While the name and a minute number of parts remain the same, the 2009 Honda Pilot is a new vehicle. Every piece of sheetmetal and glass, every mechanical component, and every feature has been gone through yielding a just slightly larger Pilot that put all the space to use inside. And unlike many similar designs it didn’t gain too many pounds.
An eight-passenger Pilot can handle four adults and four kids easily, or four infant seats if you have the earplugs. It has useful cargo space beyond the third-row seats so you needn’t fold one to fit a cooler or week’s worth of groceries. And with six cupholders in the second row alone, eight door cargo pockets and the ability to carry a 4×8-foot sheet of building material flat inside, finding a place for everything isn’t an issue.
Apart from perhaps flexibility and fuel economy for like vehicles the Pilot doesn’t strike one as superior in any given aspect, but rather feels like a well balanced vehicle that maintains average or better performance in any number of areas; the utility moniker is apropos. Good carrying space, road manners, and comfort are now wrapped up in a much better looking box.
The EX upgrades with three-zone climate control, alloy wheels, security system, heated body-color mirrors, roof rails, fog lights, chrome exhaust tips, HomeLink, conversation mirror, eight-way power driver seat, XM radio, and exterior temperature indicator. No options.
The EX-L, the EX with leather, adds enough features to qualify as a separate model. These include leather upholstery and wrap for steering wheel and shifter, heated front seats, four-way power passenger seat, moonroof, a noise-reducing laminated windshield, and an auto-dimming inside mirror with rearview camera display. A rear-seat DVD system with 115-volt AC outlet is optional.
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