Click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Honda Pilot

After getting a short stint behind the wheel of the newly redesigned 2009 Honda Pilot, we declared it a pretty thorough improvement over its predecessor. Regardless of how you think it looks, the newest crossover from Honda is a pretty darn good vehicle. So, we're rather happy to report that Honda saw fit to hold the line on pricing compared to its previous-generation 2008 Pilot. Starting at $27,595, plus destination and handling, the base model Pilot for '09 starts off at exactly the same point of entry as the 2008 edition. Next up is the Pilot EX at $30,395, while the leather-equipped Pilot EX-L will run you $33,595. At the top, the new Pilot Touring edition, which includes standard navigation, starts at $36,795. Four-wheel-drive adds $1,600 to the price of any trim and takes a small bite out of EPA fuel economy with the Pilot coming in at 17/23 (19 combined) miles per gallon on two-wheel-drive models and 16/22 (18 combined) miles per gallon on four-wheel-drive models.

Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2009 Honda Pilot

[Source: Honda]


Press Release:

The all-new, completely-redesigned 2009 Honda Pilot is set to debut at dealerships nationwide on May 22 with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $27,595, plus destination and handling, for the well-equipped Pilot LX - the same as the 2008 model's price entry point, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today.

The upscale Pilot EX starts at $30,395 and adds alloy wheels and an upgraded audio system; the Pilot EX-L, equipped with additional premium features including leather-trimmed seating surfaces and a moonroof, starts at $33,595; and the luxury-oriented Pilot Touring edition, an entirely new premium trim level for 2009 with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ as standard equipment, starts at $36,795. Pilots equipped with the available Variable Torque Management® 4-wheel-drive (VTM-4®) system have an MSRP starting at $29,195 for the Pilot LX; $31,995 for the Pilot EX; $35,195 for the Pilot EX-L; and $38,395 for the Pilot Touring.

"The timing is right for a vehicle like this as fuel prices drive families out of larger SUV's even though their lifestyles still require the type of functionality that Pilot delivers," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Advanced engine technologies help improve fuel efficiency while the interior has become even more comfortable and accommodating than the previous model."

Designed to occupy a unique position within its segment, the second-generation Pilot combines traditional SUV attributes of ruggedness, standard towing capability and functionality with the fuel economy, handling and refinement characteristics that have made crossovers popular.

The 2009 Pilot offers an authentic SUV exterior design while further enhancing on-road refinement and increasing interior functionality. A modern, stylish and spacious interior provides room for up to eight passengers while also providing more space behind the third row for items as large as a mid-size cooler or a folded stroller.

New standard engineering features on all models include a more-powerful, 250 horsepower, 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine with the latest generation of Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) that works in 6-cylinder mode for performance and 3- or 4-cylinder mode for fuel efficiency. Additional new standard equipment includes a Class III hitch, hill start assist, larger 17-inch wheels and tires (+1-inch) and a lift-up glass hatch as part of the tailgate. New interior features include a telescopic steering column, enhanced audio systems and much more. The Honda DVD Rear Entertainment System™ is available on the Pilot EX-L and Pilot Touring. The new Pilot Touring edition introduces upscale features that include a power tailgate, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® and a USB audio interface. Keyless entry, power windows, power locks and cruise control are standard on all models.

The Pilot achieves an EPA-estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy of 17/23/19 miles per gallon on two-wheel-drive models and 16/22/18 miles per gallon on four-wheel-drive models. The available, fully-automatic VTM-4 four-wheel drive is designed to deliver decision-free operation for all-weather traction and medium-duty off-road capabilities.

Standard safety equipment includes the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE®) body structure; Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), also commonly referred to as electronic stability control, with traction control and ABS; three-row side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor; dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags; a driver's front side airbag, and a front passenger's side airbag with an occupant position detection system. The Pilot is equipped with four Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) positions - more than any other SUV currently in the segment.