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#9

in 2010 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $15,151 - $24,971
Original MSRP: $27,895 - $40,245
MPG: 17 City / 23 Hwy
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2010 Honda Pilot Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Reviewers liked the Pilot’s large cabin, which features an adult-size third row and decent room for cargo even with all seats in use. However, complaints still persisted about the somewhat complicated center stack controls and the low-quality plastic materials.

  • "Fit and finish are generally up to class standards, though Pilot's interior is awash in cheap-looking hard-plastic trim. LX and EX's cloth upholstery looks nice and feels sturdy. EX-L and Touring's leather interior feels only slightly more upscale." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Where the new Pilot falls down is the materials and assembly of the dashboard. The plastics are hard and the textures look cheaper than those in a Honda Fit. Perhaps worst of all is the fit and placement of some the seams." -- Autoblog
  • "Inside, the most notable trait of the 2009 Pilot is that it's much quieter than before, with a more modern dashboard that looks a trifle too styled, yet still a model of functionality." -- Road and Track
  • "It seems quieter inside than the Highlander, and its thick-rimmed steering wheel and supportive seats make the Toyota's cockpit feel cheap by comparison." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The 2010 Honda Pilot's interior layout is rugged-looking, in keeping with the boxy exterior. However, as in the Accord, the Pilot's center stack is littered with small buttons that take awhile to get used to. Materials quality isn't that great either -- in contrast to the Veracruz's almost Lexus-like dash, for example, the Pilot's consists of roughly grained hard plastic." -- Edmunds

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Seating

With its standard third-row seat, the Pilot seats eight, while many of its competitors can only seat seven. The Pilot’s first and second rows were spacious enough for most reviewers. However, a few of them complained that the padding in the seats is too firm. Most reviewers said the Pilot’s third-row seat is especially spacious and is even large enough for adults, though a few disagreed, saying the third row is only appropriate for children.

  • "The Pilot's front bucket seats have moderately firm cushioning that proved comfortable during the four-plus hours I spent driving and riding in the SUV." -- Cars.com
  • "Although the leather front seats have adequate support, the padding is extremely firm, which may prove uncomfortable for some passengers." -- Velocity Journal
  • "As far as third rows go, it's a good one, but people much over six feet still won't want to do much time back there." -- Car and Driver
  • "As a full-size adult, I could climb back into the third row with little hassle and fit comfortably there." -- The Detroit News
  • "Despite the bump in third-row legroom, it's still on the small side for adults. Fortunately, young kids are most likely to prowl this part of the Pilot, and for them it should provide adequate room." -- Cars.com
  • "Out back, the Pilot boasts a third-row seat that's actually inhabitable by adults -- no small feat in this midsize segment that's full of third-row penalty boxes.” -- Edmunds
  • "Unless the three in the third row are pre-schoolers, they're going to call it the penalty box. (Honda says the third row has the knee room of the average America. It failed to account for the fact that the average American's knees are connected to thunder thighs and an ample derriere.)” -- AutoMedia.com

Interior Features

Test drivers said that the Pilot doesn't come with as many standard or available features as its top competitors, and they wrote that there are several other downsides to its cabin as well. These include confusing dashboard controls and low-quality materials. 

The base LX model comes standard with cruise control, a tilt and telescoping steering column, manual height adjustment for the driver’s seat, an MP3/auxiliary input jack, a compass, a seven-speaker CD stereo and a radio data system. Options when it was new included a rear entertainment system and navigation.

  • "On the bright side, the navigation system is one of the best in the business once you figure out how to use it, and thoughtful storage areas and cubbies abound.” -- Edmunds
  • "We appreciated the large, center-mounted speedometer, but its silver-on-white markings forced us to rely on our Garmin nuvi navigation unit as a speedometer. Our Touring edition tester had too many controls on the center console for our tastes. The buttons are positioned perpendicular to the driver and are difficult to read." -- AutoMedia.com
  • "The Pilot is available with many of the features you would expect to find in a family-oriented crossover SUV, like a backseat entertainment system, but rather than being optional equipment that you can add to any trim level, many popular features are limited to more expensive trims." -- Cars.com
  • "Inside, the design is busy -- bordering on schizophrenic, with different shapes, colors and textures going in every direction and way too many buttons and knobs on the center stack." -- MSN
  • "The center stack, when the navigation system is included, becomes a confusing mess of buttons, switches and knobs. There are 52 buttons to press, adjust or select -- not including the 15 on the steering wheel. Space missions use fewer commands." -- The Detroit News
  • "But jumping into the cabin, we get a thoroughly different perspective, a heavy dose of Acura with the profusion of buttons on the steering wheel and stack, and most noticeably with the big joystick/knob used for controlling navigation and audio functions on the LCD. Unfortunately, this interface hasn't been particularly refined during its jump from Acura to Honda, so it keeps some of the flaws, such as the two sets of buttons for two different voice command systems." -- CNET

Cargo

The Pilot provides 18 cubic feet of cargo volume with all three rows of seats in use. Space increases to 47.7 and 87 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down, respectively. Once folded, they create a flat load floor, which isn’t always the case in this class and is something reviewers appreciated. Small storage places are plentiful. The Pilot boasts 12 beverage holders, a hidden storage space in the cargo area, four cargo-area tie-down anchors and five cargo-area bag hooks. The glass section of the tailgate can open independently. A power tailgate is standard on Touring models.

  • "Fold down the second- and third-row seats, and a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood will lie flat on the floor -- unusual in this market segment." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "My only real gripe: Honda shrank the glove compartment, allowing only enough room for insurance papers." -- MSN
  • "Prepped for cargo, the Pilot can take on 87 cubic feet of stuff -- technically less than most rivals, but its boxy shape makes it seem bigger." -- Edmunds
  • "The Pilot is also easily pressed into service for trips to the home improvement store. The third and second rows fold almost flat and will accept four-foot-wide items. Both rows fold in a split arrangement." -- AutoMedia.com

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