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2004 Honda Pilot

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2004 Honda Pilot Review

A better SUV crossover and a perfect choice for large and active families.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2004 Honda Pilot is a midsize crossover SUV capable of seating seven or eight passengers. It is designed to appeal to customers who don't want to drive around in a minivan. It offers good fuel economy, an easy and comfortable drive, and a spacious and well-designed interior.

The Honda Pilot offers good handling and a comfortable ride, especially for a midsize crossover SUV. It has a reputation for its well-designed interior, and the instruments are all intuitively located and easy to use. Honda uses quality interior materials, and the Pilot makes no exception. Although the seating can accommodate seven or eight passengers, adults who sit in the third row find it uncomfortable and cramped on longer journeys. However, the Pilot does benefit from excellent cargo capacity and easily meets most families’ space requirements.

This nice looking SUV has styling reminiscent of a truck, but it looks like a suburban vehicle, seeming at home in shopping malls and well-heeled neighborhoods.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Honda Pilot LX, Honda Pilot EX

What's New

Pilot EX models equipped with leather receive side mirrors and heated seats as a standard feature this year. Honda improves its navigation system for this year by increasing the database, and accessibility to third-row seats also shows improvement. A reminder seat belt system also joins the entire Honda lineup for 2004.

Exterior

The Honda Pilot proves ideal for larger families who need extra passenger and cargo capacity. The 2004 model comes in two different trends: the LX and the EX. The standard LX model comes with a decent range of features such as 16-inch steel wheels and a rear spoiler. The EX adds body-colored molding, body-colored door handles and exterior mirrors, and alloy wheels.

Optional extras for the Honda Pilot push up the price a bit, and in addition it offers a number of dealer-installed options, including brush guards and a towing package. The rear bumper has a step, and both bumpers have rubberized plastic guards under them. The EX model comes with roof rails standard, but the crossbars have to be purchased as an accessory from Honda dealers.

Interior

The 2004 Honda Pilot’s interior features include cruise control, a stereo with an in–dash CD player, power windows, and power door locks on the LX model. The EX comes with a power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support, front and rear automatic climate control, a HomeLink garage door remote, a better quality stereo with steering wheel controls, and an outside temperature indicator. Models with the optional leather seating can be ordered with either a rear-seat entertainment system or a navigation system. Unfortunately the two cannot be ordered together.

Somehow, the Pilot manages to look smaller on the outside than on the inside, as the interior feels surprisingly spacious, and Honda keeps the plastic to a minimum to give it a far more refined look than others in its class. The middle row of seating feels comfortable for adults, but the third row seems best kept for younger children, or for transporting adult passengers on shorter trips. However, bear in mind that most midsize SUVs don't include a third row of seats standard.

The seating proves very versatile, and both rows of rear seats can split 60/40 to suit the situation. The second row of seating reclines and slides forwards or backwards to give a greater amount of legroom to passengers. The second row of seats folds away easily, and the model gets a remarkable amount of space with both rows of rear seats folded flat. With the seats folded flat the Honda Pilot offers 90.3 cubic feet of cargo space, far more than most of its competitors.

Performance & Handling

All Pilot models contain an all-wheel-drive, 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that comes with a five-speed automatic transmission and gives 240 hp and 245lb-ft of torque. EPA fuel economy estimates reach 15/20 mpg city/highway and 17 mpg combined.

Even though this vehicle seems large to drive, it maneuvers with surprising ease and seems ideal for everyday use. It even parks easily. The Pilot has more than enough power to give excellent acceleration and produces more horsepower and torque than many of its competitors. It remains stable even at higher speeds, and its independent suspension handles rough roads, although passengers in the third seat may find the ride a little bumpy at times.

The wide measure of this vehicle helps give it extra stability on the roads. It boasts reasonable offroad capabilities, although it may struggle while climbing or descending extreme gradients. The interior comes well insulated, providing a very quiet ride which remains unusual for this size of SUV.

Safety

Standard safety features include anti-lock disc brakes and side-impact airbags.

EPA Fuel Economy

Honda Pilot LX: 15/20 mpg city/highway
Honda Pilot EX: 15/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Roomy interior
  • Seating for eight passengers
  • Comfy ride
  • Plenty of standard features
  • Plentiful hauling and storage abilities

You Won't Like

  • Average towing capacity
  • Feels big from behind the steering wheel

Sum Up

A better SUV crossover and a perfect choice for large and active families.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Dodge Durango
  • Ford Expedition
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Audi Q7
  • Honda CR-V
  • Ford Escape

See the New 2015 Pilot.

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