When it comes to interior space, professional car reviewers found a usable third-row seat and good adult-sized room in the 2009 Honda Pilot. Interior quality, though, has slipped a bit.
In the 2009 Pilot, Honda “added 2.9 inches to the length and wheelbase, made it 1.0 inch wider and nearly an inch taller,” Motor Trend reports. “Collectively, the changes upped cabin volume by 4.1 cubic feet.”
“Inside, this ground-bound space ship offers better accommodations across the board,” Motor Trend reports. “Its well-formed front buckets gain an extra 20 mm of seat travel, and the driver's perch power-adjusts on all but the LX.” The Pilot also gets “a steering column that now tilts and telescopes,” they note. Cars.com says the “front bucket seats have moderately firm cushioning that proved comfortable.”
The Detroit News says, “The second row felt spacious and the front offered lots of room,” and Motor Trend notes that it “retains 3.0 inches of basic fore/aft adjustability.” USAToday thinks the “second row slides fore-aft and has good leg and knee space,” but thought that the seat’s folding features were “a bit stiff to operate.”
“Honda has also managed to carve out an adult-size space” in the third row, Edmunds says, “by raising the hip point of the seat itself, so there are 1.9 inches more legroom and a far more comfortable seating position.” The Detroit News also finds enough space in the way-back seat: “As a full-size adult, I could climb back into the third row with little hassle and fit comfortably there.” Motor Trend agrees; “Still best for a trio of younger folk, the innermost sanctum now truly is capable of carrying two average adults in reasonable comfort,” they write. Cars.com feels it’s “still on the small side for adults.” The third-row seat folds completely into the floor of the Pilot, sources add.
Storage inside the 2009 Honda Pilot is made easy with two rows of folding seats in back, and numerous storage bins, along with the cargo area behind the third-row seat. In eight-seat configuration, the Pilot still has “class-leading 20.8 cubic feet of rear stow room, including a 2.8-cubic-foot concealed underfloor bin,” Cars.com says, and “47.7/87.0 cubic feet with one or both back rows flopped.” There’s space enough “for a couple golf bags or a folded stroller behind the 3rd row,” ConsumerGuide promises, and there’s also “ample small-items storage includes a versatile front console, two-tier front-seatback pouches, and plenty of compartments and cubbies.”
Quality construction is still a hallmark of the 2009 Honda Pilot, but some trim pieces are noticeably cheaper than in the past. Cars.com noticed “an uncharacteristic-for-Honda exposed cutline in one of the dash pieces and a slightly misaligned trim piece on the instrument panel hood.” They also pointed out the dash plastic is “hard to the touch, which is unusual considering that many automakers are using soft-touch materials in cabin designs.” ConsumerGuide also notes the “abundance of hard plastic trim.” Automobile thinks that “its thick-rimmed steering wheel and supportive seats make the Toyota [Highlander]'s cockpit feel cheap by comparison.”