Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
  • 10 Best AWD Cars & SUVs Under $25,000
  • 2014 Compact SUV Buyer's Guide
Go

2009 Honda Pilot

Overview
Share this page
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?

2009 Honda Pilot Review

By

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)

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?

2009 Honda Pilot Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 276 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
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

good family car

By on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "nice look, nice drive, lots of room"

Cons: "bad gas, , plain interior ,nothing special"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"we leased the 2012 pilot and have had a few problems with it. first the tire light was coming on quite often ..took it in they said it is just the tem change will make it happen...i ive in CA there is no real temp change that extreme!!then we heard a loud noise in the car when driving on the freeweay ..took it in to dealership and it was ball bearings, the car is only 2 years old!! not sure if i got a lemon or what but not keeping this pilot. thank goodness its covered under warrantee."

Excellent value

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfortable"

Cons: "fuel economy"

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

"I have had mine for over a year and I love it. In the beginning, the transmission shift points were not to my liking, but the car learned how I drive and now it's shift points are where I wanted them to be. Excellent on highway and long trips"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Excellent Family Car and traveling

By on Friday, July 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great Price. Good MPG. Holds 2 adults 4"

Cons: "radio lacking some options."

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

"Great car. Purchased one new for 29,000. We have put a lot of miles on this car in 1 year. Over 20,000. Lots of traveling on road trip up the mountains and to the beach. Handles great in the snow. Good MPG around 25MPG on long trips packed with 2 dogs and 4 small children. ONly complaint is the radio, lacks some controls. But the bluetooth is easy to use and the radio is very good. I love how the seats can move around. Easy to carry 2 adults 4 children and 2 dogs!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great SUV!!

By on Sunday, June 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, Roomy, Great Quality"

Cons: "Pricey"

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

"I love the Honda Pilot. This is the 2nd one that I have owned. My current Pilot has 105,000 miles & still going strong. It has never been in the shop, other than routine maintenance. This vehicle has plenty of room and drives great. In the past, I have owned another Pilot, a Chevy Trailblazer, and a Chevy Tahoe. For the money, I would have to say with the Pilot you get more bang for your buck. Although the Tahoe was a great vehicle, gas prices are much better with the V6 engine that you get with the Pilot. Also with Honda's reputation, I am sure this car will be good for at least another 100,000 miles."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Very good SUV

By on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Does almost every thing well, and in comfort"

Cons: "Plastic interior parts and clunky navigation"

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

"We leased a 2011 Touring 4WD, and bought it out at the end of the term because we really liked the car and it has been a very reliable SUV. It does most every thing well. Only complaints are that the navigation interface is kind of clunky and there is lots of cheap plastic inside the cabin. The carpet in the cargo area unfortunately grabs sand and debris and won't let go. Overall a very nice, roomy, dependable SUV that we expect will probably last us well for several more years. Don't think we could have made a better choice on a 2011 vehicle."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great Value and Car for the Money

By on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great value, easy to drive, safe, fast for segment"

Cons: "lacking in some new "2014 Features""

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

"By no means is this car considered to be in "luxury" segment, but in this car, its not missed. Its functional, practical, reliable, honest, and useful. In the two years we have owned this car, it has started up, every single time, without failure. The only place where this car is lacking is in the active safety features and cheap plastics on the interior. It should have BSM (Blind Spot Monitoring), LDW (Land Departure Warning), and FCW (Forward Collision Warning) seeing as this is a bigger car. Although the visibility is good, it would be nice to see and have added safety as children are typically in this car. Within the interior, there are many soft touch, padded, leather wrapped materials, but the center stack and dashboard are lacking in quality. They look cheap but the fit and finish is excellent. It has been very comfortable on long trips. The kids do not complain of anything in the back seats, and the front seats are very supportive and have a good range of motion. This car drives as a much smaller car yet, the limits are quickly approached, and there is a noticeable amount of body roll. It has a smooth 5 Speed A/T although that produces a smooth, agile, and refined ride, although if Honda Opted to go with a 6 or even 7 speed A/T this car would not suffer as much at the pump. Overall, we have been very happy with this vehicle as it has been easy to maintain, reliable, and comfortable."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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?

See if you qualify for
up
to
Cash Back
on a new
Details