Honda helped popularize the three-row crossover with the Pilot more than a decade ago. So successful is the concept that it's no wonder the Pilot is a common sight in school carpools -- all these years later, Honda has stayed true to the successful formula.
What's New for 2015
The Pilot, on sale in this form since 2008, enters the 2015 model year with a new Special Edition "SE" trim level. Sitting between existing EX and EX-L trims, the SE gets a moonroof, satellite radio, a DVD rear entertainment system, as well as special alloy wheels. Honda has also added 3 years or 36,000 miles of roadside assistance to all of its 2015 models.
Choosing Your Honda Pilot
Starting at about $30,000, all Pilots come with three rows of seating for eight people. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available on all trims. A 3.5-liter V6 with 250 horsepower and mated to a five-speed automatic is the only engine and transmission combination. Fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway by the EPA -- all-wheel drive drops each rating by 1 MPG.
Base LX cars include tri-zone automatic climate control, rear privacy glass, Honda's i-MID infotainment system with an 8-inch screen and backup camera, a 7-speaker audio system with Bluetooth streaming audio and AUX and USB inputs and a Class III trailer hitch.
EX adds a few amenities like 18-inch alloy wheels, satellite radio, a DVD entertainment system with a 115-volt household outlet and a power moonroof.
EX-L steps up to a leather-trimmed interior, heated front seats, power front passenger's seat, power tailgate and and upgraded audio system. Optional are a DVD entertainment system, a navigation package with an 8-inch screen and voice recognition, as well as a 15-GB hard drive system and a multi-angle rearview camera.
Finally, the top trim Touring adds both DVD and navigation packages, as well as memory settings for the driver's seat, a 650-watt audio system with 10 speakers, power folding side mirrors, and front and rear parking sensors.
The Pilot is well-priced compared to rivals, but it's also showing its age. Its technology features aren't as up to date as its competitors. EX-L, for around $36,000 (or $1,600 more for all-wheel drive), represents strong value among three-row crossovers with desirable features like its leather interior and power liftgate.