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 Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 244 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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 (6 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Terrible

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot EX-L 4dr SUV 4WD w/Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

2008 Honda Pilot. Very overrated vehicle, especially considering cost,. Heavy low speed steering; adequate power; figgity transmission; plows doesn't handle; mediocre brakes; gas guzzler;terrible stereo system ( good if you like rap- vehicle has a factory sub-woffer ). The following quit before 87,000km.....A/C -$2700 to repair - Honda dealer won't help; brakes $1,100; transmission $1,700; electrical issues $ 500. Honda service very expensive....my previous BMW service was cheaper. When you drive a Mazda, Toyota, or domestic the Pilot feels 30 years older.




Smart value suv for family

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot EX-L 4dr SUV 4WD w/Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Owned for 3 years 33K mi now, buying out lease because it held its value so well. Now worth thousands more than buyout. Not put a dime in besides scheduled maint. Replaced a Ford Escape that was nowhere near as reliable. Once engine is broken in we began to avg 17 mpg around town vs 15 mpg when new. Avg 20 mpg hwy on 1,000 mi trips loaded to visit family. Remember it is a Honda, but it is still an SUV. Has excellent power for an vehicle this size. Plenty of room with the seats folded down, which is easy to do. Leather interior is holding up fine, and is easy to clean up with kids and dogs. I-pod adapter can be run through rear entertainment system. Think it is better looking than new model.




Well built but ordinary

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot EX-L 4dr SUV 4WD w/Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Driving in the Canadian winter is not fun, yet the Pilot, even at -45 degrees C runs fine. The traction assist will catch you unaware on ice corners and might cause you to over-correct. The get-up-and-go on ice is fantastic! Cold starts without plugging in are no problem, and the engine warms up very quickly. Feild of view for a tall person is limited by the side pillars I find myself leaning forward and back with a lot of head movement while checking intersections.




Road noise

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot EX-L 4dr SUV 4WD w/Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

August 27th, 2008, I took my 2001 4Runner Limited to trade for 2008 Pilot AWD w/entertainment. I need more than five seats and like Pilot appealing. I have a big disappointment, ROAD NOISE! Here is my two cents for potential buyer, test drives on freeway, drive on a road with speed 40 mph or more and try to open back windows. It could break your EARDRUM. I learned how to overcome the road noise by turning on radio as loud as I can take every time I get on freeway.




Best suv of it's class

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot EX-L 4dr SUV 4WD w/Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I have owned SUVs from Expeditions to Escapes and this was my third Honda purchase (never disappointed with Hondas). I love this SUV. The exterior is nice, nothing too special but as a family man I don't really care. What matters to me is a great vehicle for me and the family. We have two kids and the problem was taking along their friends. This vehicle is large enough for the family with friends and their stuff. I also drive this daily to work through narrow city streets. It's a pleasure to drive. Good acceleration, great handling and fun to drive.




Still lovin' honda

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Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot EX-L 4dr SUV 4WD w/Rear Entertainment System (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

This is now our third Honda and definitely the nicest.The Pilot has amazing interior space, is incredibly comfortable and, like all Hondas, the engineering is superb. I would have liked to have the option to get both the Navigation and rear entertainment systems together-something Honda really ought to consider. Additionally, the steering wheel controls are inadequate. Unlike my Civic, which you can go up or down on the radio stations, you have to cycle all the way through 6,1, 2,3,4 to get to preset 5. Stupid. I would also like a cooling option on the leather seats. Even with climate control, in a hot climate the leather doesn't breath and gets hot.



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.

Introduction

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.

Safety

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

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs