2019 Honda Pilot First Drive: Respectfully Refined

It’s a pretty rare occurrence when an automaker gets this excited about adding a volume control knob onto a vehicle’s dashboard. But when you’re a Honda engineer, and it’s time to give your popular eight-passenger SUV a fresh round of upgrades, little things like this tend to matter a whole lot. The 2019 Honda Pilot has received a subtle round of updates, both inside and out, that make it an even more accommodating travel companion, and an SUV capable of fending off strong rivals like the Volkswagen Atlas, Toyota Highlander, Kia Sorento, and Subaru Ascent.

Pilot Continues To Fly High:

While you might need to be a dedicated Honda fan to spot some of the visual changes, it doesn’t take long behind the wheel to appreciate the improvements Honda has introduced for this model year. Exterior upgrades consist of modest styling changes at the front and rear. The face of the Pilot includes reprofiled headlights with standard LED low-beam lighting, a front grille with a more prominent chrome bar that extends into the headlights, along with larger openings for the fog-lights. At the back, the taillights are updated and feature LED backup lights. Honda calls this an “aggressive” new look, but putting a spiked collar on a Pug would probably be more intimidating.

Inside, Pilot drivers are greeted by a new infotainment system that has been made simpler and more user-friendly,...