Have you noticed how many cars have started going dark? As in black trim, black wheels---everything black? It's as if Darth Vader had joined the design studios of several automakers at once.
This past summer, we tested the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited S, which followed this formula, and now Honda brings us the Honda Pilot Black Edition.
The Pilot is Honda's long-running large three-row SUV (we reviewed its mid-size, the new Passport Elite, this summer as well), and the Black Edition does a great job of taking a family hauler and making it look a little more like an urban assault vehicle.
The Black Edition takes the top-of-the-line Elite trim and gives you one color choice, Crystal Black Pearl, 20-inch black-painted alloy wheels, blackout grille, tail lamp surrounds, headlight and foglamp surrounds, door handles and window trim, with "BLACK EDITION" badging front and rear.
The treatment continues on the inside, with black perforated leather seats, red accent stitching on the front-row and second-row captain's chairs, door panels and steering wheels. The front seats have the "BLACK EDITION" logo embossed on them, as do the floormats. And there's red accent lighting for the dash, doors and center console.
Beyond that, what you have is a Honda Pilot Elite---including the 3.5-liter V6 found under the hood of every Pilot model. It makes 280 horsepower, and mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission (standard on Touring, Elite and Black Edition models---all others get a six-speed), it gets an EPA-estimated 19 miles per gallon in the city, 22 on the highway. That seems right, given that 200 miles of city street and urban freeway driving, plus a trip up to Apple Hill and back has our tester showing 21 miles per gallon. All-wheel drive is standard, as it is on the Elite.
The base price for the 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition is $49,620, and beyond the special Black Edition goodies we just talked about, there's a typical-for-Honda large list of standard equipment:
- Honda Sensing (road departure mitigation, lane-keeping assist, collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control).
- Rear entertainment (Blu-Ray player and center-mounted drop-down video screen).
- Heated and ventilated front seats.
- Heated second-row captain's chairs.
- Multi-angle rearview camera.
- 590-watt premium audio system.
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
- One-touch folding rear seats.
- Panoramic roof.
- Second-row passenger sunshades.
- Hands-free power tailgate.
- LED headlights with automatic on/off.
- Wireless phone charger.
And thanks to Honda's one-price per trim level policy (dealer-installed options not included), that's it. Add $1,095 destination charge and the bottom line on the window sticker reads $50,715. That's right in the ballpark for a loaded, three-row SUV (and literally within a few hundred dollars of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum Limited we took to Colorado in September).
The Pilot is a proven performer with Honda's well-deserved reputation for reliability. The Pilot Black Edition is tall, dark, handsome and family-friendly. Well worth a test-drive and serious consideration if you're in the market for a three-row SUV.