Car Review

2010 Honda Pilot: Used Car Review

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Used 2010 Honda Pilot EX
Used 2010 Honda Pilot
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author photo by Ron Sessions April 2015

The all-new second-generation Honda Pilot introduced for 2009 brought increased second- and third-row passenger room and cargo space behind the third row. It also gained a tailgate with a separate opening glass hatch, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, hill-start assist, four Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) positions for child safety seats, Bluetooth and an optional power lift gate. There were no changes made for the 2010 Honda Pilot.

The Pilot can carry up to eight passengers and 87 cu ft. of cargo space with the second- and third-row seats folded. The standard 250-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 features a Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system that idles two or three cylinders when not needed during light cruising to save fuel. Honda's Active Noise Cancellation works through the audio speakers to minimize low-frequency rumble that can occur when the VCM deactivates cylinders.

The Honda Pilot is a good used-car choice for growing families with active lifestyles and is one of the top-selling 3-row crossover SUVs.

What We Like

Secure handling; four LATCH positions for child seats; solid feel; outward visibility; comfortable first- and second-row seats; decent third-row roominess; cargo space

What We Don't

Robot-like front-end styling; cluttered center dashboard; flinty ride quality; disappointing fuel economy

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter 24-valve single-overhead-camshaft V6. Equipped with variable valve timing and a dual-stage intake manifold, the 3.5-liter V6 makes 250 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque on regular unleaded fuel. Two-wheel-drive (2WD) versions are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-rated at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, while 4-wheel-drive (4WD) models drop to an EPA rating of 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy. All models are equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission. 4WD versions can tow up to 4,500 pounds, while 2WD Pilots are rated to tow only 3,500 pounds.

Standard Features & Options

The 2010 Honda Pilot is available in LX, EX, EX-L and Touring trims.

The LX's standard equipment includes 17-inch steel wheels, front and rear air conditioning, auto headlamps, cruise control, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, remote keyless entry, a 7-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder and subwoofer, a compass, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, a trailer-hitch receiver, 3-row seating for eight passengers, cloth upholstery, split fold-flat second- and third-row bench seats, dual front- and side-impact airbags, overhead airbags, and power locks, windows and mirrors.

The EX trim upgrades to 17-in alloy wheels, the HomeLink system, automatic climate control, a power driver's seat with power lumbar support, steering-wheel audio buttons, SiriusXM radio, heated door mirrors, a security system, fog lamps and an outside-temperature gauge.

Choosing the EX-L adds a power moonroof, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, first- and second-row leather seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated front seats, a power front passenger seat, a backup camera and a reverse-sensing system. Optional EX-L packages add an upgraded 10-speaker surround-sound audio system and a rear entertainment system.

Opting for Touring trim upgrades to a power rear lift gate, satellite-linked navigation, turn-signal-indicator mirrors, driver's seat memory, a USB jack, Bluetooth phone connectivity and the upgraded 10-speaker surround-sound audio system.


The Pilot 3-row crossover SUV has been a top seller in its class, meaning that the availability and selection of used examples should be good. Honda's excellent Variable Torque Management 4-wheel drive (VTM-4) gives the SUV all-weather capability for northern climes with snowy weather, but the standard front-drive system with traction control is sufficient for most driving situations and doesn't hurt its resale value.

To get a good idea of the 2010 Pilot's price range, investigate the Kelley Blue Book used-car values at You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the following recalls for the 2010 Pilot:

Missing driver's airbag rivets can alter airbag deployment in an accident, increasing injury risk.

Defective front-seat lap-belt stitching may cause the belt to detach from the anchor webbing, increasing injury risk in a crash.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2010 Pilot a 5-star rating in frontal and side impacts and four stars for rollover performance.

The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2010 Pilot Good ratings for moderate-overlap front and side impacts, as well as head restraints and seats, but a Marginal rating for roof strength and a Poor rating for small-overlap front impacts.

American Honda Motor Company sold the 2010 Pilot with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 5-year/unlimited-distance corrosion-perforation warranty.

Honda certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles must be younger than 6 years and have no more than 80,000 miles on the odometer. Every CPO Pilot undergoes a 150-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, extending the basic new-car warranty to 48 months or 48,000 miles and powertrain coverage to 7 years or 100,000 miles from when the vehicle was first sold, whichever occurs first. Also included is a vehicle history report.

Other Cars to Consider

2010 Ford Explorer -- This is the last year for the old-design, truck-based Explorer with an available 292-hp 4.6-liter V8 and towing capacity up to 7,300 pounds. Its ride isn't as carlike as the Honda Pilot's, and the 210-hp 4.0-liter V6 in the base Explorer isn't really enough engine for this truck. Top Explorer options include SYNC infotainment and a power-folding third-row seat.

2010 Toyota Highlander -- Toyota's midsize crossover has a car-based design. Its 3.5-liter V6 delivers peppy performance, and its 18 mpg city/24 mpg hwy EPA ratings top those of the Pilot. The third-row seat folds flat into the floor, but its cramped design is for children only, and access to the third row is difficult. A Center Stow second-row seat provides a small center-position seat for a child that can be stowed away when not needed.

Autotrader's Advice

The Pilot has consistently rated highly among 3-row crossover SUVs. In terms of livability, the EX or EX-L are smart choices because they include most of the equipment that buyers are looking for. The EX comes with alloy wheels, a power driver's seat, SiriusXM radio and auto air conditioning, and the EX-L adds heated leather seats, a power front passengers seat and a backup camera model, plus the option of a rear entertainment system that will keep the peanut gallery occupied for miles.

For peace of mind, look for a Honda certified pre-owned Pilot that's gone through the 150-point inspection. Otherwise, seek out lower-mileage examples that have seen obvious care and maintenance. And always get a vehicle history report. Make sure the Pilot you are considering for purchase has had any applicable safety recalls performed by the dealer.

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Used 2010 Honda Pilot EX
Used 2010 Honda Pilot
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2010 Honda Pilot: Used Car Review - Autotrader