Best Bet
  • (4.6) 30 reviews
  • MSRP: $5,847–$14,091
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 17-19
  • Engine: 244-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x4
  • Seats: 8
2008 Honda Pilot

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 Honda Pilot

What We Don't Like

  • Interior materials outdated
  • Third row folding mechanism outdated
  • Exterior design is outdated
  • Cylinder deactivation on 2WD only

Notable Features

  • VP trim level replaces LX
  • New top SE trim level
  • More features standard in '08
  • Seats eight
  • Top crash-test ratings
  • Exceptional reliability

2008 Honda Pilot Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Honda hasn't completely redesigned its midsize Pilot sport utility vehicle since its introduction in 2003, and that's a long time. It shows in some bad ways, but it also shows in the standard features Honda keeps adding to hold buyers' interest. Larger than the company's compact CR-V and youth-focused Element, the Pilot is technically midsized based on its exterior dimensions, but its car-based construction makes for a roomier interior and eight seats in three rows. There are more models in the Pilot's high-capacity crossover class than ever before, including the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Hyundai Veracruz, Mazda CX-9, Saturn Outlook, Subaru Tribeca and Toyota Highlander.

The big change this year is the discontinuation of one trim level and the addition of two others. The base, LX, trim level, is replaced by the Pilot VP. VP stands for value package; though it costs a few hundred bucks more than the LX did, it replaces the black door handles, side mirrors and rear spoiler with more upscale body-colored versions. It also replaces painted wheels with machined alloys, regular rear windows with privacy glass and a single-CD player with a six-disc in-dash changer. Also added are XM Satellite Radio (subscription sold separately), stereo controls on the steering wheel, and roof rails — which are the first step toward a complete roof rack.

For 2008, the new SE (special edition) trim level builds upon the continuing Pilot EX with a moonroof, DVD video system, XM radio, a 115-volt household-style power outlet and ambient console lighting, all as standard equipment.

Only modest bodyside cladding is used on the Pilot, which exhibits a clean look. The hood slopes down to a wide grille flanked by wraparound headlights. Despite some headlight and grille changes for 2006, the overall appearance is practically the same as when the model made its debut. All Pilots now have body-colored bumpers, bodyside moldings, door handles and side mirrors.

Up to eight occupants can fit inside the Pilot, which features 60/40-split folding seats in the second and third rows. Theater seating provides a better view for rear passengers. Cloth upholstery is standard, and leather is available in a variant called the EX-L.

Maximum cargo volume totals 87.6 cubic feet. A 4-foot-wide sheet of plywood will fit flat on the floor. Options include a DVD-based touch-screen navigation system and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Under the Hood
The Pilot's 3.5-liter V-6 produces 244 horsepower and 240 pounds-feet of torque and runs on regular unleaded gasoline. A column-mounted lever controls the five-speed automatic transmission. A front-wheel-drive model with Variable Cylinder Management can automatically switch the Pilot's 3.5-liter V-6 between six- and three-cylinder modes to improve fuel economy. The front-drive Pilot with VCM saves 1 to 2 mpg compared to the heavier 4WD version.

The Pilot boasts a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, having received top scores in frontal-, side- and rear-impact crash tests. Dual-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for all three rows of seats are standard.

All-disc antilock brakes are standard, as is Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist electronic stability system with traction control. Head restraints are installed for all eight seating positions.

Driving Impressions
Honda did nearly everything right with the Pilot. Carlike traits are immediately noticeable, and the vehicle's slightly heavy feel is mixed with considerable overall refinement.

Performance is strong and confident, if not exactly blistering. Response is quick, easy and seamless from the engine and automatic transmission. The seats are firm and very supportive, and the large speedometer is easy to read.

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.

The Pilot's need of updating is evident in its interior. Though respectable, the materials aren't as rich as those of some fresher competitors. Also, the second-row seats don't adjust forward and back, and the third row's head restraints must be removed before its backrest will fold flat into the floor. This has all but become a thing of the past.

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 30 reviews

Write a Review

liked how it handeled and how much room it has.

by Susie from Mason, ohio on August 23, 2017

I like how this car can seat 8. Also that it is a 4wdr. I also like how I sit up high and is easy to see out of. It feels like a sturdy safe family car.

Read All Consumer Reviews

8 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 Honda Pilot trim comparison will help you decide.

Honda Pilot Articles

2008 Honda Pilot Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Honda Pilot EX

Head Restraints and Seats
Moderate overlap front

IIHS Ratings

Based on Honda Pilot EX

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
Overall Rear
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry

Moderate overlap front

Left Leg/Foot
Overall Front
Right Leg/Foot
Structure/safety cage


Driver Head Protection
Driver Head and Neck
Driver Pelvis/Leg
Driver Torso
Overall Side
Rear Passenger Head Protection
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
Rear Passenger Torso
Structure/safety cage
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Honda Pilot EX

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Honda Pilot EX

Overall Rollover Rating
Front Seat
Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.


There are currently 4 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage





What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years