• Honda

Holler Honda

2211 N. Semoran Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32807

  • Sales: (888) 854-9982
  • Service: 866-938-0927
  • Parts: 407-629-1234

Reviews

2011 Honda Pilot Driving Impressions


On the road, the Honda Pilot feels balanced, with sufficient power and brakes, decent ride quality and handling, and on 4WD models the ability to leave the pavement or tackle pre-plowed snow. Most owners won't go as far as a Pilot will go, but the rugged looks match vehicles that will go farther on a bad trail, so travel is best kept to scenic byways and mountain motorways.

The 3.5-liter V6 takes on a characteristic Honda growl when you push it and you'll need to be towing or accelerating uphill on an on-ramp to require such grunt. For the most part the engine is in the background, never silenced, never rough and never annoying. It uses Honda's Variable Cylinder Management to switch off two or three of its six cylinders to save fuel; the ECO light on the dash shows when you are getting best economy and does not necessarily mean the Pilot is running on only three or four cylinders. Like the all-wheel drive system, the VCM is transparent to the driver and requires no action on his or her part, and apart from some front-tire spin under heavy acceleration from rest the front-drive model drives just like the all-wheel drive.

Among the host of three-row crossovers in the 3.5-liter to 3.8-liter V6 class, there isn't a wide range between the slowest and fastest and the Honda feels right in the middle. Where the others may enjoy a slight advantage is with six speeds in the transmission, and/or the ability to address each of them separately or in a Sport mode for quicker response. The Pilot shifter offers an OD Off switch which locks out the top two gears, so if you want fourth to control speed on long hill descents or winding roads you're out of luck. Toyota's Highlander and Mazda's CX-9 come to mind as better in these respects, and to a lesser extent, GM's Acadia/Enclave family.

Since the Pilot is among the lightest of the eight-seat crossovers the suspension can be tuned for ride comfort without requiring undue stiffness for control. It swallows up most road surfaces with aplomb and never bottomed out on dirt road whoop-de-doos when driven sensibly but briskly. No single noise source stands out and normal conversations are quite possible at highway speeds. The stability assist is one of the lesser intrusive such algorithms and if it comes into play you probably won't notice as you'll be busy wondering how you got into a bad situation.

Relative to some other recent crossover designs, the Pilot seems to ride a bit softer than the GMC Acadia and its GM siblings and has less body roll than the Highlander, though the Acadia may enjoy a slight advantage in steering feel. The most sporting drive in the segment is Mazda's CX-9 though we wouldn't venture as far from the beaten path in that as we would in a Pilot, and the Pilot is more maneuverable than any of them.

Brakes perform as well as they should be expected and all electronic braking aids are standard. If you see something bad about to happen, just stand on the pedal as hard as you can and keep steering; you might just drive around it.

The 4WD models use all-wheel drive: They work full time and offer no low-range gearing. The 4WD models deduct 1 mpg from EPA ratings.

Prices shown are manufacturer suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license, or doc fee. Manufacturer vehicle accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Please contact us with any questions.

**Based on 2013 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

For EV Models, 132 city/105 highway/118 combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) rating; 82 mile combined (city/highway) driving range rating (adjusted). Ratings determined by EPA. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe and range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, lithium-ion battery age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-electric-label.shtml.

For 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid, 115 combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) electric rating; 47 city/46 highway/46 combined MPG gasoline only rating. 13 mile maximum EV mode driving range rating. 570 mile combined gas-electric driving range rating. Based on 2014 EPA mileage and driving range ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe/MPG and driving range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, lithium-ion battery age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-PHEV-label.shtml.

For 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, 50 city/45 highway/47 combined mpg rating. Based on 2014 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition, and other factors.