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2022 Honda Pilot Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Honda Pilot Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Sport vs EX-L, Special Edition vs TrailSport, Touring, Elite and Black Edition

Compare the 2022 Honda Pilot Trims - Sport vs EX-L, Special Edition vs TrailSport, Touring, Elite and Black Edition. What is the difference between them?

Anyone who routinely needs room for more than four in their vehicle has probably considered a three-row SUV. This vehicle type also appeals to those who are just after a lot of cargo space, as most of them are quite versatile. When buyers create a demand, automotive makers are quick to offer plenty of supply.

Honda has grabbed a large portion of the market when it comes to midsized SUVs. The Pilot is particularly popular with families, thanks to its relatively spacious three rows of seating and a lengthy list of standard features. This SUV is currently in its third generation, which first premiered in 2016. It is a safe assumption that the Pilot will get a full redesign within the next few years.

The starting price of the 2022 Honda Pilot is higher than in years past. This is largely due to the elimination of the LX and EX trim levels. Buyers now have the Sport trim as the most affordable offering to take a look at.

Honda is offering the Pilot in seven different variations for 2022. The following is a summary of the differences between each trim so that buyers can make an informed decision.


Compare the Sport vs EX-L Trims. What is the difference?

A V6 engine comes standard for the Pilot Sport. It creates 280-horsepower along with 262 lb-ft of torque. As for the transmission, buyers are looking at a nine-speed automatic. The Pilot comes with front-wheel drive, although there is also the option of upgrading to an all-wheel-drive setup. Intelligent traction management is also standard, with FWD models getting a snow mode and 4WD models getting snow, mud, and sand.

Honda does not stop there when it comes to mechanical features. The Pilot Sport is also equipped with a remote start and an idle-stop feature to help improve fuel economy. Speaking of the efficiency of this vehicle, buyers can expect 20mpg in the city and 27mpg on the highway if they choose a front-wheel-drive model. All-wheel-drive versions drop a bit, giving drivers up to 19mpg city and 26mpg highway. Hill-start assist is equipped on all Pilot trim levels as well.

The LED headlights have an auto-on/off feature for the Sport trim. The taillights are LED, too, and there is a roofline spoiler with integrated brake light. Heated side mirrors with turn signal integration, black roof rails, and LED fog lights are what round out the exterior feature list for the Pilot Sport.

All of the 2022 Pilot trim levels have Honda's "Smart Entry" feature. It allows the driver to unlock the SUV by simply touching the door handle, provided that the key fob is detected. Drivers can change the settings to have the doors unlock automatically when the key fob is within eight feet. This feature also has an auto-lock function that will lock the doors when the key fob is no longer within eight feet of the vehicle.

Inside, there is seating for up to eight people. Drivers will find heated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and one-touch second-row seats. An 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility comes standard. Drivers can also enjoy satellite and HD radio, as well as three 12-volt power outlets.

The 2022 Pilot Sport has plenty in the way of convenience features. Push-button start comes standard, and so does tri-zone automatic climate control. There are illuminated steering wheel-mounted controls and rear-seat heated ducts. For hauling gear, the Pilot Sport has a hidden storage compartment for stashing smaller valuables and cargo area bag hooks.

Honda makes its full suite of advanced driver aids standard on all of the 2022 Pilot models. This means the Sport trim has a road departure mitigation system, a lane-keeping system, and a forward-collision warning. There is also adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. A tire pressure monitoring system with tire fill assist is included. Buyers also get LED daytime running lights. Topping off the list are automatic high beams to take some of the pressure off when driving at night.

There are a few small packages that can help buyers customize the entry-level Pilot. The all-season protection package includes a splash guard set and folding cargo tray, for example. Adding the cargo protection package means getting that same folding cargo tray, but also cargo side panel protectors along with seat back protectors. There are also a few stand-alone accessories to consider, such as crossbars and two different styles of bike mounts.

Moving up to the EX-L trim level means that the SUV loses its roof rails. It does, however, gain a one-touch power moonroof. This is also the first trim level to get a power tailgate. In the cabin, the EX-L gets leather-trimmed upholstery and the front passenger gets four-way power adjustment for their seat.

The steering wheel is wrapped in leather for this trim, and the second-row gains integrated sunshades. There is an auto-dimming rearview mirror and the HomeLink system, which allows drivers to link their Pilot with compatible garage doors and security systems. Jumping up to the EX-L instead of the Sport costs approximately $2,500.

Compare the EX-L vs Special Edition. What is the difference?

Option number three on the list is the SE or Special Edition. On the outside, this model gets the black roof rails back and black exterior details. It also adds the popular hands-free function for the power liftgate. While the EX-L sits on 18-inch wheels, the SE upgrades to 20-inch ones with an exclusive design. For the cabin, a wireless phone charger is added to the mix.

That is all that is added by going up to the SE over the EX-L. That said, it costs only $600 more.

Compare the Special Edition vs TrailSport Trims. What is the difference?

The TrailSport model of the 2022 Honda Pilot stands out because it is the only one to have fender flares. As far as the feature upgrades, the main one drivers will notice is the upgrade to the Honda satellite-linked navigation system featuring voice recognition. There are also illuminated beverage holders in the front row. The power tailgate does not have a hands-free function, however.

This model of the 2022 Pilot comes standard with an all-wheel drive. It also goes back down to 18-inch wheels, presumably to help with its off-road abilities. The TrailSport costs nearly $4,000 more than the Special Edition version of the Pilot and aims to appeal to the more adventurous drivers out there.

Compare the TrailSport vs Touring Trims. What is the difference?

For the Touring model of the Pilot, all-wheel-drive reverts back to optional rather than standard. The hands-free part of the tailgate comes back, and the wheel size goes back up to 20-inches. This trim level also has acoustic glass for the windshield and front doors to make for a quieter cabin. For added safety and convenience, the Touring model has parking sensors and full LED headlights, as opposed to the low-beam only ones found equipped on lower models. The side mirrors also gain memory settings, something that families with multiple drivers are sure to appreciate.

The Touring model is the only one that is available with both the seven-seat and eight-seat configurations. It adds heat to the second-row outboard seats if a bench is equipped, or to both of the second-row captain's chairs if buyers opt for the seven-seat option. While all previous models come standard with a seven-speaker setup, the Touring is the first to give drivers ten speakers instead.

Inside the Touring, passengers benefit from a Wi-Fi hotspot. There is also an advanced rear-seat entertainment system that features a 10.2-inch screen, Bluetooth capability, and built-in streaming apps. Honda even throws in two pairs of wireless headphones to help keep the kids entertained on long trips. The Touring gets CabinTalk, which is an in-cabin PA system. The driver or front passenger can make their voice heard over the back speakers or even through the headphones.

If buyers have opted for the second-row captain's chairs, the second-row beverage holders are illuminated in the Touring too. This model gains courtesy door lights for the front row. Finally, there is blue ambient LED lighting to help make the 2022 Pilot Touring model seem more sophisticated. Despite this level of luxury, the Touring costs less than $100 less than the TrailSport.

Compare the Touring vs Elite Trims. What is the difference?

The Elite trim level is where the Pilot really starts to get advanced. This is the first trim on the list to get rain-sensing windshield wipers. To really make sure that drivers can get as much sun and air as they want, the Elite model has a panoramic sunroof.

For the interior, buyers are stuck with the seven-seat setup, whether they like it or not. The front row of seating gets ventilation on top of the heat. The map lights that are found in all Pilot models get upgraded to LED. This is the first model to come with floor mats in all three rows, as opposed to just the first two. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is heated for the Pilot Elite. Buyers are looking at paying more than $5,000 more if they want to upgrade to the Elite from the Touring.

Compare the Elite vs Black Edition. What is the difference?

The most expensive model of the 2022 Honda Pilot is the Black Edition, which adds a variety of gloss black exterior features and sits on 20-inch black alloy wheels. Inside, this trim swaps out the blue LED interior lighting for red instead. It has exclusive Black Edition leather trim for the upholstery. Otherwise, this model is nearly identical to the Elite trim. It costs just over $1,000 more, and it is only worth it to those who really prefer the bolder look of the Black Edition.


Final Thoughts

The 2022 Honda Pilot costs more than most of its competitors. For that reason, buyers who have their hearts set on this SUV should stay near the bottom of the trim list. Considering the fact that all seven trim levels have identical engines and safety features, that is not actually that hard to do.

Many drivers will find that the Sport trim level is perfectly adequate. That said, the EX-L has several nice upgrades that make it worthwhile. Some parents may find that the power liftgate alone is worth paying extra for the EX-L. The TrailSport model, which is intended to be for off-road enthusiasts, does not have the features necessary to back up its sportier look or its increased price tag.

Families who take frequent road trips may want to get a model with a rear-seat entertainment system and an in-cabin PA system. This means going up to at least the Touring trim. Everyone else can probably save their money because the trims with those features are quite pricey.

For the majority of shoppers, the 2022 Honda Pilot EX-L is the best value for the money.

Previous Year Trim Configurations:

2021 Honda Pilot Trime Levels