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Hi All,

I am really debating between the Atlas and Pilot EX-L. I like the way the Pilot drives better and the interior, but reading some of these posts gives me pause. It seems a lot of issues are related to the RES and nine-speed transmission in the upper trims but I do see a fair bit of Exl problems here too, whether it’s radio, paint issues, etc.

So I guess what I’m looking for is feedback on whether you would buy this car again if given the choice?
 

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I have a 17 Elite and I had an Atlas for a day (courtesy car for my second car).

I did like it and thought the Atlas transmission was really nice but I would not trade the Pilot for it.

Check the Atlas forums as well, see what owners have to say as well.





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Of the 2019 Honda Pilots sold so far (160,000 sold in 2018), don't let a few posters scare you. All brands / models of vehicles have issues from time to time, but as far as reliability & resale value, Honda is one of the top brands.

We've had no issues with our 2019 Pilot Touring and would buy another without hesitation.
 

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Had a 2017 pilot EX-L and now 2019 EX-L. I had no issues at all with 2017 and nothing so far with 2019. Most issues do seem to be with upper trims. I'd never go higher than EX-L myself. Don't need 9 speeds and don't need to lose a seat lol. So far so good.
 

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My advice is don't buy the Touring or Elite. All of those added electronics aren't worth the risk. You'll be fine without those features. Otherwise you should be fine. People don't post the positives (most of the time) so don't be scared by the negatives.
 

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I had this same dilemma before I got my 19 exL. I like the atlas, mainly because it was roomier, but it had a lot more serious issues than the pilot. I’m very happy with pilot, though I’m not that impressed with honda sensing, like auto braking and auto high beams, which go on and off randomly at times. Overall, I’d buy it again. We also have a 2016 pilot exl, 28k miles, no issues until the check emissions light came on last week. been very reliable. I don’t see the need for the 9spd tranny or the other bells and whistles.
 

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Mostly likely you will get bias answers here. My only advice is.... life is too short to waste on cars that need to be repaired every other day. Good luck with your choice.
 

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I've had a 2016 EX-L, 2017 EX-L Navi and now a 2019 EX-L Navi - all Canadian versions. The '16 was problem plagued. I had the transmission replaced at 10,000 kms. I had other problems with the '16 so when given an opportunity to jump into the '17 Pilot, I jumped. I figured the problems with the '16 was a combo of first year problems and most likely a dud of a vehicle. But, the dealership looked after me so I was okay moving to the '17. The '17 was flawless.

My '19 Pilot has been plagued with infotainment and navigation mapping problems. Right after this purchase my Honda dealership was sold and new staff there provided absolutely dismal service. Even Honda Canada provided sub par service when I reached out to them to have the issues resolved. The dealer poor service was easily resolved as I simply went to another dealer. Honda Canada's response though was most disappointing as it took months of multiple phone calls before Honda Canada & Garmin admitted that there was an error with the navigation mapping system and the only solution offered was to wait a year for the next update. Very disappointing that Honda would not stand behind its products.

To answer your question, would I buy another? At this time No, I would not. I accept that it is simply a machine and that problems can arise. What I cannot accept though is the breadth of the problems and the poor service that is provided when dealing with these problems. We have had far better reliability issues with vehicles costing less than half of the Pilot, and far better service from other manufacturers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I really appreciate your thoughtful replies. I agree that it’s a crapshoot on whether you get one with issues. I have also looked at the Atlas forums and while they have some with issues too, it does appear VW takes a bit better care to remedy them in a timely manner - that’s my perception from the forums anyway. Granted there are a lot more Pilots on the road.

At this point, I am going to test drive them again and go from there. This is a passionate forum of owners and it has helped greatly with insight into the Pilot - pros and cons!
 

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I did the same comparison Atlas vs Pilot. I’ve had a 2013 EXL in the past and got the 2019 EXL. I’ve read a lot about both cars. The Atlas seems to have far more reported issues. VW are not known for reliability going way back to the 60s and 70s. Still now. And leatherette vs leather? No comparison. My pilot has been perfect.
 

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We bought an 2019 EX-L about two weeks ago and so far the car is great. No complaints yet. I was also looking at the KIA Telluride and they seem to be having issues as well. I think all first generation car are going to be having issues regardless. Also, I think is a matter of bad luck and you got stuck with a bad lemon. Either car are great. Good luck with your choice.


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We've had our '19 EX-L AWD for 3 weeks now (600 miles) so can't really comment on long-term reliability. I agree that avoiding Touring/Elite is the way to go. We recently drove an Atlas for >2,000 miles on a road trip - I thought its steering, handling, and brakes were better than the Pilot's, and it has a roomier back seat and cargo area. Gas mileage was pretty terrible, though (its range was ~325 miles per tank, mostly highway driving). If you believe Consumer Reports ratings, Atlas reliability is predicted as much worse than average (only a prediction), while Pilot is rated as average (this was our primary reason for eliminating the Atlas). To answer your question, we would buy the Pilot again given the choices available. For what it's worth we mostly compared against the Ascent, and picked the Pilot based on its roomier cabin, better storage, better value, and fewer annoying beeps. Good luck!
 

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I personally will never support VW (not that i ever did before) because of dieselgate. No matter how “good” their cars may be.
 

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Hi All,

I am really debating between the Atlas and Pilot EX-L. I like the way the Pilot drives better and the interior, but reading some of these posts gives me pause. It seems a lot of issues are related to the RES and nine-speed transmission in the upper trims but I do see a fair bit of Exl problems here too, whether it’s radio, paint issues, etc.

So I guess what I’m looking for is feedback on whether you would buy this car again if given the choice?
Haven't really looked around, but are similar Atlas/VW (or really any other manufacturer/model) online forums also not filled with various people bringing up and discussing issues of different kinds?
 

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I’ve had nothing but bad luck with VW’s and my mom isn’t fairing much better. Even though the Atlas is a nice looking vehicle, the long term reliability just won’t be there.


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I purchased a 2019 EX-L AWD in November 2018, have put some 8k miles on it so far. I am happy with it so far. Did compare it to the VW Atlas at the time of purchase. Felt more comfortable with the Pilot. Does it have any quirks, sure it does. I wish the road noise from the driver and passenger windows were handled correctly. I read elsewhere on this forum that the glass panes used on the Elite handle the road noise better than the one on EX-L. Like others have mentioned here, the auto high beam is a hit-or-miss. No other electrical/electronic issues noted.
 

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i think buying a car is a hit or miss. i had a vw tiguan for 2 years and the car never broke on me or had issues on it. i traded it for a 2019 EXL because my family is growing and i needed a 3 row. but guess what, just 2k miles on my pilot and already having issues.
 

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Of the 2019 Honda Pilots sold so far (160,000 sold in 2018), don't let a few posters scare you. All brands / models of vehicles have issues from time to time, but as far as reliability & resale value, Honda is one of the top brands.

We've had no issues with our 2019 Pilot Touring and would buy another without hesitation.
I agree. The people who are happy with their cars share this information a lot less than people who have experienced problems. I have a 2019 Pilot Elite. Other than an annoying LED light out on the cupholder soon after purchase, I love it. My only complaint about the Pilot line in general is that they need more options in their trim choices. I would much rather have had a bench seat in the 2nd row and no DVD player but in order to get cooled front seats I had to go with this build.
 

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We purchased our 19 EXL 5 months ago, have put about 4.5K miles on it and have had absolutely no issues whatsoever. We have the tow package and towing a relatively light camper (Aliner) has been a breeze. And I agree with the many others who suggested to not purchase the upper trim levels - too many electronics and for us the price point was way too high. And yep, we are biased towards the Honda brand because we've owned multiple Honda's (about 8 over a 30 year period) and overall, especially from a long term perspective they have served our family well in terms of performance, reliability, safety and resale value. Best of luck with your decision!
 

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Hi All,

I am really debating between the Atlas and Pilot EX-L. I like the way the Pilot drives better and the interior, but reading some of these posts gives me pause. It seems a lot of issues are related to the RES and nine-speed transmission in the upper trims but I do see a fair bit of Exl problems here too, whether it’s radio, paint issues, etc.

So I guess what I’m looking for is feedback on whether you would buy this car again if given the choice?
I think the Volkswagen would be a very poor choice. If you are concerned about Honda service, the Volkswagen will be worse, to much worse. VW parts are much more expensive. The only thing going for the Atlas is that at least it is not a Fiat.
 
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