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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 295 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

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

SOLID RIDE, EASY TO MANEUVER CITY OR HIGHWAY

By on Sunday, November 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"PROS: COMFORTABLE RIDE, ROOM FOR MANY PASSENGERS OR LARGE AMOUNT OF CARGO. BEAUTIFUL INTERIOR WITH ADEQUATE CUP HOLDERS. REASONABLY PRICED. REMOTE TAILGATE IS A BIG HELP. CONS: GAS MILEAGE, ROAD NOISE, BOXY DESIGN, THIN LEATHER SEATS"

20 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Transmission leak / Cv boot leak

By on Thursday, November 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"Bought the SUV Brand new as soon as I brought it home it was leaking Transmission fluid it was repaired but I still saw some white fluid leaking. I brought it in again was told it was my imagination just paranoid. I brought it in for an oil change years later and was told my CV boot and was leaking. I don't know what to do at 38,000 miles now it is not covered under warranty. Besides these two problems I love this SUV. The third row seat is not for the claus·tro·pho·bic. I have 5 kids the interior is impossible keep clean. Gas guggler"

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Very smooth ride on long trips!

By on Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very smooth ride! Great in the snow!"

Cons: "third row seating is a little difficult to get to."

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

"I've owned Honda's pretty much all my audult life. Love the dependability of a Honda, and low maintenance. This Pilot drives like a dream on the Highway. Very smooth, 22 MPG and all the bells and whistles."

Extremely solid, quality car. EX with 4 wheel Dr.

By on Friday, October 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,300

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Quality, quite, feeling of weight. Good gas milage"

Cons: "None really"

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

"Ok, the square looks are not for everyone. I didn't buy for looks alone. The engine is very quite even at idle. Have had the car for over two years, and have only taken the car in for oil changes and to rotate tires. Everything still works. I have had zero problems with it. Rides soft, which is why wife wanted it. Quite well made car, made of quality products. I consider it a very good buy. The phrase "it's a Honda" says it all."

25 people out of 42 found this review helpful

Unbelievably reliable

By on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "reliable, easy to drive, easy to park"

Cons: "Blind spot on right rear."

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

"In 4 years of daily driving, nothing has broken on this car. Consistently gets 23 mpg on highway and 20 in town with 4wd."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Very reliable, solid vehicle.

By on Monday, October 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price and holds value!"

Cons: "Some issues with interior cabin parts becoming det"

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

"I have owned since new. Vehicle is five years old with 115K miles and some small attachments are breaking like cargo fasteners, rubber liner for sunroof. Also, I had to replace the power steering shaft at 90K and the rear wiper has a short and not worked for last 4 months. Overall decent vehicle and comfortable for 7 - 8 passengers. Similarly equipped, this vehicle was $5K less than an Acadia in 2009 but holds its value better."

15 people out of 26 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

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