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Honda Pilot EXL vs Elite

1. Overview

The 2017 Honda Pilot is the best SUV from Honda with a refined front and back outline, Honda Sensing security highlights, and an enhanced infotainment framework. There are additionally some inside enhancements, for example, more upscale materials and the all the more powerful acoustic windshield. The EX and EX-L trims accompany a seven traveler setup with two commander's seats in the second column, which decreases seating to seven. At long last, the Touring and Elite trims no longer offer a beige inside shading, just dark. The Honda Pilot is a refined car-based SUV with fair underpinnings, a resilient motor and a notoriety for glorious unwavering quality. With seating up to eight travelers, the most recent Pilot is greater inside than a Jeep Grand Cherokee, yet it can even now handle rough terrain work like this class of vehicle was initially proposed to do. On-street, the Pilot has one of the most excellent rides in the crossover SUV class, effectively adapting to broken asphalt without compassing the inhabitants around. This is especially genuine with the Touring and Elite's wheels and better-profile tires. Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires used to be incorporated into the Touring and Elite trims in the not so distant future, though Touring and Elite models now accompany Michelin Primacy tires. With unobtrusive changes all through the cycle, the 2017 Honda Pilot is generally fundamentally the same as the active 2016 model. Most detectably, there's another range-topping Elite variant that is basically an all day work to drive the value of a completely stacked Touring to another level. The most tellign outward contrast is that the Elite has LED headlights, which are lighter and use less power. LED headlights are standard on the Elite and discretionary for the Touring. (Nicoletti et al.2021)

1.1. Exterior Features

The 2016 Honda Pilot offers lots of home and cargo area, a flexible inside and abundant available options. It is rather the carryover from your past age group, with only a little bit nipped and tucked. EX and EX-L Pilot designs search fundamentally the same on the exterior, so put into practice the various technical changes that other cuts and/or bundles in this Pilot range. I did not push the Pilot Touring back-to-back with one of the other designs that are 2016 but we performed get style out of the other person, operating it after which car parking it appropriate along with a advanced level cut and are available apart by studying the two. We performed the same with an Professional even. Now this Honda is not a tenure vehicle but we must always like with the colours and sun glasses of each and every toned at once or yet another, regardless of what Honda item it had been. So receiving a create look at most of these Pilots outdoors permitted us to draw some findings relating to the visual variations in between these patterns. (Ronspies, 2020)(Stolle et al., 2021)(Miller, 2021)

1.2. Interior Features

Front and center in the CabinTalk options is a PA system that broadcasts through the speakers in the rear seats as well as hands-free mode for the rear entertainment system (RES). With a low set but easily adjustable volume, it makes communication with rear passengers a breeze. No shouting required. The Elite trim level also comes with a new 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability that includes a 90-day free trial. Subscription required after. At second glance, the center console is disappointing. Wood plating is a nice design touch but situated too high and too low on the console to feel premium and to the touch. The shifter is cleanly integrated with a push-button system at the end of the console, but the lack of a standard shift stick and inability to choose gears freely may turn away more traditional users. The cup holders and storage space are the only real strong points in the front.

1.3. Performance

The engine remains the same on the EXL and Elite, but there are differences in the driving dynamics. The EXL comes with 18-inch wheels and retains the 6-speed transmission. The Elite has upgraded to a standard 9-speed transmission and also a revised all-wheel-drive system. When asked which performs better, the answer is not so straightforward as one would think. Acceleration times are nearly identical, and fuel economy ratings are actually better on the new AWD system. The improvements really come in the form of the new 9-speed transmission and revised AWD system, which make for seamless acceleration, especially at higher speeds, and improved traction in any climate. When comparing both vehicles' road handling abilities, the new AWD system and improved traction make the Elite a clear winner. Steering will feel the same, and both vehicles will handle like a sedan, which is a great positive. The EXL will have adequate handling, but when pushed, will show understeer and loss of traction with the front tires. The Elite will remain composed with near-neutral handling characteristics. The improved AWD system will allow the Elite to handle some light off-roading, which would be impossible on the EXL. This is due to the SH-AWD system, which is a torque vectoring AWD and a first in the Pilot's history. Again, if the desire of having a smooth and quiet ride is number one, then the EXL's 6-speed transmission and adequate AWD system will satisfy those needs. But if the want is for a more refined and improved driving vehicle, the Elite's 9-speed transmission, better AWD system, and improved traction make it a clear choice.

2. Technology and Safety

Honda Sensing acts as an active safety system to prevent collisions. Like other modern cars, these features are identical. There is a Collision Mitigation Braking System to slow the car when it recognizes that the front vehicle is braking suddenly or to avoid a collision. This is followed by the Road Departure Mitigation System, which utilizes a small camera to detect the lane margin. It will then use steering and straightaway braking to get back to the center of the lane. The Lane Keeping Assist System undoubtedly helps the driver keep the vehicle at the center of the lane. Adaptive Cruise Control is useful when driving on the freeway for long distances. As for the rear view of the car, all models of the Honda Pilot are equipped with a multi-angle rearview camera, illuminated with dynamic guidelines, except for the Elite, which is perfected with a rearview camera washer to keep the lens of the camera clean. Additionally, the Elite itself has an additional blind spot monitoring system, which is useful for safe lane shifts. This is really a huge comparison with the Honda Pilot EXL vs Hyundai Santa Fe regarding safety features. (Diamandis & Kotler, 2020)(NORMAN)

2.2. Driver-Assistance Features

Honda Pilot EX-L technically uses an 8-inch Display Audio touch screen, which is larger. However, some said it is more complicated in terms of navigation. The sole possibility of playing songs with the rear entertainment technique proudly makes Honda Pilot Elite have more facilities.

2.1. Infotainment System

2.1. Infotainment System

If you are planning to use the Honda Pilot as your family car, you will want to know just how effective the entertainment system is for keeping the children occupied. The LX model sports a 5-inch 'Intelligent Multi-Information Display' and 200-watt, 7-speaker sound system. The 8-inch touchscreen that controls the system is responsive enough and fairly easy to use, however, the presentation and graphics are not quite as refined as in the Elite model. For music/media playback, there are 7 USB ports throughout the vehicle and can support smartphone and Apple software. The system is also SiriusXM and HD radio compatible. The EXL model is quite similar to this, with the main difference being that it now supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and built-in mobile hotspots. The EXL system is likely the most cost-effective option between the models, and the step up in system quality to the Elite is not drastically significant. Now the Elite is where we really see the change. This model comes with a 10-speaker, 590-watt audio system complete with a subwoofer. Aside from this, the Elite's system is similar to that of the EXL. It also features an 8-inch touchscreen and Honda satellite-linked navigation system, but the audio interface itself is a bit more polished and there is more functionality with the navigation system. This enhancement may not be enough to convince some to spend the required money for the Elite, but those who are a little more demanding with the quality of their entertainment system or frequent users of GPS may want to take it into consideration. This segment of the review is only an overview of the entertainment system; for a better idea of what each model has to offer, Honda's website is a recommended source.

2.2. Driver-Assistance Features

The Pilot EXL and Elite come with driver-assistance technology in Honda Sensing. This suite includes similar features on both models, with some differences. These features are Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation, and Adaptive Cruise Control. On the Elite, there is also a Lane Keeping Assist System and a few other added useful features in the tour and intermission. The Lane Keeping Assist System will subtly adjust steering to bring the vehicle back to the center of a detected lane. It will also provide steering input to help keep the vehicle in the middle of the lane. The added features to the Elite model have the potential to, in the future, make better use of these steering capabilities as seen in the 2016 Acura in heavy traffic. The steering input is also adjusted in the event of an off-center lane position without the turn signal in use. The second feature is a more advanced system which is Adaptive Cruise Control, Low Speed Follow function. This operates at all speeds and is useful for low speed driving and in congestion. It will also bring the vehicle to a stop if the car in front has stopped. This is a really useful feature for city driving and Elite model owners. The price difference between the two models is quite significant and the usefulness of these two added features is something for potential buyers to consider.

2.3. Connectivity Options

There are various types of elements to refine the data connectivity given by the Honda Pilot. If you have to choose one feature over another, consider the whole package. A cellular antenna is not provided by the factory, it needs to be purchased separately. If your cell phone plan doesn't include something like Connect to Car, it is useless to get that feature. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay give the driver more voice interaction through your phone, it is advisable to use them when you are not in the garage so you get the full experience. Android Auto is a newer feature, so make sure to get a car with new software introduced as it will be more likely to be included. Audio and phone data options are very similar besides the built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. Wi-Fi will allow up to 7 devices to be connected, but just like the cellular option this also comes with an additional cost. The rear entertainment system is very handy if you have any passengers sitting in the back seats. Since a subscription for rear entertainment has been included for the first 3 months of purchase, turn on the "Drinkbox TV" channel and let your kids give it a try. A second subscription is needed for Honda Link rear entertainment which can be canceled at any time. By all means, if you are considering this car, get the free trial! HondaLink is a first-generation system that had its apps and services, but the new generation has more availability using Apple iOS and Android with some great features. A Honda informed me that BlueDoor is a great app if you are constantly using your phone to lock and unlock your car. Although it is very basic, the fact that you do not have to take your keys out of your pocket makes it a great tool to use. There is also an unmanned car locator which can be considered quite useful for forgetful people. You may not understand until you have walked out of a store and spent 15 minutes looking for your car. Another service called "Find my Car" can send the location of your car to your phone resulting in an easy-to-view map which guides the user to the car. Note that HondaLink trial and paid services are in all likelihood 3 months. During trial or paid services, any assistant services and features for HondaLink can support all 2018 Honda Pilots. The trial will not support certain elements such as maintenance and some specific information regarding the car. Always cancel the trial before it ends if you do not wish to continue in order to avoid any unexpected charges.

2.4. Safety Ratings

B. 2019 Honda Pilot Elite - As an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2019, it's all the same with EXL. The difference is really in the package. The Elite is the only Pilot in the lineup that received a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating. This higher rating is due to the fact that the specific car tested had the front crash prevention and headlights equipped. See what I mean about packages? Elite has a better grade in safety because the LED headlights and Advancing and above crash prevention comes standard in the Elite package. An additional $3000 over MSRP is not a small price to pay for better safety. But it's that aryan money is it not? To save on a little and get the less the job done. Step down to lower trims and the package for better safety is available for installation. The Elite stands, overall, the safest pilot. LED Reflectors are strong and throw light in the farthest possible distance where visibility is still good. Random fact: The Elite is the only Pilot that comes equipped with second row captain's chairs which I think are awesome. The second row chairs were not even seen in any review because it is a safety review and it's not a safety matter but I just had to throw that in there. Second row captain's chairs, good stuff man.

A. 2019 Honda Pilot EXL - Being an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2019, a thorough review on the car by Car and Driver stated that the Pilot's performance in the safety sector is good. A single category on the car's safety features was rated 6/6 Good. To be safe, really safe, fully safe, you've gotta go to the next level.

3. Comfort and Convenience

The Honda Pilot has 2nd and 3rd row 60/40 split flat-folding seats, making it easier to configure the interior for passengers and cargo and can pretty much accommodate all combinations of passengers and cargo. The EXL-RES and above models come with a removable and reversible folding 2nd row console allowing for the center portion of the seats to be configured in 4 different modes. The front portion of the console has a lower storage area and a convenient flip-up trash bag ring. Elite models come with 2nd row captain's chairs and a center console in between them. This center console is a cooler box and is a great place to keep chilled items on the go. Both driver and passenger seats are 10-way power adjustable and are heated. On EXL models and above the front seats are also ventilated. Elite models also include heated captain's chairs. A heated steering wheel is standard on Touring and Elite models. Dual zone climate control is standard on all models with tri-zone climate control on EXL and above models allowing the rear passengers to also set their desired climate. Sunshades are available for 2nd row passengers. All models come with a push button gear selector which allows for more versatile console storage. A panoramic sunroof is also included on Touring and Elite models.

Honda Pilot features seating for eight passengers, with available 2nd row and 3rd row bench seats to increase seating to eight or captain's chairs increasing seating to seven. EX-L and EXL-RES models have a general-purpose 3-passenger bench seat in the second row for eight-passenger seating. The 2nd row+one-touch 3rd row seats provide easy 3rd row access from either side of the vehicle. Although getting into the 3rd row is relatively easy with the large rear door opening, the seats are more suitable for smaller adults and children. All rear seats have adjustable head restraints. The Elite model however only offers seating for seven with the inclusion of 2nd row captain's chairs.

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3.1. Seating Capacity and Configuration

A feature which makes the EXL Pilot standout is the inclusion of a middle seat in the second row. With the Elite, the standard option for the second row is two captain chairs. A traditional bench seating is available as an accessory, but it nullifies the useful second row center console. The sorts of features that make this car great for families, such as children having friends over and carpooling to practices, games and events, will be easier with the extra seat in the second row of the EXL Honda Pilot and parents can keep better tabs on young ones. Being soccer mom friendly, the entire interior of the Pilot in either model has plenty of cup holders and storage spaces for drinks, snacks, toys, iPods, and gaming systems. With the number of available configurations to the Pilot for seating and cargo space, families with an active lifestyle can benefit greatly from either model.

EXL and Elite Pilots have similar seating capacities, with slight differences. EXL Pilots have seating for eight passengers, while Elite Pilots have seating for seven. In both models, the second row of seating includes a 60/40 split, and the center section can be moved to create captain's seats, which is a nice option. It also has a walkway to access the third row, which is extremely helpful and roomy. The third row also has a 60/40 split with the ability to fold flat, allowing for plenty of cargo room if one or all of the back seats aren't in use. For those not needing the extra seat the Elite offers, the second row captain's chairs for the Elite adds more comfort and easier access to the third row. Although most people will likely not need the extra seat and the Elite only comes with seating for seven, the extra luxury features of the Elite may be worth losing one seat for some.

3.2. Interior Space and Cargo Capacity

The EX and EX-L models have a standard 60/40 split-folding third-row bench seat, with an option of a one-touch folding seat in the EX-L version. Elite models boast more flexibility and convenience with a power tailgate and the ability to control the folding of the third-row seat from the rear of the vehicle. This feature is especially important to parents whose children are constantly being picked up and dropped off with sporting equipment and musical instruments. Both systems increase convenience, but the power version is obviously the most desirable.

The Honda Pilot Elite increases the regular model's seating capacity from 8 to 7, as the second-row captain's chairs with a center console are the only option for this trim level. Reducing seating capacity may be a hindrance for some potential buyers; however, the captain's chairs' cargo is a thoughtful trade-off. The Elite's cargo capacity increases with the removal of the second-row middle seat and a larger center console. If you're someone who is always transporting items, even using the Pilot as a work vehicle, the additional cargo space will be a great benefit. All Pilots come with a hidden storage well located in the rear of the vehicle, which is a valuable feature to help secure items that you may be transporting.

3.3. Advanced Comfort Features

The safety and driver-assistive features are unified in both models. This means that there are no features on the Elite that cannot be found on the EXL. However, the Elite comes standard with Honda Sensing and the EXL does not. All Pilots starting with the 2021 models have been made with Honda Sensing coming standard. The Elite having this feature is appealing, but the cost of adding this package to the EXL is not bad. A buyer must decide if they are okay paying a little extra for the Elite or shop around and maybe get the best deal for an EXL and Honda Sensing package.

The EXL comes with tri-zone automatic climate control and humidity control. The Elite adds a little more functionality, upgrading this feature to a 3-zone automatic climate control system with air filtration and humidity control. Note that in both models, the rear console has its own climate controls.

The Elite comes standard with a wireless phone charger. Simply place your phone on the console and your device will charge wirelessly. The Elite takes it a step further and adds a truck bed power outlet as well as a 115-volt power outlet in the 2nd row. Both models also come standard with a multi-angle rearview camera and dynamic guidelines. The Elite has front and rear parking sensors as opposed to just rear sensors on the EXL. Both cameras are simple to use and one feature to appreciate is the push button that controls the camera washer.

For the audio system, Honda went the extra mile with the Elite and added a 590-watt premium audio system with 10 speakers including a subwoofer. This beats the EXL's 225-watt audio system with 7 speakers and subwoofer. Both models are equipped with a hard disk drive (HDD) and Sirius XM radio. Honda also added an HDMI interface to both models as well as Bluetooth streaming audio. Honda was a little stingy on this as both models do not have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, two features that are becoming more and more popular with people in this smartphone era. With navigation becoming more available on smartphones, and the fact devices are already HDMI ready, these might not be a big blow to the buyer.

The EXL comes with remote engine start for those who want to heat the engine in the winter or use the A/C in the summer before they get in. The Elite comes standard with this feature. Both models have memory settings for the outside mirrors as well as seating position. The memory settings on the EXL can be set for two different drivers while the Elite can be set for three different drivers. The Elite also comes standard with a heated steering wheel and heated 2nd-row seats. If you live in a cold climate area, these features might be a deal breaker.

3.4. Convenience Features

Both the Honda Pilot EXL and Elite are designed for convenience and features that benefit your family. The biggest difference between these two models is that the EXL comes with an automatic tailgate and the Elite comes with a panoramic sunroof. Below, we will begin by discussing the available cargo space in both of these models. The center console on the EXL does offer more space, however both consoles are adaptable to the customer and each end has a multi-functional console which allows you to configure the space in different ways. The Elite center console is a little deeper and found by some to be more practical. The Elite does offer additional beverage holders for second and third row passengers. Both models provide retractable and adjustable 2nd row sunshades which add a nice degree of comfort for second row passengers. The Elite model does have a few additional convenience features such as the illuminated front console storage, which is often found to be quite handy. This model also offers a heated 2nd row of seating, an undoubtedly useful feature in Canada. An entertainment system is available for the EXL and standard on the Elite model. This entertainment system allows DVD or Blu-ray playback and wireless headsets to avoid disturbing the driver. The Elite model also comes with a 115 volt power outlet which can be used with a gaming console or any other electronic device. Both models have tri-zone automatic climate control with an air-filtration system and the EXL model is available with HondaLink which is essentially a gateway to digital content. Overall, while the Elite model does offer more convenience features, they are not significantly different from those offered with the EXL.

4. Pricing and Options

In addition to the base price of the EXL, buyers can rest assured that they are purchasing a vehicle that requires no further upgrades. The Pilot comes with a variety of amenities such as a moonroof, leather seats, and a plethora of standard technology and safety features. Consumers need not waste time by considering what options to add on a car that is already fully loaded with everything they need. On the other hand, the Pilot Elite, despite already coming in at a very high price, still has a variety of optional add-ons that are sure to lighten the pockets of its owners. One of these is the Black Edition, a strictly cosmetic upgrade that dresses the Elite in black paint and wheels with red interior lighting. It has an MSRP of $49,920, a full $3525 higher than the Elite's standard price. A more practical upgrade would be the 7-Pin Trailer Harness and Hitch Ball, a $1290 package that allows the Elite to tow up to 5000 lbs, an increase of 1000 lbs from the standard towing capacity.

The Honda Pilot EXL, being the mid-level trim, comes with a base price of approximately $35,370. From here, buyers have to make the decision of whether or not to upgrade to the Elite 4WD, which comes at a significantly higher base price of $46,420. Based on a $40,000 house, the Pilot EXL would be similar to purchasing the house with no furniture, and then having to make payments on the furniture later on. Consumers also need to factor in the relative cost of car insurance for each level of trim. Any damages done to the car must also be taken into consideration as the costs of repairs will often be equal to the costs of the repairs of the Elite.

4.1. Base Price and Trim Levels

The Pilot has only 2 trims for the EXL and the Elite, but offers different drive options. The EXL offers an AWD and FWD option of the same price, while the Elite has a standard AWD and 4WD option. The transmission is also different with the EXL offering a 6-speed automatic and the Elite offering a 9-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The differences in drive and transmission options may affect the buyer's decision between the two. The trim levels of the Pilot are both superior to the Highlander Limited and Highlander Platinum in terms of overall value. The Elite trim has features such as a panoramic roof and blind spot information system that are not available to either Highlander trim. The base price difference of the two trims is only $6700, but the MSRP range of the EXL with an AWD is only $1000 less than the Elite. Looking at the pricing may slightly steer the buyer towards the Elite trim given the minimal price increase and the amount of features that the buyer gains access to. Compared to the Highlander and its premium trims, the Pilots EXL and Elite both offer more features and better performance for an overall cheaper price. Comparing base price and trim levels, the Pilot proves that it offers a cheaper way to access a similar amount of features that are offered in the Highlander Limited and Platinum trims. The cost effectiveness is most heavily noted in the difference between the Pilot Elite and Highlander Platinum, with the Pilot Elite offering more features such as the Honda Sensing system at a price nearly $5000 less than the Highlander Platinum.

4.2. Optional Packages and Upgrades

The EXL comes with 5 available optional packages: the Navigation Package, the DVD RES Package, the Navigation and DVD RES with XM Radio package, and the Towing package. All are self-explanatory and only available to add on to the original EXL. The navigation package is $1500 and adds a navigation system, integrated Bluetooth, and a rearview camera. This is a very useful and practical upgrade, and the only reason it's not automatically paid for is because it does not suit everyone's needs. The DVD RES system is again only available add-on to the navigation system and costs $1600. For this, you get a DVD system that can only be used by rear passengers, rear audio buttons, subwoofer, and 1 pair of wireless headphones. As before, the needs of the buyers really decide whether this is worth buying, but for people with young children, this is a very useful feature. The most expensive package is the Navigation and DVD RES plus XM Radio package, which is $2300 and effectively the first two packages combined. This is good value for money if you were already planning on purchasing both the navigation system and DVD system. A common mistake would be to purchase the two packages separately not realizing there is a combined package available. Finally, the towing package costs $1500 and is great value for anyone who actually needs to use the Pilot's towing capacity. This package triples the towing ability from 3500 lbs to 4500 lbs, adds a wiring harness, transmission and power steering coolers, and finally, a heavy-duty power steering pump. This package is also worth considering for the towing that can cause extra strain on the transmission and engine, and for those intending to do regular towing, it is probably a good idea to upgrade to the Elite model.

4.3. Value for Money Comparison

It's questionable whether the extra features of the Elite match the $1,000-$1,500 price increase from the EXL. Honda's website was primarily used; however, the fair market price of the vehicles was used to assess value for money. With adaptive cruise control being one of the pinnacle features of the Elite, replacing the traditional cruise control of the EXL, we see that the systems are quite different from each other. This feature makes the more expensive Elite worth it because the Honda Sensing package of the EXL ($1,000) really needs this feature to be effective. However, if we look at the features in the context of how much it costs to acquire them, then $1,000 is a steep price to pay. The Honda Sensing suite on the EXL also includes forward collision warning, lane keep assist, and road departure mitigation. These three features and the current model of cruise control are all available for the Elite. If we put two and two together, the adaptive cruise control is a more extensive version of these four features, thus making this a $400 difference to still receive similar functionality. The other main differences between the vehicles are the Elite having a panoramic roof and an in-car vacuum. Now, these are two very cool features and are not available options for the EXL. Honda had previously offered a panoramic roof option for the Touring model of the Pilot, but for the Elite, this was the only trim level available. This means that the panoramic roof comes at a much higher price point compared to previous years and other Honda vehicles. That being said, the roof is massive and the second and third-row seats are capable of opening, making this a unique value proposition.


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