Flash Drive: 2010 Honda Pilot
This 2010 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The traditional SUV may be falling out of favor, but Honda's entry into this once-popular market segment seems to be holding its own just fine. The Pilot has 3-row seating, solid looks and, because it's built on the same platform as the Odyssey minivan, a smooth ride. The second-row seat offers passengers plenty of legroom, and access to the third row is easy. Both rows can be folded flat to haul a lot of cargo or longer items. However, there isn't a lot of room behind the third-row seat when it's in the upright position. Gauges are clear and easy to read even in bright sunlight, and while the controls are intuitive, there are an amazing number of buttons on the center instrument panel, which could be overwhelming for some. Power is adequate for most situations, and with Honda's cylinder deactivation system, fuel economy is not bad for a vehicle of this size - I saw 18 mpg in mainly city driving. —Perry Stern
The Honda Pilot goes about the task of transporting up to eight people with clinical precision. But if you enjoy driving, the Pilot is probably the wrong vehicle for you -- it just has no soul. The steering is totally numb, offering no feedback to the driver whatsoever. It does, however, point the Pilot in whatever direction you ask it to go. Inside, the design is busy -- bordering on schizophrenic, with different shapes, colors and textures going in every direction and way too many buttons and knobs on the center stack. —Mike Meredith
The new Pilot is a great improvement over the old version. The new body design is solid and looks even better in person. The V6 engine and the transmission are smoother than in its predecessors, and Honda engineers responded to consumers and made the car more spacious, yet were able to improve the fuel economy slightly. I averaged 18 mpg in mixed driving. Other great features include the intuitive navigation system, DVD entertainment with wireless headphones, power liftgate and back-up camera. My only real gripe: Honda shrank the glove compartment, allowing only enough room for insurance papers. —Joe Chulick
The Honda Pilot has much in common with its cousin, the Odyssey minivan. It's roomy and has flexible and easy-to-rearrange seating like the Odyssey, with almost as much space. It's comfortable and easy to drive, fitting in well downtown. But unlike the Odyssey, the Pilot has lots of ground clearance and suspension travel. While this makes it more flexible, the soft suspension also means that the Pilot feels like it wallows and sways. —Paul Hagger