In case you missed it, Honda announced last month that they’re refreshing the current version of their Pilot SUV for 2015 instead of doing a full-scale redesign. I have to admit, I’m a bit surprised by this.
For context, when we were shopping for our new Toyota Highlander in early 2014, the rumor was that Honda would be releasing a completely redesigned Pilot for 2015. I was tempted to wait and see what they had in store, but the Highlander ultimately won us over.
Time for an update?
The expectation of a redesign for 2015 was backed by Honda’s past release schedule, with new Pilot designs rolling out every six years. The 1st gen Pilot was available for 2003-2008, with the 2nd gen hitting the market in 2009. So 2015 should (probably) have seen the release of the 3rd gen Pilot.
My suspicion is that Honda intended to release a redesigned Pilot for 2015, consistent with their past update schedule, but was caught off guard by the design and features of the 3rd generation Highlander. Let’s be honest… The new Highlander is pretty darn nice.
So maybe Honda went back to the drawing board to knock our socks off. Or perhaps they needed more time to improve the Pilot’s performance in the IIHS’s new “small overlap” front crash test. Who knows?
Unlike the 2015 Highlander, which will likely hit the market later this summer, you can already buy 2015 Honda Pilot. The only substantive change from past years was the introduction of an SE trim level between the EX and EX-L for a $1k premium to the EX.
Honda Pilot pricing
Sticker prices are as follows:
- 2WD LX starts at $29,870
- 4WD LX starts at $31,470
- 2WD EX starts at $32,120
- 2WD SE starts at $33,120
- 4WD EX starts at $33,720
- 4WD SE starts at $34,720
- 2WD EX-L starts at $35,370
- 4WD EX-L starts at $36,970
- 2WD Touring starts at $40,020
- 4WD Touring starts at $41,620
So, for that $1k premium, you can choose the SE and get 18-inch alloy wheels, a DVD rear entertainment system (RES), a 115V power outlet in the center console, a one-touch power moonroof, and SiriusXM radio.
What the future holds…
All I can say is that I’m anxious to see what they have in store. The new Highlander narrowed the gap vs. the Acura MDX, which puts Honda in a tough spot. If they don’t spruce up the Pilot, they’ll fall behind. But if they do too much, they’ll begin to lose that Honda vs. Acura differentiation.