2008 Honda Pilot SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Honda Pilot SUV

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Honda Pilot Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 244 hp @ 5750 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Honda Pilot

  • Although the aging 2008 Honda Pilot faces many newer rivals, it remains a strong choice for a midsize crossover SUV thanks to its versatility, strong reputation for quality and high safety ratings.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Eight-passenger capacity, generous storage and cargo-hauling abilities, comfortable ride, smooth power delivery, excellent crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Rivals offer roomier third-row seats and more agile handling, can't order entertainment and navigation systems together, starting to look its age.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Honda Pilot sees two new trim levels as the Value Package replaces the LX and a new Special Edition debuts. The former boasts a few more features than the outgoing LX, while the latter is essentially a cloth-upholstered EX with a sunroof and DVD player.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (14 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot Value Package 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Bought new has been a GREAT car. I love the panoramic visibility from all directions. We are at 40000 miles and still have original tires with good tread left. My only complaint like other post is the fabric used on the seats, I expected more from Honda. The fabric on my civic which is twice as old looks better. That being said it is a great family hauler for those not wanting to drive a mini van. We plan on keeping it for a long time. I would buy again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Little things bug me

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot Value Package 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

We got this a few years old for the safety factor. The mileage is not great, but it is a big heavy (hopefully safe) vehicle. The cloth seats are TERRIBLE!! They stain with just water on them and NOTHING cleans them. The idle has a vibration sound that just about hurts my head at stop signs, and if you open a rear window on the freeway, it WILL hurt your ears. It is just okay in my book

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Upholstery the worst ever

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot Value Package 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

We have the 2008 Honda Pilot with fabric seats. This upholstery is hideous. There is no way to keep it clean and/or stain free and EVERYTHING (even water) causes stains that are next to impossible to remove--even by a professional. We are so disappointed by Honda. We love the car, but each time we get in and have to sit on and look at this nasty upholstery, the loves lessens a bit.

2008 honda pilot vp 2wd

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot Value Package 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I feel I got a great trade in price on my 2003 Chevy Trailblazer (many elec issues on Trailblazer) and a great drive out price on my new Honda Pilot VP. It's been a very nice and solid SUV. Ive owned 5 SUVs. True about the wind noise with only one window or only rear windows open. I usually just crack a 3rd window to prevent this noise. The 2009 new design addressed the tight drivers side armrest issue a bit. Still could use more drivers side comfort area. The Pilot has been very reliable, comfortable, great rear cargo area. Wish there was a option for NO 3rd row seat. I never use it. At 38,000 miles I have a rather serious engine warning light on. Manual says might be emissions issue

First suv

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot Value Package 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

We researched and researched some more as we were looking to upgrade from our 2001 Kia Sportage to a family car that had significantly more room and Safety factors. We were also looking for a SUV that already had a track record for Reliability. Everywhere we turned - the Honda Pilot kept popping up in our internet searches. I am not one that enjoys going to the dealership so I found one online at a price I liked! It is a 2008 Honda Pilot 4WD VP model. Wanted to buy new but the prices are too steep. SO I bought it sight unseen through the internet through a dealer that does Home Delivery! We fell in love with all of the features and could not be happier! Will keep this forever!

Honda is still going strong!

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot Value Package 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I had shopped around for an SUV for six months. First, I looked at the 2008 Toyota Highlander and test drive it. Second, I checked out the 2008 Honda Pilot and test drive it. I was very pleased with the Value Package and the way the 2008 Honda Pilot handles the road. It is very smooth and quiet ride. I have always owned an Ford vehicle. My last vehicle was an 1998 Ford Explorer. There were several recalls with the tires, etc. However,I love my Ford. I am happy with my 2008 Pilot. I would recommend an Honda Pilot. It is an great SUV for your money. It holds value, and cost less on repairs. I wish it would offer 100,000 miles on extended warranty. Try it and you will love it.

Full 2008 Honda Pilot Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Honda Pilot sees two new trim levels as the Value Package replaces the LX and a new Special Edition debuts. The former boasts a few more features than the outgoing LX, while the latter is essentially a cloth-upholstered EX with a sunroof and DVD player.


Sensible folks who place function over form will agree that a minivan remains the most efficient mode of family transport. Quite simply, a big, front-wheel-drive box offers more passenger and cargo capacity compared to a like-sized SUV. But most image-conscious Americans find minivans seriously lacking in the cool factor -- something that SUVs, with their muscular bodies and big tires, have in spades. Those looking for a combination of minivan utility with SUV image should consider a midsize crossover SUV, such as the 2008 Honda Pilot.

At its debut back in 2003, the Pilot was one of the first midsize crossover SUVs, meaning it was (and is) car-based rather than truck-based. As such, it provides more cabin room than a truck-based ute, as well as a fully independent suspension. The latter typically provides better handling and a smoother ride than a solid rear axle setup can. Other charms of the Pilot include seating for up to eight, a strong yet fuel-efficient V6, the option of all-wheel drive and impressive crash test scores.

Now in its sixth model year, this generation of the Pilot is due for replacement (likely in 2009) and faces stiff competition in the form of newer rivals such as the spacious triplets from GM (Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook), the Toyota Highlander, the Mazda CX-9 and a pair of Hyundais -- the Santa Fe and upscale Veracruz. Of course we'd advise back-to-back test-drives of them all, but one shouldn't count the Honda out just yet. Far from being an old dog no longer in the hunt, the 2008 Honda Pilot still counts solid engineering and an enviable reputation for overall quality and resale value among its strengths. As such, it remains a sensible choice for buyers needing a jack-of-all-trades crossover SUV.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Honda Pilot is a midsize crossover SUV. Four trims are offered: Value Package, EX, EX-L and Special Edition. The Value package replaces the former LX trim and includes 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, air-conditioning (with a separate unit to cool the rear seats), cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a seven-speaker stereo with satellite radio and an in-dash CD changer.

Stepping up to the EX adds an eight-way power driver seat, extra interior storage, automatic climate control and HomeLink. Satellite radio is not available on the EX. One may also choose an EX with leather seating (EX-L), which also comes with a sunroof, satellite radio and heated front seats. A navigation system with rearview camera or a DVD entertainment system are available on the EX-L -- but you can't get both.

The Special Edition slots between the EX and EX-L in terms of pricing and equipment. It has a cloth interior, but compared to the standard EX, adds a sunroof, satellite radio, a rear DVD entertainment system and a 115-volt power outlet.

Powertrains and Performance

All Pilots are equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 244 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. The sole transmission is a five-speed automatic and buyers may choose between front-wheel and all-wheel drive. Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology, which "shuts off" three of the engine's six cylinders during cruising and deceleration to improve fuel economy, comes on the FWD versions.

Fuel-economy ratings for the FWD model stand at 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway for 2008. It is one of the few SUVs classified as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV). Towing capacity for the Pilot is 4,500 pounds -- about 1,000 pounds greater than many crossover rivals, but well below the ratings for traditional truck-based SUVs like the Ford Explorer or Dodge Durango.


Antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are all standard. In government crash tests, the Pilot earned perfect five-star ratings across the board for front- and side-impact protection. In frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Pilot received the highest rating of "Good."

Interior Design and Special Features

With its three-passenger third-row seat, the 2008 Honda Pilot seats eight. But that last row is best left to small kids, as legroom is tight. Cargo capacity with the second- and third-row seats lowered is respectable at 88 cubic feet. With the second-row seats in use, cargo capacity is 48 cubic feet. With all seats occupied, there's still enough room for grocery bags, baby equipment or a set of golf clubs. The cabin features good ergonomics, straightforward controls and high-quality materials, but the design is getting long in the tooth and looks dated compared to newer crossovers.

Driving Impressions

As the Pilot features a stiff unibody structure and a fully independent suspension, it is quite smooth and comfortable on normal roads. However, with a curb weight of more than 2 tons, there is no escaping the Pilot's bulk, and compared to more modern competitors, it can feel a bit clumsy around corners. In terms of off-road ability, the AWD Pilot can take on common hazards such as boat ramps, washed-out gullies and rough roads, but not much more.

Talk About The 2008 Pilot

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs