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There’s one version of the 2022 Honda Pilot that most people are buying. Sometimes, popularity isn’t always a sign that something is good. That bears the question, is the most popular 2022 Honda Pilot actually the best? We compare the best-selling Pilot trim with those recommended by experts.

2022 Honda Pilot. Is the most popular trim actually the best? Everyone is buying the Special Edition SE model.
2022 Honda Pilot | Honda

According to KBB, the 2022 Honda Pilot is available in seven trim levels. They are Sport, EX-L, Special Edition (SE), TrailSport, Touring, Elite, and Black Edition. For the base models, Honda charges $38,000, while the highest trim will cost you $50,000. However, KBB says the most popular version of the Pilot so far is right in the middle. Most customers buy the 2022 Honda Pilot Special Edition model, which starts at around $40,000.

Why does everyone want the Pilot SE?

Every Honda Pilot model comes with excellent features like one of the roomiest third rows in its class. However, the SE model brings some features to the table that cheaper models don’t offer. Firstly, LED low-beam headlights and fog lights make nighttime driving easier. Next, black-painted 20-inch alloy wheels and a hands-free power liftgate make the Pilot a stylish, convenient ride.

In addition, the SE trim adds tri-zone climate control, so everyone on board is happy with the temperature. Next, heated front seats are standard, and second-row sunshades are great for blacking out the rear passengers for a road trip nap. Finally, every Pilot model comes with the Honda Sensing suite of safety features. This comes with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, road departure mitigation, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. Only rain-sensing wipers are missing from the SE model, exclusive to the Elite and Black Edition trims.

According to Car and Driver and Edmunds, the Special Edition (SE) model is the best version of the Pilot. It turns out that consumers have it right for this particular model. Firstly, CAD recommends the 2022 Honda Pilot SE because it “represents the best combination of features and price.” With black 20-inch wheels, a hands-free power liftgate, leather-trimmed upholstery, roof rails, second-row sunshades, a sunroof, and wireless charging, it’s exactly what a $40,000 SUV should be. Additionally, all-wheel drive is worth the extra $2,000 because it raises the tow rating to 5,000 pounds.

On the other hand, Edmunds recommends the Pilot SE because it’s similar to the EX-L model. Their experts say the EX-L is an excellent choice with its heated seats, leather, and Apple CarPlay, but the SE trim pushes it over the top. The SE model adds everything CAD mentioned to the EX-L trim for a minimal price increase. Both publications agree that consumers should purchase the same 2022 Honda Pilot.

The most popular 2022 Honda Pilot SE trim is actually the best, according to the experts. It’s recommended because of its fair price point and great features. Higher trims are too expensive, and lower trim levels don’t offer enough equipment for the cash. However, buyers and experts agree the Special Edition model is right in the sweet spot, with plenty of bang for your buck without breaking the bank.


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