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2008 Honda Pilot

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2008 Honda Pilot Review

Very suitable midsize crossover SUV.

Reviewed by Automotive on


Honda has most certainly become one of the leading car manufacturers over recent decades. The company name is commonly thought of first whenever someone is seeking out a new car. It definitely earns this reputation through hard work resulting in durable vehicles that have unique styles at very affordable prices. The Honda Pilot sport utility vehicle (SUV) embraces all of these Honda-related traditions. When originally released, the Pilot's creative appearance and drive qualities caught everyone's attention.

The 2008 Honda Pilot offers plenty of standard features and acceptable styling while trying to keep the feel and trendsetting traits that made the vehicle so popular in the first place. It keeps a moderately-rugged exterior appearance while making the interior functional and convenient. When someone simply cannot stand to drive a minivan but still needs a sensible family-hauler, the 2008 Honda Pilot is a nice option to break away from old-fashioned minivans.

The Range

Body Styles: Midsize crossover SUV
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Pilot Value Package, Pilot EX, Pilot EX-L, Pilot Special Edition

What's New

The 2008 Honda Pilot falls within the first generation design of the vehicle. Even though the Pilot is due for a thorough makeover, the 2008 model keeps to the style and most of the features of previous editions. The only alterations for this year come in the form of the trim package line-up. The 2008 Honda Pilot LX is replaced by the Pilot Value Package, which includes a few more features than the original LX. Also, the Special Edition model debuts for 2008.This trim level is basically a cloth-upholstered version of the EX that includes a DVD player as well as a sunroof.


The first generation Honda Pilot is definitely thought of as a stylish trendsetter, particularly for its exterior. The 2008 Honda Pilot supports this idea from its predecessors and maintains its original exterior design. The smooth and sleek curves of this initial style keep the appearance from reaching too far into the SUV roots of this kind of crossover. The distinctive style is not exactly generic, but keeps it simple; meaning it can easily stand the test of time without aging too quickly. The engineering is very solid and holds true to the Honda ideals of reliability and strength.


One of the biggest 2008 Honda Pilot selling points is the fact that it can seat eight passengers; a rather impressive number for a midsize crossover SUV. However, since the category is midsize instead of full size, the back seat can get cramped. In fact, the third row of seats is best left to children and smaller adults. Cargo capacity is nice, and with both the second and third row seats folded down, total capacity is increased to 88 cubic feet. The cargo space is reduced to 48 cubic feet if the second row is in use. The cabin itself is very comfortable; high-quality materials are used in all features giving it an elegant appearance. Also, the controls are very straightforward, which helps drivers intuitively manipulate features without being too distracted. However, the real issue with the interior is that entertainment features cannot be paired with navigation features within a single Pilot model.

Performance & Handling

All 2008 Honda Pilot vehicles are powered by a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that is capable of producing 244 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Yet, the only available transmission to control this power is the five-speed automatic. In terms of powertrain, there is a choice between front-wheel drive and an optional all-wheel drive that automatically gives power to the rear wheels when front slippage occurs. The front-wheel drive models are still a good choice since they come with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology. The VCM system turns off three of the six cylinders when they are not needed to increase fuel economy.


Like all Honda vehicles, the 2008 Honda Pilot puts safety as a very high priority. Standard equipment for all models includes anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. The 2008 Honda Pilot performed ideally in government crash tests, earning a perfect five-star rating for both the frontal and side impact tests.

EPA Fuel Economy

Pilot: 16/22 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Generous storage space
  • Comfortable ride
  • Smooth power delivery

You Won't Like

  • Third-row seat is a bit restrictive
  • Unable to order navigation and entertainment systems together

Sum Up

Very suitable midsize crossover SUV.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Toyota Highlander
  • Nissan Murano
  • Hyundai Veracruz

See the New 2015 Pilot.

Front & Driver Side View