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2009 Honda Pilot



  • zack82zack82 Posts: 42
    Good points indeed!
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302 has the official Honda press pics posted. The look is slowly growing on me, and from certain angles and colors, the new Pilot doesn't look too bad.

    I think the deal-killer for me is going to be the interior. The EX-L's dash looks cheap. Hopefully the materials are of relatively high quality, though it looks like a lot of hard plastic.

    What I don't like:
    - too many empty spots on the dash. It's almost like the designers thought, "What should we put here in this empty spot...let's make it another open storage compartment." There's a big gaping hole in the center stack under the A/C controls, and empty bin to the right of the steering column, the empty bins above the glove compartment, and a bin under the multi-information display. It looks like the kind of dash you'd find in an economy car, not a $30K SUV.
    - gauges look cheap; I thought we moved away from the white-background-look of the 90s.
    - too many small buttons with small labels for the radio (just like the Accord)
    - rear view camera without nav is a good feature; however, I wonder how useful it'll actually be on the rear view mirror
    - center seat belt in the second and third rows come down from the ceiling. If left connected, it looks ugly. If left disconnected, that's one more step for the center passenger must do to buckle up. The Highlander's center belt is anchored to the seat itself. Much cleaner looking.
    - power rear door on the Touring model only
    - Bluetooth on the Touring model only
    - fuel economy doesn't look like it's anything special, even with VCM; slightly worse than the Highlander (but not by much), though with less HP and slightly more torque than the Highlander's 3.5L engine.

    What I do like:
    - dark carpet, even with light seat upholstery; the contrast is nice and it should be easier to keep clean
    - USB port in the center console; not sure if that allows you to control an iPod, or if it's to load or play music from a USB flash drive, or something totally different. Also not sure if that's Touring and/or navigation only.
    - the Pilot's cargo room behind the third row actually looks usable. Plus, it's split, unlike the Highlander.

    On paper, it doesn't seem like there's anything special enough about the '09 Pilot that would make me seriously consider it. I'll give it a once-over when they arrive at the dealerships, but I'm not very impressed so far.
  • coupedncalcoupedncal Posts: 252
    Lots of pics and details. I have to say I like this new model.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    I just browsed thru the info provided by Honda on the new Pilot.
    Look is subjective. You make your own judgement.
    I have owned MAZDA CX-9 (GT AWD) for two months
    and I did research into it. So, I made this
    comparison for those who are thinking about buying CX-9 or the new Pilot.

    Pros: Pilot
    - active head restraint system - front seats
    - VCM (1mpg advantage over CX-9)
    - rear glass hatch (if you like it, I don't.)
    - ultrasound sensors - front/back
    - double-paned windshield
    - rear-differential lock (electronic)
    - hill start assist
    - towing 4500lb standard (1500/3500lb without/with tow package on CX-9)
    - door-integrated sunshade - 2nd row
    - larger moonroof (than CX-9)
    - better NAVI system (I owned an Odyssey - Honda's NAVI is the best)

    Pros: CX-9
    - 3.7L engine 273hp/270ft-lb (3.5L 250/253 on Pilot)
    - 18"/20" wheels (17" on Pilot)
    - ventilated rear disk brake (solid on Pilot)
    - rain-sensing wipers
    - 6-speed transmission (5-speed on Pilot)
    - smart-key entry system
    - blind-spot warning system
    - turning circle 37.4ft (38.6 on Pilot - even being shorter and on shorter wheelbase)
    - gated gear shifter (dash-mounted straight shifter)
    - HID headlights
    - seat-on-rail system - easy to move seats fore/back (not sure about Pilot?)
    - longer roof rack (2/3 on Pilot)
    - auto up/down front windows (not sure about Pilot)
    - 1-piece 2nd row windows

    Too many parameters in space data. I will skip them here.

    BTW, I found CX-9 to have very few accessories provided by MAZDA and the market. So, adding accessories should be easier with Honda Pilot. Case in point,
    I have been trying to find a side step for CX-9 (for kids and older parents) and can't find any at all.

    Anyway, hope this help you make an educated decision.
  • nimrod99nimrod99 Posts: 343

    All I can say: Honda Engineers overlooked one really important feature.....
    Amber turn signals on the rear lamp cluster.

    This one fact alone, demonstrates to me, that Honda Engineers are sub-par.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    I personally like the boxy shape of the Pilot, its huge flat cargo area, its signal mirrors, its hand brake mechanism, its eight body colors, its 17” wheels, etc. These features cannot be changed in spite of all the disgruntled comments here. What matter at the moment is to find out when the 2009 Pilot will be for sale? How much is expected for the LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring (MSRP and Invoice)? What kinds of options are available? And so on.

    Equally it is important to road test the Pilot. Videos showing the Pilot on gravel, snow, sand, mud and water are a must. Better pictures of the Pilot facia, of the front nose, of the rear, spare wheel storage.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    Will the 2009 Pilot be 5-speed or 6-speed Shiftable Automatic?
  • brutus22brutus22 Posts: 122

    So I scanned through the Honda Pilot mini-site. Was so looking forward to this car and when I saw the redesign I just could not get into the Pathfinder look, I feel they took a huge step back in the styling department and I love Honda's. We ended up buying a Saturn Outlook after test driving the usual crossovers (CX-9, 2007 Pilot, Highlander) and we really are pleased, looks great, drives well, is quiet/comfortable and has every option we could want. In fact seeing this info on the Honda Pilot has re-affirmed my purchase decision. I was thinking the Pilot would just blow away the Saturn interior and have much improved mileage, but in fact it does not. The mileage with all the tricks the great Honda engine has is not any better and the interior while solid does not blow me away.
    Somethings I like which I do not have is the USB port and the blinds on the side windows (which I think should be available on all cars IMO, especially sedans that do not have tint). But I would not trade those options for the dual sunroof in my Saturn which is an awesome and a huge selling point and the onstar which we have already used for unlocking the doors for our keys in our car. I can't believe the Pilot does not offer at least the dual sunroof. The split tailgate is nice but honestly I do not see ever using it when you have an auto liftgate.

    Will the Honda Pilot be a solid vehicle, absolutely. But honestly I do not think it was a huge leap over the previous generation. I mean I think when they first introduced the Pilot what 6 years ago, it was leaps and bounds over everything else. Unfortunately, this Pilot does not make that jump, they really could have done something special and done some ground breaking stuff, including having some tricks to truly get some good mileage.

    Just my thoughts,
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    I respect your comments however I think you forgot that the Pilot has 5-6 years of reliability, 5-6 years of being the best middle-sized SUV in the USA while the Saturn Outlook or VUE their reliability is still to be tested. Reviews pointed out that the transmission in the Outlook can be slow to downshift and dashboard button aren’t user-friendly. The length of the Outlook is about 10” longer than the 2009 Pilot making the turning circle 2” longer than the Pilot. The ground clearance of the Outlook is 1” smaller than the Pilot. The 2009 Pilot is not just a crossover but a vehicle with capabilities from light to middle difficult off-road adventure.

    Equally the approach and departure angle of the Pilot, i.e. 29/23o is greater than the 18/23o of the Outlook. The workmanship of the Pilot has no comparison. So although there are a few advantages of the Outlook, e.g. better horse power for the same size of engine and rear ventilated disc, I don’t see other advantages. A better ride is provided by the Pilot thanks to its Locking Differential Rear (low speed wheeling) and its sophisticated 4WD mechanism that make the Pilot the winner for 5-6 years. All these factors have encouraged me that I should buy a 2009 Pilot instead of an Outlook.

    As far as the Nissan Pathfinder is concerned, I think that the Pilot looks much better than the Nissan. The rear of the Pilot could have some resemblance with the rear of the Nissan but that is all. You could say the same with the shape of the Kia Borrego but the general shape of the Pilot is unique. If you like the shape of the Outlook you could buy a Hyundai Veracruz. The Veracruz I think is a pretty vehicle but for me it looks a wimp SUV. If I would buy a SUV that it is not the Pilot I would buy the GMC Acadia. That look a proper SUV.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    After reading three to four reviews on the new Pilot, I (actually they) disagree with two things you mentioned.
    - The workmanship of the Pilot has no comparison:
    Actually they found the fit and finish of the new Pilot to be lacking. The center dash is too busy (personally opinion, of course)
    - its sophisticated 4WD mechanism:
    In fact, VTM-4 is one of the simple 4WD/AWD system on the road. It is beauty is actually its simplicity (unlike SH-AWD on MDX).

    Read the reviews here:
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    >> Will the 2009 Pilot be 5-speed or 6-speed Shiftable Automatic?
    There is no 6-speed automatic from Honda/Acura in production today.
    Not to mention, a manumatic one.

    >> Pricing?
    $28,000 to $40,000 MSRP (plus extra options on all packages)

    >> available date?
    June at your dealerships.

    Much info on
    including what is standard on what package...
    read on.

    Personally, several things missing on the new Pilot are a deal-killer for me
    - smart-key entry and start system
    Once you had it, you will not buy another car w/o it. 8-)
    - amber signal lights.
    I will also not buy a vehicle w/o amber signal light.
    - HID headlights
    It is much brighter, save energy and last longer.

    Gone are the days when Honda/Acura can charge beyond MSRP for their vehicles.
    Deals are everywhere. For example, MAZDA CX-9 can be had for $2000 BELOW INVOICE now (being near model year-end). Competition is good for everyone. So are more choices.
  • nimrod99nimrod99 Posts: 343
    I totally agree with your position on amber turn signals.
    As an engineer, I consider the fact that not using amber to denote the turn function is a major safety violation.
    US auto manufacturers do it because, well, lets face it, Ford and Chey and Dodge are junk.

    For a Japanese car manufacturer to implement red turn signals is a crime. I have always purchased Japanese cars due to their excelence in engineering and attention to detail.

    So for me, the 2009 Pilot is a no go. As I have said many times before. If Honda engineers can't get the turn signals right (which is such an easy thing to do) what other significant engineering feature have they overlooked?.

    It also puzzles me that the Accord now has amber turn signals, yet the pilot doesn't.
    Probably attributed to the fact that the Pilot was designed in the USA by US based engineers who have become lazy. What Honda needs to do, is send the Pilot Design team back to Japan to get whipped into shape.

    Thank heaven for Toyota. At least they use amber turn signals.
  • toledo73toledo73 Posts: 130
    Agree with you on lack of amber. Much more visible. But, after looking at the pics, I wouldn't consider this Nissan Xterra look alike any way
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    The smart-key entry and start system is debatable because this facility is usually given as an option, I think. That Honda doesn’t offer this feature as a standard, perhaps after a market study, deemed it as superfluous. I personally I can live without it.

    The signal mirror not being amber, it appears from the production model (photos) that the glass (flashing) is transparent and perhaps is a question of changing the signal mirror bulb to something amber. The Pilot concept seems to have red flashing signal mirror.

    The HID front lights are also a debatable item. Good working HID are hard to maintain. HID involves two mechanism and one of these are prone to deteriorate making oscillate the light. The replacement costs a lot of money and I could justify HID if you have the money to keep the lights in good working order
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    Please check this photo of a 2009 Pilot (production model):

    imageSee more Car Pictures at

    It appears from the photo that the signal mirror is just transparent. It is quite different than the Concept where the signal mirror, indeed looks as red.

    Are you not overreacting (like for example red is a criminal act, and so on)?
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    I don't think he was referring to the signal mirror lights.
    He was talking about the signal lights in the back.
    Remember the 1999/2000/2001 Odysseys? They all have red signal lights.
    Starting from 2002, Honda changed them to amber. Why?
    It appears to me that Honda never learned the lesson from it (styling over function?)
    Maybe 2-3 years later, they will somehow change the signal lights to amber again.
    Yes, there is always the MMC (mid-model change) 2-3 years into the future.

    Smart key is costly. Not every Acura model has it. Keep the key in your pocket or purse, and you can do whatever you need with the vehicle. No looking for keys with your hands full. Smart-key is also much more secured (encryption and code rolling).
    Imagine that your vehicle "recognizes" you as long as you have the Smart-key near you.

    HID: All my vehicles with HID lights have no issues at all after 7 years. The only downside is that some thieves are targeting HID headlights to steal... :mad:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Photos are hitting the airwaves. Several handy to view ones are up at Straightline.

    Nice big empty in back:

  • nimrod99nimrod99 Posts: 343
    No - I am not over reacting.
    using red rear turn signals has been proven to confuse drivers following behind.
    there have been numerous caes studies comparing use of separate colors to denote brake vs turn. Test subjects were presented flashing red (turn) and momentary on red lights. They were asked to determine if the signal was braking or turn. Another set of test subjects were shown separate amber flashing and momentary on red lights. The second set of subjects (amber turn) were able to differentiate brake vs turn much faster than the first set of subjects.
    In a real world situation, fractions of a second at highway speeds could be a matter of life or death.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    This is from Wikipedia:

    Presently, almost all countries outside North America require that all front, side and rear turn signals produce amber light. In North America the rear signals may be amber or red.

    Honda must have some compelling reasons to persist in using the red turning signal instead of the amber. I don’t believe is an oversight of Honda engineers. I think that the main reason (I might be wrong) is to prevent the Pilot being exported overseas. What other reasons could be? Just that the Honda engineers are all stupid?

    Majority of overseas country have to comply with the amber turning lights (front and rear), although I have seen in Europe (e.g. UK) that some cars especially old ones (Imported American cars) with red signal lights. I don’t see that European regulations will allow red instead of amber turning lights.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    For those that despite rear red turning light bulb, cannot it be replaced with the same bulb as the front amber turn signals? Will the rear red plastic cover (production model) allows the transmission of the amber light through the red plastic? Are there some solutions to this inconvenience? I personally prefer the amber rear turning light than the red.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    I could see why they wouldn't switch to HID's (MDX has to be a notch above at all times) but it looks like they did away with the projector headlamps for '09. That seems like a step back to me. :(
  • edward25edward25 Posts: 3
    I have a different view of the new Pilot. For at least 5 years the auto indrustry has been increasing the size of each new model. That process is being totally stopped because of the cost of fuel. However the change takes about 3 years to complete. Most auto manufactures got caught unprepared for the change. Those models that are still growing (e.g. Highlander, Sequoia, 4Runner) are, as they say, DOA...dead on arrival. If the new Pilot is not 5% smaller that the 2008 Pilot, it also will be DOA. What that means is fewer sales, but more importantly a highly diminished resale value. Check the internet for Highlander and Sequois national sales and you'll see the incredible bind that Toyota now faces (including closed factories).
  • edward25edward25 Posts: 3
    Less gas mileage than the 2008 Pilot. As they say, DOA. Edward
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Personally - I don't care about red vs amber.

    Why Honda uses red? IMHO, it's because this vehicle is designed for for the North American market and is not expected to be exported overseas by Honda hence no need for the increased costs to manufacture a multi-color lens. Further, it allows Honda to perhaps introduce them mid cycle as an upgrade.

    HID lights? Not needed on Hondas as the market doesn't demand it. Once the competition starts offering HID's, then it'll be needed. But until then, most people aren't willing to pay the extra price. Same with Smart Key. Again, they might offer it on the Touring at mid cycle but until the competition offers it and the market clamors for it, it's not going to happen.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    OK but why pushing so strongly in having HID in the Pilot?

    Motorists, appreciate the improved night-time’s visibility from HID headlamps but object to the glare they can cause. Internationalized European vehicle regulations require such headlamps to be equipped with lens cleaners and an automatic self-leveling system to keep the beams aimed correctly regardless of vehicle load and attitude (increasing costs and maintenance), but no such devices are required in North America, where inherently more glaring beam patterns are also permitted. Retrofitting HID bulbs in headlamps not originally designed to accept those results in extremely high levels of glare, and is illegal throughout most of the world.

    A standard headlight bulb costs a few dollars while a HID may cost hundredth of dollars.

    It appears to me that not having HID in the Pilot was a wise decision by Honda.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    I agree, HID's are not for the Pilot, but I think projectors throw a brighter, cleaner light and I can't figure out why Honda took them out of the '09. :confuse:
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    Once the Bush administration is gone (hopefully) it is very probably that petrol prices will go down. The price of petrol is a political matter, cars are not. SUV with 7-8 seats will be always a necessity for families with children and grand children as a whole. After researching so many SUVs I like the 2009 Pilot and I see that this car will solve my immediate needs before I drop dead.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    This is the rear of a 2009 Pilot

    imageSee more Car Pictures at

    I would like to see a more aggressive dual exhaust pipe tip in the Pilot. The tips just look as water pipes end. There is not style. The Tucson and Sportage have better exhaust tips than the Pilot.

    The Outlook, VUE, and CX-9 have good looking dual exhaust tips.
  • prosource1prosource1 Posts: 234
    I've owned two Pilots and my 2006 has been great except for the plastic dash. Never thot this was an issue until I recently drove in a Veracruz and Acadia and realized Honda wasn't playin for keeps anymore.

    After seeing the interior of the new Pilot, with its acres of plastic and while realizing all of the competitors are using soft-touch surfaces, there is no way I am buying a Pilot this time.

    The exterior of the 09 is brutal and uninspiring. This is a redesign? It's a throwback to what could be rebadged Isuzu product of the past.

    I've got my ticket to either Veracruz or Acadia and it ain't on a Honda Jet either.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    The price of petrol is a political matter, cars are not.

    Perhaps you would be interested in the Politics discussion so we can continue to talk about the cars here without distraction. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
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