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2015 Honda Pilot

$29,870 to $41,620
18 City - 25 Hwy

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Changes for the 2015 Honda Pilot:

In its final year before a complete redesign, the 2015 Pilot is now offered in a value-oriented SE trim level that adds a rear-seat entertainment system, a power sunroof, satellite radio, and unique wheels to the Pilot EX model.

Model Lineup:

Honda expands the 2015 Pilot lineup this year, increasing the number of trim levels to five: LX, EX, SE, EX-L, and Touring.

For a 10-way power driver’s seat, a programmable universal remote control, automatic headlights, fog lights, nicer trim, and 18-inch aluminum wheels, choose the Pilot EX. This year, the new Pilot SE builds on EX equipment with satellite radio, a power sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system with a 115-volt power outlet, and a special wheel design just for this version of the SUV.

For leather seats, select the Pilot EX-L. This version builds from the Pilot EX with leather, heated front seats, a power sunroof, a power tailgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a better stereo. The EX-L can be optioned with a choice between a rear-seat entertainment system or a navigation system, but not both.

The top-of-the-line model is the Pilot Touring, featuring both the navigation system and the rear-seat entertainment system, plus a premium audio system, front and rear parking sensors, unique wheels, and more.

Engines and Transmissions:

Every 2015 Honda Pilot is equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine generating 250 horsepower. The standard Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology operates the engine on fewer cylinders under certain driving conditions in order to conserve fuel.

A 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, but all versions of the Pilot can be upgraded to Honda’s Variable Torque Management 4-wheel-drive (VTM-4) system and a heavy-duty automatic transmission fluid cooler. With VTM-4, the driver can lock the power split evenly between the front and rear wheels, and at lower speeds.

Fuel Economy Ratings:

In combined city and highway driving, the Pilot is expected to return 21 mpg, according to the EPA. With the optional 4WD system, the rating slips to 20 mpg.

Safety Ratings:

The Pilot’s underlying engineering dates to 2009, so it should not be surprising that its structure is not quite as stout as newer competitors like the Toyota Highlander. Still, with a single exception, the Pilot performs well in crash testing.

The NHTSA gives the Pilot a commendable 4-star overall rating, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Pilot the top rating of “Good” in all except one assessment. In the small overlap, frontal-impact test, which is designed to measure protection in the event the vehicle collides with a tree, a pole, or oncoming traffic on the left front corner of the vehicle, the Pilot earns a “Poor” rating.

Technology Highlights:

On the technology front, what’s notable about the 2015 Pilot is what’s not available, rather than what is. You can’t get a blind-spot warning system, or a rear cross-traffic warning system, or a lane departure warning system, or a forward collision warning system. The automaker’s HondaLink connected services technology is also unavailable for the Pilot.

Written by Christian Wardlaw

August 27, 2014