The Honda Pilot is a great little SUV and I was actually surprised that it had any type of towing capacity at all! When I started doing the research, I was even more surprised when the capacities were half way decent for some models.
Here is a collaboration of all of the towing data I found for Honda Pilots made from 2003-2020. I hope it helps some of you out there!
Overview of the Data For the Honda Pilots:
Number Of Passengers: The number of passengers in the vehicle really was the main determining factor when it came to towing for all model years of the Honda Pilots. The more passengers you had, the less you were able to tow, which mad sense and factored the GCWR into the trailer towing charts, eliminating a lot of the "typical math" involved.
2WD vs 4WD: Some of the Pilot's towing charts had separate statistics for 2WD and 4WD models and it was clear, after reviewing the data that the 4WD models had a slightly higher capacity than the 2WD models.
ATF Cooler Equipped: If your Honda Pilot had an optional ATF cooler installed, then the towing capacity was greatly increased. I noticed that models that had an ATF cooler installed had at least a 1,000 lb. greater capacity range than models that did not have it equipped.
Towing Capacity: Over all of the years I looked at (2003-2020), there was a definite pattern I noticed and that was the overall towing capacity, which ranged from 2,000 lbs. to 4,500 lbs. for most model years. The towing capacity for 8 passengers was 0 lbs. for all model years and the newer Pilots had a higher 5,000 lb. capacity for models equipped with an ATF cooler.
If you see only one towing chart listed in the boxes below that is because the towing charts were identical and had the same, or very similar specs and that one towing chart will apply to all model years listed.
The Honda Pilot's towing capacities were broken down by the number of passengers in the vehicle for the most part and that is what affected the towing capacity the most.
If you had 8 passengers in the vehicle, then towing was not recommended by Honda, making the towing capacity 0 lbs., which I did not include in the towing capacity ranges below.
The 2016 to 2020 Honda pilots had an overall towing capacity that range from 2,250 pounds and went all the way up to 5,000 pounds when looking at all of the variables in the chart below.
The towing capacity for the models equipped with 2 wheel drive or all wheel drive that did not have an ATF cooler were identical and the only real difference is if you had an ATF cooler.
If you're Honda Pilot came equipped with an ATF cooler, then the towing capacities were little bit higher, starting at 2,500 pounds and going all the way up to 5,000 pounds max.
The 2013 to 2015 Honda Pilot had an overall towing capacity that ranged from 2,000 pounds at the low end and went all the way up to 4,500 pounds at the higher end but if you had 8 passengers, then towing was not recommended.
The towing capacities for the 2013 to 2015 model years were divided into 3 different categories and these were: 4WD, 2WD with an ATF cooler and 2WD without an ATF cooler.
If you have a 2 wheel drive model without an ATF cooler, then you had the lowest towing capacity of 2,000 lbs. with only two passengers in the vehicle. The capacity range for 2WD models with an ATF cooler ranged from 2,000 lbs.-3,500 lbs. and 4WD models had a range of 2,000 lbs.-4,500 lbs.
There were two different towing charts for the 2012 Honda Pilots and these were simply divided into 2 wheel drive models and 4 wheel drive models.
For the 2 wheel drive models, the towing capacity ranged from 2000 pounds and went all the way up to 3500 pounds but you only had telling capacity is above 2000 pounds if your model was equipped with an optional ATF cooler.
The 4 wheel drive model's towing capacity ranged from 2,000 lbs. and was a little higher than the 2WD models, making it to 4,500 lbs.
The 2019 to 2011 Honda Pilots had identical towing capacities to the 2012 model but the towing chart was not exactly the same.
The towing chart was still broken up into two separate categories, having 2 wheel drive models at the top of the chart and 4 wheel drive models under that.
The towing capacity for 2 wheel drive models ranged from 2000 pounds and went all the way up to 3500 pounds, making note of the "towing not recommended" section if you had eight passengers in the vehicle.
4WD Pilots made from 2009-2011 ranged from 2000 pounds but went up to 4500 pounds, making it a little bit more capable than the 2 wheel drive models.
The 2003-2008 Honda Pilot's had a little bit different towing capacity chart, which was divided into boat trailers at the top of the chart and then other types of trailers at the bottom of the chart.
No 2WD or 4WD models were stated in either chart listed, so I assume that did not have any impact on the overall towing capacity.
The towing capacity for 2003-2008 Honda Pilots ranged from 2,000 pounds and went all the way up to 4,500 pounds for boat trailers and the capacity range for other types of trailers ranged from 1,200 pounds and went all the way up to 3,500 pounds, at little bit less than we saw with the boat trailers.
Do I Have An ATF Cooler Installed?
How Do I Find My GVWR, GCWR or GAWR?
The towing charts that Honda provides for the Pilot are nice because they take into account a lot of the weight that most people forget to take into account like passengers and cargo. These aspects are really part of the GCWR of the vehicle and figures that did vary from model year but are easy to find.
- Click on the appropriate owner's manual to open up the pdf file.
- Once the file is open, hold control and press "F" (cmnd+"F" on macs)
- Once the search box is opened up then type "GCWR" or "Gross Combined Weight Rating" and you will find the specs for your model year.
* The above method will work for GCWR, GVWR and GAWR specs.
Resources For The Honda Pilots:
I used these owner's manuals to gather all of the towing data for the Honda Pilots, so feel free to browse through them yourself to find other important towing information you might want to know.
- 2020 Owner's Manual
- 2019 Owner's Manual
- 2018 Owner's Manual
- 2017 Owner's Manual
- 2016 Owner's Manual
- 2015 Owner's Manual
- 2014 Owner's Manual
- 2013 Owner's Manual
- 2012 Owner's Manual
- 2011 Owner's Manual
- 2010 Owner's Manual
- 2009 Owner's Manual
- 2008 Owner's Manual
- 2007 Owner's Manual
- 2006 Owner's Manual
- 2005 Owner's Manual
- 2004 Owner's Manual
- 2003 Owner's Manual