Honda Pilot Years To Avoid (Best and Worst)

Honda Pilot Years To Avoid – In the world of SUVs, Honda has carved out a formidable reputation for reliability and performance. Yet, even the most esteemed vehicles can stumble along the road, and the Honda Pilot is no exception. With its long production history, there are indeed some years of the Pilot that enthusiasts and experts advise avoiding at all costs.

If you’re aiming for a dependable ride that stands the test of time, understanding the Honda Pilot years to avoid is crucial.

Despite the cautionary tales surrounding certain years, it’s worth noting that not all Honda Pilots are created equal. There are still plenty of stellar options available, with dependable performance and longevity.

Honda Pilot Years To Avoid

So, which years should you steer clear of when considering a Honda Pilot? Let’s explore the details.

Honda Pilot Years To Avoid

Renowned for their reliability and performance, Honda’s SUV lineup has long been a favorite among consumers. However, every model has its pitfalls, and the Honda Pilot is no exception.

Despite its sterling reputation, certain model years have garnered a less-than-favorable reputation among enthusiasts and experts alike.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll navigate through the murky waters of Honda Pilot years to avoid, shedding light on why steering clear of these models is crucial for prospective buyers.

First and foremost, let’s address the notorious list of Honda Pilot years to avoid:

  1. 2003
  2. 2005
  3. 2009
  4. 2011
  5. 2013
  6. 2016

While this list may appear relatively concise given the Pilot’s extensive production history since its 2003 debut, it’s imperative to understand the underlying reasons behind these selections.

The Honda Pilot got off to a rocky start with its inaugural 2003 release, a stigma that persisted through subsequent model years.

The early 2000s posed a particularly daunting landscape for SUV manufacturers, with consumers increasingly concerned about safety and efficiency.

This heightened scrutiny only exacerbated the pressure on Honda to deliver a flawless product, a feat that proved challenging, particularly in the case of the Pilot’s early iterations.

By heeding the warnings surrounding the Honda Pilot years to avoid, prospective buyers can make informed decisions and avoid potential headaches down the road.

Honda Pilot Best Years

With its robust construction and sleek design, the Honda Pilot has firmly established itself as a top contender in the competitive SUV market.

However, with over two decades of production under its belt, discerning buyers may find themselves wondering: what are the best years for the Honda Pilot?

Honda Pilot Best Years

Let’s explore the most reliable Honda Pilot years, helping you make an informed decision when considering your next vehicle purchase.

With its spacious interior and powerful performance, it’s no wonder why the Pilot remains a perennial favorite. But with so many model years to choose from, determining the most reliable option can be a daunting task.

Fear not, as we’ve compiled a list of the best years for the Honda Pilot to simplify your decision-making process.

Here are the standout selections for the Honda Pilot:

  1. 2004 Honda Pilot
  2. 2006 Honda Pilot
  3. 2007 Honda Pilot
  4. 2008 Honda Pilot
  5. 2010 Honda Pilot
  6. 2012 Honda Pilot
  7. 2014 Honda Pilot
  8. 2015 Honda Pilot
  9. 2017 Honda Pilot
  10. 2018 Honda Pilot
  11. 2019 Honda Pilot
  12. 2020 Honda Pilot

These model years represent the pinnacle of Honda’s engineering prowess, boasting a track record of reliability and customer satisfaction.

With minimal customer complaints and glowing reviews, these models offer an unparalleled blend of performance and dependability.

Among the highlighted years, the 2010 Honda Pilot stands out as an excellent option for buyers seeking a balance of modern features and reliability.

With enhancements over its predecessor, the 2010 model offers a compelling combination of comfort and longevity, making it a smart choice for budget-conscious buyers.

For those interested in more recent models, the years spanning 2015 to 2020 offer a wealth of options, with one notable exception: the 2016 release. The best years offer a winning combination of performance, reliability, and value.

Honda Pilot Problems

The Honda Pilot stands as a beacon of reliability and performance. Yet, like any vehicle, the Pilot is not immune to its fair share of problems and pitfalls.

Honda Pilot Problems

We’ll explore some of the most common issues plaguing the Honda Pilot, equipping you with the knowledge to make an informed decision when considering this SUV for your next ride.

  • Transmission Failures: One of the most serious and potentially catastrophic problems encountered by Honda Pilots is transmission failure. While predominantly associated with the 2003 model, isolated incidents have been reported across various model years. Transmission failure is not only a costly repair but also poses significant safety concerns, potentially leading to loss of control and accidents on the road.
  • Excessive Oil Consumption: Another prevalent issue among certain Honda Pilot models is excessive oil consumption, particularly after reaching higher mileage thresholds. While not inherently dangerous, low oil levels can lead to engine damage and overheating if left unchecked. Mitigating this problem requires vigilant monitoring and regular oil top-ups, adding a layer of maintenance and expense for Pilot owners.
  • Peeling Paint: While primarily a cosmetic concern, peeling paint can become a more significant issue, particularly in regions prone to wet weather and rust. While not necessarily a deal-breaker, potential buyers should be aware that addressing peeling paint may necessitate costly repainting services down the line.
  • Recurring Fault Codes: Recurring fault codes can be both frustrating and potentially dangerous, particularly if they mask underlying issues with your Pilot. While often benign, these false alarms can desensitize owners to legitimate fault codes, leading to overlooked problems and inadvertent damage to the vehicle.
  • Fuel Injector Failure: Fuel injector failures have become increasingly common in recent model Honda Pilots, with the 2016 model being particularly susceptible. This early part failure typically manifests around 60,000 miles, presenting a costly and inconvenient repair for Pilot owners.
  • Brake Issues: Warped brake rotors and faulty brake pad shims have plagued Pilot models ranging from 2003 to 2017, causing vibrations and clunking noises while braking. While the issue can be rectified by replacing the affected components, the cost of replacement parts and labor can quickly add up, making it a significant concern for Pilot owners.
  • Electrical Problems: While less prevalent, electrical problems have surfaced in the 2020 Honda Pilot, manifesting as malfunctions in the navigation system, instrument panel, and infotainment system. Despite attempts to address the issue through service bulletins, the root cause remains elusive, posing a persistent headache for affected owners.

The Honda Pilot boasts a reputation for reliability and performance, prospective buyers need to be aware of the common problems that can plague certain models.

Should I buy a Honda Pilot with high miles?

If you’re considering purchasing a Honda Pilot with high mileage, opting for a newer model year is generally a wise decision.

While you may still enjoy a lower price point compared to newer, low-mileage models, newer years often boast improved overall quality, updated technology, and enhanced safety features.

Investing in a newer model with high mileage can offer you the best of both worlds – affordability and reliability.

How many miles will a Honda Pilot last?

Honda Pilots have earned a reputation for exceptional longevity, with many owners proudly boasting about their vehicles surpassing the 200,000-mile mark.

These SUVs are known for their robust construction, durable engines, and reliable performance, making them an excellent choice for drivers seeking long-term reliability and value.

With proper maintenance and care, a Honda Pilot can provide years of dependable service, far exceeding expectations.

What year is the Honda Pilot recalled?

In November 2023, Honda issued a recall (Recall # 23V735000) for certain 2023-2024 Honda Pilot vehicles. The recall was prompted by a manufacturing error involving the gearbox assembly, which contained a loose ball bearing.

This defect could potentially lead to a steer lock-up or loss of steering control, posing a significant safety risk to drivers and passengers.

Owners of affected vehicles should promptly contact their local Honda dealership to schedule a repair and ensure their vehicle’s safety.

Are Honda Pilots cheap to maintain?

When it comes to maintenance costs, Honda Pilots are generally considered affordable to maintain compared to other midsize SUVs and vehicle models.

The average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Honda Pilot is $542, which is lower than the average of $573 for midsize SUVs and $652 for all vehicle models.

This affordability, coupled with the Pilot’s reputation for reliability, makes it a cost-effective choice for budget-conscious drivers seeking a dependable SUV option.


Navigating the complexities of Honda Pilot ownership involves careful consideration of both its strengths and weaknesses. While the model boasts a stellar reputation for reliability and performance, it’s not without its common problems.

Issues like transmission failures, excessive oil consumption, and brake issues have been reported across certain model years, necessitating thorough research and scrutiny before making a purchase decision.

Furthermore, opting for newer model years with high mileage can offer a compelling compromise, providing updated technology and safety features while still offering a competitive price point.

Despite these challenges, the Honda Pilot’s longevity remains one of its most significant selling points.

This durability, coupled with its reputation for reliability, makes it a compelling choice for drivers seeking a dependable and long-lasting SUV option.

Navigating the best and worst years of the Honda Pilot requires careful consideration of various factors, including maintenance history, mileage, and model year.

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