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The gauge cluster display screen is also way more capable (i-MID I think it was called) on the Touring trim, allowing you to adjust many different vehicle parameters and monitor some things more closely (like each tire's pressure rather than a dummy light telling you pressure is low somewhere).
The "TPMS" on my 2003 Pilot reads the pressure in each tire individually.

 

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2015 EXL AWD Gray ext Black int
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I have an EX-L and don't find myself wanting the other features. Navigation will always be better on a phone. Perhaps the sound system is better. If you are in the market right now (first of all, sorry, it is tough out there) I think you want as many potential vehicles as possible. Good luck!
 

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I didn't know we "needed" the Touring until we got one.

The built-in navigation demands updates if you want to keep it current with road changes. How important that is depends on your location and driving habits. When I travel away from the local area, I use the built-in nav system a lot because it interrupts the music to share directions. If I'm headed towards major pockets civilization, I may call up directions on my smartphone and let it share cues via my smartwatch rather than a constant barrage of voice directions. My map options on the phone include the native Apple Maps application, plus Google Maps or Waze. I also keep a regularly-updated Garmin GPS unit handy, as it offers traffic and directions pretty well without depending on a cell data connection. Lots of options for nav. Note that you can get an EX-L with NAV -or- RES, but need Touring trim to get both.

Besides the features in Honda's promotional literature, the Touring includes a pretty impressive array of other Touring upgrades that didn't make the list. Most I "discovered" while reading the owner's manual PDF, downloaded from Honda's website. It was a long flight... Lots of features listed in the manual have mention that they are only available on certain trim levels. mrs dr bob grabs the same key set I use when she takes the Pilot, so I get to push the door button in the garage for driver memory to get seats and mirrors and other preferences instantly reset to me after she does the same when she drives. If she used the other key, it would happen whenever she unlocks with the key fob. If I unlock the car with the fob in the garage, of course everything would be ready before I open the door.

I do particularly enjoy the audio system in the Touring version, especially over the system in the base model.

The Touring version comes tow ready, with all the wiring and plugs already installed for you. It comes with roof rack rails factory installed but no crossbars. It has turn signal repeaters in the side mirrors. The machined aluminum wheels are specific to the Touring package. We like the three-zone auto climate control, but I think that may come in the EX-L trim too.

To the question about the voice-command system and how to enable it... It's already enabled. The bulk of the entertainment commands duplicate menu selections. Handy nav commands include "go home" regardless of menu location. You can command volume up or down, or a specific setting. Same with temperature settings, and it's certainly the easiest/fastest way to turn the rear climate system off if you need that. The rear camera in NAV versions has three "views", including a wide and a look-down. Wide is handy for backing out of parking spaces, while look-down gives you a better perspective for rear bumper clearance when backing up tight to something. Or getting the hitch ball under a trailer coupler. Touring also has bumper sensors for clearance when going slow. I think Honda shortchanged themselves and buyers when they didn't share a more comprehensive detail of the differences among the trim levels. Too many are discovered only by accident when playing with something, or by (gasp!!) reading the Owner's Manuals. Know that the nav and entertainment stack has the largest user manual in the package, a separate book dedicates to features that you might not otherwise even know you bought.

Our Touring trim was effectively chosen for us when we got the car. I recommend at least a deep dive into the upgrades list before you commit to a lesser trim level. For independent reasons, budget was not on our considerations list, but may be for others. Still, take a hard look. Here in the forums, there have been some recurring threads about how to add jus one or two of the upgrade features, but generally just a few of those Touring upgrades costs in the aftermarket will be more than the Touring package cost. I expect the car to last 200-250k, almost all of those miles with me stuck in it. That works out to somewhere around half a million minutes, or well over 8,000 hours (think four-plus work-years) at a very typical average speed of about 30 MPH. What do you want to be stuck in? (I used the same rationale to drive a decision on a barely used German muscle car vs. a new Accord a couple decades ago, when the costs were the same.)
 

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The "TPMS" on my 2003 Pilot reads the pressure in each tire individually.

Yup I've got one of those as well... and while it is extremely annoying when one of those sensors goes out 2 years before you need new tires it is nice to have for daily life, getting that alert before taking off on a flat or low tire.

If the Pilot will be shared regularly with another driver of significantly different stature, the two-position memory for the driver's seat could well be worthwhile.
My wife is 8" shorter and 175ish lbs lighter. Our seating positions and mirror orientations are just a little different and when we first got the Pilot we didn't have the Traverse so we were constantly swapping the kid hauler. I don't value leather seats but I do value the memory function if they have to be power.
 

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My wife is 8" shorter and 175ish lbs lighter. Our seating positions and mirror orientations are just a little different and when we first got the Pilot we didn't have the Traverse so we were constantly swapping the kid hauler. I don't value leather seats but I do value the memory function if they have to be power.
I had the memory seat function on my second Acura.
While I didn't share the vehicle with anyone else - and I'm not short - I'd swear that whoever brought the vehicles out of the service bay at the Acura dealer must have been an NBA center, because the seat was always set all the way back.
It was handy to be able to just push a button and have the seat - and steering wheel - return to my preferred setting.
 

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To control the climate control and everything else in the center stack, there are two buttons on the left side of the steering wheel behind the bluetooth buttons. The top one has a face on it. If you pull the button towards you, the Pilot will give you its speach. Just pull it again and say "What Time Is It" or "Driver Temperature 74 degrees" or read off one of the buttons for the navigation like "Destination". There is a full list of commands in the manual. The button underneath it is the cancel button and functions the same as the cancel button for the nav located by the big knob button thing at the bottom of the stack.

Yes you do have to pay for updates. But I use it more to duck through a neighborhood to avoid traffic and only update the nav once every two years. In those cases its already up and takes seconds to navigate instead of waiting for WAZ to load up and locate you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Thank you everyone for the response. It seems like I'm going to hold out for a touring, although they dont come up for sale often around here. There are multiple exls but it seems like I'd regret not going for the touring.
 

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Hi all,

I'm looking into buying a used pilot between 2012 and 2015. I've been holding out for a touring but I'm wondering if it's worth it when comparing to the exl. I'm not concerned with the DVD player, but is the navigation worth it? I've heard it's not that good. Any other features between the two trims that make a difference? Thanks.
 

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I have a 2011 Pilot Touring. The Nav is pretty worthless in my opinion. I always use Google Maps or Waze on my iPhone for navigation. I do occasionally bring it up just to see detail of where I'm driving, what crossroads are coming up, etc, but for nav and for finding restaurants, businesses etc along the route Google Maps is far superior.
 

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In Mexico phone worked better as car and hand held was "lost". GPS signal is GPS signal and some can predict when lost like in underground tunnel.
Military GPS was very accurate.
 

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I've got a 2011 EXL that I bought used in 2019 (with low mileage!) The EXL navigation system is clunky and outdated. Also the hands free interface with my phone is also dated/horrible. You can purchase an updated map cd for $150 but IMO a phone is better.
Love the heated leather front seats but it's almost too luxurious for me.
I haul around lots of sports gear and stuff and I want to get rid of the third row seats and the 2/3 second row seat for all the space they take up.
It's also weird how the back is sloped down. Everything loose in back slides downhill to the backdoor. Trying to car camp in back means I look for a hill to park on so the back is level.
I digress. The navigation system is not the reason to consider the EXL.
 

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Entirely personal thing. Some like to tinker, some just want a package with minimal effort. Do note that with 2012-2015, both Nav and RES will feel distinctly outdated. On other hand as you are getting used, the price difference will mainly hinge on mileage and condition, not trim level. Just looking at Edmunds, 2012-2015 Pilots, I am seeing a 2013 Touring with 145k miles for $16k and a 2013 Touring with 85k miles for $20k. Also seeing a 2013 EX at 94k for $17.5k, and a 2012 Touring with 91k at same price. When I got mine new back in 2012, I think the difference between EX and Touring was like $10-12k.

My reasons for not going above EX on my 2013:
I HATE leather seats.
I couldn't care less about the sunroof.
Stuff like trailer harness, roof rails, etc - that's accessories. Can be bought much cheaper online and easily installed.
I did want turn signal mirrors. So I found some aftermarket replacements and swapped them in. Cost about $150
I did want heated seats. So I got a couple kits from Amazon for both front and rear About $200. IIRC, EXL/Touring has heat only in front seats and front passenger has no heat in the seat back. I installed mine in a way that it heats the back without interfering with weight sensors.
The '650W' premium audio system is a lie. It is definitely not 650W RMS, and speakers are crap. A wee bit better crap than in lower trims, but still crap.
It was a very involved project that pushed $2k, but my EX now has a full Android Auto/Carplay touchscreen system with true 650W RMS setup that is FAR superior to what Touring has.

A note about being in dead zones: if you live in an area with sketchy phone reception, or might be headed into one, you can always download maps to be used offline.
Or you can get an aftermarket head unit that offers built-in navigation (in addition to phone options)

About only feature of the Touring that I wouldn't mind at all is the power tailgate. But I can manage without it.
 

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We have a 2012 Touring. Lots of great creature comforts, but only you can decide if the cost delta is worth it. I think all the differences have been covered here.

My wife now has a 2020 MDX and it has basically the old-style GPS system like the Pilot I now drive. She still prefers that over CarPlay or Android which it supports.

Get in one and check it out. Good luck.
 

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If the Pilot will be shared regularly with another driver of significantly different stature, the two-position memory for the driver's seat could well be worthwhile.
This is one of the biggest reasons why we got the Elite. My wife is 5’6” and I am 6’5”. The memory seats and mirrors make getting in the vehicle so much easier for me.
 

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I did want turn signal mirrors. So I found some aftermarket replacements and swapped them in
You can get aftermarket turn signals for the mirrors? I like that feature but can live without it. Mine is an ex-l.

Most of the stuff a touring has can be bought. Individual tpms sensors for each tire, kits on Amazon. GPS systems, the tow wiring is literally plug and play. Window shades, imo for less than the difference in price between the two models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I'm looking at a 2013 touring 103k miles listed for 19k clean carfax. It would have to be delivered to new york from Arizona. My question is I know the pilots last a long time, but is picking one up with 103k miles too much? Theres another 2013 touring with 84k listed for 22k. Thanks again
 

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I'm looking at a 2013 touring 103k miles listed for 19k clean carfax. It would have to be delivered to new york from Arizona. My question is I know the pilots last a long time, but is picking one up with 103k miles too much? Theres another 2013 touring with 84k listed for 22k. Thanks again
It depends.

Has the timing belt service been done, if not that's $1,500ish for either of them due to miles and/or age.

If they aren't throwing codes right now you should be good to immediately install a VCM discabler. IMO if you keep the fluids fresh, do the timing belt and disable the VCM the 2nd gen Pilots are easily a 200k vehicle.
 
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