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Once again Motortrend compares SUVs, this time no Pilot, no MDX, but they include the Buick Ranier? The VW Touraeg won their award (they liked its value?), but just like last year they compare luxury SUVs to affordable SUVs. Sure if I had $45,000 or more I'd look at the VW, but I'd also look at the Cayenne and the Range Rover and all the other luxury SUVs. For my money you can't beat the Pilot in the under $35,000 price range. Any thoughts?
 

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CNYGuy said:
Once again Motortrend compares SUVs, this time no Pilot, no MDX, but they include the Buick Ranier? The VW Touraeg won their award (they liked its value?), but just like last year they compare luxury SUVs to affordable SUVs. Sure if I had $45,000 or more I'd look at the VW, but I'd also look at the Cayenne and the Range Rover and all the other luxury SUVs. For my money you can't beat the Pilot in the under $35,000 price range. Any thoughts?
Personally, I think the Pilot/MDX owns this segment in terms of high quality and value (cf. higher price of V8 Touareg), though the Higlander will offer stiffer competition this year. I think the MDX was the 2001 Motortrend SUV of the year but not new enough to qualify for this year's comparison.

Haven't read the article yet, but the Touareg's "value" compared with the Cayenne might be what they had in mind, especially if off-roading was weighted heavily. Car & Driver's comparison seemed to indicate that the Cayenne is better on the road as a "big box sports car," but the Touareg seemed to have significantly better off road capabilities. The Cayenne and V8 Touareg are just not comparable to the Pilot/MDX IMHO.
 

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:D that would be unfair if they compare the pilot/mdx again this year. it might trump the competition, in terms of value and AWD capabilities. but a real suv should be measured in off road abilities, that would be my montero hands down!
 

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I compared a base model Touraeg during my search and was very impressed! Solid, quiet, well laid out.

There is alot to like there for a base of 36K. Sadly I was put off by the dealer who offered me a ridiculous amount for my trade and only offered a small discount even though they had +20 on the lot.
 

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I dropped by the VW dealer the other night. I might could understand the Touareg at ~35K, which most of them were. Then I found on for ~50K. This is moving into BMW and Mercedes territory. I don't find myself choosing the Touareg over one of their SUV offerings.
 

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My Bottom Line....

I think MotorTrend was dead on with their selection of SUV of the Year.

Would I buy one??? Probably - but I think the price is going to keep many of them sitting on dealer's lots, especially when a third row isn't available.
 

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SUV vs Crossover

Not that I am a fan of Motor Trend... but from what I read about the VW it is a commendable vehicle, and it would appear similar to the Honda in value. Now I mean this as it is a value compared to its Porsche cousin and the Range Rover as it can be equipped very well, with very good off road skills when comapred to its higher priced targets. If I was shopping in the 50K range to get a VW with all the toys (maybe next time), it would be a "value". As I was shopping the 30K range, the Pilot is an absolute value compared to vehicle offering similar attributes at a higher price.

Another point is that in the classic definition, I consider a vehicle to be an SUV if it has better than good off road capabilities, which would almost require it to have a low range transfer case (VTM is close). Not that I would really take anything but my former Jeep Wrangler anywhere near a rockpile. The "true SUV" class also seems to have high towing capability among its attributes.

Bottom line, if you're shopping for an SUV...you going toward the truck end of the spectrum (though there are some very nice "trucks" out there at a higher price point). I would almost classify the Pilot as more of a crosover (and a darn good one) , though SUV like in appearance and layout. The Pacifica is probably closest to the crossover label, if not more of a big station wagon. I do not take umbrage that the Pilot did not win. I don't think of it a "true" SUV, but then again, I did not want or need one. The Highlander has gotten better, but the Pilot still appears more roomy in my non-expert comparison with a co-worker.

Anyway you cut it, we all seem happy with our Pilots, so obviously thery are number one in our books, and those are the books that matter most.:D :D
 

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I agree. I researched all the SUV's out there before deciding on my 2003 Pilot EX in Nighthawk Black Pearl.
There was nothing out there that could compare to the value and the reassurance of owning a vehicle with the HONDA nameplate for the price. My only regret is that I did not purchase a Pilot with the Navigation sustem. I did not opt for the EX-L, because heated seats were not available.
 

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Watch out what you wish for!

I was within 3 days of getting the VW, but then I began to read the post at Edmonds and other locations about all the problems the car was having. One person said " What do you expect with the Engin and transmission was being built by Audi".. I guess the 2005, second year model will have all the bugs worked out, so I went with the second production year of the Pilot. 04EXL.. Reliability is always on the top of my list. :8:
 

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help me out here, but did the Pilot get into motortrend SUV of the year ever?? I seem to remember last year's competition that was won by the Volvo XC90 and don't recall the Pilot in that mix. And it didn't make it this year either. So if I am remembering this all correctly, why the hell is that?? Why was it not in the comparo? Too easy of a win??
 

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Best Pick! That is worth something!

At work, I drive a 1985 Chevy Blazer, Motor Trend SUV of the year. They did this even without a Passenger Side Airbag?? I drive my company SUV easy and after 7 years is is by far the biggest piece of JUNK I have ever driven. When I needed it real bad in dealing with the San Diego Fires it was not very reliable. The interior is SHOT and they will replace it the truck soon. Consumer report rates the Pilot as a top pick so does Edmund's as a top 10 . That is worth something for sure. SUV of the year is based on a lot of things, but I don't think how Reliable it is expected to be is part of the selection process. Also, when I was at the VW dealer, they had 13 on the lot. Many at the $26K price. These guyes were ready to DEAL and I mean DEAL. VW won't sell many of these unless they fix the issues. Resale value on a 4 year lease was shown as 46%, that is LOW compared to a Honda at 61%. Also, the rear seat was a real PAIN to put down and up... The VW rode nice and had that SOLID German feel and look. They did a real nice job with it but for me it was just the Pilot at the end, Off to work.
 

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Qbrozen said:
help me out here, but did the Pilot get into motortrend SUV of the year ever?? I seem to remember last year's competition that was won by the Volvo XC90 and don't recall the Pilot in that mix. And it didn't make it this year either. So if I am remembering this all correctly, why the hell is that?? Why was it not in the comparo? Too easy of a win??
Yes, the Pilot was in the 2003 review so it was not elligible this year, despite the fact that many of us here consider the adjustable 2nd row and especially the new horn sound to be truly revolutionary.

The online version of the 2003 article is still available at:
http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/suv/112_0212_suv/index.html

Here's their summary of the Pilot:
What's Hot: Eight-passenger seating; carlike ride; seamless five-speed automatic trans

What's Not: Plain styling; third seat just for kids; no side-curtain airbags

What's New: Popular-priced version of Acura MDX; DVD rear entertainment

They also gave honorable mention to the Pilot's netting behind the first row.

Motortrend does seem to emphasize trends and focus on what's new, so it may be that the Pilot was not really seen as new enough in comparison with the MDX, which had already won in 2001, and especially with such an impressive all new model in the XC90. Now, that's not to say that there are not some trade-offs with the XC90. See the very interesting discussion going on over at our sister site, acuramdx.org:
http://www.acuramdx.org/forums/show...=14141&perpage=15&highlight=xc90&pagenumber=1
 

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Re: Best Pick! That is worth something!

Ham Radio said:
At work, I drive a 1985 Chevy Blazer, Motor Trend SUV of the year. ... after 7 years is is by far the biggest piece of JUNK I have ever driven.
Originally posted by Blackura [over at acuramdx.org]
Some notable Car of the Year past winners:

AMC Renault Alliance
Chevrolet Vega (runner-up car that year was the Pinto)
Citroen SM
1974 Mustang II (the Pinto-based Mustang)
Chevrolet Citation
Plymouth Volare/Dodge Aspen

Is that a group you'd want to be associated with?
I guess you can't win 'em all (Honda or Motortrend).
 

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Re: Sorry, $36,000

Ham Radio said:
I meant to say $36,000, not $26,000......
You can click on the edit button in the lower right of your post and edit it at any time.:p
 

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Best Pick! That is worth something!

Thanks for a trip into the past! Thank God I never purchased any of those cars!! I was a Chevy Impala person for many years, but went to Honda and Toyota in the late 80's. Decided on a Audi 5000S in 1980, loved it except paying $175.00 for a small relay. In 84 got a Toyota and was happy when a defective relay was only $37.00! Nissan are also nice cars but not as reliable as Honda and Toyota! I Know, 1996 Nissan Quest my wife drove! now she drives a 2000 Honda EX-L 2 door coup, V-6.... :2: :2: :2:
 

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It's not even fair to compare the Pilot to the Touareg.

The Touareg has a VERY solid feel, high quality interiour (real wood), and is so much fun to drive.

The Pilot......errr......well....let's face it, is a minivan shaped like an SUV. That's not a bad thing, especially if you need a minivan. But with the Pilot, you give up the "fun to drive" quality. And speaking of quality....Honda quality is lacking in the Pilot. Reliability, maybe....but not the highest Honda quality.

The Touareg: high quality - yes.........reliability - probably not.
 

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JungleJim said:
It's not even fair to compare the Pilot to the Touareg.

The Touareg has a VERY solid feel, high quality interiour (real wood), and is so much fun to drive.

The Pilot......errr......well....let's face it, is a minivan shaped like an SUV. That's not a bad thing, especially if you need a minivan. But with the Pilot, you give up the "fun to drive" quality. And speaking of quality....Honda quality is lacking in the Pilot. Reliability, maybe....but not the highest Honda quality.

The Touareg: high quality - yes.........reliability - probably not.
So, just out of curiosity - what did you buy? :)
 

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JungleJim said:
...The Touareg: high quality - yes.........reliability - probably not.
I have to disagree. I couldn't get over how sloppy the controls were. The heater dials almost came off in my hand. Every time I had to interface with that vehicle more than the steering wheel I was cringing at the poorly constructed interior. It made such a negative impression on me that that's all I remember about the experience now.

This was the first one our dealer got several months ago, maybe it was pre-production. It should have never been let out into the public domain.
 

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It's not even fair to compare the Pilot to the Touareg.
The Touareg has a VERY solid feel, high quality interiour (real wood), and is so much fun to drive.
The Pilot......errr......well....let's face it, is a minivan shaped like an SUV. That's not a bad thing, especially if you need a minivan. But with the Pilot, you give up the "fun to drive" quality. And speaking of quality....Honda quality is lacking in the Pilot. Reliability, maybe....but not the highest Honda quality.
The Touareg: high quality - yes.........reliability - probably not.
Sorry but I didn't think the Pilot was meant to be a "fun to drive" car as in a sports sedan. I think the Pilot handles GREAT compared to my wife's Jeep Cherokee (we no longer have this). I love the way my Pilot drives and handles. If I wanted something that took corners at 90mph, then I would have bought a sports car, not an SUV. Do I view the Pilot as a minivan, nope. I see it as an SUV because to me that's what it is. My personal opinion is that SUV's are not meant for off-roading (save the Hummer though), Jeep Wrangles and large pickup trucks are meant for that.
This is just my $0.02 and should be treated as such...
---edwelly
 
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