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2008 Honda Pilot

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2008 Honda Pilot Review

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The 2008 Honda Pilot, the company's largest SUV offering, has earned a reputation for reliability, comfort and performance. Sharing a chassis with the Acura MDX has its benefits, and the Pilot sails into 2008 leading its class in just about every category. Although it offers seating for eight passengers, the Pilot is not nearly as bulky or cumbersome as most full-size SUVs and its silky-smooth V6 engine delivers strong performance coupled with superb fuel economy. The Pilot's uni-body construction permits the use of a sophisticated rear suspension that delivers an impressively smooth ride and agile handling. On the downside, this design limits the Pilot's tow rating to 4,500 pounds for boat trailers and 3,500 pounds for all others.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need the seating capacity of a bigger SUV, but not the usually bulky body and so-so handling that comes with it, check out the Pilot. Interior room is as outstanding as the power output of the V6 engine. And if you desire four-wheel drive, Honda's innovative VTM-4 system offers automatic engagement when needed and a manual locking function for dealing with those tougher situations.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Pilot's strong popularity makes it difficult to bargain on what is already a relatively steep price. Honda's "one package fits all" approach may turn off buyers who like to pick and choose their options. Those who need to tow more than 3,500 pounds will need to look elsewhere.

What's Significant About This Car?

The LX trim becomes the Value Package (VP) trim and the addition of popular features to the EX creates a new Special Edition trim.

Driving the Pilot

Driving Impressions In addition to its other attributes, the Pilot delivers an exceptional combination of road feel, steering feedback and ride comfort. Over practically any road surface, the Pilot maintains its composure...

with ease, riding quietly over smooth pavement with stability and poise. Performance is another Pilot strength, and the Pilot's V6 is capable of producing ample low-end torque along with impressive highway response. Honda's VTM-4 four-wheel-drive system distributes power between the front and rear wheels as needed, but its lack of a two-speed transfer case could inhibit true off-road adventuring. The system does, however, feature a locking mechanism that can be manually engaged at low speeds, ideal for low-traction situations such as mud or deep snow.

Four-Wheel Drive
Honda's VTM-4 four-wheel drive lets the Pilot go where most big SUVs wouldn't dare.

Navigation
The Pilot's optional navigation unit features a rear back-up camera.

2008 Honda Pilot Details
2008 Honda Pilot photo Interior

The Pilot's interior may make you feel you're in an Acura, as the optional perforated leather seats, navigation system or DVD entertainment package and a host of other creature comforts are all wrapped in quality materials. The Pilot's third-row seat is a bit cramped for adults, but should suit the little ones just fine. With the third-row seat folded, the Pilot gains a huge amount of usable cargo room. The built-in rear back-up camera is a great safety and convenience feature, but is limited to upper-end models equipped with navigation. On the flip side, we applaud Honda for making front side-impact and three-row head-curtain airbags standard on every model.

Exterior

In profile, the Honda Pilot mirrors much of the styling of the previous generation CR-V. A boxy greenhouse tempered by rounded corners, big side glass and a short hood create the Pilot's silhouette. The Pilot's front fenders, grille, headlamp and taillight treatment mimic the look established by Honda's pickup, the Ridgeline. Big flush-mounted headlamps flank an equally large grille and you'll find the Pilot's overall fit and finish is flawless. Built-in crumple zones helped the Pilot perform extremely well in its crash tests.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As with all Hondas, the Pilot offers its optional equipment packaged within each trim level. The base VP features a 244-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, five-speed automatic transmission, manual front and rear air conditioning, remote keyless entry, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), seven cup holders, dual power mirrors, XM Satellite Radio, AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD changer, front side-impact airbags, three-row side-curtain airbags, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, power windows, power locks, rear defroster, steering wheel-mounted controls, rear wiper/washer, Vehicle Stability Assist and machine-finished alloy wheels. The EX trim level adds automatic air conditioning, auto-off headlamps, heated side mirrors and an eight-way power driver's seat. The SE adds DVD rear entertainment, power moonroof and a 115-volt outlet.

Optional Equipment

Other than four-wheel drive, options are limited to the EX trim and are offered in a variety of packages. You can order the EX with leather, or with leather and rear-seat DVD player, or with leather and navigation, but you can't order a Pilot with navigation and the rear-seat DVD.

Under the Hood

Honda's more-than-competent 3.5-liter V6 fits the Pilot like a well-tailored suit. Powerful enough to climb hills, dart across busy intersections and pass with confidence, yet fairly easy on fuel, this engine is all about efficiency and quiet operation. An excellent repair history adds piece of mind.

3.5-liter V6
244 horsepower @ 5750 rpm (2WD), 244 horsepower @ 5600 rpm (4WD)
240 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (2WD), 15/20 (4WD)

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2008 Honda Pilot Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 898 Ratings for the 2003 - 2008 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Love it but has an odd design

By on Thursday, August 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 131,362

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Space, low cost maintainence, reliability"

Cons: "Gas mileage around town, FWD system"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I've owned my 2005 Pilot for about 6 months now and I have to say that it isn't a terrible car. I have to say tough... what is up with the FWD/AWD system. This car is by no means a small car but however I feel like if you added about 3,000 pounds and a lift kit to a Civic it would handle just like this Pilot. It's like driving a truck but it's FWD which is makes it feel weird when turning around corners. It also doesn't help when you are trying to take it off road... However as weird as it is to have a big SUV have FWD it does do very well in the snow as long as you have some kind of snow tires on. I do have to say minus the not so good gas mileage this car is great for going on road trips the fact that the seats can fold down or up and have the ability to fit any kind of suit cases or bags makes it a very nice bonus. Over all great car and would highly recommend!!!"

Great car!

By on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 242,922

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"My Pilot has been incredibly reliable for the last 13 years. Unfortunately a large truck hydroplaned into me yesterday and I must bid it farewell. I drove it home from the accident with the entire back end and side roped together, but the engine was purring like a kitten. My only negative comment would be that the interior started falling apart years ago. The engine was built better than the cosmetic interior. Work on that please Honda."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

What a great vehicle!

By on Thursday, July 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 230,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Dependable, comfortable ride, longevity"

Cons: "Gas mileage isn't like a Civic"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought our Pilot used with 110,000 miles on it. Since then, we have driven it around town, on trips, and even on dirt roads. This is the BEST car we have ever had! Just recently, we took a long trip and the vehicle we chose for the trip was the Pilot because it is the most comfortable for travelling. I have no idea how it was taken of before we purchased it, but we have done only routine maintenance - oil changes, a timing belt, water pump, a new battery and brakes once. Just before our trip, we put new rear shocks on it and were surprised to discover that the ones we were replacing were original equipment! We have had ZERO mechanical problems from this car. It now has 230,000 miles on it and is very dependable. I would drive cross country in it without a second thought. I would recommend the 03-08 Honda Pilot to anyone looking for a dependable, versatile, and comfortable vehicle."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

This has been the best vehicle I have ever owned

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 198,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Versatile! 4WD, 8 seats."

Cons: "Gas mileage could be a little better."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car the year they came out. Got on the waiting list and stalked the dealership. I have hauled kids, traveled across the country, took it camping in all kinds of areas, and just loved it. Seats eight comfortably, seats can fold down for hauling, and drive safely in all kinds of weather. It can parallel park with ease into the same space as a small sedan. Planned to trade it in for the new version at ten years old but do not like the new boxy body style. The 2003 Honda Pilot was the perfect, reliable, durable vehicle our family needed. Still runs like a charm and has only needed minimum maintenance."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Love everthing about this SUV. 3 rows of seating.

By on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 190,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Stylish look and fun to drive."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The perfect SUV for families of four or more. The third row seating is used a lot when traveling with additional family members or friends. Very comfortable seating for everyone. Honda hit another homerun with the 2005 Pilot."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Can't go wrong with this one!

By on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 225,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, good in slippery conditions, roomy"

Cons: "It can't last forever in our salt laden winters"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have owned since new. It has had a hard workout over the years in our snowy, salty, bumpy Vermont winters. We live on a back road that during the winter is covered with ice and is always full of holes. Our Pilot has taken it in stride. We have never had any major repairs period. If we can afford it, when we trade it will for another Pilot."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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