Features

The Pilot is available with many of the features you would expect to find in a family-oriented crossover SUV, like a backseat entertainment system, but rather than being optional equipment that you can add to any trim level, many popular features are limited to more expensive trims. For example, the Pilot's power moonroof is only available on the top two trims, EX-L and Touring, and isn't offered on the base LX or the EX. Similarly, the previously mentioned entertainment system is also only available on the EX-L and Touring. Touring models are the only trim that can have a power liftgate and a USB port that allows the audio system to control an iPod.

While this feature-allocation strategy may be fine for buyers looking for a higher-end Pilot, it doesn't serve budget-minded buyers who aren't eager to step up to a higher trim level just to get one feature they're interested in.

Pilot in the Market

The Pilot was an appealing choice for families in the market for a three-row crossover before it was redesigned, and it remains so in its new, more refined 2009 form. When it was launched for the 2003 model year, the Pilot was one of just a few large crossover SUVs available. Today, however, there are many worthy challengers, like the CX-9 and Acadia, that match up well with it. When automakers redesign a model, they have to be able to — at a minimum — hang with the competition, and the Pilot does that and more in the categories that matter most.

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