2015 Honda Pilot

What's new for 2015? A Special Edition (SE) trim level debuts for the 2015 Honda Pilot, slotting between the EX and EX-L in terms of included equipment.

the Pilot still has several solid basic qualities that should serve a family well. The main one is space. There's plenty of room on the inside, and even the third-row seats can accommodate adults, making this large crossover a true eight-passenger vehicle. There's also an upside to the Pilot's boxy shape: It allows for a more usefully shaped cargo bay for bulky items and ultimately makes life more convenient. Just drop those rear seats and you're ready to rock at Costco.

The 2015 Honda Pilot is reasonably pleasant to drive, with a cushy ride that readily soaks up ruts and bumps. The interior stays quiet at highway speeds, too. Every 2015 Honda Pilot has a 3.5-liter V6 good for 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.

Exterior Highlights
Eight passenger crossover SUV available in LX, EX, SE, EX-L and Touring trim levels

The 2015 Honda Pilot is a large, eight-passenger crossover SUV available in LX, EX, SE, EX-L and Touring trim levels

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The LX comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, rear privacy glass, a trailer hitch, keyless entry, cruise control, tri-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split-folding second- and third-row seats (sliding and reclining for the second row), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an 8-inch display screen and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The EX adds 18-inch alloy wheels, body-colored mirror caps and door handles (versus black plastic), automatic headlights, an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way power lumbar) and additional instrumentation. The all-wheel-drive EX has heated mirrors.

The SE features special 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system and satellite radio.

The EX-L gets different wheels and the rear-seat entertainment system is optional, but it also gets the sunroof and satellite radio along with a power liftgate, a four-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A navigation system is optional only on the EX-L and brings with it voice controls, a subwoofer, 15GB of digital music storage and customizable vehicle settings (door locking, lighting, etc.). Note that you can get either the rear-seat entertainment system or navigation, but not both, on the EX-L.

The lineup-topping Touring adds roof rails, front and rear parking sensors, second-row sunshades, an enhanced tire-pressure monitoring system and a 10-speaker sound system. Unlike on the EX-L, rear-seat entertainment and navigation can be had together, but not separately.

Useful interior design, thoughtful detail, standard automatic climate control, eight-passenger capacity, liftgate glass opens separately, rearview camera

The 2015 Pilot has a useful interior design with thoughtful details and clear instrumentation. The standard automatic climate control helps reduce the number of buttons and knobs on the center stack, as does the 8-inch information screen for all trims.

Unlike in some other three-row crossovers, the Pilot's third row provides genuinely acceptable room for adults. But if you truly need eight-passenger capacity, the Pilot is one of your few options in the crossover SUV class. With the second- and third-row seats stowed, the Pilot can hold up to 87 cubic feet of cargo. The liftgate's glass also opens separately, allowing for longer cargo like surfboards to pass through. For smaller items, there are plenty of thoughtful storage bins and pockets throughout the cabin. We especially appreciate the fold-out net and underfloor bin that create two tiers of storage space behind the raised third row -- a space usually of negligible use in a three-row vehicle.

Every 2015 Honda Pilot comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front seat active head restraints. A rearview camera is also standard, while parking sensors are included with the Touring. There are no advanced accident-prevention technologies available, nor any kind of emergency telematics.

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