2016 Honda Pilot long-term road test: which accessories are worth the price?

December 5, 2016

In the last 11 months we've talked a lot about our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot. Everything from car seats and diaper bags to the safety tech and its first service stop have been discussed. Now, as we enter the holiday season it only seems fitting we turn our attention to what kind of presents you can buy your Pilot.

Of course we are talking about accessories. Being a vehicle that is aimed at doing it all--from family hauling duties and soccer practice to hitting the beach with your buddies--it's only fitting that Honda and its dealerships welcome you with open arms to a plethora of things you can purchase as an add-on for your new Pilot.

Today the question is: which accessories are worth the price?

The must haves

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

If you ever plan on hauling anything, from a trailer full of mulch or couches to a boat or pair jet skis, you'll need a hitch. More specifically, you'll need some form of tow package. This is a dealer-installed option and can be added to your Pilot at any time. For light-duty towing up to 3,500 pounds you can opt for just a trailer hitch and harness which is $585 plus installation, which varies depending on which transmission your Pilot has. If you want to haul a larger boat or load you can increase towing capacity to 5,000 pounds if you have all-wheel drive and add a transmission cooler, which costs $384.62 for the 9-speed and $180 for the 6-speed, plus installation.

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

If you are one to go camping often the tent option might be a good thing to look into. While we didn't get a chance to test it, for $382 this set up is 10 feet by 10 feet and sleeps up to 6 people. What's more, making it even more like a palace is a 6 foot by 6 foot rainfly that extends the usable area and adds protection to the roof of the tent. You have full access to the Pilot while inside the tent as well.

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

The all-season floor mats are a must if you live anywhere the experiences inclement weather. At $208 they are a value compared to many aftermarket solutions, especially considering you get mats for the front, second- and third-row seats.

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

While the rear windows on the Pilot do feature privacy glass, for those hauling expensive equipment such as camera gear or other valuable items one might try to break into a vehicle and steal, the cargo cover might be something to look into for $275.

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

Live in the Snowbelt states? If your Pilot isn't a top Elite trim you don't have a heated steering wheel. My friend, you'll regret that really quick the first day it's below zero. For $500 you can add a heated steering wheel that's integrated with the remote start system. We would recommend it.

Might be nice but there are other options

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

Hate it when the edges of your doors get marred? For $49 you can protect them with door edge film. While it seems like a good idea, and it is, this is something the aftermarket does pretty cheaply, especially if you wrap it into a larger job such as covering the front of your Pilot in clear shield. Shop around before just opting for the dealership route on this one.

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

Want something a bit more heavy duty than film protecting your door edges? For $105 you can get door edge guards that are color-matched to your factory paint.

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

If you want to haul your bikes there's a roof mount for $188 or a trailer hitch mount--note, you'll need a trailer hitch for this option--for $215. Both are nicely done, but shop around as there's an entire industry that makes these accessories. You might be able to get a better price, even from Craigslist.

Please, just don't

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

For $175 you can buy a nose mask, but please, don't. Sure, it protects the exposed front section of your Pilot from rocks and road debris, not to mention insects, but it sits against the paint and the wind vibrates it. Eventually you will damage the paint on your new ride, which, ironically is the opposite of this accessory's intended use.

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

For $625 you can add chrome running boards which Honda says the "give your Pilot a super-aggressive look..." The issue is, aside from doing little to improve styling they actually collect dirt, dust, and snow. This means when you get out of your Pilot you'll have to work extra hard not to get your pants disgusting.

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

2016 Honda Pilot Touring long-term road test, accessories

Honda calls the illuminated door sill trim "tasteful and upscale." We call them useless and frankly, a bit tacky. What's more, they are $300, which you could, and should, put towards far more functional accessories.

What's next for the Pilot?

Winter's finally hitting the midwest and we'll see how the Pilot handles the white fluffy stuff. With tech playing an even larger role in our everyday lives we'll take at the apps in Honda Link and the infotainment system as a whole.

Another fuel economy check-in is in the cards, and we'll also compile thoughts from our passengers regarding the Pilot.

Have a question, task, or comment regarding the Pilot? Connect with us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook or leave a comment below.

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