Hmmmmmm, funny you askHi all,
I’m cross shopping the new Pilot Elite and Acura MDX. I test drove the MDX this weekend and was pretty happy with the overall interior quality and driving performance. I‘m not in love with the exterior design - it looks like a wagon to be honest and I find the headroom to be a little tight.
Has anyone compared the new Pilot Elite with the Acura MDX? I‘m guessing it’s a step down in interior quality but I like the Pilot’s exterior design and boxy shape, I like how it’s a lot taller which I assume gives you much more headroom. Is the interior of the new Pilot Elite a big step down compared to the Acura MDX in terms of quality and fit and finish?
Yes you should read these forums. You can also go hang out at MDXers and you will get more views there.
I shopped both and just put down an order for Pilot Elite. IMO, Pilot has a much more functional 3rd row. More legroom, much more headroom, and that 3rd row reclines while MDX does not. My wife says MDX 3rd row feels claustrophobic and like looking out of a little airliner window. Pilot is no Odyssey but it is much more useable if you do need that 3rd row.
I personally like the MDX styling a little more (although the A logo on front is garishly huge) but I agree Pilot is a huge step up vs the last one. It looks like an SUV. It looks more masculine. My wife didn't love it because it looks "boxy" and she likes the 2022s, but no I'm not buying a 2022 at this point when that whole thing is so dated and on its way out.
You really need to go drive and sit in both of them, same afternoon if possible. I was lucky that my Honda dealer had an MDX out front in the used car section so we drove both all in the same visit. My impression was Pilot interior is a little more spartan. Dash is less fussy and I actually like that. Pilot has a simple touchscreen while MDX has that touchpad thingy that takes up space on the console, and MDX has that silly giant Drive Mode dial right in the middle of the dash for some un-fuggging-known reason. But at the core of it they are very similar cars. Basically same platform and engine. Same removable seat, same panoramic moonroof, and Pilot Elite has the same full digital dash with the little car icon on it and everything.
MDXers board you will find lots of talk about how Acuras are not Hondas in any way, they are much more luxurious and sporty and whatever. I don't really subscribe to that philosophy in this case. I think you just go see both of them and you will know what you like. If you really need 3rd row space then you will likely tilt to Pilot, while if the sportier look and the fake Vrooom Vrooom sound that Acura adds into the audio system while you are accelerating gets your heart beating that you have a sportier luxury marque then you may want to spend up for the MDX.