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You'll Like The 2011 Honda Pilot If...

If you’re looking for a true eight-passenger vehicle that offers more on- and off-road capabilities than a minivan, the 2011 Honda Pilot belongs on your list. It can accommodate three child seats in the second row and comfortably fit two adults in the third-row seat.

You May Not Like The 2011 Honda Pilot If...

With the Pilot’s limited stand-alone option choices, you will have to opt for a higher trim if you want a premium sound system, USB port, moon roof or heated front seats. Those looking for a base model with a few choice extras that won’t break the bank may be more interested in the Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander or Ford Explorer.

What's New

For 2011, Honda’s voice-activated satellite navigation system is now available on both the EX-L and Touring trims.

Interior Features

Benefiting from Honda’s simple but elegant design philosophy, the 2011 Pilot’s interior emphasizes maximum room with minimal clutter. Ergonomics and simplicity are the key themes, as the radio and climate controls are placed within easy reach and gear selection is operated via an instrument-panel mounted shifter. Passenger legroom is generous in all three rows – a rarity in some three-row vehicles – as is head and shoulder room. Cargo space is still abundant thanks to multiple storage spaces and under-floor storage in the trunk area. And, for the occasional wider load, the vehicle is broad enough to accommodate four-foot wide items when the seats are folded flat.

Exterior Features

The 2011 Honda Pilot has a rugged, boxy SUV look that gives no hint of its car-like driving dynamics. A long wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs create a purposeful stance, while the use of Honda’s high-strength Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure in the front helps absorb energy and mitigate frontal impacts. Other conveniences include a standard integrated tow hitch and a lift-up glass hatch on the tailgate. Aesthetically, the bold front fascia stands out, especially the six-sided grille, and the large 17-inch wheels fill out the wheel wells in style.

Driving Impressions

For such a large vehicle, the 2011 Honda Pilot delivers a surprisingly calm and capable driving experience. The suspension is firm, but not bouncy, making the ride stable with minimal body roll considering its SUV stature. The steering is precise and well-isolated when going over bumpy roads at almost any speed. While In-cabin noise seems noticeably quieter than many large crossovers we’ve tested, it’s more an intuitive rather than scientific observation. Another big difference between the Pilot and it competitors is its responsive engine. Although the Highlander moves along just as quickly when it comes to getting onto a freeway or traversing rocky terrain, the Pilot seems to accelerate more quickly than its American competitors and their respective V8 offerings.

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2011 Honda Pilot LX starts just under $29,000 and approaches $42,000 for a loaded all-wheel-drive Touring trim with navigation and the DVD Rear Entertainment System. Its base price is on par (or lower) than the entry prices of the GMC Acadia and Ford Explorer, and even the Pilot’s Touring trim level remains competitively priced in its segment. Be sure to take a look at the New Car Blue Book Value to see what consumers in your area are currently paying for their Pilot. As for residual values, the Honda Pilot is projected to hold values higher than those of the Chevy Traverse, Ford Explorer and remain on par with the Toyota Highlander.

Notable Equipment

A base 2011 Honda Pilot comes with sport cloth seats, remote entry system, automatic headlights, power windows, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 17-inch wheels, front and rear air conditioning, an integrated rear cargo net and under-floor storage, auxiliary input jack and an AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers and a subwoofer. The EX, EX-L and Touring Pilots add an eight-way power driver’s seat, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, daytime running lights and heated side mirrors. Exclusive to the EX-L is a rearview camera with a display screen imbedded in the rearview mirror.

Notable Options

Most of the additional features for the 2011 Honda Pilot are tied to trim level and are not available as stand-alone extras. These options include a 512-watt AM/FM/six-disc CD premium audio system with ten speakers, leather seats, power moonroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, corner and rear backup sensors, power tail gate, side mirror turn signals, navigation system with voice recognition and rearview camera, 115-volt power outlet, a USB port and second-row integrated sun shades. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system is available only on the EX-L and Touring trims.

Favorite Features

Rearview Mirror Camera DisplayAvailable on the EX-L trim, this 2.5-inch LCD display – conveniently located in the rearview mirror – shows you what’s behind the vehicle while in reverse. Second Row SeatingThe 2011 Honda Pilot’s second row offers excellent room for taller passengers and also provides LATCH systems for three child seats.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Honda Pilot’s engine comes equipped with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology, allowing for an uptick in horsepower and torque, as well as improved fuel economy. This VCM technology, similar to the system used in the current Honda Accord, allows the vehicle to seamlessly run on three, four, or six cylinders, depending on driving conditions and requirements. 3.5-liter V6250 horsepower @ 5700 rpm253 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 (2WD), 16/22 (4WD)

Editors' Notes

Upon its introduction, the Honda Pilot quickly earned a reputation for reliability, comfort and practicality. With seating for eight persons and ample room for all their stuff, this crossover echoed what people liked about SUVs without the heft or poor fuel economy as trade-offs. Benefiting from a complete redesign in 2009, the 2011 Pilot carries on offering a spacious interior, plenty of convenience-oriented features and respectable gas mileage. However, with the growth of the mid-size crossover in the last few years, the Pilot faces more competition than ever, and now must stand out from the likes of the Mazda CX-9, Chevy Traverse, Toyota Highlander, Hyundai Veracruz and the new Ford Explorer.

Road Test Video Reviews

2011 Honda Pilot Owner Reviews

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Very versatile with all the luxuries.

2011 Honda Pilot

So far my 2011 Honda Pilot has not given me any problems. I had a 2005 Honda Pilot before this one that had well over 100, 000 miles on it. I love the Honda Pilot. It seats 8 and is versatile in its seating arrangements. My Pilot has heated leather seats, rear DVD player, sunroof, backup camera. There is plenty of legroom and storage space in the Honda Pilot. It is AWD which is great in the winter weather. I absolutely love my Pilot and will always own one. It fits my dogs in the back nicely when I fold down the third row. I have a great dane and an American bulldog/boxer mix. We have 3 sons who play sports and it fits there equipment in the back nicely. I can fit bikes in the back to but I love that is has a hitch and I bought a bike rack to tow the bikes easily. It also has the roof rack to which I bought a storage rooftop carrier for which enables us to still fit 8 people and keep our luggage on top. I have taken my Pilot on so many road trips all over the us. I highly recommend it to anyone!

- Rebecca G

I really like the glove box and the storage above it.

2011 Honda Pilot

This is my 2nd Honda pilot. I loved my 1st Honda pilot it was 2006 and I drove it to 200, 000 plus miles on it when I traded it in for this one. The inside on the 2011 Honda pilot is so much nicer. It drives good but I must say the get up on it is not as good as the one in 2006 I could press on the gas in my old pilot and it would go. The 2011 I think because it is such a bigger vehicle or seems to be it takes much longer to accelerate to a speed. I feel like the seating in my 2006 was much more comfortable. They were both leather my 2011 pilot is comfortable but just because I have had a 2006 I know those seats seem to be more comfortable and not so stiff. I do love my 2011 better over all. I love the way that it looks! I love the DVD player! If I could make a suggestion I wish that I could listen to music in the front while my kids could listen to the DVD in the back. I love the navigation! I love the camera! I love the space!

- Nina M

Very Happy Honda Pilot Owner

2011 Honda Pilot

My vehicle is an EX-L model. I especially love that the dual front seats are both power and heated. I recently have used the available 3rd row seating for transporting my kids and their friends. Everyone one had plenty of room and we were able to get 8 passengers in our car. The heated mirrors are great in a New England winter. The split hatch is a excellent, my previous Pilot did not have that and trying to fit tall items in the car was a pain. Now I can leave the glass open and the item just sticks out with the hatch closed. The only thing I am disappointed in is the issue with the spark plug misfires that make the car "jump" while driving. This is a warranty issue they have fixed once but it didn't last. Apparently I need to go in and have a piston ring job to completely fix the problem which they say should be covered under the extended warranty.

- Amy M

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