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Hi all- I have been a big Pilot fan since I bought new my first Honda Pilot in 2005, kept it in great shape up to 240K miles, then an idiot driver hit me and totaled it in 2017. Not in the market for a new vehicle I actually picked up another 2005 Honda Pilot that was same model as mine, but not nearly as great shape body and maint wise. It currently has 192K miles. But like any Honda Pilot of that generation, it is a work horse and I'm at the point of moving on to a new vehicle. I tow a boat so AWD / towing is something I need in a SUV, and I like the 3 bench seat option even if I hardly ever use that third row of seats- comes in handy the few times you need it!

Having 2 1st Gen pilots, I have a good idea of what wears out. Getting the timing belt & water pump changed every 100K is important. Expect the catalytic converters (bank1 and bank2) to go out around 200K. Power steering unit in the second one went out around 175K- that is very expensive to replace. Then after 200K the A/C unit will need some major work, just a matter of time. Both Pilots from 2005 have solid transmissions- I towed a boat with the first one all its life. I like how Honda for that generation pilot had the AWD optionally kick in when needed. I think I actually got a bit better gas mileage on the second one, both pretty much get under 20 MPG (17 / 18 MPG average?). I do drive them hard so that could be part of it. You all know about the fuse box on the passenger side when the radio goes out. I can do basic maint so changing oil, replacing the rear hatch shocks, I can do stuff like that. And both cars developed oil leaks- not serious leaks, but enough that you would need to top off the oil between changes. I don't know what the design issue is between the engine and transmissions, but on 2 different 2005 Pilots they both leaked in the same area. For a Pilot that old, when it develops an oil leak, I would suggest to just live with it if it is not severe, the cost to fix it is not worth the vehicle value of depreciation.

Overall these Honda Pilots are easy to maintain, you can go to any garage and they know how to work on them and parts are easy to come by. It was always reliable for me and drove solid and was actually a bit peppy for a SUV of that time. I still wish my first Honda Pilot was not totaled in that accident, I would still be driving it today! My temporary Pilot replacement was ok but I knew when I bought it , it was not maintained as well. There are still a lot of Pilots on the road from 2005 & 2006 model year, which are my favorites. I still smile when I see one go by.

I'm in the market looking for a modern SUV that can tow and get decent gas mileage , with 3 rows of seats, that will hopefully be as strong and dependable as my old Honda Pilot was! I really don't like the most recent Pilot designs- they look like minivans to me ?!? They look so bulky. I was looking to get a used 3rd Gen MDX, which you know is the upper end version of a Pilot anyway.... But reading the MDX owner forum it looks like the 3rd gen MDX was not as reliable as the 2nd Gen, but I don't know if I want to get a used car that would be going on 7 years. Any SUV recommendations are welcome.
 

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And both cars developed oil leaks- not serious leaks, but enough that you would need to top off the oil between changes. I don't know what the design issue is between the engine and transmissions, but on 2 different 2005 Pilots they both leaked in the same area. For a Pilot that old, when it develops an oil leak, I would suggest to just live with it if it is not severe, the cost to fix it is not worth the vehicle value of depreciation.
Drop a bottle of AT-205 in with the oil and drive 100 miles. Ten buck snake oil that actually works.

 

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We have an 06 EX 4WD, a 11 Odys, and a 19 Pilot Touring. The 06 has been a great vehicle in so many ways so I know how you feel. The 06 does not have VCM and has the 5 speed auto. The 19 drives fantastic but it has several new tech items that I wonder about their reliability:

Earthdreams engine with VCM and Direct Injection (heard about injector clogging issues). It is a J35 series engine so it has good genes...

9 speed ZF transmission (very smooth, almost seamless shifts) - atf fluid changes are not DIY friendly, need HDS and a lift

Electric power steering - no ps pump, very short accessory belt - we shall see how durable it is. Might be better than all the things that can go wrong with a conventional hydraulic power steering system.

Active safety sensing and cameras - hope I dont have to spend a fortune at the dealer on camera calibration over lifetime... no issues so far

Infotainment - super fancy optical fiber network, some people have had issues. We have only had one issue that required me pulling a fuse to reboot the head unit.

Of course, I worried about the 5 speed transmission and electric throttle on the 06... I am getting old I guess.

Rest of the 19 is very similar to the 06 in design. We have 20 k miles on the 19 so far and have not had a warranty issue yet. I did replace front rotors and pads on my own, had a shudder on hard braking from the front rotors.

Dare I say it... What about a Toyota 4Runner if you dont like the current Pilot?
 

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I hate to admit even the 4Runner has my interest with the off-road suspension and goodies that are available BUT it’s the fact that they only offer it in a 5 seater. I’m forced to pass I need the third row seat. If they came out with something that had seating for 8 I’m in.
 

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I hate to admit even the 4Runner has my interest with the off-road suspension and goodies that are available BUT it’s the fact that they only offer it in a 5 seater. I’m forced to pass I need the third row seat. If they came out with something that had seating for 8 I’m in.
The Lexus version of the 4Runner is the GX. Built in same chassis and production line as the Toyota. It’s V8 has to help towing but mpg is going to hurt.
 

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The Lexus version of the 4Runner is the GX. Built in same chassis and production line as the Toyota. It’s V8 has to help towing but mpg is going to hurt.
i considered the older GX470s. Love the V8 because it’s so smooth. Gas mileage is relatively terrible but I guess you can’t have everything.
 

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2019 series GL houses the ECO diesel engine .... hmmm now I'm interested :)
 
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