The 2016 Honda Pilot, Bigger and Better for Kids?
You may have seen some previews of the all-new Honda Pilot already, so we’ll focus on carseats for this quick preview. We reviewed the current generation Honda Pilot and found it to be arguably the best midsize SUV in terms of carseats and child seating flexibility. How does the all-new 2016 Honda Pilot compare?
As for styling, gone is the rugged, boxy appearance. This is good or bad, depending if you prefer the sleeker, minivan-like styling of the new model.
While the current model is an 8-passenger SUV, the 2016 version will have 7-passenger and 8-passenger trim levels. The fully loaded 7-passenger model on display had the optional captain’s chairs with an aisle/console between (below, left). A 3-seat 2nd row bench will also be standard. The easier, push-button mechanism to slide/tilt the 2nd row chairs forward is quite similar to the current Acura MDX (below, right). Honda says it gives 2.5 more inches of access room at the bottom. Lower step-in height makes access easier for the little ones, too.
The third row remains a 3-seat bench. It appears to be similar in width to the current Pilot, but has an update in the design. Specifically, the passenger side seat with LATCH appears to be a hair wider, at the expense of the narrow middle seat. The passenger side seatbelt buckle stalk is also revised, also an improvement for installation of wider carseats. The problem is that the hardware for folding the 40/60 bench is taller and more pronounced than before, likely making carseat installation even more difficult in the narrower middle seat. On the plus side, Honda has resolved some of the seatbelt crossover issues which may make it easier for an smaller adult, teen or pre-teen to ride in the middle next to a narrow carseat.
In the 7-passenger model on display, there are a total of 3 LATCH positions for the two 2nd row captain’s chairs and the third row passenger seat. As for top-tether anchors,