Sometimes price hikes are easy to justify. Case-in point: The 2019 Honda Pilot crossover SUV, which features a slew of additional safety gear and an updated infotainment system for about $550 more than last year.
Honda announced Monday pricing for the updated 2019 Pilot lineup, which will start at $32,445 including a mandatory $995 destination charge for the Pilot LX with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive costs $1,900 more. The 2019 Pilot will arrive in dealerships starting this week.
All versions of the Pilot now include forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and LED headlights, features that previously required ticking a pricey option box on some Pilots. Additionally, new infotainment systems for 2019 add a volume knob rather than a capacitive switch.
The safety and headlight upgrades could make all versions of the 2019 Pilot a Top Safety Pick according to the IIHS. The insurance industry-funded crash-testing group requires automatic emergency braking and headlights that rate "Acceptable" or higher. Last year's standard halogen headlights rated "Poor" according to the IIHS. However, the group hasn't released ratings for the 2019 Pilot yet.
2019 Honda Pilot
Upgrading to the Pilot EX trim level adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, keyless ignition, blind-spot monitors, heated front seats, an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat, and HD radio. The 2019 Pilot EX now costs $35,325 with front-wheel drive and $37,225 with all-wheel drive.
ALSO SEE: Read our 2018 Honda Pilot full review
The $38,755 Pilot EX-L throws in leather upholstery, a memory driver's seat, a power moonroof, a power liftgate, and additional USB ports. Navigation and a Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system cost $2,000 extra and all-wheel drive adds $1,900.
Upgrading to the $43,515 Pilot Touring nets drivers a 9-speed automatic transmission that delivers slightly better fuel economy: 20 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined with front-wheel drive compared to 19/27/22 mpg for LX, EX, and EX-L trims with their 6-speed automatic. The Pilot Touring also includes navigation, 20-inch wheels, heated second-row seats, a 10-speaker audio system, and revised front and rear bumpers. All-wheel drive costs $1,900 more and second-row captain's chairs in place of the three-piece bench seat add $300.
Topping the lineup is the all-wheel drive-only $49,015 Pilot Elite, which includes a panoramic moonroof, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.