NEW FOR 2008:

– New SE trim replaces EX and EX-L RES trim lines
– LX models add tinted glass, body-coloured door handles, body-coloured heated power-folding side mirrors and body-coloured rear roofline spoiler with integrated brake light
– Interior colours: Saddle leather interior added in Formal Black
– Exterior colours: Taffeta White added

For 2008, the Honda Pilot adjusts its trim lines; available trim levels are now LX 2WD, LX, SE and EX-L Navi. The two LX models also receive upgrades.

All Pilot models use a 3.5-litre V6, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. In the front-wheel drive LX version, the engine includes Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), which deactivates three of the cylinders under light load, such as cruising or deceleration, for improved fuel economy.

The four-wheel drive models use Honda’s Variable Torque Management (VTM) system, which locks the rear half-shafts at speeds under 30 km/h. Over that, and it’s primarily a front-wheel drive that sends power to the rear wheels should the front ones lose their grip. Three rows of seating on all models accommodate up to eight passengers.

Features on the LX models include 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear air conditioning, trailer pre-wiring, tire pressure monitoring system, heated power-folding mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, intermittent rear wiper, tinted glass, roof rails, tilt column, cruise control, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, CD stereo, 60/40 split-folding second-row seatbacks and 50/50 split-folding third-row bench seat.

The SE adds automatic climate control, security system, fog lamps, power sunroof, 115-volt power outlet, auto-off headlamps, conversation mirror, exterior temperature gauge, garage door opener, cargo net, second-row folding armrest, eight-way power driver’s seat, six-CD stereo and rear-seat DVD entertainment system. It can also be optioned with heated leather seats and eight-way power driver’s seat.

The EX-L Navi adds heated leather seats, eight-way power driver’s seat, and bilingual voice-activated navigation system.

Rugged but nicely-appointed, the Pilot offers buyers a chance to get into either two- or four-wheel versions. All trim lines hold eight passengers, but the third row is very cramped and is suitable mostly for children. The Pilot is well-finished, with good power and creature comforts, but it plays in a crowded market, and should be shopped against competitors such as the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, and GMC Envoy.

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