Vehicle Overview

Honda launched the midsize Pilot sport utility vehicle for 2003, billing it as "not too big, not too small." Larger than the company's compact CR-V and youth-focused Element, the Pilot replaced Honda's Passport.

New for 2005 was a 255-horsepower V-6 that operated via a drive-by-wire throttle system. Upper gear ratios in the five-speed-automatic transmission were modified to yield smoother transitions. All trim levels added a tire-pressure-monitoring system.

More standard features, including a Maintenance Minder and three-row side curtain-type airbags, go into 2006 models. For the first time, a two-wheel-drive version with Variable Cylinder Management is available. The VCM system can automatically switch the Pilot's 3.5-liter V-6 between six- and three-cylinder modes to improve fuel economy.

Under new Society of Automotive Engineers testing standards, Honda's V-6 engine is now rated at 244 hp and 240 pounds-feet of torque. Actual performance is the same.

Three versions are available: LX, EX and top-of-the-line EX-L. Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist electronic stability system and XM Satellite Radio are standard on the EX-L. A new rear camera is integrated into models with the navigation system.

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    Daytime Running Lights
    With the headlight switch in the off or position, the high beam headlights and the high beam indicator come on with reduced brightness when you turn the ignition switch to the ON (II) ...

    Resuming the Set Speed
    When you push the CANCEL button, or tap the brake pedal, the system remembers the previously set speed. To return to that speed, accelerate to above 25 mph (40 km/h), and then press and relea ...

    Adjusting the Sound
    Press the sound ( ) button to select an appropriate setting: bass, treble, fader, balance, subwoofer (if equipped), and SVC (speed-sensitive volume compensation). Turn the VOL/SELECT knob ...