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I'm sure this has been "discussed" before:
I have 2 Pilots ('04 exl awd with 250K and got one for my son last summer an '08 exl awd with 135K). They are great....well maintained, no problems, no oil consumption issues, and just about the most reliable and safe cars I have ever had.
As I have posted before (and thank you for the wonderful comments/advice/opinions...), my daughter is off to college (5hrs away) and will be working at a barn...so a car with some room will be necessary. Obviously, I'm looking for a Pilot and to keep it under $9-10K
It is getting harder to find a first generation Pilot. I know a well maintained V6 awd is great and I'm not too fond of the stories I hear about the VCM on the 2009+ later engines/oil consumption issues. I did hear that after 2012 the oil consumption issue was resolved?? Also, not a big fan of the new look. What I do like is more tech stuff, more availability of models.

Question: Should I still keep looking for a first gen. Pilot OR should I look for a later model? If so, what year....? (and to keep in mind cost factor..). I'm constantly browsing Cargurus, Facebook (not a big fan of...) and local reputable dealers

Thanks again
 

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2016 CRV Touring AWD, 2005 Pilot RIP.
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Sometimes I get tempted to look for another AWD first gen. But I’d insist on it having spent its life in the nice dry southwest of the USA, where rust isn’t the issue.
Up here in New England, you start seeing rust in the rear wheelarch area by 150k.
it’s all downhill from there.
Ok so flying and driving home would be an adventure but I’d be up to that for the right car.
 

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I haven't seen a flood of troubles with 2nd generation Pilots. I think their great vehicles. Disable the VCM, keep it maintenance and change the transmission fluid to Valvoline MaxLife ATF.
 

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I would agree with Mr. Nail Grease. The 2nd Gen Pilots do have issues with the early VCM system, but this can be fixed with a disabler, like S-VCM (or similar disablers). The 2nd Gen has port fuel injection, which is a plus. You do not have to worry about the valve carbon issues caused by GDI in the 3rd Gen. The 2nd Gen VCM does not play games with the torque converter, as the 3rd Gen does. This means better transmission life for 2nd Gen Pilots. The big problem with 2nd Gen VCM seems to be oil bypassing the piston rings and causing oil burning, plug fouling and even catalytic converter contamination. If you can find a 2nd Gen that is running nice, then snap it up, put in the S-VCM device, and drive it for another 100k.
 

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A facelifted first gen AWD would be an excellent choice, the early ones scare me with the automatic failure rates. I would not hesitate to get a 2nd gen (of course since I have one!) but if it is higher mileage I'd pull the rear plugs or spend the $100 to have a mechanic give it a lookover before purchasing. Just so I know the VCM demons aren't already there, then I know I can install the disabler and motor happily for many miles.
 

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Let’s be honest. The number of 3rd generation Pilots I see on the road indicates that they clearly aren’t pieces of crap. Many people get 100k+ miles out of them without much problems. The few problems there have been (fuel injectors, 9speed transmission programming, wiring) fixed mostly on Honda’s dime.

Even if you find a low mileage well maintained first gen, it is old and things will fail solely as a result of age.
 

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There are enough Pilots out there that there are great ones, rotten ones, and everything in between.

For me, a west coast car with good paint (so probably garaged) with immaculate service records is a lot more important than year or generation if you want another 100k from it.

In the OP's case, I think it's a matter of setting your budget, then looking for the best one that comes in lower. Hopefully you've got time to search before you need to pull the trigger.
 

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For me, a west coast car with good paint (so probably garaged) with immaculate service records is a lot more important than year or generation if you want another 100k from it.
Carfax is your friend although at times it is not all together accurate.

Spend a few dollars a get your target vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic.

...... and as they say “buy the seller”
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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And although it was written with 1st generations specifically in mind, this buyer's checklist has several elements that can be applied to 2nd gen, 3rd gen and even universally.

 

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Let’s be honest. The number of 3rd generation Pilots I see on the road indicates that they clearly aren’t pieces of crap. Many people get 100k+ miles out of them without much problems.
Honda continued to sacrifice long term reliability of their vehicles for fuel economy. 3rd Gen reliability is 💩 compared to previous Gens. Honestly.
The few problems there have been (fuel injectors, 9speed transmission programming, wiring) fixed mostly on Honda’s dime.
The list is a little more extensive than that.
 

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