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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.
Favorite Features

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 257 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 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

Not getting my money's worth.

By on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Good gas mileage."

Cons: "Fit not up to stds. Braking on downhill! Aye!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Nice ride. Navigation not easy to operate. Voice command can't understand what you say. braking on steep downhill - front end shakes and vibrates, can't apply brakes hard."

Great vehicle for the money

By on Sunday, March 30, 2014

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

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I purchased a 2014 have already put 10000 mi. on it ,went to Florida and back averaged around 21 MPG,NICE RIDE AND COMFORT,since owning have averged 18.9 MPG ABOUT 50/50 DRIVING.I traded a 2013 CRV with 24000 mi. in for the pilot to get more cargo space and,comfort,and it accomplised that mission,the CRV is also a great vehicle, but not enough space for my needs.I plan on driving this pilot for a long time,it can do it all with the 3rd row seating and towing capacity and the MPG not that bad for the size of vehicle,it also does very well in the IL. snow."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

My favorite vehicle, ever!!!

By on Friday, March 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

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: "Comfort, space, ride quality, smooth transmission!"

Cons: "None"

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

"My first Pilot was an '05 model, that I had for 7 years and 100K miles. Now I have a new 2014 EX 4WD that I love already. It's more hi-tech than my first Pilot, with a Bluetooth hands-free link and USB/MP3 ports. It's got the same strong, smooth engine and transmission as my first Pilot. Same spacious interior and cargo area. Same wonderful, smooth ride. A significantly quieter interior that blocks out almost all road noise. An even more beautiful exterior, that is unlike most other modern SUVs that have an ugly, glorified station wagon look. The same solid, very tough build. I love everything about this Pilot and if I were Honda, would not change a thing. It's a terrific vehicle!!!!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Fantastic multu-purpose vehicle

By on Monday, March 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfy, roomy, fun, versatile, pretty, practical"

Cons: "Nothing yet"

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

"Had this SUV for 6 months of touring western US. Ran great in desert, beachside, and in mountains. Incredible space, and comfort for family of 7: 5 adults + 2 kids. We all fit and were very comfortable and all our "stuff" for a week in Yellowstone fit. Lots of nice extras like plenty of cup holders, lights for each row, hidden storage spaces, electric outlets, ... Ran great, got 18 mpg fully loaded, 4WD got us easily through some snow issues and mountain passes. Now setting it to tow a travel trailer - can tow a max of 4,,,,500 lbs. with its 4WD. Looks great, super visibility for driver, great stereo- played our iPods and we could adjust it play to only in front, all over, or only back. Same with AC and heater - each section of car could adjust to their needs. An A+++ ranking from our family. Mahalo Honda!"

11 people out of 14 found this review helpful

A good reliable car

By on Thursday, March 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good solid workhorse"

Cons: "Road noise"

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

"It is good and solid, with a comfortable ride and plenty of pep. The only negative I can think of is the very annoying, excessive road noise."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Disappointing for the price paid.

By on Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"Very disappointing gas mileage, both city and hwy. 18-19/22-23 Computer system is difficult to use and looks like a last minute add on. Nav. system is very difficult to operate and not up to date. Need touch system Back floor is slanted to the rear so that items slide out. Oil change at 3750 is very outdated. Most new cars are between 5000 and 7500. Downshift to 3rd gear is outdated. Most new cars downshift with touch of the brake. Sound system is adequate but not premium. Transmission should be a six speed. Comments are on a 2013 Honda Pilot Touring with all available options."

1 person out of 3 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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