2011 Honda Pilot SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Honda Pilot SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Honda Pilot Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 250 hp @ 5700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Honda Pilot

  • The 2011 Honda Pilot has plenty of family-friendly appeal with excellent crash safety scores and a roomy third row. But outside of that, it comes up as merely average.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Pleasant ride, decently roomy third-row seat, smooth V6, clever interior storage features, perfect crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Poor braking performance, sluggish acceleration, unremarkable fuel economy, button-heavy center stack.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Honda Pilot returns mostly unchanged from last year. Navigation is now available on the EX-L trim level and a rear entertainment system is now included on the Touring model.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Not impressed

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Vehicle: 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

After years of hearing how everyone LOVED their Honda Pilot, we broke down two years ago and bought a 2011 EX-L with 22,000 miles on it. After 4 months, the sunroof started to leak.As soon as the 36K mile warranty ran out, transmission issues. 3 months ago, more transmission issues. Last month, brand new battery went dead 3x in a week. Took the battery back but it checked ok as did alternator. Dealership was stumped said it was fine. Left me stranded and having to call tow truck twice. Turns out - another dealership 4 hours from home where I happened to be stranded - found an A/C switch was malfunctioning causing battery drain. Can't wait to find a replacement. It won't be a Honda.




It's a good suv

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Vehicle: 2011 Honda Pilot LX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Bought back in 2012 with 45k on it, has about ~80k now. Very reliable, all I've done is perform scheduled maintenance. Gets around 19 mpg but if driving with a light foot you can get around 22 avg. I love the ECO mode that will switch the engine to 4 cyl when driving on highways. I just the rear had A/C vents in the roof as opposed to having them at knee-level. It's a Honda, so I EXPECT it to last for years to come! Great car, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good reliable SUV. One thing that is weird that might be unique to mine is that the buttons on the radio will occasionally not work, but the volume and tune nobs work fine.




Great vehicle

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Vehicle: 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

We purchased our EX-L with 29K miles on it. This is what you get. Solid, sturdy build inside and out. Smooth driving experience. I have not had any issues accelerating or braking. Lots of room, especially in the third row. You actually have room to put some suitcases in the back with the third row up which is something that can't be said for many SUVs. The plastic is plastic...it's not any cheaper than other vehicles. It is classy and very functional with no flash. That is what you get with Honda.




Don't see what all the

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Vehicle: 2011 Honda Pilot EX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I drove literally a dozen different SUVs, domestic, foreign, you name it I drove it. The pilot is the best you can get, hands down. We thought we were sold on the Tahoe or suburban, or gmc and ford equivalents, but they are incredibly expensive and totally unreliable. We bought our pilot used with 44k miles on it and you would think its new. Transmission is smooth as silk and the 4x4 is second only to jeep. We take our 4x4's to the beach every year and the pilot can almost hang with the wrangler and would if it had a locker in the differential. If you complain about this truck, you are too picky and should probably buy used. My only complaints so far is the ridiculous Eco mode.




Disappointed

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Vehicle: 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

24,000 miles. Rotor, tire, transmission issues. Unsafe, unreliable vehicle.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Excellent choice and still enjoy

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Vehicle: 2011 Honda Pilot EX 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Great alternitive to a minivan and it has 4wd (on demand AWD I guess). The only issue was the cheap tires that came with it lasted only 28k miles. It is very comfortable and can tow my 20 ft boat pretty well. Love the SUV rugged look even though it's more of a soccer mom crossover. We have had great lck with this vehicle and plan on keeping it forever.



Full 2011 Honda Pilot Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Honda Pilot returns mostly unchanged from last year. Navigation is now available on the EX-L trim level and a rear entertainment system is now included on the Touring model.

Introduction

At a glance, the 2011 Honda Pilot would seem to do a fine job as a family hauler. There's plenty of space for kids and cargo, it boasts excellent crash scores and comes with Honda's sterling reputation for reliability. Yet, there are three key areas that send the Pilot to the back of the pack: its sluggish acceleration, weak brake performance and middling fuel economy. Any one on their own could be forgivable, but together, they conspire to set this Pilot adrift in a sea of very worthy competitors.

On the bright side, Honda has made a point of giving the Pilot third-row accommodations roomy enough for actual adults to fit back there; if you're looking for a minivan alternative, this one might just work out. Traditional Pilot traits like a well-cushioned ride, a smooth powertrain and optional four-wheel drive are also present and accounted for. This year's sees only minor changes in a couple of feature availabilities -- navigation is now an option on EX-L models and a rear DVD entertainment system is now included on the top-of-the-line Touring trim.

In sum, we think the 2011 Honda Pilot is an adequate choice for a midsize or large crossover SUV. But more savvy consumers who test-drive the competition will likely find that the Pilot comes up a bit short -- sterling reputation or not. The 2011 Ford Flex is a great all-around contender in this arena, offering a more comfortable interior, more features and improved performance. The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse (and its Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia twins), 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2011 Mazda CX-9 and 2011 Toyota Highlander are also solid picks. It might seem atypical to say it, but this Honda just isn't a very competitive pick in its class.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Honda Pilot is a midsize crossover SUV offered in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. Each is available with either front- or all-wheel drive. The LX comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, rear privacy glass, a trailer hitch, automatic headlights, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, front and rear air-conditioning, 60/40-split second- and third-row seats, and a seven-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio jack and CD/MP3 player.

The EX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, painted body molding (versus black plastic), roof rails, heated exterior mirrors, an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way power lumbar), steering-wheel audio controls, tri-zone automatic climate control, an in-dash six-CD changer, and satellite radio. The EX-L upgrades to leather upholstery and steering wheel, heated front seats, power passenger seat, a sunroof, increased sound deadening, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated back-up camera. Optional on the EX-L is a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a voice-activated navigation system bundled with Bluetooth, an iPod interface and a 10-speaker premium audio system.

Both the EX-L's optional features are included on the high-end Touring model, which further adds a power liftgate, tire-pressure indicators, driver memory functions and rear-window sunshades.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Honda Pilot is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only available transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all Pilot models are available with an all-wheel-drive system that automatically apportions power to the rear wheels -- up to 70 percent -- when front slippage occurs. This system also has a driver-selectable "lock" feature that routes maximum torque to the rear wheels at speeds below 19 mph.

In performance testing, we clocked a Pilot Touring from zero to 60 mph in a pokey 9.7 seconds, a full second or two behind many rivals. Fuel economy is aided by Honda's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system, which shuts down half of the V6's cylinders when they're not needed. Still the Pilot's EPA estimates of 17 city/23 highway mpg and 19 mpg combined (16/22/18 for AWD models) are merely average for this segment.

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Antilock disc brakes are also standard, but they don't do a very good job in panic stops, requiring a very long 149 feet to halt the Pilot from 60 mph. Only vehicles without ABS or heavy-duty trucks tend to match that distance, which is at least 20 feet longer than most competitors.

In the government's new, more strenuous crash testing for 2011, the Pilot earned an overall rating of four stars out of a possible five, with four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection.The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety likewise awarded the Pilot its top "Good" rating for both frontal-offset and side-impact crashes.

Interior Design and Special Features

Mimicking the 2011 Honda Pilot's utilitarian exterior styling, the interior features a rugged and blocky theme. Like many current Honda vehicles, the center stack is packed with far too many small buttons and controls. Operation of these controls is made a bit easier by a logical layout, but it still takes some time to get used to this needlessly complicated setup.

The Pilot also keeps stride with the competition with its roomy third-row seats. In a segment where third rows are meant for child-size passengers only, the Honda Pilot is one of the few that can accommodate adults in relative comfort. Unfortunately, though, the seat cushions for the second and third rows are too low, forcing longer legged passengers into a squatting, knees-up position. The larger Ford Flex and Chevy Traverse are much more comfortable in this regard.

With the second and third row seats stowed, the 2011 Honda Pilot can hold up to 87 cubic feet of cargo, which is technically less than some rivals, but its boxy shape accepts bulkier items with ease. For smaller items, there are plenty of thoughtful storage bins and pockets throughout the cabin.

Driving Impressions

In terms of performance, the 2011 Honda Pilot is burdened by a lack of power and a hefty curb weight. Acceleration off the line feels anemic and even Honda's VTEC engine technology does little to help higher in the rev range. On curvy roads, the Pilot also feels rather cumbersome. However, on choppy city pavement its soft suspension tuning pays dividends as it readily soaks up ruts and bumps.

The Pilot's brake pedal has a positive feel, which may make it seem confidence-inspiring on a brief dealership test-drive. In our testing, however, that positive feel ran counter to the Pilot's rather long stopping distances.

Talk About The 2011 Pilot

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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