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 312 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

Great vehicle!

By on Monday, June 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Lots of room."

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

"This is my second Honda Pilot and I am very happy with it. The 2011 model offers lots of cargo and passenger room."

34 people out of 61 found this review helpful

LOVE my Pilot Touring. First car at this level

By on Monday, June 22, 2015

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

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quality, roomy, fun to drive, bigger on the inside"

Cons: "gas pedal angle, sloping cargo floor,"

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

"Purchased my Honda Certified Pre-owned 2011 Pilot-Touring off a 2 yr lease that was turned in early, 17K mi. I had to replace front bushings in my 2nd year of ownership(about 49k mi) but Honda service replaced both for $200 when it was just out of warranty range. No other problems, drives like a dream. There is more road noise than should be at this luxury level of a car but far better than my old Odessey(which I also loved). The Pilot is bulkier than the Odessey Mainly because you can see the hood! However, it handles just as easily and you get used to it. The Pilot parks with ease but takes some getting used to if you are moving up from a smaller car. I really like sitting up higher and feel safe. Love the bumper impact warning sensors! Smooth luxurious ride. It has an excellent turning radius. I love the third row useable seat but a little hard to get to for many adults. Still has nice room behind 3rd row seats. Lots of room with all of seats folded down. Easy to transform to needed configuration. I would buy another certified Pre Owned Pilot Touring. Bad things: 1-Front passenger seat is beginning to show tiny cracks in the leather already. This shouldn't be happening. Cargo floor slopes a little when all seats are folded down. Flat would be nice but not critical. 2-The Pilot's Gas pedal is at an slightly odd angle. Both my husband and I noticed it right off. Hard to rest your foot. I got used to it. Noticeable on long trips. 3-Gas mileage is about 17 avg., as stated. 4-some road noise but not bad. I expected even less though, at this luxury level."

16 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Great vehicle. Terible mileage

By on Tuesday, June 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "All of the amenities"

Cons: "Terrible in town mileage."

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

"I love my Pilot. I do not like the mileage I get in town. Sticker said 17 to 24 mpg. I get as low as 12 in town and a reasonable 23 on the highway. I have had no issues with this vehicle and I would buy another if and when the time is right."

20 people out of 52 found this review helpful

I LOVE MY PILOT TOURING!

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

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

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: "Fun to drive, Smart interior, good gas mileage"

Cons: "none"

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

"This is my all time favorite car! This is my second one after my 2004 Pilot that has over 160,000+ problem free miles on it. I know that this is really early to say if the car is any good or not but I can already tell that it is superior to everything else! I know that the design is old but it is so smart and everything just works the way that it should. I looked at everything under the sun before going back to the Pilot. This includes Mercedes-Benz and other way more premium cars and the Pilot in my opinion is still the best! There is nothing that has the quality and the value of the Pilot or has the smart interior of this car. Also the exterior is tastefully traditional SUV which makes it not look like a tall Minivan without sliding doors. The powertrain is super smooth and gets excellent gas mileage! Honda really hit it out of the park with this car, if you purchase one you will not be disappointed!"

34 people out of 60 found this review helpful

pretty satisifed

By on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,800

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I love the SE model on the pilot, but chose for affordability to go with the LX. The seating is extremely comfortable. Very roomy and handles well."

12 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Love It!

By on Sunday, April 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"My husband did not want anything but a Chevy, Ford, or Dodge. I wanted a CRV. He went with me so I wouldn't make an impulsive decision (ha ha). He loved the look, the ride, the mechanics, the price, and that most of it was made or assembled in the USA or Canada. He refused to test drive the CRV, but we left that day with the Pilot. I was reluctant, but it won me over too. The third seat is ideal for extra passengers and we have lots of room. The mileage is about 18-22 MPG, depending on in town or highway driving. The only thing that bothers me is, I usually have to back in and out of the parking space to get the big vehicle in the center of the parking spot. People still manage to give me "dings". I imagine that happens with most large vehicles. We plan to keep it for a long time."

22 people out of 38 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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?

Advertisement