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Discussion Starter #1
After making the decision to purchase an SUV to replace my Mercedes, we decided to take a road trip from Northern Virginia
to Maine to visit relatives. The Pilot was delivered new on September 13th and we left with about 2200 miles already on
the vehicle. Here is a brief rundown of the performance of our
Pilot over the trip. We have a 2004 EX-L with Navigation.

First day: Friday 10/31 at 5:30 am, left to beat the traffic out
of the DC area. Nav system has course plotted for most direct route (95N). Pilot is smooth and quiet for the most part. Dashboard rattles begin to appear. Driver door seal is still a problem and very noticeable on the NJ turnpike. Nav system likes to be chatty whenever a change is possible on a particular stretch of road.

First stop for gas is in CT. A little over 23mpg so far with three people and some luggage. Seats getting a little soft after
6 hours. Several small stops for bathroom breaks.

Arrive in Maine at about 4:30pm with a little over 10hrs of driving, 620 miles and 1 hour worth of total stops. Nav system did great where it had digitized roads to follow, my destination was not digitized so it was not exact on arrival.

Second day: Put 6 people in the Pilot for a day of sightseeing. Everyone says they are comfortable even in the third row
but our total drive time was only about 2 hours. Pilot rode and handled well and had no problem with some rather bumpy
roads. CD's did some skipping which is strange because these CD's have never skipped before.

Third day: Put 4 people in the Pilot for a day of shopping.
Drove about 1 and 1/2 hours. Seat heaters nice but slow
to warm up. Rear wiper small for window area.

Fourth day: Left Maine at 5:45 am for a return trip. Second
fillup of gas ups mpg to about 24. Drove through about 200
miles of rain. Wipers started to get really squeaky and stuttery after about 1 hour. Arrive in NYC at the worst possible time
(12:00pm) and spend almost a hour trying to get over the GW
bridge into NJ. Pilot feels very large in heavy traffic, tough to change lanes or accelerate fast enough to handle this kind of driving. Schedule now shot, long line for gas at the rest
stop, mileage now about 23.8 for the trip. Through NJ I start to notice that the compass on my day night mirror is way, WAY off.
It cannot seem to figure out what direction I am going and what direction to change to. Very disappointed with this mirror/compass.
Door seal problem still evident.

Arrive home at 5:45pm after spending more time on the Washington Beltway (which I was trying to avoid). The Pilot is not designed for heavy traffic driving, lane changes are slow, blind spots are large even with mirrors adjusted properly.

Summary:

Pros: Decent mpg, cargo/people space, climate control

Cons: Day/Night mirror compass, seats too soft for long distance, noisy tires, noisy wipers, door seals, several dash board squeaks and rattles, sun visors clips that don't hold the sun visors in place, skipping cd's (cd's are fine)

We are keeping the Pilot because of the need for passenger space and cargo space. Honestly after owning 4 Accords and a Legend, I am not real happy driving this as an every day vehicle.
As an SUV it may be a nice vehicle but it lacks things that could make it a great all around vehicle.
 

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This is exactly why I have not purchased yet. I am very disappointed that Honda has not addressed the 2003 problems in the 2004 model. There is no excuse for it.

I am glad people are posting their experiences with the 2004. It sure helps those of us still trying to decide.

We have a 97 CRV we purchased new. It's never had a problem (105,000 miles). It is our first Honda and I've been impressed enough to consider another Honda (the Pilot). But I'm more than a little worried now. Honda might've just missed the quality mark with the Pilot. I think the design is great, but quality (lack of problems, dependability) is what I'm seeking.

I've been driving an 87 VW for 17 trouble-free years. I love my VW, but I know the current VW's lack the quality of years past. Maybe Honda is going the way of VW.

I'm going to take another look at the 4Runner...
 

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beshannon said:
Third day: Put 4 people in the Pilot for a day of shopping.
Drove about 1 and 1/2 hours. Seat heaters nice but slow
to warm up.[snip]
How long is slow? How long would you say would be "not slow?" I'm asking as mine seems OK, but it's been in the 40s and 50s when I've used it so far (one day was 39). When I start on high, I notice the heat within 5 minutes and it gets to it's top temp shortly thereafter (a minute or two).

kad
 

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I can add my initial impressions as well. I picked up my '04 Pilot EX with leather and nav on Saturday morning 11/1. This is also my first SUV. I just finished a lease on a Lexus ES300 and I mention that because I'm hoping for the same quality in the Honda I got from the Lexus.

Things I notice so far ...

1. Rattles / Squeaks - nothing yet coming from behid the dash (thankfully) but I've got less than 500 miles on it so far so I'll be watching that closely. The right rear second row seat squeaks a bit over rough roads but normal driving in traffic is all quiet.

2. Road noise - the Pilot is definitely more quiet than I was expecting but nothing compared to the Lexus. This isn't surpising and I'm not expecting miracles. The first post in this thread mentioned something about a door seal problem. I've spent some time browsing the board and I don't remember seeing something about this. My door seal seems fine so far.

3. Build quality - no major issues yet but again, the vehicle is a week old.


Likes:

- Nav system = what a fun toy to play with!!
- Dash layout is nice and modern
- Storage space = coming from my sedan it feels HUGE


Dislikes:

- Doesn't feel as "solid" as the Lexus. Really a minor gripe ... I could have sprung for the RX330 but I couldn't justify another 10 large.
- Wipers - they do squeak and jump sometimes. This does bother me as the Lexus wipers were whisper quiet ALL the time. Perhaps new blades could address this.


Overall I really like the Pilot. I miss the feel of my sedan and driving a SUV will take some getting used to. BTW, going to a SUV was necessary as my remote control airplanes wouldn't fit in the Lexus. It's WAY nice to open the hatch and throw 3 planes in the back without having to remove the wings.
 

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dmarkel said:
[snip]The first post in this thread mentioned something about a door seal problem. I've spent some time browsing the board and I don't remember seeing something about this. My door seal seems fine so far.[snip]
I believe he is referring to the "door scrunch" problem. Lotsa posts on that.

kad
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Re: 1300 mile/4 day road trip (long)

kadiir said:
How long is slow? How long would you say would be "not slow?" I'm asking as mine seems OK, but it's been in the 40s and 50s when I've used it so far (one day was 39). When I start on high, I notice the heat within 5 minutes and it gets to it's top temp shortly thereafter (a minute or two).

kad
Slow enough to me it seems that my body heat could warm up the leather seat just as much in the same amount of time.
 

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Re: Re: Re: 1300 mile/4 day road trip (long)

beshannon said:
Slow enough to me it seems that my body heat could warm up the leather seat just as much in the same amount of time.
I don't put out a lot of heat (6'3", ~160 lbs.), so that could be the same amount of time as mine take to be noticeable.

kad
 

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We picked up our '04 EXL Pilot on 9/27 and left on a 1300+ mile trip from NC to Disney World on 10/19. We had just under 1000 miles on the clock before we began our trip.

I did not notice any door scrunches that have been squawked on the Pilot. Didn't notice any wiper chatter either. I did notice an occasional clicking noise that sounded like popcorn popping, but more of a ticking/clicking sound.

We had 3 children (ages 4-11) and 3 adults in the Pilot for the trip. One of the 3rd seats had a child and the rest of the back was filled with luggage, etc. The 2nd row adult was a bit crunched because there were 2 car seats in that row.

All in all, the Pilot performed well. I've been a bit disappointed with the mileage around town thus far; we're seeing 15.5 or so. On the trip, (with a/c on) we got 21.4, 20.6, 22.4 and 20.9 mpg). This was running 75mph most of the time. So the trip mileage may not be too bad. I may check into the idle learn procedure as I'm not sure it was done at the dealership (since they left out the chassis plugs).

I bought an aftermarket DVD player which came in very handy for the trip. However, the tangle of cords and wires and the inconvenience of strapping the player to the console (making it a chore to change the DVD) and need for an inverter to power it made us wish we'd bought an EXL-RES instead. I also bought a Garmin 2610 Streetpilot which was very handy. I'm glad to have the aftermarket NAV as I can move it around from vehicle to vehicle and can update the database. Had we to do it over again, we'd have bought an EXL-RES.

Thumbs up for the Pilot. We traded a '95 Accord EXVL on it with about 90k on the clock. The Accord was great, but a bit small for our growing family. The size and view from the cockpit of the Pilot took some getting used to for my wife (after the Accord), but was similar to my T100 Toyota truck in that respect.
 

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The first 2 tanks I've tracked (I didn't track the one from the dealership as I don't know if it was full) came out as 18.6 and 19.3. Half of the first one was 99% freeway (filled up in Coalinga) going between 70-80 (varying speed due to break-in period). The rest of it was normal driving to/from work (for me) - 1.5 miles to the freeway, 7.5 miles on the freeway at anywhere from 0-75 (stops or very nearly stops at least once a mile), and then .5 from freeway to office parking lot.

On the way home, the freeway portion is usually about 3 miles at 75, 2 miles at 5-15, 3 miles at 30-65.

Better than I expected, for sure.

kad
 

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Re: Re: Re: 1300 mile/4 day road trip (long)

beshannon said:
Slow enough to me it seems that my body heat could warm up the leather seat just as much in the same amount of time.
A coworker recently purchased a VW GTI. While I was getting the "tour", I asked about the seat warmers. She turned it on, and in less than a minute it was so hot it was uncomfortable!

5 minutes in the Pilot? Are you sure they have built heaters or is it just your own body heat ;)
 

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That's pretty fast - for me, the Pilot's seat heater sneaks up on me, so to speak. It's like, "oh, I'm quite warm now." So, sometimes I don't notice the heat right away. I'll see if I can be more precise.

kad
 
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