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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would this be a alright family vehicle ? My wife and I are wanting to upgrade from my 04 Dodge Ram for something with more room for our kids. This pilot seems to be in good shape and 4wd. They are willing to take my truck as a direct trade.
I know the first year transmissions were problematic but if it shifts smooth and the fluid is not burnt then I should be good? Anyone still driving a 03?
 

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"This pilot seems to be in good shape". Hmm, IMHO, I'd look at this situation in this way--it's the devil you know versus the devil that you don't know! Thanks.
 

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Would this be a alright family vehicle ? My wife and I are wanting to upgrade from my 04 Dodge Ram for something with more room for our kids. This pilot seems to be in good shape and 4wd. They are willing to take my truck as a direct trade.
I know the first year transmissions were problematic but if it shifts smooth and the fluid is not burnt then I should be good? Anyone still driving a 03?
Still driving an '03.
That being said, were I buying a first generation Pilot used today, I'd instead look for a 2006-2008 with AWD/4WD.

Nevertheless, check the VIN to be sure that all of the recalls have been completed.
Recall Information for Safety & Defects | Honda Owners Site

Also, keep in mind that the timing belt needs to be replaced every 105K-miles or 7-years, whichever comes first.
If you don't know when it was last done, budget $1K to have it done immediately.
If need a family hauler and you're used to driving a truck, you might be better off with a Toyota Sequoia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well we pack the kids into a Toyota Yaris lol but it’s only a two door so it’s kind of a clown car. My big thing is being able to just trade what I got and taking a limited roll of the dice on luck lol
 

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If you have a trusted mechanic take the Pilot to them and ask them to inspect it as if they were looking buy the vehicle. Expect them to charge you a fee to do so, but they will come back with a report on everything that they found both good and bad. From there you can make an assessment of whether you wish to buy the vehicle or not as you will have an idea of what kind of maintainence or repairs it will need immediately, what it will need in the future both near and far. Good luck and welcome to the forum.
 

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Well we pack the kids into a Toyota Yaris lol but it’s only a two door so it’s kind of a clown car. My big thing is being able to just trade what I got and taking a limited roll of the dice on luck lol
What would happen if you traded for the Pilot and the transmission failed a few months from now?
The repair bill might be $3K, or more.

Do you need an SUV?
Could you make an even swap for a vehicle such as an Accord, Civic, Camry or Corolla?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The wife demands third row. I’m trying to find a sienna since most of them are rock solid but I don’t want a ford or Chevy product or Chrysler again lol not that anything is wrong with the truck I just know luck with them isn’t as good as a import
 

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Any high mileage 2003 vehicle with to-be-determined history, maintenance and general care records will need some luck too.
 

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Would this be a alright family vehicle ? My wife and I are wanting to upgrade from my 04 Dodge Ram for something with more room for our kids. This pilot seems to be in good shape and 4wd. They are willing to take my truck as a direct trade.
I know the first year transmissions were problematic but if it shifts smooth and the fluid is not burnt then I should be good? Anyone still driving a 03?
If this is a northern, road salt Pilot, I would say no. My son is still driving our 2003, but the hitch area rusted out, so it will never tow again.
 

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Scroll down the page for the First Generation buyer's checklist, posted by Tacoma 03 Pilot. Lots of good suggestions by folks who have been there!
 

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The wife demands third row. I’m trying to find a sienna since most of them are rock solid but I don’t want a ford or Chevy product or Chrysler again lol not that anything is wrong with the truck I just know luck with them isn’t as good as a import
Personally I don’t like using the third row for passengers given how close the third row seat is to the rear of the vehicle. Think rear end collision.
 

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If you have a trusted mechanic take the Pilot to them and ask them to inspect it as if they were looking buy the vehicle. Expect them to charge you a fee to do so, but they will come back with a report on everything that they found both good and bad.
In retrospect, best 100 buck a pop I've ever spent on cars. Sure, it's disheartening to find out the one you thought was good isn't and you have to start looking all over again, but I know it saved me thousands in real heartaches, and finally led me to the sweetheart I have now. 🧡

And here's a direct link to the most recent version:

First Draft? Crowdsourced First-Gen Buyer's Checklist
 
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