What Is Honda Pilot’s Towing Capacity?

This Mid-size crossover SUV has many surprising features to offer. One feature would be the Honda Pilot’s towing capacity. Wowing many of its buyers, the Honda Pilot has proven worthy of hauling heavy items.

Honda Pilot Towing Capacity

Now you can haul those bikes to a new trial or tow a small pop-up camper to a new destination. It’s the perfect vehicle for those who have an adventurous life!

Are you wondering how this is possible? First, let’s check out all the bells and whistles of this SUV’s towing capabilities.

Is a Honda Pilot Good for Towing?

For a crossover SUV, the Honda Pilot makes a great mid-size towing vehicle.

Depending on the year of Honda Pilot you are getting will determine some of the towing features available to you. Here are just a few of those features that make this vehicle have towing capabilities.

Of course, all of these specs are dependent on which year the vehicle is and what package you decide to get. Here are the average specs for Honda Pilots.

  • The All-wheel drive option makes it possible to tow more.
  • A Rearview camera helps you back a trailer.
  • It has a great towing package.
  • The engine is an unleaded V-6.
  • SAE Net Torque 262 @ 4700 RPM.
  • It takes around 100 horsepower to tow 2,500 lbs, and Honda Pilots have 280 horsepower.

How much will all of this cost?

To get a top-notch, brand new 2022 Honda Pilot with all the features and the best engine, you will pay around $51,000. You can go a bit cheaper and purchase a new one for about $20,000.

What Is Honda Pilot’s Towing Capacity?

A Honda Pilot’s towing capacity can range from 3,500 to 5,000 pounds, but that is highly dependent on several things.

  • The more passengers you take, the less you will be able to tow. You shouldn’t tow if you have eight people in the vehicle.
  • The Honda Pilot, depending on the year, will be able to haul the most with AWD.
  • You must install an ATF cooler on older models to tow while carrying more than two passengers.

Here is a chart that shows the year of Honda Pilot and how much you can tow according to the number of passengers. I took all of these numbers out of the owner manual for Honda Pilots. I combined some of the years because they have similar towing limitations.

The load limits assume each passenger only weighs 150 pounds and carries 15 pounds of luggage each. Unless otherwise listed, you should assume that these vehicles are base models with 2WD (no fancy towing specs or top-of-the-line models).

2021-2016 Honda Pilots

Number of Passengers Towing Limit
1-2 passenger 3,500 lbs
3 passenger 3,200 lbs
4 passenger 3,000 lbs
5 passenger  2,750 lbs
6 passenger 2,500 lbs
7 passenger 2,250 lbs


For the 2015-2009 years, you must have an ATF cooler installed to haul anything over 2,000 pounds (shown in the list below). If you don’t have one installed, you can only tow 2,000 lbs at the most. That’s only with two passengers. Otherwise, you shouldn’t tow.

2015– 2009 Honda Pilots with ATF cooler installed

Number of Passengers Towing Limit
1-2 passenger 3,500 lbs
3 passenger 3,300 lbs
4 passenger 3,100 lbs
5 passenger 3,000 lbs
6 passenger  2,800 lbs
7 passenger 2,000 lbs


2011-2009 Honda Pilots with ATF cooler and power steering fluid cooler

Number of Passengers Towing Limit
1-2 passenger 3,500 lbs
3 passenger 3,500 lbs
4 passenger 3,300 lbs
5 passenger 3,100 lbs
6 passenger  2,700 lbs
7 passenger 1,200  lbs

Honda Pilot Towing Capacity

How To Increase The Towing Capacity Of Your Honda Pilot

The weight capacities listed above are only the beginning of your Honda Pilot towing limits. There are several ways to increase those limits.

The fewer people you bring in the back of your Pilot will allow you to tow more weight. You can fit eight people in the vehicle. However, Honda recommends you not tow anything if it is full of passengers. If you want the most out of your towing, stick to carrying 1 or 2 people.

There is an all-wheel-drive option for some years of the Honda Pilot. This option will improve your towing efforts by allowing all tires to have power. When all your tires have power, you can tow more.

You will need to evenly distribute weight while you are towing. A weight distribution hitch will administer the weight evenly on any trailer you are towing.

An ATF cooler is essential when you want to tow more. You can tow a few thousand pounds more because it helps keep your transmission cool. With many old Honda Pilot models, you may not tow anything without the ATF installed.

Does Honda Pilot Have a Towing Package?

Most Honda Pilot years and models have a towing package available. If they are not available directly on the Honda accessories page, you can try looking at other marketplaces, like Amazon, to find your specific one.

Here are all the items you will receive when purchasing a Honda Pilot towing package.

  • Trailer hitch
  • Trailer hitch harness
  • Trailer hitch ball
  • Trailer hitch locking pin
  • Trailer hitch receiver. Includes ball mount receiver, retaining pin, and clip

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Tow Package Installed?

The estimated cost of a tow package installation for your Honda Pilot is $1,200, the price of both labor and the product. The amount due depends on where you live and the model of your vehicle.

Labor costs are a hefty price to pay, but they are worth it when you don’t know what you are doing. Uhaul has some great Youtube video resources you can use as a guide. Click on the year of your Honda Pilot for thorough installation instructions.


Here are some other typical questions people ask about towing with a Honda Pilot.

Can Honda tow a trailer?

Yes, a Honda Pilot can haul a trailer as long as you have the towing package installed and don’t exceed any weight limits.

What size camper can a Honda Pilot pull?

You can tow these campers with a Honda Pilot, as long as it doesn’t exceed weight limits.

  • Pop up camper
  • Teardrop campers
  • Small travel trailers

Which Honda Pilot is best for towing?

While most Honda Pilots have great towing capacities, the Black 2022 addition is the best Pilot for towing. It can tow 5,000 lbs because it has the highest engine and transmission performance.

How much does Honda charge to install a hitch?

Every Honda dealership is different and will charge you differently to install a hitch. Make sure you call around your area to get the best deal.

Depending on where the dealership is and which mechanics work on your vehicle, you will pay between $500 and $1,000 for labor.

When you add in the price for the Honda Pilot hitch, your total could reach well over $1,200 in total. But, again, this depends on where you go. A hitch costs around $380 when you purchase it off the Honda website.

As you can see, a Honda Pilot has many fantastic towing capabilities when used correctly. Remember to look up your model and year of vehicle to find out its towing capacity, and don’t go over those limits. These limits are not only for your safety but for the safety of your family and other drivers.

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