some nice features, but it's pretty much zippo when compared to the flagship, which is dubbed the Elite.

From what I am reading below I think Honda is bringing the Pilot up a notch in a big way. Honda really wants to own this affordable, three-row SUV market. There's a good chance it will succeed, too.

As you'll see in the plethora of photos below, we got our first look at the 2016 Honda Pilot at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show and Agent 001 was already mightily impressed.

We're still awaiting official pricing details.

2015 Chicago Auto Show

Honda's press release follows:

Beauty, Brawn and Brains: The 2016 Honda Pilot is the Triple Threat Poised to Top the Three-Row SUV Segment

  • Sleek and athletic exterior meets interior elegance for a commanding yet sophisticated presence
  • Top-of-the-line Elite trim introduces a premium look, feel and experience with highest level of standard features
  • Direct injected 3.5-liter i-VTEC® engine with more horsepower and torque than outgoing model
  • Smartest Pilot ever with new Intelligent Traction Management system, Honda Sensing™ technologies and i-VTM4 AWD system

The all-new, third generation 2016 Honda Pilot will go on sale this summer ready to take the mid-size SUV segment by storm, with more of what active families seek in a three-row SUV – sleek and athletic styling, outstanding power, sophisticated technology and, new for 2016, an all-new Elite model with a panoramic roof and a vast array of other standard features.

Building on the solid reputation established from the June 2002 introduction of the first generation 2003 model, the 2016 Pilot brings a whole new level of refinement and available content to the segment. This includes a more powerful direct injected 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC EarthDreams® Technology engine producing 280 horsepower1 and 262 lb-ft of torque2, and new 6-speed and 9-speed automatic transmissions. Providing outstanding dynamic handling are a new Intelligent Variable Torque Management™ (i-VTM4™) AWD System and all-new selectable Intelligent Traction Management system featuring Normal, Mud, Sand, and Snow modes on the AWD model and Normal and Snow modes on the 2WD model. Also significantly upgraded are the Display Audio and navigation systems. The available Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistive technologies brings available features that include Collision Mitigation Braking System™3 with Forward Collision Warning4, Road Departure Mitigation System5, Lane Keeping Assist System6 with Lane Departure Warning7 and Adaptive Cruise Control8.

Providing customers with a greatly increased range of trim levels, the 2016 Pilot is available in a new top-of-the-line Elite trim together with LX, EX, EX with Honda Sensing, EX-L, EX-L with Honda Sensing™ and Touring trims. Honda Sensing is standard on both Touring and Elite trims. The Pilot Elite offers an extensive feature content list, including a panoramic glass roof, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain's chairs, LED headlights with auto high-beam, rain sensing windshield wipers and much more. And these are in addition to a long list of standard features throughout the Pilot trim range.

Model Trim Summary

Pilot LX Prominent Features
Direct-injected 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM)
6-Speed Automatic Transmission
Hill Start Assist
Intelligent Variable Torque Management™ (i-VTM4™) AWD System (available)
18-inch aluminum alloy wheels
Brake Assist
Multi-Angle Rearview Camera9 with guidelines
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)10 with Tire Fill Assist and Location and Pressure Indicators
Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) Body Structure
LED Brake Lights
Remote Entry
Push Button Start
5-Inch Color LCD Screen
200-Watt Audio System with 7 Speakers, including Subwoofer
Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®11
Bluetooth® Streaming Audio11
MP3/Windows Media®12 Audio (WMA) Playback Capability
USB Audio Interface13 [Center Console w/High-Speed Charging (1 Port)]


Pilot EX Prominent Features - Changed or added from LX
Intelligent Traction Management, Normal/Snow (2WD), Normal/Mud/Sand/Snow (AWD)
Remote Engine Start
Multi-Angle Rearview Camera9 (HS) with dynamic guidelines
LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
Honda Sensing™ (available)
Honda LaneWatch™14
Programmable Remote Entry
Smart Entry
Fog Lights
HomeLink® Remote System15
Driver's Seat with 10-Way Power Adjustment, including Power Lumbar Support
USB HondaLink/Audio Interface13 [Front w/Charging (1 Port) and Center Console w/High-Speed Charging (2 Ports)]
225-Watt Audio System with 7 Speakers, including Subwoofer
8-Inch Display Audio with High-Resolution WVGA (800x480) Electrostatic Touch-Screen and Customizable Feature Settings
HondaLink® Next Generation16
SMS Text Message Function17
SiriusXM® Radio18
Pandora®19 Compatibility
Song By Voice® (SBV)


Pilot EX-L Prominent Features - Changed or added from EX
Acoustic Windshield Glass
One-Touch Power Moonroof with Tilt Feature
Power Tailgate
Rear Entertainment System with HDMI interface20 and 115V power outlet (RES) (available)
Automatic-Dimming Rearview Mirror
Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
One-Touch 2nd-Row Seats
Front Passenger's Seat with 4-Way Power Adjustment
Leather-Trimmed Interior
Heated Front Seats
Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition21 and Honda HD Digital Traffic (available)


Pilot Touring Prominent Features - Changed or added from EX-L
9-Speed Automatic Transmission with Shift-By-Wire (SBW) with Paddle Shifters
20-inch Aluminum Alloy Wheels
Honda Sensing™
Acoustic Windshield and Front Door Glass
Body-Colored Power Side Mirrors. Heated (AWD) with Memory and Integrated LED Turn Indicators
Driver's Seat with 10-Way Power Adjustment, including Power Lumbar Support with Two-Position Memory
Roof Rails
Blu-Ray Rear Entertainment System
Blue Ambient LED Lighting
Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition21 and Honda HD Digital Traffic
540-Watt Premium Audio System with 10 Speakers, including Subwoofer
USB Ports [Additional 2nd-Row w/2.5-Amp Ports] (5 Ports Total)


Pilot Elite Prominent Features - Changed or added from Touring
Auto High-Beam Headlights
Blind Spot Information System (BSI) with Rear Cross Traffic Monitor22
Rain Sensing Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers
Panoramic Roof
LED Headlights with Auto-On/Off
Heated Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
Front and 2nd-Row Illuminated Beverage Holders
Heated and Ventilated Front Seats
Heated 2nd-Row Captain's Chairs
HD Radio™23

EarthDreams™ Technology Powertrain
The 2016 Pilot delivers more refined, powerful and fuel-efficient performance than ever before courtesy of its new 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder deactivation technology. The engine's peak output of 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque is up 30 hp and 9 lb.-ft. over the previous model. The engine is matched to a choice of two new advanced transmissions – a Pilot-first 6-speed automatic transmission or, on upper trims, a Honda-first 9-speed automatic transmission – both delivering more refined, responsive and fuel-efficient performance.

Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4) AWD System
The Pilot's available new Intelligent VTM4 (i-VTM4) is the most sophisticated and technologically advanced all-wheel-drive system offered in a mainstream, three-row SUV. This entirely more capable system progressively distributes optimum torque between the front and rear axles and, for the first time ever in a Honda vehicle, dynamically distributes engine torque between the left and right rear wheels using the new, lightweight rear drive unit. Benefits include superior all-weather handling and neutral, accurate steering under power that is unmatched by front-drive, rear-drive or conventional all-wheel-drive systems.

Intelligent Traction Management
This new Pilot features a new button-operated Intelligent Traction Management System that offers different operating modes, for the AWD: Normal, Mud, Sand and Snow; and for the FWD: Normal and Snow. Reflecting Pilot's role as a key U.S. export model, this system was developed, tuned and tested at various locations in the U.S. and around the world – including Imperial Dunes “Glamis”, California; Moscow, Russia; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Intelligent Traction Management system allows the driver to select the operating mode that best suits the driving conditions by simply pushing a button on the vehicle's center console. Based on the setting selected, the system adjusts the drive-by wire map, transmission shift map, Vehicle Stability Assist™ and i-VTM4 torque distribution for AWD equipped models for optimal performance in varying road or surface conditions.

Display Audio and Navigation
Honda's latest thinking for advanced, family-friendly technology is embodied in the new Pilot. New features include the available 8-inch capacitive touchscreen Display Audio telematics interface with Android operating system and all-new Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ developed in cooperation with the experts at Garmin®24.

Exterior Colors
All 2016 Pilot trims are available in eight exterior colors including three metallic and five pearl colors. All colors have a strong character, offering expressive contrasts that complement the Pilot's body-panel curves and angles, while also exhibiting a smart luxury appearance. The colors are:

Modern Steel Metallic* White Diamond Pearl
Lunar Silver Metallic* Crystal Black Pearl
Steel Sapphire Metallic* Obsidian Blue Pearl
Black Forest Pearl* Dark Cherry Pearl

* New color for Pilot

The exterior colors are keyed to the 2016 Pilot's three new available interior colors: Black, Gray, Beige.

2015 Chicago Auto Show

OFFICIAL: Honda Releases MORE Details About The 2016 Pilot — Storming The 3-Row SUV Game

About the Author