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2009 Honda Pilot Review

Redesigned for 2009, the Honda Pilot has a car-like ride, a flexible interior and great safety scores, which makes it a good all-around used crossover for families. However, some rival 2009 midsize SUVs offer more refinement and better performance.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • Car-like maneuverability
  • Versatile interior
  • Great safety scores
  • Not much fun to drive




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 8.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Honda Pilot Overview

The three-row 2009 Honda Pilot offers a lot that families need in an SUV. It has a configurable interior that can hold lots of cargo or up to eight people, and its V6 engine provides plenty of power. Its car-like ride also means that the Pilot handles more comfortably and maneuvers more easily than competing truck-based SUVs. Available all-wheel drive means that the Pilot is sure-footed in inclement weather, and it offers more seatbelts than many competitors. The Pilot’s 2009 redesign also means updated interior features when compared with the 2008 model, with a cabin that’s comfortable and functional, if not very upscale. Despite its strengths not all reviewers liked the Pilot’s boxy styling.

The 2009 Honda Pilot comes with a V6 engine that’s paired with either front- or all-wheel drive. While reviewers said the Pilot’s all-wheel drive system provides good grip, it’s not as capable off-road as rugged, truck-based SUVs. Standard features are fairly basic and include six-way manually-adjustable front seats, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel and six-speaker stereo, while higher trims add upgrades like leather upholstery, navigation, a rear-seat DVD system and a nine-speaker stereo with speed-sensitive volume control. If you’re in the market for a practical eight-seat SUV that will spend most of its time on paved roads, the Honda Pilot is a good choice. Otherwise, there are many rivals in the class that are better all-around crossovers.

See the full 2009 Honda Pilot specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the Pilot but want better-than-average fuel economy, consider the base four-cylinder 2009 Toyota Highlander. Though the Pilot has more passenger space, the Highlander has a particularly car-like ride.

The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse is one of the best SUVs in its class, with more cargo space than almost any other 2009 midsize SUV. The Traverse also offers a spacious, comfortable third row, which makes it a better choice if you have adult passengers. The Traverse is also a smart choice thanks to its good safety scores.

Compare the Pilot to the Highlander and Traverse »

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