By James Bergeron

Day 1:

2008 Honda Pilot SE-L
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For 2008 Honda is offering the Pilot mid-size SUV in SE trim, which replaces the EX model. This is the subject of this week’s review: the 2008 Honda Pilot SE-L (L for leather). Honda Special Edition (SE) packaged models typically offer good value for the money and the Pilot SE is no different.

Equipped with such features as a DVD rear entertainment system, security system, power moonroof, fog lights, automatic climate control system, conversation mirror, HomeLink garage opener, outside temperature indicator and an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat. It is easy to see where Honda packed the value into this vehicle.

2008 Honda Pilot SE-L
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What will all this “value” cost you? The base Pilot starts at $36,820 for the LX-2WD model; choosing the SE causes the price to jump to $43,990 but not only includes all the aforementioned features but also all-wheel drive (AWD) and, as in my tester, leather can be added for only $1530.

Standard for all Pilots is a 3.5liter V6 engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 244hp and 240lb-ft of torque and runs on good old regular fuel. Towing capacity for all AWD equipped Pilots is rated at 2045kg (4500lbs).

For those not in the know (I was not until today) the Pilot is an eight passenger vehicle with two captain chairs in the front row and two three-place bench seats (second and third rows). From the outside the Pilot does not look like it would be capable of holding eight passengers, but it can do it. Whether it can do so in comfort is something I’ll have to look into this week.

Offering similar features for nearly $10,000 less than competition such as the GMC Acadia the Pilot certainly seems like a bargain at first glance. Being slightly smaller, in both engine and dimensions, than the new offerings from General Motors, such as the GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, I expect the Pilot to be a little less on the thirsty side but with a penalty in cargo and passenger space.

2008 Honda Pilot SE-L
MSRP as tested: $45,520

For more information on Honda and the Pilot visit Honda Canada

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