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2009 Honda Pilot

Overview
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2009 Honda Pilot Review

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In its first-generation, the Honda Pilot earned a reputation for reliability, comfort and practicality. With seating for eight and ample room for stuff, this crossover echoed what people liked about SUVs without the heft or poor fuel economy as trade-offs. New-for-2009, the second generation Pilot offers even more spacious seating for eight, plenty of convenience-oriented features and respectable gas mileage. However, with the growth of the midsize crossover in the last few years, the Pilot faces more competition than ever, and now must stand out from the likes of the Mazda CX-9, Chevy Traverse, Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a true eight-passenger vehicle that offers more on- and off-road capabilities than a minivan, the 2009 Honda Pilot belongs on your list. It can accommodate three child seats in the second row and actually fit adults in the third row.

You May Not Like This Car If...

With the Pilot's limited stand-alone option choices, you will have to opt for a higher trim if you want a premium sound system, USB port, moon roof or heated front seats. Those looking for a base model with a few choice extras that won't break the bank may be more interested in the Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander or Ford Explorer.

What's New for 2009

The all-new, second-generation 2009 Honda Pilot is bigger and more powerful than its predecessor. It also gets slightly better gas mileage, thanks to updated Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology, which allows its six-cylinder engine to run on four or even three cylinders. Other new available features include Hill Start Assist, tri-zone auto climate control and a rearview mirror camera display.

Driving the Pilot

Driving Impressions The 2009 Honda Pilot antiquates the previous generation in every way. The suspension is firm, but not bouncy, making the ride stable with minimal body roll considering its SUV stature....

The steering is precise and well-isolated when going over bumpy roads at almost any speed. In-cabin noise is also greatly reduced from the previous generation and is noticeably quieter than that of the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer. Another big difference between the Pilot and it competitors is its responsive engine. Although the Highlander moves along just as quickly when it comes to getting onto a freeway or traversing rocky terrain, the Pilot seems to accelerate more quickly than its American competitors and their respective V8 offerings.

Rearview Mirror Camera Display
Available on the EX-L trim, this 2.5-inch LCD display – conveniently located in the rearview mirror – shows you what's behind the vehicle while in reverse.

Second Row Seating
A little bigger than in the previous generation, the 2009 Honda Pilot's second row offers more room for passengers and also provides LATCH systems for three child seats.

2009 Honda Pilot Details
2009 Honda Pilot photo Interior

The 2009 Honda Pilot's interior is a large step up from the previous generation. Ergonomics and simplicity are the key themes, as the radio and climate controls are easier to reach and the column shifter has been replaced with an instrument-panel mounted one. Passenger legroom was increased in all three rows, adding an inch to the second row and almost two inches to the third. Cargo space is still abundant thanks to multiple storage spaces and an under-floor storage in the trunk area. And, for the occasional wider load, the vehicle is broad enough to accommodate four-foot wide items when the seats are folded flat.

Exterior

The 2009 Honda Pilot has a rugged, boxy SUV look that gives no hint of its car-like driving dynamics. Body changes from the previous generation include a longer wheelbase, the use of Honda's high-strength Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure in the front to absorb energy and mitigate frontal impacts, a standard integrated tow hitch and a lift-up glass hatch on the tailgate. Aesthetically, the new front fascia stands out, especially the six-sided grille, and the larger 17-inch wheels fill out the wheel wells in style.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2009 Honda Pilot comes with sport cloth seats, remote entry system, automatic headlights, power windows, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 17-inch wheels, front and rear air conditioning, an integrated rear cargo net and under-floor storage, auxiliary input jack and an AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers and a subwoofer. The EX, EX-L and Touring Pilots add an eight-way power driver's seat, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, daytime running lights and heated side mirrors.

Optional Equipment

Most of the additional features for the 2009 Honda Pilot are tied to trim level and are not available as stand-alone extras. These options include a 512-watt AM/FM/six-disc CD premium audio system with ten speakers, leather seats, power moonroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, navigation system with voice recognition and rearview camera, 115-volt power outlet, a USB port and second-row integrated sun shades. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system is available only on the EX-L and Touring trims.

Under the Hood

The 2009 Honda Pilot's engine comes equipped with updated Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology, allowing for an uptick in horsepower and torque, as well as improved fuel economy. This VCM technology, similar to the system used in the current Honda Accord, allows the vehicle to seamlessly run on three, four, or six cylinders, depending on driving conditions and requirements. Previously, an earlier version of VCM had only been available on two-wheel-drive models of the Pilot.

3.5-liter V6
250 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
253 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 (2WD), 16/22 (4WD)

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2009 Honda Pilot Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 286 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Rides like a Caddy!

By on Monday, August 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Prob most comfy SUV out there."

Cons: "GAS!!!! It's like driving a V-8 towing 10,000lbs!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Perfect SUV! I've wanted for years and I leased the 2014 EX-L 2WD. Buuuut, the gas mileage is by far the worst out of the 13+ cars I've owned. At one time, in my young adult before kids life, owned a Ford F-150 Harley Davidson which has a supercharger in it averaging 11 mpg. I'm averaging 12mpg 50/50 city/hwy. Not impressed! Honda has some work to do with their SUV's regarding gas mileage."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great value in SUV

By on Sunday, August 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great features for price - excellent value for SUV"

Cons: "gas mileage not as good as expected"

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

"Pilot balances need to haul people/stuff with decent features. We selected the vehicle primarily for safety and ability to transport lots of people. Very satisfied in these areas. There is actually less space than the minivan we owned previously, however. A bit of a surprise. The fold down capability of the seats helps. Our Pilot has been extremely reliable with very little cost to repair or maintain. The quality of the interior is very nice. Leather has held up well to three teenagers and pets. The appearance of the Pilot is a little boxy and the interior is sparse. We feel this will probably affect its resale vs. other sumptuously appointed and rounded SUVs."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

great car,

By on Monday, August 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "over all great everything"

Cons: "gas mileage not the best"

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

"Have loved this car. Comfortable,beefy, drives great.Bought it because I was commuting far& we can have nasty road conditions in winter. Handled very well in bad weather. Retiring & don't need this type car now. Will miss it"

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

All Around Great SUV

By on Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Easy to drive; lots of room; good gas mileage"

Cons: "Having to CLIMB in; loud noise windows partly down"

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

"There are a few things I certainly would change on the interior, and the $30,000 price is steep, however, the 2014 Honda Pilot is almost like home on wheels without the trailer like look or the lousy gas mileage! I hope to have it for many many years like I did my Honda Accord for 12 years that I bought new, and my most recent 15-year-old CR-V that I bought new."

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Very useful

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Space, Fuel economy, storage"

Cons: "Bit of wind noise."

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

"Spacious interior. Good storage bins. Nice seating arrangement. Good thigh support for second row. Great fuel economy. I drive carefully and I have been averaging 25mpg. around 30 percent city and 70 percenthighway. 65mph speed. Smooth acceleration and deceleration and coasting when you can is key to good mpg."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Good SUV, Lots of interior seating.

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Lots of seating space."

Cons: "Gas mileage sucks."

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

"The only thing I do not like about the SUV is the fuel mileage. I felt it should have the ability to get better mileage."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?