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2011 Honda Pilot

Overview
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2011 Honda Pilot Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

Upon its introduction, the Honda Pilot quickly earned a reputation for reliability, comfort and practicality. With seating for eight persons and ample room for all their stuff, this crossover echoed what people liked about SUVs without the heft or poor fuel economy as trade-offs. Benefiting from a complete redesign in 2009, the 2011 Pilot carries on offering a spacious interior, plenty of convenience-oriented features and respectable gas mileage. However, with the growth of the mid-size 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, Hyundai Veracruz and the new 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 2011 Honda Pilot belongs on your list. It can accommodate three child seats in the second row and comfortably fit two adults in the third-row seat.

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 2011

For 2011, Honda's voice-activated satellite navigation system is now available on both the EX-L and Touring trims.

Driving the Pilot

Driving Impressions For such a large vehicle, the 2011 Honda Pilot delivers a surprisingly calm and capable driving experience. 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. While In-cabin noise seems noticeably quieter than many large crossovers we've tested, it's more an intuitive rather than scientific observation. 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
The 2011 Honda Pilot's second row offers excellent room for taller passengers and also provides LATCH systems for three child seats.

2011 Honda Pilot Details
2011 Honda Pilot photo Interior

Benefiting from Honda's simple but elegant design philosophy, the 2011 Pilot's interior emphasizes maximum room with minimal clutter. Ergonomics and simplicity are the key themes, as the radio and climate controls are placed within easy reach and gear selection is operated via an instrument-panel mounted shifter. Passenger legroom is generous in all three rows – a rarity in some three-row vehicles – as is head and shoulder room. Cargo space is still abundant thanks to multiple storage spaces and 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
2011 Honda Pilot photo

The 2011 Honda Pilot has a rugged, boxy SUV look that gives no hint of its car-like driving dynamics. A long wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs create a purposeful stance, while the use of Honda's high-strength Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure in the front helps absorb energy and mitigate frontal impacts. Other conveniences include a standard integrated tow hitch and a lift-up glass hatch on the tailgate. Aesthetically, the bold front fascia stands out, especially the six-sided grille, and the large 17-inch wheels fill out the wheel wells in style.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2011 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. Exclusive to the EX-L is a rearview camera with a display screen imbedded in the rearview mirror.

Optional Equipment

Most of the additional features for the 2011 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, corner and rear backup sensors, power tail gate, side mirror turn signals, 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 2011 Honda Pilot's engine comes equipped with 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.

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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2011 Honda Pilot Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 274 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

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!"

2 people out of 2 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."

7 people out of 14 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."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I've ever owned!

By on Thursday, June 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,678

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "roomy, fun to drive, economically sound"

Cons: "maintenance costly; dealership hikes up prices"

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

"I had always heard about the great reviews Honda vehicles got year in and year out. However, I was never financially able to own one. The first chance I got and when I did become financially able, I purchased one. Now I know why other Honda owners have cars that are 10, 15, & 20 years old. I love this vehicle. So much so that I bought it for myself. I bought my wife another vehicle from another brand and she immediately switched with me because of how much she liked the overall better quality and feel. Guess I'm stuck unless I can financially buy another!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

My 5th Honda Pilot

By on Wednesday, June 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Plenty of room and easy to drive."

Cons: "Fit and trim is marginal."

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

"I have owned a 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010 and now a 2012 Honda Pilot. I love them but have noticed that the quality of interior fit and trim has gone down. In addition the software has become much more difficult to set up and use. I am hoping this will improve for the 2015 Model, if not I may have to look at Toyota."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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