The 2009 Honda Pilot has quietly established the benchmark for excellence in the popular crossover sport utility vehicle (CUV) segment. While other makes claim to be the Indiana Jones of adventure and special effects, the 2009 Honda Pilot actually delivers on the promise of utility in real world terms.
If you know you’re good, there’s no need to brag—that’s the Honda Pilot! The Pilot excels in completing the family SUV mission: Carry the entire crew comfortably and safely, haul stuff conveniently and encourage fun. Now isn’t that what we all want from the crossover utility vehicle?
“What price utility? The Pilot carries eight in safety, can tow up to 4,500 pounds with no modifications, can haul plenty of stuff inside, is good to drive and for its size, offers decent economy. There's probably not a more practical car on offer from the high $20k’s to the mid $30k’s.” -Jalopnik.com
Honda has even anticipated concerns over fuel costs. Despite being larger and more powerful than the outgoing model, Honda points out the new Pilot manages to be more fuel efficient than its predecessor (by up to two mpg).
The 2009 Honda Pilot is an eight-passenger SUV with an easy-to-configure interior that provides comfort for passengers, useful space for cargo and advanced technologies for safety, fuel efficiency and convenience.
Pilot’s redesigned crossover utility platform allowed the design engineers to optimize handling, dial-in ride comfort and provide solid off-road capability. A steel body structure combines with a lightweight aluminum hood to ensure a perfect balance between strength and efficiency.
Honda says the Pilot embodies the “three-dimensionally beveled lines of an ultra-rugged laptop computer as inspiration to convey an active and intelligent vehicle design theme.” In other words, Pilot has a techie look with adventurous trekkie personality.
New features include the latest generation of Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system on all models. VCM has the ability to switch between three, four or six cylinders seamlessly. The only thing you’ll notice is the Pilot’s ability to deliver decent gas mileage. Another new feature is the split tailgate (now power-operated on some models) with a convenient lift-up glass hatch. An integrated tow hitch is now standard across the model line, too. Plus, drivers will appreciate the new Hill Start Assist feature that helps you launch on the steepest grades. Inside the Pilot, you’ll find a new humidity control system integrated with the air conditioning unit. The driver’s and front passenger’s seats now have active head restraints that help prevent whiplash injuries. The kids are safer in the 2009 Pilot since Honda has added two additional LATCH-type anchors and tethers for child seats. In addition, Pilot drivers now have a standard tilt and telescope steering column, an information center with scrolling, multi-line display (including Maintenance Minder) and Bluetooth “HandsFreeLink” technology on certain models.
An upgraded version of Honda’s 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine with 250 hp (up by six hp) and 253 lb/ft of torque (up by 13 lb/ft) provides power in all models. The V6 operates in six-cylinder mode for power and four- and three-cylinder modes for efficiency. Surprisingly fun to drive for a CUV of this size, the Pilot has all the skills, off-road and on. A five-speed automatic transmission with fully-automatic Variable Torque Management® four-wheel drive (VTM-4®) ensures exceptional all-season confidence and footing in any condition, while intelligent engineering delivers up to 23 mpg.
While other SUVs and crossovers tout razzle-dazzle and promise infomercial miracles, the 2009 Pilot actually delivers what families want most. The 2009 Honda Pilot 2-wheel drive LX with automatic transmission has an MSRP of $27,595 plus $670 destination charge.