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Honda Pilot LX vs EX

1. Overview

This essay is written to help you come to a decision on the model of Honda Pilot that suits you best, LX or EX. The following sections are comparisons of both models with emphasis on the better model of the two. In a general overview, the EX model is deemed as the better model of the two. For that reason, there should be considerable cause for you to buy the LX model if it will be more cost-effective for you. This essay will weigh the value of the extra features from the EX model of a significant amount of money which may not be affordable. Honda has always been known for reliability and the Honda Pilot is just that. In some cases, it is even said to be indestructible since it is built much like a truck. Both the LX and EX models are built the same with only a few slight differences in design. The Pilot is a spacious eight-passenger crossover SUV available with a steering wheel-linked front-wheel drive and a 3.5-liter V6 engine with Honda's VTM-4 four-wheel-drive system. The unibody frame ensures that the Pilot drives much like a car and the fully independent suspension provides a smooth ride and very responsive handling. With an LX model, you will have the choice of adding the Honda rear-wheel drive. The design allows it to drive either front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive when engaged, useful for towing. This option is not available on the EX model. (William Rouse & D Scott Lucero, 2021)(Westerhof et al., 2020)

1.1. Differences in Features

Standard features on the LX include: air conditioning with air-filtration system, AM/FM/CD audio system with four speakers, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, intermittent windshield wipers, rear window wiper/washer. The standard 2WD LX is priced at $26,995 and the standard 4WD LX is priced at $28,595. The EX has all the features of the LX and increases the comfort level with steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a 10-way power driver's seat, and a security system. The 2WD and 4WD EX are priced at $28,645 and $30,245, respectively. In comparing the features and prices of the LX and EX models, it is clear that the LX model is for the budget-minded consumer, while the EX model is for those who desire added comfort and convenience features at a reasonable cost. If you can do without the power seat and steering wheel audio controls, the standard 2WD LX can be purchased for a reasonable $26,995.

1.2. Variations in Price

Every addition of extra equipment in a car costs extra money. Some people might want to know the price differences between the LX and EX models before finding out what kind of equipment is added into the EX model. With the table below, I have summarized the differences in price between a 4WD LX and EX model with automatic transmissions. There is a price difference of $1900 between the LX and EX models. The value of added equipment to the EX model is $2900. This is $1000 more than the purchasing price of the EX model. An analysis of this information shows that Honda is basically adding the $1000 difference into the value of the added equipment. In other words, the price of the equipment in the EX model is cheaper to the consumer by $1000 than the Honda wholesale price of that equipment. The result of it all said and done is that the consumer that buys the EX model is getting $1000 more in equipment value for only $1000 more than the price of an LX model. There are always sales on new cars and the prices between an LX and EX will differ to some extent. When considering how much more a loaded EX-L model and a touring model cost, one might easily be persuaded to buy a lower level model. I'm sure Honda has taken this into account and that is why the margins between the LX and EX models are lower compared to the higher level models and their respective lower level counterparts. (Solnik et al., 2021)

1.3. Performance Comparison

However, the EX has a more advanced variable torque management system that is essentially an improvement on the AWD system on the LX. It has more power transition to the rear wheels and the ability to transfer almost 100% of torque to either the left or right rear wheel. This system makes the Pilot more capable in off-road situations. The EX and EX-L can tow 4,500 pounds with the same transmission found in the LX. They have increased towing capacity with the addition of a heavy-duty automatic transmission and power steering fluid coolers. They are capable of towing 2,000 pounds in excess of the LX's towing capacity with the same equipment. The all-wheel drive system on the EX and EX-L is optimized for towing and increased performance in situations where extra traction is needed.

Both the LX and the EX have similar performance results when it comes to the engine and handling. They are almost equal in the specs. The Pilot LX has an available all-wheel drive system, which is capable of directing different levels of power to different wheels, depending on the driving situation. This provides added security on slippery slopes and the like. The LX has a "lock mode" which can be engaged at up to 18 mph and will forward 70% of available torque to the rear wheels. At speeds over 18 mph, it will adjust the torque distribution between the front and rear axles depending on conditions. The LX is capable of towing 3,500 pounds, as with the EX, when the appropriate towing equipment is installed, such as a boat or trailer. Towing requires the transmission to be equipped with the appropriate heavy-duty Power Steering Fluid cooler, which is standard equipment from the factory. The LX's Power Steering Fluid cooler is integrated into the lower stock transmission cooler for increased cooling performance.

2. Interior and Comfort

Climate control options In the LX edition, the Honda Pilot only provides a single-zone climate control for the driver. But for the other passengers, the Honda Pilot LX uses a tri-zone automatic climate control. Now, in the EX edition, the Honda Pilot provides a tri-zone automatic climate control, including digital control for the driver. This climate control makes all the passengers more comfortable. (Ramanathan et al., 2020)

Interior design and space The Honda Pilot LX and EX have a modern design. It can be seen from the frontal and rear models that are different from the old model. But when it comes to the interior design, the EX edition is more elegant than the LX because it uses many wood accents on the dashboard. With wood accents, the interior looks more beautiful and creates a comfortable environment. As for the space, both Honda Pilot models have the same capacity because there is no difference in the body size.

Technology and infotainment Just like seating capacity, when it comes to features, the Honda Pilot LX and EX have identical features in terms of technology and infotainment. But in the EX edition, Honda provides a CD player with a 229-watt audio system including a subwoofer. With these features, passengers can play their favorite music while traveling. And there is also a HondaLink feature that provides emergency content, automatic collision notification, and many more.

Seating capacity and material When it comes to seating capacity, both the Honda Pilot LX and EX have the same capacity of seating up to 8 people, including the driver. However, when it comes to the material, the Honda Pilot EX has more than the Honda Pilot LX. The quality of material used in the Honda Pilot LX and EX is different. Using leather material, the Honda Pilot EX is more comfortable than the LX. With leather that is softer than fabric material, this car is more convenient when used for long trips. And for the driver's seat, the Honda Pilot EX offers more adjustment than the LX. With 10-way power adjustment, the driver can easily adjust to the best position to drive. And also with lumbar support, the Honda Pilot EX will make the driver more comfortable.

2.1. Seating Capacity and Material

For families with smaller kids, the seating material for the EX model is leather for the front and second-row seats to help ease off any spills during meals or snacks! This gives the children more opportunities to sit in the vehicle without having to worry too much about the seating material. With hockey games and practices, smaller kids in sports can dirty the seats, so one advantage for the LX model is that leather seating isn't offered, so the kids can use the cloth rear seat that can be changed back to the original grey option. Another seating feature is the presence of the "Honda DVD Rear Entertainment System" with the EX model. This system provides an ideal environment for children to watch movies, and it also includes an integrated remote control and wireless headphone! It can also be more ideal than having to get an aftermarket portable DVD player as the wiring and cables can be a hassle.

In the LX model, the cloth seat material makes it easier to clean for the kids, but there is an added option for the cloth to be the color grey. However, with kids, the cloth option is not as appealing due to the higher maintenance, so there is a possibility to change the seating material to leather.

Both the vehicles have a seating capacity for 8 passengers, making it ideal for a big family or even for hauling more in one trip! The only seat that has a different description is the driver's seat for the EX model, which is a 10-way power adjustable seat, including power lumbar support. It also provides the vehicle driver a better driving position due to the added features. Another added option for the driver and front passenger is the heated seats. You can never go wrong with having heated seats, especially if you have kids with muddy shoes or spill food and drinks.

2.2. Technology and Infotainment

The rearview camera provides an image of the area behind the vehicle on the information display. The large screen makes it much easier to see more of what's behind the vehicle before backing up. The LX comes with a 5-inch color LCD screen, while the EX has an 8-inch touch screen display. The larger touch screen is much more user-friendly and is better to navigate through the entertainment features. An advantage that the Pilot EX has over the LX is the touchscreen has the ability to control the audio system and climate control settings. With its hard disk drive (HDD), the navigation system has almost 16 GB of storage for your audio, a big step up from the LX's 1.5 GB audio storage. Both Pilots have the same audio system, with 7 speakers, a subwoofer, Bluetooth streaming capabilities, MP3/Auxiliary input jacks, and for the old schoolers, AM/FM radio. Steering wheel audio controls come standard with both Pilots, and an added feature to the EX is it also can control the audio system via Bluetooth, a convenient feature for anyone who is on the go. HondaLink and SiriusXM radio come standard in the EX and are completely unavailable on the LX. The EX also has HD radio, which offers enhanced sound quality over traditional, analog radio. An added convenience to the EX is more jacks and outlets including 2.5-amp USB charging ports and two 12-volt outlets.

2.3. Interior Design and Space

The Honda Pilot has very intelligent packaging and outstanding use of space. This makes the Pilot look smaller from the outside but very space efficient from the inside. The seat volume is 152.9 cu.ft in the LX model and 153.1 cu.ft in the EX model. This is suitable for 7 to 8 passengers to ride in this large SUV, with a maximum capacity of 8 passengers. The cargo volume is 16.5 cu.ft behind the third row seats, 46.8 cu.ft behind the second row seats, and 83.9 cu.ft behind the front seats. So, this sets a new record for vehicles like the Pilot and at the same time makes this SUV more suitable as a multipurpose vehicle for all users. However, from the total interior volume to the cargo space, the Honda Pilot is a category winner for the best all-around vehicle.

The Honda Pilot EX is equipped with a number of upgrades and added features to make your drive even better. It includes tri-zone automatic climate control to make the passengers more comfortable with the air conditioning in any position in the car. The Honda Sensing system is also added to the EX model. This is a suite of safety and driver assistive features that could help prevent collisions. The Honda Sensing features are very useful for the driver and, most importantly, do not disturb the appearance of the car. For the interior model, the EX has many other additional features such as a power moonroof with tilt features and a HomeLink Remote System for opening the door. HomeLink is built right into your vehicle, making it easier for you to access.

The 2017 Honda Pilot LX and EX share identical interior styling. The only difference is that the LX comes with 7 passenger seats with some features, and all positions have adjustable head restraints. The EX is provided with an 8-way power driver seat which has the capability to move forward and backward only, and a 4-way power lumbar to adjust the position of the seat while driving for a more comfortable driving experience. T/S shift is used in the LX as a selector to move the gear position, but this model does not have a touch button for the gear. The steering wheel can also be moved up and down, making it easier for the driver to get in and out of the seat. Knee room, leg room, and shoulder walk through are more suitable for families with adult passengers. This is because this model provides very comfortable seats, and the front seat can be moved back and forth between the front seat, middle seat, and rear seat, and can be adjusted right to left because the doors already use a full handle grip. The mode change armrest console is also a luxury feature because the driver can change the console to a position that they can use.

2.4. Climate Control Options

The climate control options of the 2016 Honda Pilot include heating and cooling for all three rows, a rarity in the midsize SUV category. The LX comes standard with tri-zone automatic climate control, push button technology to adjust temperature, air conditioning with an air filtration system. The EX allows the driver to enhance comfort in the front seats with dual-zone automatic climate control featuring touch-screen display technology with interfaces. The driver and front passenger have their own individual temperature setting, to assure that everyone is at their own most comfortable level. 2nd and 3rd row passengers have the ability to control their own climate with the EX, replacing the LX version of heating and cooling with a simpler module. Though both climate control options are decent, the EX far outweighs the features of the LX, making it one of the cons of not choosing the top level touring edition.

3. Exterior and Design

Honda Pilot LX vs EX: Available Colors Price service-wise, this option doesn't particularly make a difference. There are just different sets of colors that are available between the LX and EX models. The LX has 8 different colors to choose from while the EX has 7. The EX model leaves out the Crystal Black Pearl color. This doesn't make a difference in value, but it seems to be a very important factor for some people that are very particular about what color chariot they would like to drive.

Honda Pilot LX vs EX: Wheel Options and Tires Both the LX and EX Pilots have 5-spoke styled alloy wheels. Along with the wheels, there are some major differences in tire sizes. The LX model shows a 235/60 R18 tire size and the option of either 17 or 18-inch wheels. The EX model comes standard with a 10-spoke alloy wheel size of 18 inches and a tire size of 235/60 R18. This size is also meant to compensate for a 17% decrease in the EX's towing capacity. With the need for R18 tires, the tire upgrade for the EX model would be approximately a cost increase of $150 paid each for the 245/60 sizing and an optional all-season or winter tread.

Comparing a Honda Pilot LX vs EX for an automobile buyer is an exercise in choices between features and the resulting cost. Again, the fundamental difference between the LX and the EX is leather (EX) vs. cloth (LX). The LX model includes a backup camera with a multi-angle rearview camera included on the EX model. The front headlights are automatic on/off in the EX while lacking that feature in the LX. Essentially, all other body and shape features are uniform except for the differences in wheel options and tire size.

3.1. Exterior Styling and Body Features

The differences between the body styling features between the LX and EX are very minor. The major difference between the two in terms of looks is that the LX has the standard halogen headlights (with auto-off feature), whereas the EX has the more appealing auto-on/off feature with the added fog lights. Also, the LX does not come standard with the rear privacy glass and the body-colored door mirrors that the EX has. Both models have the following features: integrated side mirror (turn indicators for the EX), lift-up tailgate, and a variable intermittent windshield wiper. Another small difference is that the LX has 17-inch styled steel wheels compared to the 18-inch alloy wheels on the EX. The only other major difference is that the LX has a standard 2-speed/intermittent rear window wiper, whereas the EX comes with the more useful variable intermittent/reverse function. All of these features are very minor details, and the cost toward upgrading from an LX to an EX would not be worth it simply for these benefits. However, it all contributes towards making the EX just that much more appealing.

3.2. Wheel Options and Tires

The Honda Pilot LX 2022 is equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels on all-season tires. They have a primer coating finish. The all-season tires are made to provide a good grip under various road conditions. Conversely, the EX and above trim of the Pilot is equipped with 20-inch alloy wheels. This is a major upgrade in tire size. It is almost guaranteed that the larger wheel size has an improvement in handling, but at a cost of providing a stiffer ride relative to the 18-inch wheels. The wider dimension gives the tires more contact area. This not only provides more grip but also makes the Pilot less likely to tip over under extreme maneuvers. The torque vectoring all-wheel drive system on the EX and above Pilot utilizes the grip of the 20-inch tires for improved handling. The type of tire for the 20-inch wheels on the EX Pilot is unconfirmed at this time. In the past, Honda has equipped their larger size wheels with Michelin tires. Michelin is an elite tire company that produces high-quality tires. It would come as no surprise that Honda equipped the 20-inch wheels with Michelin tires for the new Pilot, as Michelin tires would be the best type of tire for improved handling and safety.

3.3. Available Colors

In terms of available colors, the LX and EX models have the same options. The six available colors include Steel Sapphire Metallic, Obsidian Blue Pearl, Black Forest Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, and Crystal Black Pearl. For both trims, none of these color options cost extra and will all be applied to the vehicle in the same manner. This is actually unique to the Pilot, as most Honda vehicles usually have a different in color availability among trims with more color options for higher trims. It is also worth noting that this generation of the Pilot (starting in 2016) has more conservative color options compared to the previous generation. This will likely be perceived as a good thing for some and a negative for others, as the older generation Pilot had some more unique, one-off colors like Bali Blue Pearl and Taffeta White. If you are into cars, it is quite possible that you have seen some of the older generation one-off colors and have an idea of what they look like, so if you are one of those people, it may be a good idea to search for images of a Pilot in the color you are looking for before going out and purchasing one of the newer generation.

4. Safety and Advanced Features

The Honda Pilot comes standard with the Honda Sensing package for advanced safety and driver assist features, while advanced and higher trim levels offer more driver assistive tech and additional safety features. Every Honda Pilot comes standard with Honda Sensing, which includes Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control. The EX trim adds Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Monitoring and the option of the Honda Sensing Package. Honda Sensing is the key safety feature, as it is standard on every Pilot model and is highly suggested if you are considering a Honda Pilot. The system utilizes both a camera and radar to help detect vehicles, pedestrians, and even a road's lines, and can alert the driver and even intervene to help avoid a collision. This can reduce accidents and possible collisions and can even lower the cost of insurance. It can be very useful, especially for when driving with passengers or young ones, as collisions are more dangerous and frequent in larger vehicles. The reduced appointments of Honda Sensing available in lower trims may be the only shortcoming, as it is the same system regardless of trim level that is utilized in Honda's Acura line, which can price some out of an LX or EX that would have to add Honda Sensing via the Honda Sensing Package. This is a fantastic safety feature, but the cost for many strapped to buy a new car may be borderline prohibitive. The EX trim may also be equipped with the Honda LaneWatch feature, a small camera on the right passenger side mirror that activates when the right turn signal is engaged, providing a live video feed to display nearly four times more than the mirror alone. This can assist with lane changes, merging, and exiting on multi-lane roads and can help with visibility of pedestrians, bicycles, or other vehicles approaching on the right or just backing out of a parking spot on the right. This feature is not a collision avoidance system but definitely an aid to safe driving and can prevent an accident. The camera has a 20-second feed and the video screen has a button to temporarily activate the camera when not using the turn signal. This feature unfortunately is not available on any other Pilot trim but does not carry a significant cost to acquire on the EX. Coming up, we'll be discussing further driver assist and active safety features on other trim levels.

4.1. Honda Sensing Suite

The Collision Mitigation Braking System helps to bring the car to a stop when it identifies an otherwise unavoidable collision with a vehicle detected in front of you. The system is designed to be most effective at speeds of 9 mph or above. Lane Keeping Assist is designed to subtly adjust steering to help keep the vehicle centered in a detected lane. This is intended to provide assistance to the driver to help reduce steering input to keep the car between the lines. Road Departure Mitigation works in a similar way to Lane Keeping Assist in providing guidance to stay in a lane. This time the system uses a windshield-mounted camera to identify lane lines, and if the car is about to leave the road, it will provide steering and braking assistance to keep the car on the road. If the system does not detect that any corrective action will be effective, it will provide steering to keep the car from leaving the road straight away. Finally, the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is a more advanced version of standard cruise control. This system can set a desired speed and following distance from the vehicle in front. If the car ahead is traveling more slowly than the set speed, or even to a stop, ACC will slow down or stop the vehicle and will accelerate back to the set speed when the path is clear.

The Honda Sensing suite is available in all Pilot models, making this a standard feature across the range. This is a combination of active and passive safety features that are designed to help improve the driver's situation awareness and, in some cases, intervene to help avoid a collision or lessen its severity. The main features included in the Honda Sensing suite are Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation System, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

4.2. Driver-Assistance Technologies

The lane keeping assist system is a function that will only activate if the turn signal is not on. If the vehicle continues to move in a detected lane without the turn signal on, the system will adjust the steering and bring the driver back to the center of the lane. The lane departure warning system can only tell you if you are making a mistake. If the system detects that you are making a clear lane change without the turn signal, the indicator will flash and an audible alert will sound.

The road departure mitigation system is a small camera located above the rearview mirror in addition to a front grill radar sensor. This system can determine and assess whether or not you cross over detected lanes. If you do, the system will automatically adjust the steering and braking in an effort to keep you from making such mistakes. A notable feature of this system is that the wheel will vibrate to get the driver's attention or it will initiate an impact absorption to the opposite side of where the driver is veering off.

Although it was only mentioned once, it is known that the 2016 Honda Pilot LX model features Honda Sensing with the additional option of all-wheel drive. On the other hand, the Honda Pilot EX, EX-L, and Touring trim models feature Honda Sensing and all-wheel drive. Both models integrate the same drive assist technologies such as Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and adaptive Cruise Control.

4.3. Crash Test Ratings

(LX has not been crash tested yet, EX is better) 4.3. Crash Test Ratings. As of November 2015, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2016 Honda Pilot a Top Safety Pick, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2016 Pilot an overall five-star safety rating. With a "Good" rating in all five IIHS crash evaluations and a five-star rating in front and side NHTSA crash evaluations, the 2016 Pilot was able to stick out amongst the top. Unfortunately, we do not have this information for the 2019 model, but with Honda's latest safety features we assume the vehicle has only gotten safer. These ratings beat out competition such as the Toyota Highlander, Kia Sorento, and even the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban. With the 2019 Pilot being an upgraded version of the 2016 model, it is safe to assume the ratings did not decrease. This is quite significant for safety-conscious consumers seeing as these are some of the highest ratings a vehicle can receive. Five-star ratings are a sign of vehicle safety, and being a Top Safety Pick for IIHS is quite an outstanding feat for a vehicle as well. Now keep in mind these ratings are specifically for the 2016 model, and IIHS and NHTSA ratings do change from year to year so we cannot directly compare this to the 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban since they are newer models. However, we still expect the 2019 Pilot to compare favorably with its newest competition. With the EX model of the 2019 Honda Pilot having Honda Sensing as a standard feature this can significantly reduce accidents for the model. This alone highlights that the EX model will be safer than the LX model.

4.4. Additional Safety Features

Contrasted and the Honda Pilot LX, the Honda Pilot EX will get extra security highlights including Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW), two highlights will give caution to the driver, and if no move by the driver to make the vehicle safe, these two highlights implanted in Honda Pilot EX this will consequently apply the controlling to have the option to make the vehicle more secure. Subsequent to squeezing a great deal of safety features, the two vehicles in acquired the title Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS and a 5-star generally speaking vehicle rating from the NHTSA, this will make both arrangement of the Honda Pilot is more secure than different vehicle arrangements.

Beside driver help and crash test scores, the Honda Pilot security framework is likewise taken a gander at. The Honda Pilot LX is as of now accompanied Daytime Running Lights, Front and Rear Crumple Zones, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Tire Pressure Monitoring System and the airbag frameworks. The nearness of a blast verification door jamb and Dynamic Target Head airbag system that will likewise be found in this vehicle.


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