2011 Pilot "4WD" in deeper snow - Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums

Register Home Forums Active Topics Insurance Photo Gallery Garage Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Auto Escrow
Piloteers.org is the premier Honda Pilot Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 05-19-2010, 11:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default 2011 Pilot "4WD" in deeper snow

Hi all - quick question for the group. I did some searching on this and other boards and general consensus seems to be that the Pilot "4WD" (really more of a disengaging AWD if I understand the technology correctly) performs well in snow around town (plowed roads) and can handle a fair amount of unplowed snow. Unfortunately most opinions seem to come from people who are driving with stock tires (not M+S rated or dedicated snows). I'm curious to hear from anyone who lives in the sticks (like me) and routinely drives on unplowed roads in the winter (6"-8" pretty regular on the way to work in the winter at least a couple times a week) up / down hills. Also curious to hear of any experience with driving up unplowed driveways with similar or slightly more snow (packed-snow base below 6"-8" fresh). I live in the hills outlying Syracuse NY, and have a pretty steep / long driveway that is routinely plowed-in at the bottom in the winter (few feet across of 12"+ snow from the plow's daily action). To add to the excitement, the driveway is at the peak of a blind-hill, so it's really important to be able to get THROUGH the snow and not get stuck 1/2-way in or out.

We have a 4x4 GMC Jimmy that is basically cr*p in all aspects EXCEPT 4WD, which is exceedingly good. With snow tires on (an important point), we can stop 1/2-way up the driveway and start again, and never have a problem blasting through the plow drift at the bottom of the driveway. The wife often gets home earlier than me so it's important that she can get up the driveway safely with baby-on-board. I read a post on the board here of an individual who claimed that their pilot's front-end would slide sideways on snowy crowned roads before the rear-drive would engage; is this expected behavior from the VTM system? We really like the Pilot and want it to work for us (3rd-row seat is most functional in it's class) but are considering a 4Runner as the capability of the 4X4 is without question. Any real-world feedback from fellow boondocker's would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
jfgovern is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-20-2010, 11:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
Registered User
 
dieseldad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 93
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

I do a ton of snowmobiling in the winter months. A few times last year I took the wifes Pilot and towed a 5'x10' enclosed trailer in 6-8" of unplowed snow for 25-40 miles or so. Same situation out in the sticks, roads hadn't been touched. Pilot handled it all great. No I wouldn't want to break trail with it all day long, but it should handle what your asking of it without issue.
I look forward to trying ot get it stuck this winter.

FYI I have the factory michelins on our 09 touring.
__________________
09 Dark Cherry Pilot Touring 4wd
08 Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab CTD
97 Jeep TJ
dieseldad is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-20-2010, 11:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Briarcliff Manor NY
Posts: 74
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

I have not had any problem at all driving my Pilot on unplowed roads. Mine came from the factory with M+S tires, so I'm not sure what your comment refers to.
__________________
2010 Touring 4WD w/ RSE
rbenjami is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-20-2010, 11:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
Registered User
 
dieseldad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 93
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

I thought they all came with M&S tires, but I know only the touring gets the Michelins. They do an excellent job in the snow.
__________________
09 Dark Cherry Pilot Touring 4wd
08 Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab CTD
97 Jeep TJ
dieseldad is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-20-2010, 12:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Good insight - thank you all! When starting from a standstill does the front-end slide a bit in snow before the rear engages, or is the system seamless in transitioning from FWD to AWD?
jfgovern is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-20-2010, 01:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
Registered User
 
dieseldad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 93
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

seemless. Now, if you turn off VSA, and floor it, the whole vehicle wants to slide sideways...but its not just the front end. The front end would be typical to a FWD car or SUV, the Pilot DOES NOT exhibit that characteristic. it exhibits characteristics similar to any other 4x4 SUV with a real tcase, such as your Jimmy.
__________________
09 Dark Cherry Pilot Touring 4wd
08 Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab CTD
97 Jeep TJ
dieseldad is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-20-2010, 01:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
Registered User
 
theirishscion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 762
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfgovern View Post
Good insight - thank you all! When starting from a standstill does the front-end slide a bit in snow before the rear engages, or is the system seamless in transitioning from FWD to AWD?
I can't speak from any personal snow experience in the pilot, but the rear wheels should be fairly quick to engage. Not instantaneous, obviously, but as fast as the computer can spot some slippage and energize the clutch packs in the back axle/diff/thing.

Certainly much faster than the hydraulic AWD in my sister in law's CRV. The CRV 4x4 effectively relies on a pressure differential between the output of two pumps (on on the input side on the 4x4 clutch, one on the output, so when the front wheels are moving faster than the back, a differential develops) and it seems to need quite a bit of a difference. This leads to quite a 'grabby' action, I think is the best way I could describe it. The front has to break away quite noticeably before the back will engage. It seems to work great then, it certainly gets her up their hellaciously steep and slippery driveway all year round, but not with the alacrity of my brother's (full time AWD) Landcruiser Amazon, which just sort of bumbles up nicely.

From my preliminary experiments in wet clay in East Texas (), I haven't yet been able to detect any significant lag before the rear axle kicks in. However, snow is subtle stuff (from what I remember of growing up somewhere that actually _got_ some) and you'd really need more input from someone with direct experience in the pilot. Might also be worth asking on the first generation board, since the engine, transmission and VTM-4 system is essentially identical all the way through. I would say this, at risk of alienating those around me; if I could have fit my motley crew of children, mother in law, wife, dog, luggage etc in a 2010 4Runner, that would most _certainly_ have been my first choice. Love that truck, built on the international Landcruiser Prado platform. Utterly excellent. Eight out of ten warlords polled said they would accept no substitute. Sadly, it felt about 20% smaller on the inside compared to the Pilot, and that was too much. (<sniff>)
__________________
2011 Touring 4x4 RES, Dark Cherry Pearl & Beige. "The HDMI Wagon"
2014 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 5-door, Suspiciously Glittery White. "The Beast"
2008 Acura RDX w/ Tech package, Boring Dark Grey. "The Red Headed Stepchild"

Last edited by theirishscion; 05-20-2010 at 01:32 PM.
theirishscion is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-20-2010, 07:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 86
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfgovern View Post
Good insight - thank you all! When starting from a standstill does the front-end slide a bit in snow before the rear engages, or is the system seamless in transitioning from FWD to AWD?
From what I have read about the VTM-4 system, when starting from a stop there is torque to both the front and rear axles. As speed increases the torque is gradually biased towards the front and is 100% at the front when cruising. Any time throttle is applied a percentage of torque is moved to the rear. This not only helps traction but they do this to eliminate torque steer.

This makes sense, you'd want the most traction available from a standing start, but don't need power to all four wheels while cruising. I can verify that this is how I feel my Pilot working, there is no wheel slip when gunning it from a standing start (such as on a dirt or gravel road, or on a wet surface), and only every know and then do I feel a hint of torque steer in the steering wheel.

And as I'm sure you already know, the best AWD drive system in the world doesn't mean much if you don't have good tires! With a good set of M&S or snow tires, I think you'll be very happy with the Pilot.
__________________
2010 Honda Pilot EX-L AWD (Mocha Metallic)
sdg319 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-20-2010, 10:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: OH
Posts: 677
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

I have dedicated snow tires and this car is the best I have ever driven in the snow. I have an 06 MDX, but I'm pretty sure it's the same set up. Better than my wife's RX300 (with dedicated snows too). I have climbed some very steep driveways and had no problems at all. I'm in NE Ohio and we get some deep stuff here, especially in the mornings before the plow trucks get caught up and it has just plain kicked a$$.

Oh yea, I have never pushed the VTM lock button once.
carguy07 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-21-2010, 12:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

thanks again all! I've decided to go ahead with the purchase - called the stealer today and made the arrangements. Worst-case I'll buy snow (Jimmy needed them - this probably will as well). Very excited to pick it up and put it through it's paces this winter. Thanks again to everyone who replied. I appreciate your honest feedback. OH, and I completely concur with you theirishscion - we actually enjoyed the 4Runner more (driving) but found it's 3rd-row seat to be utterly ridiculous (complete afterthought in a brand-new design - what the h?) and too much cash for not enough flash (basically same price as pilot without leather, heated seats, rear-camera, etc.)... for $3K less we probably would have gone for it, but the 3rd row seat is basically unusable. We have a turbo-diesel 4x4 pickup - I understand the value of the fixed rear-axle and true 4x4, but the trade-off is too severe between the two SUV's IMHO..
jfgovern is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-24-2010, 07:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 24
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default VTM-4 is very fast and almost completely seamless!

And you don't really need any snow at all to test it!

One of my favorite tricks in my 4wd '06 Pilot is to accelerate very briskly away from a light when it is pouring rain and the road surface is drenched and/or oily/greasy.

The Pilot is not really a "fast" car but anyone who tries to keep up with you and only has two-wheel drive (which is 90+% of the other cars around - even some very expensive ones) is usually left with an embarrassing spinning tire (or two).

At times like that I can often feel a big shove coming from the rear if a front wheel of the Pilot threatens to break traction.

Try it for yourself! (but please do it safely).
nefarious is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-25-2010, 10:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
Super Senior Member

 
cwa107's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Middletown, PA
Posts: 2,527
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Send a message via ICQ to cwa107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nefarious View Post
And you don't really need any snow at all to test it!

One of my favorite tricks in my 4wd '06 Pilot is to accelerate very briskly away from a light when it is pouring rain and the road surface is drenched and/or oily/greasy.

The Pilot is not really a "fast" car but anyone who tries to keep up with you and only has two-wheel drive (which is 90+% of the other cars around - even some very expensive ones) is usually left with an embarrassing spinning tire (or two).

At times like that I can often feel a big shove coming from the rear if a front wheel of the Pilot threatens to break traction.

Try it for yourself! (but please do it safely).
I like that sensation as well and always take the opportunity to try to break the Pilot loose in the rain. In the odd event I get a little bit of slip at the front wheels, you get an immediate push and it catches instantly. I honestly believe, given the Pilot's mission as a minivan in SUV clothes, this is perhaps one of the best systems on the market. You're not going to go offroading with it, but in snow/rain/sleet it's completely seamless and rock solid. If my 2010 is anything like my '05 was, it should do fine on unplowed roads.
__________________
2013 Nissan Pathfinder SL Premium, Dark Slate

2010 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD (traded)

2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium - Ruby Red Pearl

2005 Honda Pilot EX 4WD (traded)
cwa107 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-25-2010, 03:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
Rocky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Red Sox Nation
Posts: 10,423
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Tires make a huge difference in the way your car can perform.

First gen Pilot owners were given GY Integrity or Bridgestone (?)684 tires which were great on dry road but show them snow or rain and they forgot their task was to connect you to the road.

Current gen Pilots get GY Fortera or Michelin LTXMS2.

I now have the latter tire on my first gen Pilot and they've shown good grip on the limited amount of snow we've had so far.
Rocky is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-25-2010, 04:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
Super Senior Member

 
cwa107's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Middletown, PA
Posts: 2,527
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Send a message via ICQ to cwa107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky View Post
Tires make a huge difference in the way your car can perform.

First gen Pilot owners were given GY Integrity or Bridgestone (?)684 tires which were great on dry road but show them snow or rain and they forgot their task was to connect you to the road.

Current gen Pilots get GY Fortera or Michelin LTXMS2.

I now have the latter tire on my first gen Pilot and they've shown good grip on the limited amount of snow we've had so far.
I had the factory Bridgestone Duelers on my '05. They were great for me in the snow. Only trouble I ever had with them was road noise.
__________________
2013 Nissan Pathfinder SL Premium, Dark Slate

2010 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD (traded)

2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium - Ruby Red Pearl

2005 Honda Pilot EX 4WD (traded)
cwa107 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-25-2010, 07:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kansas
Posts: 16
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Had a nasty freeze during my trip home from work recently. Typical rainy mist that turns into ice as soon as the temperature allows. It was so slick that eventually everyone just stopped on the highway and put the flashers on. Highway 59 in KS was closed with people sitting for over 2.5 hours. I must say I was very impressed with the pilot's traction control. I never felt like I couldn't get going even though others were struggling. Even the ABS was very helpful. The Pilot is the best vehicle I've ever driven in ice. I've owned many 4x4 Trucks / SUVs. Most without traction control. The Pilot put them all to shame that night.

And, after waiting for about 40 minutes, I drove down the ditch until I came to a gravel road that I was able to take the rest of the way home.
__________________
2011 Honda Pilot Touring WDP/Gray, Lighted Running Boards, and All Weather Package

Last edited by KSPiloteer; 12-25-2010 at 07:25 PM.
KSPiloteer is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:48 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.
Copyright 2000 piloteers.org. All Rights Reserved.