The 2019 Honda Pilot had an increased towing capacity over the earlier model years, able to achieve a maximum rating of up to 5,000 lbs! Just like previous model years though, you had to have the right equipment installed and had to make sure that your vehicle had certain configurations in order to achieve the highest ratings in the charts.
I gathered all the information I could online from the owner's manual and compiled it into this article and tried to organize it as best I could. I included all of the important information, including the charts so that you can easily understand the data and hopefully find it to be a helpful resource.
Make sure you read through your owner's manual to get familiar with your vehicle and that you abide by all of Honda's recommendations and requirements.
2019 Pilot Overview
Overall Towing Capacity: The towing capacity for the 2019 Honda Pilots ranged from 0-5,000 lbs. This was dependent upon three main factors, the main factor was how many occupants you had in the vehicle, whether you had a two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive model and if you had the optional automatic transmission fluid cooler installed.
If you had 8 people in the vehicle, then towing was not recommended by Honda, so in other words, you would have no capacity.
Engine Options: These 2019 model SUVs had only one engine option and was the main reason why the chart was so simple to read. The engine was a 3.5 L engine that came in a V6 configuration and was used for all models and all trim levels.
Trim Levels: There were five different trim levels to choose from, but when it came to the overall trailer weight capacity, the trim level you had on your vehicle did not affect the numbers at all. Other factors came into play that influenced the numbers instead.
Assumed Weight: Honda Didn't specify the weight of the occupants in the vehicle, since their chart list maximum trailer weight rating according to the number of occupants in the vehicle. For 2019 models, Honda specified a 150 lb. weight for all occupants, which includes 17.6 pounds of cargo per occupant, giving you a grand total of 167.6 lbs. per occupant.
Let's Take A Look At The Chart:
The 2019 Honda Pilots had a little bit more overall capacity than the other earlier model years, but the chart is laid out almost exactly the same as all the other model years. If you look below at the table you can see on the far left column, it states the number of occupants in the vehicle and then to the right of this column gives you specific maximum trailer weight ratings based on whether you have an all-wheel drive or two-wheel drive model.
There are two separate columns for all-wheel drive models though and these are for models that have the optional automatic transmission fluid cooler installed, models that do not have this cooler installed and of course on the far right-hand column, we can see that the two-wheel drive models weight ratings are listed.
Tongue Weight Rating:
The tongue weight ratings are also important, and I was able to find another chart that lists the specific maximum weight limits, as well. If you look at the text in the top of the image, we can see that if you are pulling a boat trailer behind you, Honda recommends that 5-15% of the trailer's total weight can be placed on your vehicle's hitch and if you are pulling any other type of trailer, this amount is increased to between 10-15% of the trailer's total weight.
If we look at the chart in the image, we can see that Honda used a 10% model as an example for the figures that are listed in the tow chart above, but I assume this is only shown as an example, as the text above the chart can have as much as 15% of the total trailer weight on the hitch.
Trailer brakes were also required if your trailer weighed 1,000 pounds or more, which is pretty standard as far as vehicles go. All model year Pilots have this exact same weight rating when it comes to trailer brakes, set at that 1,000 lb. limit, but some vehicle manufacturers have a higher limit of 2,000 lbs.
One thing you'll want to do is to check with your local County or state laws to see if that 1,000 pound rating meets their requirements or if you will have to make modifications in order to accommodate your local law enforcement agencies rules.
There were five different trim levels available for the 2019 Pilots, but I wanted to mention that the trim level you had equipped on your vehicle did not affect the maximum trailer weight rating capacities that were listed in the chart, rather the number of occupants in the vehicle, whether you had an all-wheel drive or two-wheel drive model and having that ATF cooler installed were the three main factors that contributed to how much you can actually pull with your vehicle.
The five different trim levels were labeled as the: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite models, but like I mentioned earlier, it had no impact on the overall capacity ratings.
GVWR, GCWR and GAWR Figures:
Sometimes you will need to know some other specifications of the vehicle's weight in order to make certain calculations when it comes to the total amount of weight in your vehicle plus the additional weight in your trailer and so on. These specifications are usually listed as the gross combined weight rating, the gross vehicle weight rating and the gross axle weight ratings.
I was also able to find these metrics in the owner's manual, listed in a nice little chart that made the information really easy to read.
GCWR: The Gross combined weight rating was listed for both the two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models, as you can see from the image below and these were listed as a maximum gross combined weight rating of 8,025 lbs. for two-wheel drive models and 9,755 lbs. for all-wheel-drive models.
GVWR: The gross vehicle weight rating was listed as gross vehicle in the chart below but was laid out in the same exact way and listed a maximum weight of 5,545 pounds for two-wheel drive models and a 5,842 pound rating for all-wheel-drive models.
GAWRs: The gross axle weight ratings were listed separately, which is typical because the front axle will have a different rating than the rear axle, like we see below. The front gross axle weight rating was listed at 2,734 pounds for two-wheel drive models, while the all-wheel-drive models had a higher 2,855 lb rating.
For the rear axle, we can see that the two-wheel drive models had a 2,965 lb. capacity, while the all-wheel drive models had a 3,142 lb. limit.
Do I Have A Transmission Cooler?
If we look at the chart I have posted at the top of this article, we can see that there were two separate maximum trailer weight rating listed for the all-wheel-drive models and this was because of the additional automatic transmission fluid cooler that could be equipped that gave you a higher overall limit.
This cooler was only available for the all-wheel-drive models and was not available for the two-wheel drive models. Finding out if you have one of these installed on your vehicle is harder to determine for the average person, though.
If you have some type of mechanical knowledge, you could climb under the vehicle and see if you can find any lines coming from the transmission that go either to the radiator or to an auxiliary cooler somewhere around the radiator area.
If this is not you, or you're having trouble finding lines that lead to some sort of cooler, then I would recommend you take it into a dealership to see if they can confirm if you have one of these installed on your SUV.
Other Notes I Found:
I continued searching through the owner's manual for other bits of information that I thought might be helpful and I stumbled across a couple of different things, that I posted screenshots of below.
One note mentions higher octane gasoline when hauling more than 3,500 lbs. and how certain things like higher outside temperatures, steep uphill grades and higher altitudes can be harder on your vehicle, especially when pulling something behind it, so you will need to be aware of this and compensate for those types of conditions by slowing down and keeping your RPMs lower.
The other note I found talks a little bit about weight distribution hitches and how these model year SUVs do not really need to use one of these types of hitches, but you can use one if you really want to and if you do, just make sure that you have it setup professionally to avoid driving complications.
The main resource I used to gather the information for this article came directly from the owners manual, that I found on Honda's website and I posted a link to below.
I typically also like to post a link of the brochure, as I do gather information from this resource as well, but I could not find one for this particular model year, but if I do, I will update this post and provide the link for those of you out there that want to check out that resource as well.
- 2019 Pilot Owner's Manual
- 2019 Pilot Brochure