Some SUVs are powerful enough to pull trailers, at least if they have the right engines. How much can a Honda Pilot tow?
Newer Honda Pilots can tow up to 5000 pounds if they have all-wheel drive. Otherwise, Honda Pilots can tow 3000-3500 pounds if they have two-wheel drive.
Read on to learn more about how much a Honda Pilot can tow, as well as what factors matter in how much towing power the vehicle has.
How Much Can a Honda Pilot Tow?
Some Honda Pilots are powerful enough to tow small trailers. A 5000-pound towing capacity isn’t as powerful as some trucks offer, but it is still enough to pull a trailer.
Some earlier Honda Pilots aren’t nearly as powerful and can only tow 2000 pounds.
It depends on what year the Honda Pilot is, what engine it has, and whether the Honda Pilot has a towing package. If you want to tow a large trailer, you will need something more powerful than a Honda Pilot.
What Affects the Towing Capacity?
The most important thing is the engine. If your Honda Pilot has a smaller-than-normal engine, its towing capacity won't be anywhere near 5000 pounds.
A towing package can be added to a Honda Pilot regardless of what trim level you pay for. Older Honda Pilots of any trim level may or may not have the towing package, depending on what the original buyer wanted.
Another very important thing is whether the trailer has brakes. If only the SUV has brakes, it is a lot harder to stop the trailer. This reduces the towing capacity because it makes it unsafe to drive with a heavy trailer.
If your trailer doesn’t have brakes, the Honda Pilot towing capacity may be as low as 1000 pounds. Trailer brakes raise the capacity to 2000-5000 pounds.
All Wheel Drive
Unsurprisingly, all-wheel-drive Honda Pilots can tow more than two-wheel-drive Honda Pilots. It makes the difference between 3000 or 3500 pounds and 4500 or 5000 pounds.
An ATF cooler can reduce the strain on your transmission. While there is no way that towing a trailer won’t be hard on your SUV in some way, you can reduce the wear and tear with an ATF cooler.
Pulling a trailer makes your transmission heat up. An ATF cooler cools your transmission down to prevent gradual damage. A Honda Pilot with a transmission cooler may have up to another 1000 or 1500 pounds of towing capacity.
Number of Passengers
A big part of the total weight you may have with you on a camping trip is your passengers. Five people that weigh 160 pounds each add up to another 800 pounds.
Weight of Your Possessions
Everything you bring with you adds to the total weight. If you don’t count your possessions, you may underestimate the total weight you are carrying.
What Does the Tow Package Include?
Towing packages usually include:
- A trailer hitch receiver
- A retaining pin/clip
- A wiring harness
- A trailer hitch locking pin
- A ball mount receiver
Can You Install a Trailer Hitch?
You can install a trailer hitch if your Honda Pilot doesn’t already have one. You cannot bumper tow with the Honda Pilot, so you need to use a frame-mounted trailer hitch.
Honda Pilot Towing Capacities By Year
What Can a 2023 Honda Pilot Tow?
If your Honda Pilot has all-wheel drive, it can pull 5000 pounds, and for two-wheel drive, the limit is 3000. Currently, there is only one engine available, the 3.5 Liter V-6 engine.
What Can a 2022 Honda Pilot Tow?
The 2022 Honda Pilot also has only one engine available, the 3.5L V6 engine. This engine can tow either 3500 or 5000 pounds depending on the Honda Pilot’s other features.
It always matters a lot whether the Honda Pilot has all-wheel drive. The two-wheel drive models can pull 3500 pounds, the all-wheel drive models can pull 5000.
The towing capacity for each trim level is:
- Sport 2WD: 3500 pounds
- Sport AWD: 5000 pounds
- EX-L 2WD: 3500 pounds
- EX-L AWD: 5000 pounds
- SE 2WD: 3500 pounds
- SE AWD: 5000 pounds
- TrailSport: 5000 pounds
- Touring 2WD: 3500 pounds
- Touring AWD: 5000 pounds
- Elite: 5000 pounds
- Black Edition: 5000 pounds
What Can a 2021 Honda Pilot Tow?
A 2021 Honda Pilot can tow 5000 pounds if it both has all-wheel drive and an ATF cooler. The towing capacities are:
- 3500 pounds if it has two-wheel drive
- 3500 pounds if it has all-wheel drive but no ATF cooler
- 5000 pounds if it has all-wheel drive and an ATF cooler
What Can a 2020 Honda Pilot Tow?
The 2020 Honda Pilot is similar to the 2021 Pilot. It can tow 3500 pounds if it has two-wheel drive, 3500 pounds if it has all-wheel drive but no ATF cooler, and 5000 pounds if it has both.
What Can a 2019 Honda Pilot Tow?
The 2019 Honda Pilot is the same:
- 5000 pounds (all-wheel drive and an ATF cooler)
- 3500 pounds (no ATF cooler)
- 3500 pounds (two-wheel drive)
What Can a 2018 Honda Pilot Tow?
2018 Honda Pilots are the same. They can tow 5000 pounds if they have both all-wheel drive and an ATF cooler. Otherwise, they can tow 3500 pounds.
What Can a 2017 Honda Pilot Tow?
2017 Honda Pilots can also tow 5000 pounds with all-wheel drive and an ATF cooler and 3500 pounds otherwise.
What Can a 2016 Honda Pilot Tow?
2016 Honda Pilots are the same. They can tow at least 3500 pounds or up to 5000 pounds with both all-wheel drive and an ATF cooler.
What Can a 2015 Honda Pilot Tow?
2015 Honda Pilots are also the same. They can tow either 3500 or 5000 pounds depending on if they have an ATF cooler and all-wheel drive.
What Can a 2014 Honda Pilot Tow?
2014 Honda Pilots are a bit different. They can tow only 2000 pounds if they have two-wheel drive and don’t have an ATF cooler. If they have an ATF cooler but don’t have all-wheel drive, they can pull 3500 pounds. With all-wheel drive, they can pull 4500 pounds.
What Can a 2013 Honda Pilot Tow?
A 2013 Honda Pilot can tow 2000 pounds (two-wheel drive and no ATF cooler), 3500 pounds (two-wheel drive with an ATF cooler), or 4500 pounds (all-wheel drive). Only Honda Pilots made after 2014 have 5000-pound towing capacities.
What Can a 2012 Honda Pilot Tow?
A 2012 Honda Pilot is the same as a 2013 Honda Pilot. It can tow the following:
- A minimum of 2000 pounds
- 3500 pounds if it has an ATF cooler
- 4500 pounds if it has all-wheel drive
What Can a 2011 Honda Pilot Tow?
A 2011 Honda Pilot can tow 4500 pounds with all-wheel drive, or 3500 pounds with two-wheel drive.
What Can a 2010 Honda Pilot Tow?
2010 Honda Pilots can also tow 3500 pounds with two-wheel drive, or 4500 pounds with all-wheel drive.
Risks of Going Over Your Towing Capacity
If you go over your towing capacity, your Honda Pilot will likely still be able to pull the trailer. However, this is unsafe and can damage your vehicle.
You will put a lot of extra strain on your transmission, brakes, engine, and chassis. Remember that even towing under the limit is hard on your car and will shorten the time before something needs to be repaired. It is far worse if you tow over the limit.
Damage to Your Transmission
Going over your towing limit is particularly hard on your transmission. The transmission will heat up, and the extra friction and weight will wear it out faster than normal.
Going Over the Towing Limit Isn’t Safe
If you go over the towing limit, your brakes might not stop your vehicle in time. Sometimes, you have to stop quickly, and if you are over your towing limit, you might not be able to. Take the towing limit seriously and make sure you count everything when determining how much weight you are pulling.
Is It Okay to Go Over the Towing Capacity Just Once?
You should not go over the towing capacity at all. You might damage your transmission the first time. The trailer hitch can break, the frame can bend, and you might get in an accident.
Key Takeaways to Honda Pilot Towing Capacity
If your trailer has brakes, the Honda Pilot can tow 2000 to 5000 pounds, depending on what features your Honda Pilot has.
Whether the SUV has a towing package, all-wheel drive, and/or an ATF cooler determines how many pounds the Honda Pilot can tow.
If your Honda Pilot doesn’t already have a trailer hitch, you can get one installed.
Don’t exceed the towing limit even one time, as that could damage your vehicle. You could damage the frame or the transmission.
An ATF cooler keeps your transmission cool, which allows your Honda Pilot to tow more. You can tow another 1000 or 1500 pounds if you have an ATF cooler.