2004 Honda Pilot

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$27,100

starting MSRP

2004 Honda Pilot

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Reputation for reliability
  • Abundant cargo space
  • Solid construction
  • Resale value
  • Carlike handling and refinement

The bad:

  • Lack of Low-range gearing
  • Short seat bottoms
  • Untraditional radio controls
  • Occasional uncertainty in turns

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2004 Honda Pilot trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Large greenhouse area
  • VTM-4 4WD
  • Wide wheel track
  • Eight-passenger capacity
  • Navigation and entertainment options

2004 Honda Pilot review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
Honda added the midsize Pilot sport utility vehicle to its lineup as an early 2003 model and billed it as “not too big, not too small.” Larger than the company’s compact CR-V and new Element, the Pilot edged aside Honda’s Passport, though it was not intended as a direct replacement.

Honda calls the Pilot the “ultimate family adventure vehicle” and promises the largest passenger and cargo-hauling capacity in its class as well as an abundance of storage compartments. The automaker claimed that the Pilot’s VTM-4 (Variable Torque Management 4WD) drive system combined the best of four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

Three models are available: LX, EX and top-of-the-line EX-L. Heated seats and mirrors have been added to the EX-L for 2004, and Honda’s available navigation system gets an improved database. The Pilot is manufactured in Allison, Ontario, Canada.

Exterior
Only modest bodyside cladding is used on the Pilot, which exhibits a clean look. So-called “classic SUV proportions” include upright roof pillars and a large greenhouse area that yields what Honda calls “panoramic views for all occupants.” The hood slopes down to a wide grille is flanked by wraparound headlights. All models have body-colored bumpers, and the EX adds body-colored side moldings.

Unibody construction includes front and rear subframes. Equipped with a fully independent suspension, the Pilot has an 8-inch ground clearance for offroad treks.

Interior
Eight people fit inside the Pilot, which features 60/40-split seats in the second and third rows; both seats can fold down. Theater seating provides a better view for rear occupants. Leather upholstery is available in the EX edition.

Walk-in capability lets passengers easily access the interior next to the second-row seat. A 4-foot-wide sheet of plywood will fit flat on the floor. Cargo space totals 90.3 cubic feet with the second and third seats folded. The spare tire can be lowered without removing any cargo. Options include a DVD-based navigation system and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Under the Hood
Honda’s 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 engine produces 240 horsepower and 242 pounds-feet of torque and runs on regular fuel. A column-mounted lever controls the five-speed-automatic transmission, which has Grade Logic Control. The full-time VTM-4 four-wheel-drive system includes an electronically locking differential; a transfer case is not used. The Pilot can tow a 4,500-pound boat.

Safety
All-disc antilock brakes and side-impact airbags are standard. An “intelligent” front-passenger airbag works with an Occupant Position Detection System. Seat belt pretensioners and headrests go in all eight seating positions.

Driving Impressions
Honda did just about everything right with its Pilot. Solidity and carlike traits are immediately noticeable, and the vehicle’s slightly heavy feel is mixed with considerable overall refinement.

The Pilot’s performance is strong and confident, if not exactly blistering, and its response is quick, easy and seamless from the engine and automatic transmission. The seats are firm and very supportive, and a large speedometer is simple to read.

Drivers can expect a smooth ride on good roads and a satisfying experience on rougher pavement. The Pilot stays reasonably flat in curves, but it’s not quite as surefooted as some SUVs on narrow twisty roads. It seems a trifle uncertain through some demanding turns.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 9/16/03

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.6
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 4.6
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.7

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Most reliable care I’ve owned

We have had this 2004 Honda Pilot since 2017 we bought it from the original owner who had all the receipts from all the work that has ever been done to it we put about 80k miles on it since then and just absolutely love it. It has taken us on a hundred road trips or more in all types of weather and terrain. Instead of just selling it and getting a new car which I could easily do I just rebuilt the transmission that was slipping a tiny bit into 2nd and whining a bit so I had it rebuilt. I changed the motor mounts and the struts all the way around, got new tires and had it detailed because I love this vehicle so much I don’t want a new one I just want to keep this old girl running. If anything happens with the engine I’ll just have that rebuilt. Best family vehicle ever!!!

5.0

VERY RELIABLE

I actually still have this car and am waiting for my son to get his license and this will be his car. My husband bought this for me as a birthday present in 2004! I only put a little over 72,400 miles on it. I love my Honda’s ! It will be a great first car for my son!

5.0

Now all of our friends own them

We bought our first 05 Pilot in 2008 and she has been the best cvar every. Funner than minivan but with great seating, we tow with it, camp in it and haul kids. We bought the 04 for our son in 2018 and since buying our first one, our friends have fallen in love and now own their own ranging from 05's to 2012s and love them. Super reliablem cheap to maintain and the parts are easy to come by and afford. We will drive ours into the ground and probably still keep repairing it

See all 60 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Honda
Certified pre-owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
HondaTrue Certified: More than 1 and less than 6 years/more than 12,000 miles HondaTrue Certified+: Less than 1 year/less than 12,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
HondaTrue Certified: 12 months/12,000 miles HondaTrue Certified+: 24 months/50,000 miles
Powertrain
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
182-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

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