Which Honda Pilot Is The Biggest? (Read This First!)

The Honda Pilot is a popular mid-size crossover SUV from the Japanese automotive giant Honda.

It is the largest SUV model offered by Honda and is assembled currently in the Honda plant in Lincoln, Alabama.

It has three seating rows and has been consistently popular due to its design, safety ratings, reliability, and relative affordability.

This article answers the question “Which Honda Pilot Is The Biggest?”…

Which Honda Pilot Is The Biggest?

In general, primarily looking at the exterior dimensions of the Honda Pilot, the biggest model is the third-generation Honda Pilot, which was released in the 2016 model year and continues to the present day. In both length and width, the third-gen Honda Pilot is larger than its predecessors.

Only in height is it marginally smaller.

The first-generation model from the 2006-2008 model years was the tallest at 71.7 inches.

Which One Has The Biggest Exterior Measures?

The biggest exterior measures belong to the third-generation Honda Pilot, which entered production in 2015 for the 2016 model year.

In both width and length, this model outstripped the previous Honda Pilot model generations.

The exterior dimensions of the 2016-Present Honda Pilot are:

  • Length: 194.5 inches
  • Height: 69.8 inches (shorter than first-gen 2006 model: 71.7 inches)
  • Width: 78.6 inches
  • Wheelbase: 111 inches

It also has the longest wheelbase compared to its predecessors.

The model with the greatest height is the first-generation 2006-2008 (facelifted) model, which measured 71.7 inches.

The second-longest model was the second-generation 2012-2015 model, which was 191.4 inches long.

The second widest model was also the second-generation 2012-2015 model, which was 78.5 inches wide.

Which One Has The Biggest Interior Measures?

The interior measures are something of a mixed bag between its three largest models overall, which were the 2006-2008 first-gen model, the 2012-2015 second-gen model, and the current third-generation model which was launched in 2016.

Of these three, the interior dimensions are something of a mixed bag, but the second-generation 2012-2015 model has the most areas where it beats out its fellow Honda Pilot models.

In terms of legroom, cargo volume, and total passenger volume, the 2012-2015 second-gen Honda Pilot wins out.

Here’s how they compare in these three areas:

Measures2006-2008 Pilot2012-2015 Pilot2016-Present Pilot
Legroom (Inches: Front, Middle and Rear)41.4/37.4/30.241.4/38.5/32.140.9/38.4/31.9
Cargo Volume (Cu. Ft: behind 3rd, 2nd, 1st row)15.9/47.6/87.618.0/47.7/87.016.5/46.8/83.9
Passenger Volume (Cu. Ft)153.0153.7152.9

In terms of headroom, the 2006-2008 first-generation Honda Pilot has the most generous dimensions at 41.9/47.6/38.6 inches in the front, middle and rear respectively.

In terms of shoulder room, the 2016-present third-generation models have the most generous dimensions at 62/62/59.1 inches in the front, middle and rear respectively.

Which One Has The Biggest Trunk?

Because the Honda Pilot has three seating rows, it’s important to measure trunk space in terms of the space behind each seating row.

Those who don’t need the third row can enjoy additional cargo space, and those who are traveling with just driver and passenger get even more space.

We’ve put the details into a table below (all volumes in cubic feet):

 Cargo Vol. (3rd row)Cargo Vol. (2nd row)Cargo Vol. (1st row)
2006-2008 Pilot15.947.687.6
2012-2015 Pilot1847.787.0
2016-Present Pilot16.546.883.9

As you can see, strictly speaking of trunk-only space, the second-generation 2012-2015 Honda Pilot has the largest trunk with a cargo volume of up to 18 cubic feet.

When the third row is laid down flat, it remains the second generation with the most cargo space at 47.7 cubic feet, just squeaking ahead of the 2006-2008 first-gen Honda Pilot, which offered 47.6 cubic feet.

When both rear rows are laid down flat, it is actually the first-generation model from 2006-2008 which offers the most cargo volume at 87.6 cubic feet.

Which One Came With The Biggest Rims And Tires?

The first-generation model came with the biggest wheel size set at 16 inches on both available trim levels. There was no option for larger alloy rims from the OEM.

The second-generation model for 2012-2015 offered an upgrade to 18-inch alloy wheels on the higher trim levels.

The biggest wheels are available on the newest third-generation models which come with an optional upgrade to 20-inch alloy rims.

This naturally means that the third generation also offers the largest tires as well.

Which One Has The Biggest Engine?

Interestingly, all the engine options on the Honda Pilot are the same general size and displacement.

All models since 2003 have featured a 3.5L SOHC V6 engine, part of the Honda J-series of engines.

  • First Generation: 3.5L SOHC V6 (J35A4)
  • Second Generation: 3.5L SOHC V6 (J35Z4)
  • Third Generation: 3.5L SOHC V6 (J35Y6)

All the engines may come with the same displacement, but they are not all of the same order when it comes to power.

  • First Generation: 244hp
  • Second Generation: 250hp
  • Third Generation: 280hp

Over the years, there has been a gradual progression towards getting more overall engine power out of each evolution of the J-series Honda engine.

Which One has The Biggest Towing Capacity?

The towing capacity is an interesting story on each model, and is shown at its maximum level in each generation in the table below:

 2WD Capacity (lbs.)4WD Capacity (lbs.)
2006-2008 Pilot35004500
2012-2015 Pilot20004500
2016-Present Pilot35005000

From this table, you can see that the Honda Pilot with the greatest towing capacity was the third-generation model from 2016, which in its 4WD capacity outpacing anything from the previous generations.

Overall the towing capacities are very similar in the Honda Pilot, with the only exception seemingly being the 2WD version of the second-generation Honda Pilot.

The capacity there was reduced to 2000lbs.

Is The Pilot The Biggest Honda SUV?

The Honda Pilot is the largest SUV currently offered by Honda.

The main differentiator is that the Pilot offers three seating rows in all generations and at all trim levels.

This helped to set the Honda Pilot apart from other SUVs in the market, where often buyers had to pay significantly more for a longer wheelbase and a third seating row as an optional extra.

It is not always a standard feature.

For the Honda Pilot, a three-row configuration was the standard from the beginning in 2003.

It helped to make the Honda Pilot competitive against the minivan segment.

It gave families not keen on the minivan design an alternative and affordable option to simply buying a much larger SUV.

Is The Pilot Bigger Than Its Competitors In General?

Honda now faces a lot of competition in the three-row SUV sector. They may have been early with a 3-row standard, but they are now up against many other brands.

One competitor is the Kia Telluride, a North American exclusive design that has proven extremely popular since its launch.

It offers an impressive length of 196.9 inches, which is a whole 2.4 inches longer than the longest (third-generation) Honda Pilot.

The Mazda CX-9 is even longer at 199.4, all of which contributes to that much extra legroom for passengers that makes the ride competitive with that of the Honda Pilot.

The Pilot does outmatch some of its key Japanese competitors, however, like the Toyota 4Runner, which only measures 191.3 in length and doesn’t offer the same interior space overall as the Honda Pilot.

The Toyota Sequoia, on the other hand, is much larger, also seats up to 8, and has a total cargo volume of 120 cubic feet, which far outstrips anything the Honda Pilot offers.

Overall, there are definitely competitors with longer builds and some extra legroom one way or the other, but in general, the Honda Pilot sits well among the competition.

Are The Pilot Seats Bigger Than Its Competitors?

The seats in the front and second row are about what you’d expect from an SUV in this class, but where the Pilot shines is on the third row.

The third-row SUV seats in most models are typically limited to captain’s seats or a very tight squeeze bench seat.

The Honda Pilot offers good proportions with the third row enjoying headroom very close to the second row, and impressive legroom too.

All generations offer more than 30 inches of legroom on the third row.

The most is offered by the second generation at 32.1 inches.

Compared to the Toyota Highlander, which only offers 27.7 inches on the third row and the Mazda CX-9 which only gives 29.7 inches, the Honda Pilot is using its space well.