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The2020 Honda Pilotis a comfortable, user-friendly, inoffensively minivan-like SUV for large families. The 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition, is, get this,black. Exterior, interior, wheels. It’s as all-black as New Zealand’s rugby team or a car from the motor pool for anonymous henchmen.
(Full Disclosure: Honda’s press fleet arranged to let me borrow a Pilot Black Edition for about a week. I was conveniently able to collect it at, and return it to, JFK airport.)
We’ve already expounded on the virtues of the current Honda Pilot, so I’ll direct you to myfirst driveorAlanis King’s reviewfor a comprehensive rundown. But basically, the car is very comfortable, generally passionless, and entirely painless to drive.
All the controls are easy to find, the steering wheel moves so effortlessly that you can barely tell you’re ever turning, and the rear seats slap down hastily when you want to go from passenger-mode to cargo-carrying time. I actually really like it, and so will you if you have folks or things to move around.
What Is It?
All Pilots have the same architecture and engine but the top of the range is the AWD Elite which rings up at $48,120. That gets you a generous sunroof, heated and cooled front seats, heated back seats (nice), and a wireless phone charger along with many passive safety features.
Blindspot detection, emergency braking, it’s all there. Car writers complain about Honda’s execution this stuff not workingwith some regularity. I, personally, didn’t have an issue with it on my 800-plus mile test of this car.
Anyway, the Black Edition isn’t really about safety features. It’s about that sweet, sinister triple-black decorative scheme with red ambient lighting (shoutout to the Sith lords who just need a car to get their kids to school) 20-inch wheels and almost imperceptible red accents in perforated leather seats.
Oh! And you can’t forget: the phrase “Black Edition” affixed to the grille, glued to the tailgate, and stitched into the front seats. The Pilot with an evil aura will set you back $49,620 if you pay list, so think of it as: $1,500 for the seat dressing, wheels, and lighting kit. Which is actually, I suppose, pretty reasonable.
Specs That Matter
A base front-wheel drive 2020 Pilot lists for about $32,000; this one is almost $50,000. That’s all in luxury features, driver-assistance aids, and the transmission. All Pilots are wrought from the same unibody platform with the same 111-inch wheelbase and 196.5 inches of total length.
All Pilots also run the same V6 engine, rated to 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, but higher spec cars including the Black Edition have nine-speed automatic transmissions and of course all-wheel drive plus terrain-selectable traction control. Base cars get a six-speed and front-drive as default.
But the nine-speed and six-speed return the samefuel economy claimsfor highway driving: 26 mpg.
The two-wheel drive eeks out an advantage at 27, and the nine-speed car has an edge in combined driving. That said, the Black Edition is about 300 pounds heavier than the base car.
You’re Now Free To Move About The Cabin
Get a load of all these goodies the Pilot Black Edition’s rear passengers get to play with! Granted, some of this is to control the pointless ceiling-mounted flip-down entertainment screen you can use if you want to pretend you’re on a flight to 1995 (why are we not just looking at our phones?) but the climate and audio control flexibility is a
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