2011 Pilot New Car Test Drive
The Honda Pilot can handle four adults and four kids easily. It has useful cargo space beyond the third-row seats so you needn't fold any seats down to fit a week's worth of groceries. And with six cupholders in the second row alone, eight door cargo pockets and the ability to carry a 4x8-foot sheet of building material flat inside, finding a place for everything isn't an issue.
The Pilot lineup also includes models suitable for hard-core outdoor adventurers. Most models are sold with all-wheel drive for better acceleration and climbing in snow.
The Pilot is a midsize crossover SUV. As with other so-called crossover SUVs, it uses carlike unit-body construction and suspension for better fuel economy and handling.
The front seats deliver good support for long-term comfort and bolsters on the seatbacks provide lateral support without imposing thigh cushions you'd have to climb over for every entry or exit. The second-row seats are as roomy as the front and the third row is relatively easy to access. The Pilot is easy to figure out and operate and every works as expected.
Underway, we found the Pilot a well balanced vehicle with nice road manners, with sufficient power and brakes, decent ride quality and handling. Pilot 4WD models have the ability to leave the pavement or tackle pre-plowed snow. The V6 offers comparable performance for the class.
Pilot is efficient among eight-seat crossovers. Fuel economy for a Pilot 4WD is a government-rated 16/22 mpg City/Highway.
For 2011, Pilot EX-L offers satellite-linked navigation; and Pilot Touring comes standard with a DVD entertainment system. Pilot was redesigned for the 2009 model year.
The 2011 Honda Pilot comes in four variants with few options. Each model is offered with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (4WD). All mechanical and safety components and systems are identical across the range. Navigation and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system are available only on the top two trims.
Pilot LX ($28,045) comes with cloth upholstery, front and rear climate control, intermittent rear wiper/washer, power windows/locks/mirrors, tow hitch, tinted rear windows, automatic headlamps, cruise control, center console, visor extensions and illuminated mirrors, tilt/telescoping steering column, four front seatback pockets, six reading lights, reconfigurable cargo area, 60/40 split-folding second and third row seats, AM/FM/CD/MP3 seven-speaker audio with auxiliary input jack, flip-up hatch glass, steel wheels. Pilot LX 4WD ($29,645) adds the Real Time 4WD system.
Pilot EX ($30,895) upgrades with three-zone climate control, alloy wheels, security system, heated body-color mirrors, roof rails, fog lights, chrome exhaust tips, HomeLink, 10-way power driver seat, XM radio, 6-disc CD changer, steering-wheel audio controls, and exterior temperature indicator. Pilot EX 4WD ($32,495) includes the all-wheel drive system.
Pilot EX-L ($33,995) upgrades with leather upholstery and wrap for steering wheel and shifter, heated front seats, four-way power passenger seat, moonroof, conversation mirror, a noise-reducing laminated windshield, and an auto-dimming inside mirror with rearview camera display. EX-L 4WD ($35,595) adds Real Time 4WD. Navigation is optional ($2000), and includes Bluetooth with steering-wheel controls and a USB port. A rear-seat DVD system with 115-volt AC outlet ($1600) is available, also. With either, the stereo upgrades to a 512-watt, 10-speaker system.
The Pilot Touring ($38,795) adds a power tailgate, driver memory system, chrome side trim, signals in outside mirrors, trailer wiring harness, parking sensors front and rear, voice-recognition navigation with rear camera/Bluetooth/interface jog-dial control, second-row window shades, 512-watt 10-speaker audio system and USB port, time/speed functions added to the trip computer, and the rear-seat entertainment system. AWD is available ($40,395).
Safety equipment on all Pilots includes front and front side airbags, three-row side-curtain airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist (electronic stability control), four child-seat LATCH positions, active front head rests, and eight adjustable headrests and shoulder belts.