SUVs

2019 Honda Pilot hits dealers Monday with modest price bump

That bump covers new standard equipment, so it's not without reason.

Honda

When Honda announced that the slightly refreshed 2019 Honda Pilot SUV would now carry its suite of safety systems standard, I figured the price would rise a bit to cover that. And guess what? I was right.

The 2019 Honda Pilot goes on sale Monday with a starting price of $31,450 before $995 destination, taxes, fees and all that good stuff. That price will net you a 2019 Pilot LX with front-wheel drive, 18-inch alloy wheels and a bare-bones 5-inch infotainment system. New equipment for the Pilot LX includes LED headlights and running lights, automatic high beams and Honda Sensing. Honda Sensing is now standard across the lineup, and it includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.

All-wheel drive is available on this and all trims for $1,900, except for the top Elite trim, where it's standard. All Pilots get the same engine -- a 3.5-liter V6 putting out 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque that takes regular gas.

It was pretty easy on the eyes before, but now it's even better.

Honda

Move up to the $34,330 Pilot EX, and things start getting interesting. The infotainment screen grows to 8 inches and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and standard equipment grows to include keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control and separate HVAC controls for the rear row. New additions to the EX trim for 2019 include blind-spot monitoring, heated front seats, a power driver's seat and power windows with auto up-down functionality. The EX is also the lowest trim available with Honda's CabinControl system, which lets you use a smart device to control the infotainment and rear climate control.

Bump your way up to the $37,760 Pilot EX-L, and you get leather seats (that's what the "L" stands for), a power tailgate, a power passenger seat, two USB ports in the second row and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. You also get a second-row sun shade and memory settings for the driver's seat, both of which are new additions for 2019. EX-L models with navigation and rear-seat entertainment also get CabinTalk, which is basically a car-wide PA system that uses the driver's microphone.

The penultimate trim is the Pilot Touring, which starts at $42,520 with front-wheel drive and eight-passenger seating -- but captain's chairs are available for a $300 premium. This trim replaces the Pilot's six-speed automatic with a nine-speed automatic, and it adds parking sensors, a hands-free power tailgate, heated second-row seats and a 10-speaker audio system. If you get the captain's chairs, you might lose a seat but you gain three-zone ambient lighting, which is nice.

Finally, we have the Pilot Elite, which is AWD-only and will set you back a cool $48,020. Standard kit grows to include a panoramic moonroof, captain's chairs, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers. New additions for 2019 include wireless phone charging and auto-dimming side mirrors. Given that every trim has a bunch of new (or newly standard) kit, price bumps between $550 and $1,000 don't really seem too bad. Full pricing can be found below.

2019 Honda Pilot pricing

Trim 2019 MSRP 2018 MSRP Net Change
Pilot LX FWD $31,450 $30,900 $550
Pilot LX AWD $33,350 $32,800 $550
Pilot EX FWD $34,330 $33,330 $1,000
Pilot EX AWD $36,230 $35,230 $1,000
Pilot EX-L FWD $37,760 $36,760 $1,000
Pilot EX-L AWD $39,660 $38,660 $1,000
Pilot Touring (8 passenger) FWD $42,520 $41,970 $550
Pilot Touring (8 passenger) AWD $44,420 $43,870 $550
Pilot Elite $48,020 $47,470 $550

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