Honda markets its vehicles a way such that there are few, if any, standalone options. In order to get desirable luxury or tech features, you need to step up to pricier models—like the top Touring or new Touring Elite models. It's more than a little disappointing that those getting an LX or EX have to do without Bluetooth hands-free calling altogether, unless they go for a typically-inferior aftermarket system.
The base LX starts at $27,800 ($780 destination) and includes lots of standard equipment such as air conditioning with front and rear controls, cruise control, an eight-way power driver's seat, power windows, locks, and mirrors, and a 229-watt sound system with subwoofer. The EX adds alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, HomeLink, the removable front center console and flip-up trash-bag ring, 2 GB of flash music storage, a tri-zone climate control system, and second-row sunshades. EX-L models get leather upholstery and trim plus heated front seats, an eight-inch screen display, rearview camera, power moonroof, cooling box, Bluetooth, and an added utility tray. The six-speed automatic comes with the Touring model, along with an entertainment system, a 115-volt power outlet, wireless headphones, acoustic windshield glass, memory mirror settings, and sunshades as well as a center armrest for the third row. Touring Elite models, at the very top of the lineup and approaching the $45k mark, add a 650-watt sound system with hard-disk storage, the ultra-wide-screen system, theater surround sound, HID headlamps, and a blind-spot information system. Touring Elite models now come with a blind-spot system.
The new hard-drive nav system includes a built-in Zagat guide, a huge points-of-interest database, high-contrast VGA display, and free FM-based traffic information. Plus you can load a personal picture to use as wallpaper with the system. Honda says the fuzzy logic for the voice commands is much improved.
Honda has also opted to do away with the ubiquitous 6-CD changer entirely, replacing it with 2 GB of flash storage in EX and EX-L models and 15 GB of hard-drive space in navigation-equipped models. Honda says that this holds the contents of 18 or 175 CDs, respectively. Another standout is the new 16.2-inch wide-screen system provides entertainment and can even split the screen in half for two separate inputs. According to Honda, it's the first OEM system—from any brand, luxury included—to offer an HDMI input.