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…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (5 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I love my pilot!!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot Special Edition 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I upgraded from a 2005 CRV because my lease was up(we also had a baby on the way, and I am not a big fan of the new Pilots), and I could not be happier with this SUV. I am fairly short and with the 8 way power seat,it is very comfortable for me to drive. My biggest complaint is the lack of rear space when the 3rd row is up. It is also hard to get car seats in/out of the 3rd row. My husband would like for it to have a telescoping steering wheel and I wish the SE came standard w/a leather wrapped steering wheel. We will definitely consider buying this one when the lease is up next year.




A great people and stuff

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot Special Edition 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

This is my favorite vehicle to drive. I'm not sure what is different about my Pilot, but I've got plenty of acceleration on demand. So much so, I've caught myself by surprise and squealed the tires while leaving a parking lot. I've never owned a new car before but I came into this expecting Honda reliability and my Pilot has kept up its end of the bargain. The only parts that have needed replacement or adjustment were minor and the dealer replaced them quickly and under warranty. Fuel economy is better than the EPA estimate with 24 average MPG on the interstate, city mileage is worse at 14 average MPG but I live in a city with quite a few hills.




My second pilot

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot Special Edition 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Picked up our 08 Pilot on the 27th of June. We had an 03 that was hit from the rear (60 MPH) by a full size pickup. I was stopped waiting for traffic to clear and don't remember the accident. Vehicle is totaled. The folks responding to the scene commented, "the Pilot saved me from serious injuries or worse". I walked away after a thorough checkup be the EMT folks. I love our vehicle. SAFE, comfortable and excellent driver.




Our new pilot

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot Special Edition 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Nice Crossover SUV. Smooth driving and roomy. NO mechanical complaints, only had it 6 days. It's a Honda, it better not have any! It is made in the US however.




Solid vehicle

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Pilot Special Edition 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

This is my fourth Honda, and they have been great. Nice powerful engine, smooth ride, easy ergonomics, good feel to the vehicle. Lots of room for my kids and Labrador (who can watch movies in the back). Nice ride.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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

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