2011 Honda Pilot SUV Review | Edmunds.com
 

2011 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 250 hp @ 5700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • 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…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (13 total reviews)


Disappointed

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

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




Not what was advertised.

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

The 2011 Pilot we purchased was advertised as habing 22 mpg on the hhighway and 18 in the city which we considered good for a SUV this size. We wer disappointed to find out that the car receives 18 highway and 15 in the city. We have also discovered that the tires need replacing after only 2 years and 28,000 miles. When I asked if theis was normal the dealer said it could be. Again, we were disappointed to find out the tires had no warranty from either the car or tire manufacturer. We have had to bring the cr n for 4 recall checks which seems rather high. Overall, a nice car but not worth the money and less than advertised.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Very good family hauler

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

Bought to replace Toyota sienna. Owned two of those over 8 years. Never again. Bought for my wife but I use when taking older kids to games, trips etc. For long trips it's excellent. Great visibility, very comfortable. A bit of road noise. Good power. MPG is good, considering. I've characterized it pretty good over several trips. From Boston to central NY got 23-26 mpg @ ~75mph depending on weather, traffic. If I drop speed to 65 mph I get 27-28. Driving around NE I keep it at 60 and Consistently get high 20s. Around city it's more like 19, if I'm careful and 17-18 if not. My wife pays no attention to mpg and she averages 19 mpg over 3000 miles long term mostly city, some highway



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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

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 Ford Flex is a great all-around contender in this arena, offering a more comfortable interior, more features and improved performance. The Chevrolet Traverse (and its Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia twins), Hyundai Veracruz, Mazda CX-9 and 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

2011 Honda Pilot Discussions See all Started By

pilotownerscom
pilotownerscom
11-03-2013
I am getting a group of Pilot Owners who are having a problem with their Pilots when the economy kicks in. Most often it is described as a shudder or like driving down a bad patch of road....


brn370
brn370
03-02-2010
I here the 2011 Pilot is coming out in May 2010. Are there any changes from the 2010 Pilot?...


brandspankinew
brandspankinew
04-16-2011
I have a brand new 2011 Pilot EX-L, purchased it 2 weeks ago! I’ve noticed an unusual noise coming from the engine, and it’s got me a little concerned....