HomeUTVsHondaHonda Pioneer 1000-5 Trail Review

Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Trail Review


Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Trail Review
Honda’s i-4WD system is sure-footed on slick terrain, but limited ground clearance is the Pioneer’s shortfall.


Honda’s Pioneer 1000-5 Trail is equipped with fully independent double-wishbone front and rear suspension with 10.6 inches (front) and 10.0 inches (rear) suspension travel. This is on par with the segment, matched well against Kawasaki’s Teryx4 S. The Pioneer boasts more travel than the Yamaha Wolverine X4 850, and an upgraded shock absorber. For the price in the segment, the Honda is a great value, as it sits just below the jump up to Yamaha’s Wolverine RMax, Can-Am’s Commander, and Polaris’ General in the Sport Rec segment.

All Pioneer Trail edition models come with a set of Fox Podium QS3 shocks, which offer three-position compression adjustability with an easy-to-operate knob on each shock reservoir. The increased shock oil volume and revised spring and valving rates help the Pioneer to handle bigger holes a bit better. It offers more than enough suspension prowess for bounding down the trail and running over small junk. If the bump is larger than a curb, you should likely slow down a bit.


Honda’s Pioneer 1000-5 gets its name from- you guessed it- seating capacity. In its standard configuration, the 1000-5 has a three-person bench seat up front and a large, caged bed in the rear. Flip the rear seat backs up, and two more spots become available for transporting people, although you do lose a considerable amount (pretty much all) of your cargo space while doing so. It’s a great option for those using this vehicle for work or recreation, and the seats can be operated independently for a mix of cargo and human capacity.

Honda revised the Pioneer last year with a lot of small details, including more durable driveshaft boots, upgraded heat shielding, and a strengthened skidplate. It also received a new instrument display with brighter, easier-to-read graphics. The display also gets more monitoring features like a clutch indicator and battery voltage meter. Trail edition models also get a 4500-lb winch, front interior lights, and a rearview mirror standard. 

The Pioneer’s interior is fairly old school in its layout, with dash-mounted shifters and a hard plastic steering wheel. Interior durability will be superb as always with Honda, which is the most important part. Honda includes lots of room for accessory switches, a cubby to store things or mount a radio, and a tilt steering wheel. Full doors come standard, as well as window nets, but no roof.

With the back seats folded down, the Pioneer’s bed extends all the way to the back of the front bench seat. With an accessory roof, this means covered storage for your gear.


Honda’s Pioneer 1000-5 Trail Edition comes with black/machined aluminum 14 inch non-beadlock wheels wrapped in Armstrong Dirt Master 2.0 tires. The Dirt Master 2.0’s measure 27x9R14 in the front and 27x11R14 in the rear. The tires feature an aggressive tread pattern clearly suited for chunky, wet/muddy conditions, not so much the desert Southwest.  Braking is handled by four wheel independent hydraulic disc brakes, but also gets a hand from the i-4WD system by integrating engine and wheel braking into its hill descent control. It also features a hill start assist function to help drivers regain momentum if you have to stop on a climb.