The new Pilot is out and first feedbacks are received. And the version for 2019 improves a lot of parts comparing to its predecessor. First of all, there are cosmetic changes. Outside and inside. Interior infotainment system gets a new version of voice control. And finally, we can see mechanical updates on the 9-speed transmission. Buyers of the crossover SUV already tested it outside asphalt. The vehicle performs nice, but it seems like that both carmaker and fans would like to see the 2019 Honda Pilot off-road version.
The other possibility for the next update of 2019 model is Honda Pilot Hybrid. Well, rumors about this version are already old. On the other hand, the PHEV vehicle was spotted. So, now it is more likely to see it come next year. But, due to its high development cost, the 2019 Honda Pilot off-road is a more likely option. All in all, Pilot is one of the most popular SUVs in the US, and its versatility was never in doubt. With these two versions, the vehicle would kill the competition.
2019 Honda Pilot Driving Impression
Ok, let’s start with the regular model. We won’t lose too much time for its on-road skills. Whoever tested it in past years felt the comfort the Pilot SUV is bringing. But now, these vehicles are becoming more versatile. In the beginning, SUVs were 4×4 and off-road vehicles that consumed too much fuel for a street ride. Now, they are closer to cars with functionality and commuting, but sport utility vehicles are losing on their off-road capabilities.
Tested off the road, Pilot performs well. Thanks to the new transmission and torque vectoring control, rear wheels can receive up to 70 percent of power. The driver can set up if he wants to distribute 100 percent to either left or right rear wheel. The 2019 Honda Pilot Off-Road can adopt drive modes currently available – normal, snow, sand, and mud. Of course, every setup has a different distribution of torque.
2019 Honda Pilot Off-Road Upgrades
The new vehicle is performing well in various terrains, but it still needs some upgrades to specialize for tough conditions and unexpected challenges. Also, the 2019 Honda Pilot Off-Road would need the skidplates to protect its underbody from hits. It also makes the SUV more durable if you want to ride it outside asphalt.
What’s more, the existing setup is ok, but Honda Pilot Off-Road will need a special suspension and shocks. Well, we don’t expect a beast, but these are some basic upgrades a serious off-road enthusiast will require. Finally – the ground clearance. Currently, Pilot sits at 7.3 inches. The SUV specialized for the off-road drive will have to offer more if it wants to be capable to move over big rocks and other obstacles. At least 9 inches must be offered. Well, with larger wheels and some lift kits, Pilot can achieve such height.
2019 Honda Pilot Specs
A 3.5-liter V6 engine remains the heart of the new 2019 Honda Pilot. The durable and reliable unit is capable to produce 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The major change for the 2019 model is the new transmission. Well, it is the same nine-speed gearbox as before, but now it works smoother and boosts fuel economy. Buyers can choose between FWD and AWD. The other one is returning 1 mpg less. Gas mileage with rear-wheel drive is 20/27 mpg. A six-speed automatic transmission is still an option. It achieves similar mileage. Towing capacity of the SUV is 5,000 pounds. We don’t expect the 2019 Honda Pilot Hybrid to be so capable. It will rather keep the capacity of an RWD model that can tow 3,500 pounds.
Honda Pilot Hybrid Spotted in PHEV Variant
As soon as the new SUV was introduced, the new prototype hit the road. According to first spy shots, the 2019 Honda Pilot Hybrid PHEV is finally becoming a reality. Well, there is no confirmation by the company about the release date and specs. But, spy photos confirm the work in ongoing.
As we can hear, the 2019 Honda Pilot Hybrid will share a similar platform with the upcoming Odyssey MPV. The minivan is also getting a PHEV version. Both vehicles are about to borrow the system from Honda Accord Hybrid. That means a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will pair electric batteries and the combination would be good for 212 hp and 230 lb-ft of torque. Well, that is output for the sedan, and crossover SUV could get slightly more energy. Interesting – Accord is not using a transmission, but its hybrid drivetrain sends power directly to front wheels.
Read more about the new Pilot hybrid HERE.
Which One Comes First – 2019 Honda Pilot Off-Road or PHEV?
The plug-in hybrid is ahead of the 2019 Honda Pilot off-road version. But, the development and test will go smoother for the last one. We can see the Pilot PHEV on streets, but it doesn’t guarantee the model will be ready next year. On the other hand, the new SUV is performing great in tough terrains. Small updates will make it ready for even tougher challenges.
When Will Honda Pilot Hybrid be Available?
The new 2019 Honda Pilot Hybrid will probably come during next year. However, it could be only previewed as the model for 2020. We can be sure the vehicle will become official in next year or so. Honda would never let its project hit the road if they don’t plan to launch it. However, how soon it is going to happen, we can’t know until it becomes official.
2019 Honda Pilot Off-Road Price
All upgrades for the 2019 Honda Pilot Off-Road will make this vehicle more expensive. The starting price for the base SUV is $31,500. Top of the class model costs almost $50,000. The off-road model will settle somewhere around $40k, we believe.
When the plug-in hybrid PHEV appears, it will definitely be one of the vehicles with the heftiest price in the lineup. Well, Honda Accord Hybrid adds only $1,500 above the price for the standard model. But, for the highest trim level, Pilot Elite, that means the new PHEV variant will cost over $50,000. We will see how fans are going to react to such model. The standard version remains pretty much affordable.