2009 Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot is the second SUV fully built and designed by Honda. The Honda Pilot is built in Alliston, Ontario, Canada and Lincoln, Alabama. Honda's initial SUV offering for many years was the Honda Passport, which was a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo. Where the Passport was truck-based, the Pilot shares underpinnings and the powertrain with the Acura MDX, which has a lineage tracing back to the Honda Odyssey minivan (itself based on the global light truck chassis). The Pilot’s unibody construction, however, is fortified with integrated perimeter frame rails, which helps it withstand light off-road use.

The Pilot was designed to fill a large American demand for SUVs. Prior to the introduction of the Pilot, Honda only had the smaller CR-V based on the Civic platform, and the aforementioned Passport. However, the CR-V lacked in features many American consumers looked for in an SUV, which are overall size, passenger space, and towing capacity. The Pilot is at most designed to withstand light duty off roading. The Pilot has been a best-seller for Honda and is exclusively sold in North America, while Japan and Australia get its relative, the Honda MDX instead.

See Autopedia's comprehensive Honda Pilot Review.

Recent Changes[]

  • For 2009, Honda introduces the second generation Pilot.[1] Remaining an 8 seater, the new pilot grows in size. Motivation now comes from an upgraded variant of Honda's 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 which pumps out 250 hp and 253 lbs-ft of torque (6 hp and 13 lbs-ft more than before). The engine also features a new version of Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management technology, allowing it to utilize all 6 cylinders for power or 4 or 3 pots for economy. This means that although larger and more powerful, the new pilot can still churn out at least 2 mpg better fuel consumption.[2]

For 2006, the Honda Pilot got new front and rear fascias, an updated interior, and various standard safety features.[3]

Like the MDX, the Pilot is propelled by an aluminum alloy 3.5 L SOHC, 24-valve VTEC V6 engine. The engine is rated at 250 hp and 253 ft·lbf of torque, and mated to a five-speed automatic. The Pilot weighs in at a little over 4,300 lb with front-wheel-drive and 4,600 lb with all-wheel-drive. Also, like the MDX, the Pilot rides on struts up front with a coil-spring, multi-link arrangement at the rear designed to allow a flat load floor. The Pilot has a 3,500 lb trailer towing capability.

Styles and Major Options[]

The Pilot is available in both two wheel drive and four wheel drive in LX,EX, EX-L, and Touring trims.



  • 250-hp, 3.5-liter, 24-valve SOHC i-VTEC® V6 engine
  • 5-speed automatic transmission with Grade Logic Control System
  • Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™)
  • 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system (ABS) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags (SRS) with weight and position sensors
  • Front side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)

Rear Entertainment Center available on the Pilot EX-L

  • 60/40 split flat-folding second- and third-row bench seats
  • AM/FM/CD audio system with four speakers
  • Remote entry
  • Active Control Engine Mount system (ACM)
  • Drive-by-Wire Throttle System™
  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
  • Direct ignition system with Immobilizer
  • Unit-body construction
  • MacPherson strut front suspension
  • 19" alloy wheels
  • Driver's and front passenger's seat belt reminder
  • Three-row side curtain airbags with rollover sensor
  • Side-impact door beams
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) with traction control
  • Outboard Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) (2nd-row)
  • Body-colored body side molding
  • Projector beam halogen headlights
  • Front and rear air conditioning with air-filtration system
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®)-on indicator
  • Maintenance minder system

4WD LX Adds to or replaces 2WD features:

  • Variable Torque Management® 4-wheel-drive system (VTM-4®)









2WD Touring

4WD Touring




















Destination Charge on all trims: $670

Gas Mileage[]

The new 2WD models are equipped with a standard Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system that combines Pilot muscle with added efficiency. VCM is designed to boost mileage and economy without sacrificing power when and where you need it. While under light engine load conditions, the VCM system deactivates the three rear cylinders. This pioneering technology lets you go longer between fill-ups and enables an EPA highway rating of 24 MPG. Happy trails.

The 2WD gats an EPA estimated 17/23 MPG and the 4WD gets an estimated 16/22 MPG.[1]


The Honda Pilot comes with a 3 year/36,000 miles Limited Warranty and a 5 year/60,000 miles Limited Powertrain Warranty. Ordinary maintainance or adjustments, parts subject to normal wear and replacement, and certain items are excluded.

The Pilot ranks first overall in reviews of popular mid-size SUVs on

  • RECALL ALERT: On December 23, 2010, Honda issued a recall alert affecting 10,823 MY2011 Honda Pilot and Accord V6s improperly tightened bolts that attach the front dampers to the suspension, possibly resulting in a failure in the front suspension. In addition, the spindle nuts may be loose as well, and both issues could cause a loss of steering. According to USA Today, the newest problem is due to a malfunction in the software that controls the machines that tighten bolts at the factory. Dealers will inspect and replace the damper bolts and spindle nuts if necessary free of charge, and owners can expect to be notified as soon as December 23, 2010. This recall is filed under NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V640000. [2]


As evidence of Honda's dedication to safety, the Pilot has received a 5-star rating in frontal- and side-impact testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Additional safety features have been added this year, including three-row side curtain airbags with rollover sensor and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) with traction control. Plus, Pilot models with the navigation system feature a standard rearview camera that helps you watch for obstacles when you select the reverse gear. However the 2014 model got a poor rating at the IIHS (Insurance Institute For Highway Saftey) because the footwell moved into the driver. Pictures below and video



When it's smooth sailing, VCM™ (2WD) kicks in


The Honda Pilot is versatile with its 87.6-cu.-ft. interior cargo area


  • Amazon Green Metallic
  • Desert Rock Metallic
  • Formal Black
  • Redrock Pearl
  • Sage Brush Green
  • Steel Blue Metallic
  • Taffeta White
  • Billet Silver Metallic

Main Competitors[]

Hybrid Models[]

Honda has made no announcements on making a hybrid version of the Pilot yet, but it is rumored.

Resale Values[]

Pilot Model Year





Resale Values

$20,800 - $23,425

$23,150 - $26,075

$25,250 - $29,400

$26,995 - $35,245


A few noteworthy critiques from Joe Wiesenfelder of of the Honda Pilot:

  • Lack of low-range gearing
  • Short seat bottoms
  • Nonstandard radio controls
  • Occasional uncertainty in turns


First Generation (2003-2008)[]


2006 Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot was an all-new model for 2003. It came in two trims (LX and EX) and was initially only available as a 4WD model.

For 2004 the Pilot recieved added features including standard heated seats and heated side mirrors on EX-L models. Also the second row seats can now be adjusted fore and aft and third-row access has been improved.

For 2005 the Pilot recieved added features including a standard sunroof and six-disc CD changer for EX-L models. Also the Pilot recieved a new steering wheel design and added exterior colors. Engine power is also increased to 255 horsepower, a tire pressure monitoring system and an all electronic Drive By Wire Throttle System are also newly added standard features.

For 2006, the exterior is slightly updated to incorporate design cues from the Ridgeline, while the interior gets a refreshening that includes new seat fabrics and a modified instrument panel design. Also, all trims of the Pilot include side curtain airbags as standard equipment. In addition, in the 2006 model year, a 2WD becomes available.


It is sold as the Honda MR-V in the Middle East exclusively.

Design quirks and oddities[]

Only for the 2005 model year, and only for the 2005 Pilot EX-L with rear seat DVD player, many Honda Pilot owners complained about the cluttered center dash due to the fact that it had 3 CD slots. One for the CD player, one for the CD changer and one for the DVD player. This minor design odditie was resolved for the 2006 model year, when the pilots CD changer was integrated into the main radio system, eliminating the three CD slots and uncluttering the dash by only having one Disc insert slot for the CD changer and one for the DVD player.


  • The Honda Pilot wins the IntelliChoice "Best Overall Value of the Year" in the intermediate sport utility class
  • The Pilot won "Consumers' Most Wanted" Award for 2005
  • The Pilot won Residual Value Award from ALG
  • NHTSA gives the Honda Pilot Five Stars for Safety
  • The 2006 Honda Pilot won the Best in Class crossover award from Kiplinger's
  • Car and Driver magazine's Best Large SUV for 2002 through 2007 (Been one of the Top Five Trucks evey year of production)
  • AMI Auto World awarded the title of "World Family Vehicle of the Year" to the Pilot.
  • Kelley Blue Book named the Pilot one of the "Top 50 Most Popular Cars"



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External Links[]

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Honda Pilot. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Autopedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.