Honda Pilot Black Edition vs Elite. Which Trim is Best for You?

This Honda Pilot review shows how the Honda Pilot Black Edition specification and features compare with that of the Honda Pilot Elite. You will also know what features to expect in these two trims and their differences.

The short answer is that the two editions largely share the same features. Perhaps the most important difference is that the Black edition focuses on black.

Honda Pilot Black Edition

Honda Pilot Black Edition emphasizes black, as its name implies. The exterior boasts Crystal Black Pearl paint. The 3-row vehicle also prominently features a black grille and 20-inch wheels – in black, of course.

Headlights are also colored black together with the side trim. The fog-light accents and door handles are also jet-black. You can find Black Edition badges on the liftgate and grille. This logo is also embroidered into the front bucket seats, and they are made out of black leather that spots black stitching.

So if you really love this hue, you may want to consider the Honda Pilot Black Edition since there is plenty of it. Whether you are a fan of this color or not, you will feel that the Honda Pilot Black Edition looks vibrant and aesthetically appealing.

And it’s not just all about looks. There is plenty to admire about the Black Edition.

Although the Honda Pilot is not the most outstanding vehicle in its category, it is still up to par and pretty decent. The front end looks friendly and attractive, while the rear exudes simplicity. All in all, the design is crisp and appealing.

However, one caveat to note is that the Honda Pilot’s wheelbase is a bit small for its category.

Comfortable Cabin Space

The cabin interior is quite comfortable and spacious. There are no major issues to be found in the cabin. The only complaint is that the brake pedal feels somewhat awkward, like what you would expect in vintage vehicles.

Overall, the interior is agreeably nice. It is built quite well and has plenty of tech for your convenience. However, other automotive brands offer more tech and greater features than the Honda Pilot.

For example, the Toyota Highlander’s cabin space is more luxurious than the Pilot. The Subaru Ascent also rocks a sumptuous interior. However, brands that really offer great value for money in this department are both based in South Korea.

Thanks to high-grade material, premium design, and attractive touches, the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade are class-leading vehicles.

But although the Pilot is not particularly new, it still has a much better interior compared to the Ford Interior, which has cut corners with subpar materials and disappointing design.

The Honda Pilot’s black leather seats feel comfortable, silky smooth, and agreeably soft. The plastic material installed on door panels and the dash has a nice grainy texture, and it also feels good to touch.


The SUV offers plenty of comforts, especially the highly supportive front seats. However, second-row seats don’t match the comfort you feel on the front seats. Since the second-row seats are somewhat flatter, they are not as relaxing for long rides. The angle of the lower cushions also feels a bit awkward.

Since there is plenty of headroom available, it is well-suited for adults. However, one plus-point is the quality of the 3rd row, which is better compared to other SUVs. Most SUVs and family vehicles often compromise on the 3rd row since it is assumed that kids will occupy it. Hence, the space here is restricted, making it unsuitable for older passengers. But not in the Honda Pilot.

The SUV has done well to provide a decent amount of space in the 3rd row to suit passengers of all ages. There is plenty of legroom here, so you won’t feel cramped. This provides a better experience for long rides and trips.

And another great fact to note is that gymnastics are not necessary for accessing the 3rd row. The second-row seats can slide and tilt forward with just a button press opening up a fairly wide path.

If you need to haul cargo instead of people, you can fold the back seats easily to create more cargo space. There are around 16 cubic spaces of the room towards the back of the 3rd row. And when you fold the backseats, the cargo space capacity burgeons to 47.

Want even more space? No problem. Simply fold the second row as well. The cargo room will expand to around 83 cubic feet. The numbers are pretty good, especially when compared with competitor models.

Honda Pilot Tech

The Honda Pilot is equipped with a fair amount of technology. The standout feature is the Honda Sensing driver-assist technology. Thankfully, driver-assist features are standard for all pilot range trims. So you can go for any trim level without compromising safety.

Hence, the Black edition and the Elite edition of the Honda Pilot have the same driver-assist features. You can take heart that you won’t lose any safety feature if you choose one trim over the other.

The safety suite includes the full gamut of basic features that drivers would like to have such as

  • Adaptive cruise coupled with lane centering
  • Road-departure mitigation
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Automatic emergency braking

These driver-assist features can mitigate the risk and severity of accidents.

Adaptive cruise control with lane-centering provides safety and a better driving experience. Less driver input is required to keep the SUV in the middle of the lane. Hence, the driver can relax and experience less fatigue, especially during long trips.

Another notable fact is that Honda has implemented this technology quite well. This driver-assist has a quick response, and it works fluidly. This makes for a nice ride.


The infotainment system has a vibrant, colorful display. Details on the 8-inch touchscreen are crisp and sharp. Here, you will find large icons that you can tap easily. You can also rearrange these icons if you so desire. Hence, there is lots of flexibility. The system is fairly responsive. It may not be the best infotainment system, but it does its job quite nicely.

It would have been better if a knob for certain functions like tuning. This feature is handy since it allows drivers to set the volume without looking down when the SUV is on the move.

Sirius XM radio and HD are part of the Black edition. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also included. Using the built-in Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless phone charging, you can operate your smart gadgets.

Other standard features of the Honda Pilot include the immense center console and that start button with which you can activate the engine simply by pressing it once.

Climate control allows for three temperature zones. This is very convenient for large families where there could be disagreements over the interior temperature. Thanks to the 3-zone climate control, passengers can fine-tune the temperature according to their preferences.

The steering wheel is bound in leather, and it works smoothly. The front seats are ventilated and heated.

Another thoughtful and very useful feature is the 10.2-inch screen at the back and Blu-Ray technology that will keep the kids quiet on long road trips.

VTEC Performance

Honda is well-known for its durable and efficient engines. The official company name has the word ‘motor’ for a pretty good reason. The powertrain and the engine of the Honda Pilot do not disappoint. In fact, they work admirably well.

The family-friendly SUV has a V6 3.5-liter engine standard to all trim levels. Hence, you will find the same engine in both the Black edition and the Elite edition.

The fuel injection and variable valve timing mechanisms allow for decent fuel efficiency and power. The engine cranks out 260 pound-feet in torque and 280 horsepower compared well with the competition.

Engine mounts and noise cancellations are designed to reduce unwanted noise and alleviate vibrations. This makes for a smoother ride. These technologies also reduce vibration and sound when less than six cylinders are firing in the engine.

Honda Pilot Transmission

Two transmission systems are available for the Honda Pilot range. Base trims like the EX and LX are equipped with a 6-speed automatic. But the Black edition and the elite both boast a super-smooth 9-speed transmission. It might feel a tad bit slow, but it’s very fluid.

Bottom Line

The Honda Pilot Black edition and the Honda Pilot Elite share more or less the same features. Perhaps the only major difference is that the Black edition emphasizes a black hue. So if you are enamored with black vehicles, you may want to go for the Black edition.

Mark Anders

I love my Jeep and will share my years of knowledge with you here! Stay with me and read on!

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