Honda will give the 2019 Pilot and HR-V a few upgrades as those models enter middle age.
2019 Honda HR-V
The 2019 HR-V, which is Honda’s entry-level crossover based on the Fit subcompact, will get two new trims to fill out its lineup. Still available in base LX and midgrade EX and EX-L trims, Honda will add a Touring model to the top of the lineup. Mirroring other Honda models, we presume the Touring will offer leather seating, embedded navigation, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration. A new-for-2019 Sport model will also be thrown into the mix; if it’s anything like the Honda Fit, the Sport should be primarily an appearance package, expanding on the base LX model with standard alloy wheels and sportier body styling.
What’s more, the HR-V will now be available with Honda Sensing, the company’s suite of active safety features. Honda Sensing, which will be standard on all trims EX and higher, offers the company’s Collision Mitigation Braking System autobrake, adaptive cruise control, lane departure mitigation, and more. The HR-V also gets an available Display Audio system and refinements to its newly standard CVT (the old HR-V came standard with a six-speed manual transmission on front-wheel-drive models).
Enhancing comfort on the small SUV will be added sound-deadening features and variable-ratio electric power steering. As before, the 2019 HR-V will continue to offer Honda’s Real Time all-wheel drive.
2019 Honda Pilot
At the other end of Honda’s SUV lineup is the eight-passenger Pilot, which will be updated for 2019 with more aggressive styling up front and new features to keep families happy.
For 2018, Honda Sensing is an option on the Pilot EX-L and standard on the Touring and Elite, but every new 2019 Pilot sold will come standard with the company’s active safety features. That means that even base Pilot LX and EX trims will come with automatic emergency braking, lane departure prevention, and active cruise control.
Families with teenagers will appreciate the 2019 Pilot’s available 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi and larger rear-seat entertainment system, and the new SUV’s Display Audio touchscreen has been updated with a physical volume knob—we give that last feature a resounding thumbs-up. Furthermore, Honda’s CabinTalk in-car PA system will be available on the Pilot, making it easier for front-seat passengers to carry on conversations with those in the third row. Finally, Honda will offer the Pilot with an available hands-free liftgate, which will make loading and unloading easier and more convenient.
Mechanically, the SUV is mostly unchanged, although Honda performed a few tweaks to the Pilot Touring and Pilot Elite’s standard nine-speed automatic transmission. We’ve never experienced problems with this gearbox in the past, but we have heard complaints it can be a bit jerky in certain situations. We’re sure 2019’s updates have helped in this regard.
Pricing and other information will be available closer to these vehicles’ on-sale dates: July 16 for the 2019 Pilot and July 24 for the 2019 HR-V.