Here Is The Most Helpful Honda Pilot

Model Comparison 2017

For You

by Bill Flitter

The Honda Pilot is a highly-rated SUV and one of the vehicles I am considering for my family. Our Honda Pilot with over 200,000 miles on it may not last much longer. I needed a Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017.

I haven’t looked for a car in a while. Now I am totally amazed as well as confused about all the options available on every vehicle.

I first looked at the Toyota 4Runner, though. It’s a large powerhouse but I think it’s a little big for my 5’4’’- tall wife. On top of that it doesn’t have any of the advanced safety features that are fairly new to the market.

The Honda Pilot is the SUV that is almost minivan because of the third row seating. To figure out what to buy I looked all the specifications of the trim levels.

Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017

Pick Your Wheels

There is a major difference for each trim level and that is whether to buy a two-wheel front-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive Honda Pilot.

Two-wheel drive is fine for driving on highways and in non-extreme road or weather conditions. What I would really like to do with the vehicle is that I like to go camping.

Sometimes there’s snow or mud and then I may drive down into the beach where I might be driving on sand.

The Honda Intelligent Traction Management only offers a snow mode in the 2WD drive version while to the all-wheel-drive Pilot has mud, sand and snow settings. Therefore, we’d definitely like the all-wheel drive and traction management.

The traction management feature first became available in the 2016 Honda Pilot.

I like to look at the different trim levels as a pyramid or triangle if you’re in 2D. You start off with some basic functions and then each level adds on more and more and more features getting wider on the bottom.

Let’s list the different trim levels available from Honda to see a full Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017.

Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017

Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017

Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017

Comparing Trims

Honda Pilot LX

2017 Honda Pilot LX 2WD/AWD is the base model with 6 speed transmission. It features as third row bench seat, Bluetooth and basic audio but lacks advanced safety system.

The Honda Pilot EX

Honda Pilot EX has Intelligent Traction Management, rearview camera with guidelines, and Honda Lane Watch.

Tri-zone climate control, air filtration, HomeLink will also be included. The EX model has power driver’s seat, 8” display, and remote engine start. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, texting and Pandora come with the model as well.

  • ‘Honda Sensing’ adds Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
  • Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM)
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

Honda Pilot EX-L

The EX-L trim adds automatic-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather trim heated seats. Not to mention it comes with power front passenger seat, One-Touch 2nd Row Seats and a moonroof.

The power tailgate and acoustic windshield are also included. Navigation and Honda Sensing come with the package as well.

  • The AWD EX-L trim gets body-colored, heated, power side mirrors.
  • Navigation adds Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition and Honda HD Digital Traffic
  • Honda Sensing adds: Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation System, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, and Adaptive Cruise Control

Honda Pilot Touring

The Touring trim adds nine-speed transmission with push-button shifter, 20 inch alloy wheels and rear entertainment. Other features are second row sun shades, driver seat memory and Navigation. An HDMI, a 10 speaker premium audio, and acoustic windshield can be found as well.

Roof rails, front/rear parking sensors, and Blu-Ray rear entertainment are the last things on the list. Touring line includes the Honda Sensing package.

Honda Pilot Elite AWD Automatic

The Elite model adds heated/air cooled front row seats and second row captain’s chairs, panoramic roof, LED headlight with auto on off, rain –sensing wipers. This is the only trim with Blind Spot Monitoring System (BSI) with Cross Traffic Monitor.

I was asking my friends who recommended the EX-L trim level with leather that has some great features. However, on the EX-L level, you have to pay extra for the Honda Sensing features.

Meanwhile the Touring trim includes Honda Sensing and front/rear parking sensors. The Elite trim is on the only one with Blind Spot Monitoring and Cross Traffic Alert. This is why the Honda Pilot model comparison 2017 is so helpful.

Honda Pilot MSRP Percent of Total
EX-L 4WD $41,490 21.44%
Touring 4WD $44,685 17.19%
Elite 4WD $48,460 14.38%
EX-L 2WD $37,845 11.62%
Touring 2WD $42,760 8.87%
EX 2WD $34,120 4.46%
EX-L 4WD Navigation $35,120 4.45%
EX 4WD $37,860 3.69%
EX-L 4WD Honda Sensing $35,120 2.64%
EX-L 2WD Navigation $38,395 2.29%
LX 2WD $32,084 2.04%
EX-L 4WD RES $40,945 1.88%
EX-L 2WD RES $39,145 1.52%
LX 4WD $33,485 1.38%
EX-L 2WD Honda Sensing $38,545 1.32%
EX 4WD Honda Sensing  $36,920 0.49%
EX 2WD Honda Sensing $35,120 0.34%
Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017
Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017

Safety First and Foremost

My wife and I agree that safety is paramount when it comes to our family. The naming system for Honda Sensing is slightly different from what other automakers call their advanced safety features.

Before we decided on what features we need we have to understand them first. This was an important step in the Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017.

Honda Lane Watch

When you are near something on the passenger-side of the vehicle, a view of the ride side of the Pilot shows on the screen. It is only helpful for viewing what is on the right side of the Pilot.

Lane Departure Warning

What Honda calls “Road Departure Mitigation System” is also called Lane Departure Warning or Mitigation. A camera identifies lane marking and alerts you if it detects that you’re about to leave the road, and can take corrective action to avoid the car from doing so.

It is similar to “Lane Keeping Assist System” if you begin to stray from the center of a detected lane without signaling, the steering adjusts to bring you back to the middle of the lane. Hands on the wheel is required.

Cruise Control

Adaptive Cruise Control helps you maintain set speed behind a car ahead of you on the highway.

Collision Mitigation Braking System

This is also called Automatic Emergency Braking or AEB. This feature is what IIHS requires for the highest safety ratings. It helps bring the Pilot to a stop when it senses that the car will collide with a car or large object.

Blind Spot Monitoring System

This is often called blind spot monitor. It warns you when if other cars are driving in your blind spot.

Cross Traffic Monitoring

Also known as rear cross-traffic alert, Cross Traffic Monitoring uses sensors to detect vehicles approaching in the rear and warns the driver of their approach.

This helps, especially in the big box parking lots. It does not replace responsible driving.

This feature is also helpful for shorter drivers who have less of view of the rear of the vehicle. We back of the driveway on hill which would make this feature very useful.

Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017
Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017

Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017

The major difference between the EX-L and the Touring and Elite is that the EX-L has the six-speed transmission while the EX-L and Touring has a nine-speed transmission with a push-button shifter that may take getting used to.

As of now, my wife is voting for the Elite because of the extra safety features. I think it the EX-L with Honda Sensing should suffice. I think we could compromise on the Touring. It has front and rear parking sensors that are almost as good as rear cross-traffic alert.

Buying a new car nowadays is more than just an A or B decision. It involves painstaking research and a family consensus. I hope that my research helps my fellow car buyers who are on the same track. You are welcome to give your guidance and suggestions in the comments below.

There is one more vehicle we are considering: the Honda CR-V. I’m going to plow through all those specs in the next few weeks. It should be easier because both are Honda models and I now I speak Honda.

Honda Pilot Model Comparison 2017

Over to You

There are so many different trims and add-ons. Which Pilot trim level would you pick from our list? Do you agree with my Honda Pilot model comparison 2017?

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