Find the depreciation rate of your Honda Pilot in the graph below.
Though not all vehicles depreciate at the same rate, they tend to follow a general trend. The steepest drop in value usually happens in the first year of ownership, after which depreciation gradually slows. At around the five-year mark, the rate of depreciation somewhat normalizes. Knowing the depreciation rate of the Honda Pilot allows you to understand its long-term value and overall cost of ownership.
Keep in mind that just because the vehicle costs the least to own in the sweet spot we have outlined here, you still may not want to own the vehicle during these depreciation sweet spot years. Although vehicles depreciate less as they get older, they have more repairs. Duh right? However, keep in mind that repairs don’t just cost you money, they cost you time. Reliability is the difference between being able to make it to your destination on time or missing an opportunity because the car broke down.
Check out our article on the best and worst years of the Honda Pilot to see our reliability ratings for all years of the Pilot between 2003-2022. We also cover MPG, safety ratings, and a number of other factors. We pulled data from Pilots registered in our app and surveyed owners to get you data-backed answers on just how good or bad each year of the Pilot is.
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Honda Pilot Depreciation
|Model Years||Mileage||Amount Depreciated||Residual Value Percentage||Resale Value|
This chart shows the approximate depreciation for a Honda Pilot. It’s based on Kelley Blue Book data since 2003 (the year that the Pilot debuted), assuming a vehicle in standard trim, a generic color such as black or white, and a mileage of 12,000 per year.
Keep in mind that the auto market was heavily affected in 2020 and beyond. Automakers selling new cars during the COVID pandemic raised prices which caused a spike in demand in the used car market as people tried to save money. Many automakers, however, did not drop prices after the pandemic, they kept them so they could make a larger profit.
This is why the most recent years of many vehicles have seemingly experienced less depreciation. Some, such as 2015 and 2021, may have even appreciated due to the heightened levels of inflation created.
Factors That Impact the Honda Pilot Depreciation Rate
Honda, one of the top 10 best-selling automakers in the world, has a reputation for making dependable, well-designed vehicles. According to Consumer Reports, Hondas tend to offer both excellent performance and exceptional practicality, helping the brand to rank “consistently … among the more reliable automakers.” Consumer Reports also praises the latest model of the Honda Pilot as “roomy, comfortable, and user-friendly,” with a “smooth and refined” engine and sufficiently responsive handling. Together, the solid reputation of both Honda and the Pilot may help to sustain a relatively high value over the long term.
Reputation alone doesn’t determine the depreciation and resale value of a vehicle. For that, we also need to look at the following variables:
We determine a vehicle’s age by looking at its model year, a designation that denotes a particular release version. Automakers often release a new model year in the preceding one or two calendar years. That was the case with the 2023 Honda Pilot, which went on sale in December of 2022.
Newer model years are more valuable than older ones because the latest vehicles have comfort and safety features that increase their utility and appeal to consumers. All previous model years usually drop in value as soon as a new model year comes out. Even if you bought a brand-new 2023 Pilot today, its depreciation would accelerate if Honda were to release the 2024 Pilot the very next day.
Body type refers to a vehicle’s shape and size. The main body types among consumer vehicles in the North American market are:
- Station wagons
- Sports cars
- Sport utility vehicles
- Pickup trucks
The Honda Pilot is an SUV, specifically a midsize crossover SUV. “Midsize” refers to its relative size (halfway between compact and full-size), while “crossover” refers to the fact that it’s a truck-like vehicle built on a unibody, or car-like, platform. In the United States, SUVs are by far the most popular body type, claiming greater than 40% market share in most states. Expect the Pilot to retain its value better than a sedan or a coupe built by a comparably reputable automaker, for example.
A vehicle’s mileage is an indication of how much use it has gotten. Higher mileage generally correlates with more use, and the vehicle may seem less valuable because of the higher likelihood of encountering mechanical problems. However, it’s important to note that overall mileage tells only part of the story. Weigh the overall mileage against the vehicle’s age to calculate its mileage per year.
On average, Americans drive 12,000 miles per year. A lower-than-average annual mileage could suggest the vehicle has experienced less mechanical stress and is, therefore, in relatively good shape despite its overall mileage.
A vehicle in good overall condition is one that looks good and runs well. It will have few to no cosmetic issues, little to no history of accidents, and an up-to-date service history. Even if it has been involved in a few minor collisions, regular maintenance can keep its appearance and mechanics in top order.
There are a few things that an owner can do to keep their vehicle in good condition. One is to follow the maintenance schedule, taking the vehicle in regularly for oil changes, tire rotations, and diagnostics to identify potential problems. Another is to drive safely, adhering to road rules and avoiding accidents to prevent mechanical stress and physical damage. The third is to protect the vehicle from the elements. If possible, park under a shelter or use a car cover to block moisture, dirt, corrosives, and ultraviolet light, which can cause rust or damage to the paint.
A study conducted by iSeeCars in 2023 revealed the extent to which a vehicle’s color affects its depreciation. Compared to an average three-year depreciation of 22.5%, yellow vehicles saw a drastically smaller degree of devaluation at just 13.5%. Beige, orange, and green vehicles also had slower-than-average depreciation, all under 20% by the three-year mark. In contrast, common colors such as blue, gray, silver, and black hovered around the overall average, while brown and gold had significantly faster rates of depreciation.
The reason for these findings may come down to supply and demand. Some colors (yellow, beige, orange, and green) appeal to buyers but aren’t well-represented on the road, so they hold relatively more value. Others (blue, gray, silver, and black) are appealing but very well-represented, diluting their value. Still others (brown and gold) are generally unappealing to the public, so their supply outweighs their demand.
Other Costs of Honda Pilot Ownership
Multiple factors contribute to the total cost of owning a vehicle, including sticker price and depreciation. Others include:
Auto insurance providers determine rates partly based on the level of risk that a driver and their vehicle represent. Demonstrably safe drivers and vehicles with more safety features often yield lower insurance rates because they’re less likely to result in costly insurance claims.
The Honda Pilot, which has some very strong safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, happens to attract some of the lowest insurance rates at $1,442 per year. That’s significantly lower than the $1,630 yearly average for all vehicles.
Regular maintenance helps to ensure that a vehicle looks and runs as it should, thereby improving its long-term value. Looking at the average maintenance and repair costs of every Honda Pilot from 2003 to 2021, the overall average is around $673 per year, which is lower than the $694 average for all vehicles.
It’s important to note, however, that some model years are more costly to maintain than others. Refer to this graph to get a sense of which years have higher-than-normal costs. You may want to avoid the following model years of the Honda Pilot if you’re trying to minimize expenses for repairs:
The Best Model Year To Buy a Honda Pilot
Based on factors including price and reliability (but not depreciation), our choice for the best Honda Pilot model years to buy are the 2005, 2009, 2013, 2015-2016, 2019, and 2021, but check out our article on the best and worst years of the Pilot to get the whole story.
We’ve based our recommendations primarily on safety, reliability, and maintenance costs. For example, the 2005 Pilot saw significant improvement in owners’ ratings compared to previous years, while the 2009, 2013, 2015-2016, and 2019 have some of the best owner reliability scores. The 2021 model year is especially noteworthy, though, because it boasts the best fuel economy at 23 miles per gallon and the lowest maintenance costs at just $250 per year.
Buying a Honda Pilot New vs. Used
|Years Since Purchased||Depreciated Value||With Inflation|
A brand-new 2023 Honda Pilot has a starting MSRP of $36,300. In three years, after accruing 36,000 overall miles, this same vehicle can have a resale value of around $21,344, representing an accumulated depreciation of just $14,956. In contrast, a used 2021 Honda Pilot has a current value of $26,091, which represents an accumulated depreciation of $11,943.90 from an inflation-adjusted MSRP of $38,034.90.
These are just general figures, though. To get the most accurate sense of value on a used Honda Pilot, be as comprehensive as possible in your used car research. Use the My Car’s Value tool by Kelley Blue Book to calculate the resale values of the models that interest you, and remember to factor in maintenance and insurance costs so that you understand the total cost of ownership.
The data we’ve presented in this article applies to the base trim of the Honda Pilot since 2003. Higher trim levels come with advanced features and premium options that boost the vehicle’s initial value and help the car retain value over time. Limiting analysis to the lowest trim allows us to establish a baseline level of costs. Remember, too, that the COVID-era chip shortage, the condition of your vehicle, and how you sell it can all have an impact on resale values.
Keep in mind, there are large economic factors at play here too and the sale of new cars has caused shifts in the used market too. There is a stark difference in the cost of vehicles due to car manufacturers seeking higher profit margins after COVID as detailed by CNN and posted by CBS channel 58:
“… (T)he auto industry saw sky-high profits even as sales plummeted. Domestic manufacturers of cars and car parts saw a profit of $32 billion through the third quarter of 2022 (the latest data available) — their largest profit since 2016. Car dealerships also reported record-breaking profits through Q3, according to auto-retail advisers Haig Partners.
That’s because pandemic-era pent-up consumer demand remained strong as supply shifted, allowing automakers to increase their prices and their profit margins. Cars and trucks were sold nearly as soon as they hit dealership lots, and the average price paid for a vehicle in December soared to a near-record high of $46,382, according to J.D. Power.
Data from the Labor Department’s November Consumer Price Index shows American consumers are paying about 20% more for cars than they were in 2019.
The trend could continue into next year — research website Edmunds expects new-car sales to hit 14.8 million in 2023, a marginal increase from last year but well below pre-pandemic levels.
The auto industry has entered a new era: Less choice, higher prices and larger profit margins. So far it seems to be working for them.”
This shift by car companies to create higher profit margins by taking advantage of the heavily-reported-on chip shortage panic of COVID has had rebounding effects upon the value of used cars.
Be aware that newer years (the latest 3-4 model years) may be inflated in price because of this and depending on how big this problem is for the model you are considering – it may even be inflating the price of the older model years.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vehicle Depreciation
Honda Pilots do appear to hold their value well. Our data shows that a five-year-old Honda Pilot loses around 44% of its initial value, whereas the average vehicle will lose 60% of its value in the same time frame.
Remember, though, that several variables will contribute to the exact depreciation and resale value of your Honda Pilot. Along with factors such as age, mileage, condition, and color, consider where you end up selling your vehicle and the mode of sale you choose.
For example, using the My Car’s Value tool, we can estimate the resale value of a silver 2019 Honda Pilot LX in good condition with 48,000 miles and standard features. In Overland Park, Kansas, this vehicle could get up to $22,898 in a dealer trade-in and $25,455 in a private sale. However, in New York City, the same vehicle may get up to just $21,898 in a trade-in and $24,275 in a private sale.
After accounting for user feedback, depreciation, and the other costs of ownership, the 2005 and 2009 Honda Pilots are among the best model years you can get, as both have strong reliability scores and fall within the ownership sweet spot. Other good years, outside of the sweet spot, are 2013, 2015-2016, and 2019.
On the other hand, owing to costly repairs and reliability issues, we’d advise against the following model years that fall outside of the ownership sweet spot:
High mileage for a Honda Pilot may be more than the norm, as it’s a durable family vehicle that tends to see a lot of use. Our surveys show that the overall average mileage for all model years is 139,000 miles, with an upper range of around 225,000 miles. With that in mind, we’d say that anything above 175,000 miles would qualify as high mileage for a Pilot.
If avoiding depreciation is your chief concern, we recommend a Honda Pilot that’s between 12 and 20 years old, which corresponds with model years 2003 to 2011. The 2006 to 2011 model years would allow you to enjoy time in the ownership sweet spot for at least five years.
(2023). Worldwide Car Sales. F&I Tools. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.factorywarrantylist.com/car-sales-by-manufacturer.html
(2023). Honda. Consumer Reports. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/honda
(2023). Honda Pilot. Consumer Reports. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/honda/pilot
(2023). Which Vehicle Type Is the Most Popular in Each State? iSeeCars. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.iseecars.com/popular-vehicle-type-by-state-study
(2023). The Best and Worst Car Colors for Resale Value. iSeeCars. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.iseecars.com/car-color-study
2022 Honda Pilot. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/honda/pilot-4-door-suv/2022
(2023). Car Depreciation: How Much Is Your Car Worth? Ramsey Solutions. Retrieved September 20, 2023, from https://www.ramseysolutions.com/saving/car-depreciation
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