The 2018 Honda Pilot is technically a mid-sized SUV but it’s big!  With seating for eight and plenty of storage space this Honda really delivers tremendous space and functionality.

Courtesy of our friends at Rock Honda, iDriveSoCal’s Professor Clinton Quan took the 2018 Honda Pilot for test drive recently. Not only did he become a big fan of the big mid-sized SUV but so did his passengers! They especially enjoyed the rear passenger entertainment system throughout the test drive.

Hear what makes the 2018 Honda Pilot a satisfying ride in this iDriveSoCal Podcast, while scrolling through a few of the Professor’s pics below.

Thinking of buying a new car? Take the 2018 Honda Pilot for your very own test drive and learn more about great auto-financing options, when you visit our friends and iDriveSocal Podcast partners at Rock Honda!


***Transcript***

Recorded June 19, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA

Clinton Quan: I test drove the Honda Pilot EX-L. It’s a midsize SUV. However, this is a big midsize SUV. There’s plenty of space inside for eight people. What I really, really liked most about the Pilot, all the storage space and compartments in the SUV.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of these fine United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with our pal, the Professor. Say hello, Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom.

Tom Smith: That is the Professor, Clinton Quan. And today’s podcast is about the 2018 Honda Pilot. The Professor picked one up from our good friends out at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California. Head out to Rock Honda. Say hello to all our friends out there. David Latif, General Manager, Hamid Javid, the General Sales Manager, Ruben Serna, Service Director, Veronica Orozco, another sales manager. We have all kinds of friends out at Rock Honda. But at any rate, the 2018 Pilot, the Professor picked one up, took one out for a ride. And he actually had the Associate Professor and, I believe, one of his friends with him. And the associate professor is … How old is the associate?

Clinton Quan: He is 7 years old.

Tom Smith: 7 years old.

Clinton Quan: He just turned 7 years in April.

Tom Smith: So, we had some youngsters involved.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: So, those of you that are looking for a vehicle that has youngsters in mind, this is a good one to consider as well. Without further ado, Professor, what do you got for us?

Clinton Quan: I test drove the Honda Pilot EX-L, the current Pilot comes in five different trim levels-

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: … starting with the Base LX.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: So, it’s about $31,000. Then, you move up to the EX, which goes for about $33,000. Then,the EX-L, which is the one I drove.

Tom Smith: Yup.

Clinton Quan: That starts at about $37,000.

Tom Smith: All right.

Clinton Quan: Then, there’s a Touring trim, which starts at about $42,000.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Then. you move up to the top of the line flagship, which goes for about $47,000.

Tom Smith: What’s a flagship’s model name?

Clinton Quan: The Elite.

Tom Smith: Elite?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay, got it. So, you were mentioning to me a lot of bells and whistles in this Pilot, and you didn’t even drive the Elite nor the Touring. You drove the next step down, the EX-L, which kind of sounds like it’s about in the middle.

Clinton Quan: Yes, the EX-L is the midlevel trim. It’s interesting because a few years ago, the EX-L used to be the top trim in a number of Honda models.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, it was. And I remember, way back in the ’80s, you had a DX, then the LX, then the EX.

Tom Smith: Right.

Clinton Quan: They moved up to LX, EX, then EX-L. L designates leather. Then, they came out with a Touring trim. And now, they’re going ultra luxury with an Elite trim.

Tom Smith: Right, right. Really dancing it up with some of those features that they’re putting on the vehicles.

Clinton Quan: But I would say most people probably get the EX or the E-XL, which is pretty well equipped.

Tom Smith: Yeah. It’s a lot of car, a lot of features-

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: … for the money. But, hey, you want to spend a couple extra bucks for all those extra bells and whistles that you get, which you get a ton in Honda, you have options.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. And the one I drove had a rear entertainment system. So, my son and our friends, they were really excited about that.

Tom Smith: They were entertained.

Clinton Quan: Yes, they were entertained throughout the entire drive.

Tom Smith: All right. Excellent.

Clinton Quan: So much.

Tom Smith: And how were they entertained? Are we talking DVD players, some games? A little bit of this, a little bit of that?

Clinton Quan: DVD. They watched a couple of Scooby Doo films.

Tom Smith: All right. Excellent. And are those DVDs that you brought with you or-

Clinton Quan: They’re DVDs we brought.

Tom Smith: Okay, gotcha.

Clinton Quan: Okay, excellent. So, tell me about the Pilot.

Tom Smith: Is this a refresh? What’s the status?

Clinton Quan: No, it’s not a refresh. It’s still the current generation.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: It’s a midsize SUV. However, this is a big midsize SUV. And when you scroll through the photos, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Tom Smith: Yeah. First thing I said when you showed me the pictures, “Man, that thing looks big.”

Clinton Quan: Yeah, it’s a big looking SUV. It’s almost big enough. If it were several inches longer, you’d probably consider it a full-size SUV. In fact, I was talking to a friend of mine. We had a long conversation yesterday. And his brother was looking at SUVs, and they said, “Yeah, that Pilot, it’s really, really big.”

Tom Smith: It looks good on the roads too. I’ve seen a few of them that I’m like, “Hey, man. I like the way that that is styled.”

Clinton Quan: It’s got a really, really clean design in terms of the exterior styling. And there’s plenty of space inside for eight people.

Tom Smith: Eight?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Wow.

Clinton Quan: There’s two in the front, three in the middle, and then three in the back. But probably three if you’re going to put three people in the back row, three kids.

Tom Smith: Okay, got it.

Clinton Quan: And what I really, really like most about the Pilot, all the storage space and compartments in the SUV.

Tom Smith: Honda’s always been good about that.

Clinton Quan: Right.

Tom Smith: I remember my ’87 Prelude SI, it had a lot of fun little spaces and places to put stuff.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. And I really appreciate when an automaker goes into designing the vehicle in mind, especially since this is a family vehicle, and provides ample enough space for all the things that you would want to put in your vehicle.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: So, clean lines outside. Anything else on the outside?

Clinton Quan: I would say, yeah, it’s got a really modern looking design, really clean lines.

Tom Smith: And then, inside, anything else to note? Tech? Obviously, the entertainment center or an entertainment system.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. It’s called the rear entertainment system, which is positioned right between the front in passenger seats.

Tom Smith: So, is it a screen that drops down from the ceiling?

Clinton Quan: Yes, it drops down from the ceiling. So, it’s visible to both the second row and third row passengers.

Tom Smith: Okay. And then, I’m assuming we can do the … listen through the car speakers, or also plug in our earbuds or headphones, if we want, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes, that is correct.

Tom Smith: Got it. Okay.

Clinton Quan: No navigation in the one I drove, but it is available with the navigation.

Tom Smith: But you can get the XL with navi?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, you can get it with navi, navigation, and the rear entertainment system as well. I just used the navigation of my phone, and there’s plenty of space to put your phone-

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: … in the vehicle.

Tom Smith: Got it.

Clinton Quan: It’s got a pretty wide center console as well, huge storage space in the compartment between the driver and passenger side.

Tom Smith: What else about the 2018 Honda Pilot EX-L that you drove from our good friends at Rock Honda?

Clinton Quan: Well, the Honda Pilot features a 3.5 liter v6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262-pound-feet of torque.

Tom Smith: 262?

Clinton Quan: 262-pound-feet of torque, yes. So, it’s got plenty of power.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: It was very smooth in terms of acceleration, both driving on the freeway highways and surface streets.

Tom Smith: With that kind of horsepower and torque, I’m thinking that even pretty well loaded down, that thing’s going to get you on the highway and up to speed out without struggle at all.

Clinton Quan: Yes, that’s correct. And we had … How many people? We had seven people in the vehicle.

Tom Smith: You’ve got seven people in the vehicle at a test drive?

Clinton Quan: Well, three adults and-

Tom Smith: You picked up a few randoms?

Clinton Quan: No, no, no. That was that was my friend, her husband, and her three kids. Yeah. So, we definitely got-

Tom Smith: The Professor really test driving the car.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Thanks, Rock Honda.

Clinton Quan: That’s a real test drive.

Tom Smith: No kidding.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Wow. Make sure you share thanks to everybody today. I mean, I feel like I should have six other people involved in this podcast to chime in.

Clinton Quan: Oh, yeah?

Tom Smith: They were all pleased though you could speak for them?

Clinton Quan: I think so.

Tom Smith: All right.

Clinton Quan: Hopefully.

Tom Smith: All right. Anything else to add about the 2018 Honda Pilot from, again, our good friends at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California?

Clinton Quan: Well, I think, it’s a great vehicle for those who don’t want a minivan but want the versatility of three rows. And it was pretty easy getting in and out, not as easy as, say, a minivan but Honda does offer a minivan as well. A lot of people want the look of an SUV without ruggedness or-

Tom Smith: Also, if you’re heading up the mountains you want to be able to-

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: I mean, because it comes in-

Clinton Quan: If you want greater ground clearance as well, then you would go with the Pilot.

Tom Smith: Right. And your options are either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Clinton Quan: Correct.

Tom Smith: Correct?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay. And you drove?

Clinton Quan: The front-wheel drive.

Tom Smith: Front-wheel drive.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: All right. Okay. Sounds like it’s time for the top three, unless there’s anything else before that.

Clinton Quan: I think it’s time for the top three as well.

Tom Smith: All right, top three.

Clinton Quan: I would say the top three, the power-

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: … of the vehicle, 3.5 liter v6. So, that’s a big v6.

Tom Smith: Strong, yeah.

Clinton Quan: Yes. Second would be the space.

Tom Smith: I’m was going to say space for you considering that you had seven people on your test drive.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. So, I thought there was definitely a good amount of space in terms of passenger space and leg room, and also in terms of storage space.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. And then, the third, definitely the rear entertainment system. That was a big hit for everyone.

Tom Smith: Nice. And not just the kids? I mean, were the adults enjoying Scooby Doo as well?

Clinton Quan: Well, one adult was in the front. So, the two of us, we can’t watch that. But the other, yes.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: My friend was entertained throughout the drive.

Tom Smith: And these are the newer versions of Scooby Doo, right? Not the older. I was always a big fan of Scooby Doo.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I loved watching Scooby Doo when I was young.

Tom Smith: All right. I still enjoy watching it with my son.

Clinton Quan: All right.

Tom Smith: And we always enjoy your analysis of vehicles. And thank you for that again, and thanks to your test driving crew. And speaking of test driving crew, thanks to our friends at Rock Honda in a Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California, just off the 210. David Latif, the General Manager, Hamid Javid, the General Sales Manager, Veronica Orozco another sales manager, Ruben Serna, the Service Director. Hello to you all. Step out to Rock Honda. Say hello to our friends out there and consider getting yourself a Honda because these are some great vehicles packed with tech and a ton of car for the money. Without further ado, I’m gonna wrap this one up. For iDriveSoCal, I’m Tom Smith. Thanks as always for listening.