After much research and comparison shopping, we decided on the EX-L w/AWD, and feel like we hit the jackpot-especially in the value category. I am more fond of this vehicle each week. It now has 5K miles, and has really proven itself to be the ultimate in practical suburban family vehicle. We also looked at the 07 Highlander, and nearly fell asleep at the wheel in the showroom. Also considered a certified X3, but cargo area way too small. The Pilot is no Ferrari, but it is predictable, comfortable and sure footed. We have taken it on several comfortable weekend road trips. When my died-in-the-wool car snob father drove it (drives a Lexus GX & BMW Z3) said "wow, this is impressive!
Safety ratings (utmost priority), practicality, value, resale prediction, comfort, power, easy to drive (like a taller, longer Accord) plain and simple sensibility, rear seat A/C for our toddler son. Probably won't ever need third row, but like that it was included if needed. simple options packages.
Would like Honda to use more performance oriented tires for us midwesterners that drive in rain, snow & ice. Leather not as nice as in our 03 Accord EX-L V6. Husband would like auto-locking doors when put into gear & memory seat for driver. Not a big deal though! Shifter a bit annoying at times.