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 Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 250 hp @ 5700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/23 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 system is now included on the Touring model.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (9 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Vibration in steering when driving

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

We got the Honda Pilot 2011, since it was the best option for us in the market. I have this SUV already a year and so far I have only one issue/ concern with it. I brought the car to the Honda Dealer for schedule oil change. I made them clear that I feel vibrations and noise coming from the steering wheel during parking of the car ( you have the steer for parking) or when driving out, all this vibrations are very noticeable at low speed. I did a drive with the mechanical specialist from Honda where he said that this is the first time he got that vibrations. I request to do comparison with another pilot, same year, and till today I am waiting for their feedback. issue with hydraulic oil?



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Hands down best large suv

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

This is my fiances car but I drive it way more than she does and it by the far the best car I've driven. For as large as the car is, it gets great gas mileage. We have moved twice since getting this car a year ago and with both back row seats folded down you can fit an enormous amount of stuff in your car. Even a pretty big dresser! It rides very smooth and is extremely comfortable to ride in. The rear-entertainment system is a great feature to have especially if you have kids riding with you from time to time. The only thing that I would change about this car is I would turn the back seat into two captains chairs and put a big console in between them. Best car ever!




Great suv

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

We love our new Pilot. We owned a 2006 Pilot and traded it for a 2009 Odyssey. It only took a year to figure out we are not a minivan family. So we traded for this and my wife couldn't be happier! Great lines and well laid out interior. Couldn't get much better of a vehicle in our opinion




Great car

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

It is a great improvement over 2007. Rides very well and fund to drive. The rear hatch window is a real nice adjustment. Like day light lights. Sound system is very good. I particularly like shift right in front and easy to work particularly in comparison to 2007 that took three men and a boy to shift. Love back up camera on rear view mirror




Love it

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

Shopped and shopped and drove every "competitor": Mazda CX-L, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia. My conclusion: while other car makers try to imitate each other, Honda builds something truly smart. We were unimpressed with how the other vehicles accommodated our family of 2 adults 3 children. Once we sat in a Pilot and drove it we were completely sold. No comparison in the roominess and comfort department. Very quiet, solid drive - doesn't feel like a truck, but feels much more substantial than a car. We're getting about 16 mpg around town and 23 hwy - good enough for me. I've never driven anything I've enjoyed so much.




Pilot engine is up roaring...

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

After driving my brand new Honda Pilot 2011 EX-L with DVD, I felt like the engine is up roaring when driving with speed < 60 mph. if I drive more than 60 mph then engine is kind of smoother. I haven't noticed the noisy engine after driving ~ 3000 miles on it. Will bring back to dealer to check if there is any problem with the engine. And I hate to go back to the dealer since all I heard "work as expected" but it does NOT.



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

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs