Long-Term Review

2016 Honda Pilot: Road Trip to New Orleans

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author photo by Tommy Flanagan September 2016

For my summer road trip to New Orleans, I grabbed the keys to our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot and hit the open road. I've driven the Pilot around Atlanta quite a bit and have found it to be quite a versatile and roomy SUV. That's not to say my experience with the Pilot has been perfect, however -- there have been a few bumps along the way. But for the most part, I really like the Pilot, so when I was offered the opportunity to drive it to the Big Easy, I jumped at the chance to get some serious road time with the Pilot. Would I still feel the same about it after a long road trip? Let's find out.

Road Manners

New Orleans is known for its fusion of jazz and blues. There's no place on earth quite like it. While driving the Honda Pilot, I got to experience its positives and found things about it that gave me the blues.

On the plus side, I was surprised at the Pilot's great gas mileage. I got an average of 28 miles per gallon on the highway using cruise control. The navigation system is pretty intuitive and easy to use, but finding some locations was difficult since the system couldn't locate the exact street address of places such as apartment complexes and restaurants. A feature I liked was being able to choose alternate routes to destinations when I felt like exploring and getting off the beaten path.

And talk about storage space. Put down the third-row seat, and there's plenty of room for two large suitcases and a duffel bag, plus all the stuff I brought back from the trip. After driving all the way to New Orleans, I really came to appreciate how comfortable the 10-way power adjustable seats really are. They have the right amount of support, and with power lumbar, I could adjust the firmness to my liking.

On the downside, our Touring model could definitely use a blind spot monitoring system. Like many large SUVs, the Pilot's rearview mirrors don't allow you to always see other vehicles coming up next to you. In order to get this feature, you have to step up to the Elite model. As great as the LaneWatch system is, there's really no substitute for a great blind spot monitoring system.

Also, the Pilot's adaptive cruise control could use some tweaking. The system doesn't adjust speed as gradually as other vehicles I've driven, and it brakes a little too abruptly when another vehicle is detected. Lastly, the 9-speed transmission could use a little refinement -- at low speeds or in traffic, it shifts erratically searching for the right gear.

The Verdict

Overall, I must say I was pretty impressed with the 2016 Honda Pilot on my latest road trip. It rides well, has plenty of horsepower for a large SUV, and comes with enough standard features to make the long drive to the bayou a pleasurable experience. There's definitely room for improvement, but in general, it's a great road-trip SUV.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Honda Pilot: Road Trip to New Orleans - Autotrader