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2023 Pilot - AWD v. FWD

2249 Views 27 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  GMarkG
Hi everyone, I'm in the market for a 2023 Pilot and considering the EXL, however I'd like your thoughts on the FWD variant versus the AWD. I've never driven an AWD vehicle before so I have no reference to go with.

We're in Florida, and the vehicle will be used primarily for moving our growing family, with little to no off roading.

We would have to wait an additional 2 months for an AWD variant to come to the dealer, and other dealers within the area don't have them in stock either in the desired color. So I'm trying to get opinions whether the benefits of AWD are worth the wait given our use case, or should we settle for the FWD.

Thank you! 馃槉
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If you can wait and get the AWD, I strongly recommend getting the AWD version. Does not matter even if you're in FL. AWD will also help in rain and wet conditions and Pilot has a torque vectoring AWD, which will make it feel more engaging to drive.
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All wheel drive all the way! I'll never own a 2 wheel drive again! I don't off road either. All-wheel drive is helpful in the rain or inclement weather. Just because you live in Florida doesn't mean you won't get caught in snow somewhere.. I'd get AWD.
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Thanks for your replies, they will help in our decision. Lets see if any more kind members will chime in with the merits of FWD, because most of the stock I'm seeing is FWD. I'm wondering whether that's the reason they're still on the lot, because no one wants to buy them.
Looks like AWD can tow more.. in case that's important now or in the future.

But FWD gets little better gas mileage...

2WD
3,500 lb towing capacity
19 city/27 highway/22 combined mpg rating

AWD
5,000 lb towing capacity
19 city/25 highway/21 combined mpg rating

Some people like AWD better on wet roads and heavy rains as well. The system is more complex, so technically a chance it might need repairs that a FWD wouldn't. But especially for a growing family, I'd err on the safety side for rain or unexpected mayhem.
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iVTM4 all the way. It鈥檚 a very similar system (mechanically the same) to Acura鈥檚 SH-AWD and it鈥檚 one of the best AWD systems out there.

Seeing as you鈥檙e in FL, you don鈥檛 NEED the AWD but as others have mentioned, the safety of it in adverse wet conditions is worth it. As for reliability, the system is bullet proof. We鈥檝e had 3 cars now with a variant of either SH-AWD or iVTM4 and never had an ounce of trouble with either.
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Resale value will be way better for the AWD. For instance Carmax and Carvana can sell it all over the country, not just the places that don鈥檛 see snow. Not to mention better towing capacity.

I had an 鈥05 FWD CRV that was a great car and even decent in Wisconsin snow with good tires. I passed it down to 3 successive children, and my youngest daughter finally donate it to charity last year with 275K miles on the odo.

That said, hardly a day went by in the winter when I didn鈥檛 kick myself for not spending the extra $1500 for AWD.

The price of this car is high and hopefully you will have it a long time, so a little extra cost and wait for the AWD is not much in the big scheme of things.
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I鈥檓 not that much farther north from the FL line, here in SC. I opted for AWD on my last 4 cars.

Unless this car will never leave FL and only be driven during prime beach weather, I think AWD is a no brainier. The MPG penalty is negligible.

You mentioned family, so to me the extra safety of the AWD, plus the additional towing capacity make it a logical upgrade. The additional resale value takes the cake.
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Trying to put myself in your shoes, I鈥檇 say the FWD will serve you well. I鈥檝e owned two FWD Plots, a 2003 and the one I鈥檓 driving now, a 2010. Both have served me well moving my kids and wife around. . The 2010 Pilot will be turned over to my twin teens to get them through their last year of high school before getting them other cars. Full disclosure , I鈥檓 waiting on a AWD Touring I have ordered. I got the Touring package because I鈥檓 used to the moon roof and got AWD because i just retired and wanted the added stability when traveling with my wife when the kids are off to college. Nothing wrong with the EX-L. Many will be sold.
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Thank you all for your insightful responses.

Resale value will be way better for the AWD. For instance Carmax and Carvana can sell it all over the country, not just the places that don鈥檛 see snow. Not to mention better towing capacity.

I had an 鈥05 FWD CRV that was a great car and even decent in Wisconsin snow with good tires. I passed it down to 3 successive children, and my youngest daughter finally donate it to charity last year with 275K miles on the odo.

That said, hardly a day went by in the winter when I didn鈥檛 kick myself for not spending the extra $1500 for AWD.

The price of this car is high and hopefully you will have it a long time, so a little extra cost and wait for the AWD is not much in the big scheme of things.
The primary concern is the wait time, the budget allows for AWD. Indeed the price difference isn't significant considering the cost of investment.

I鈥檓 not that much farther north from the FL line, here in SC. I opted for AWD on my last 4 cars.

Unless this car will never leave FL and only be driven during prime beach weather, I think AWD is a no brainier. The MPG penalty is negligible.

You mentioned family, so to me the extra safety of the AWD, plus the additional towing capacity make it a logical upgrade. The additional resale value takes the cake.
Saftey is right at the top of our priority list, that's why we're considering the AWD version. We're currently using a spare vehicle from the family, however it needs some work and we need something of our own, which we'd like to have sooner rather than later.
Considering we will be keeping this vehicle for a few years as the children grow, it seems practical to wait for the AWD, as that option can not be added after the vehicle is purchased.

Trying to put myself in your shoes, I鈥檇 say the FWD will serve you well. I鈥檝e owned two FWD Plots, a 2003 and the one I鈥檓 driving now, a 2010. Both have served me well moving my kids and wife around. . The 2010 Pilot will be turned over to my twin teens to get them through their last year of high school before getting them other cars. Full disclosure , I鈥檓 waiting on a AWD Touring I have ordered. I got the Touring package because I鈥檓 used to the moon roof and got AWD because i just retired and wanted the added stability when traveling with my wife when the kids are off to college. Nothing wrong with the EX-L. Many will be sold.
Thanks for sharing. Have you ever found the handling, stability or traction lacking in the FWD? Also were there any situations where you found yourself wishing you had AWD?

Slightly off topic but related in the grand scheme of things, what would be a feasible way to rent/loan a vehicle to use during the wait period for the Pilot?

Thanks again to everyone for responding. :)
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My thoughts.
never seeng snow or any towing ok fwd

downside
with awd you can accelerate faster in rain even in emergency even with traction control Especially from a stop or pulling out in traffic
awd you get extra transmission cooler to increase towing capacity
can never haveenough cooling in hot areas :cool:
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Thank you all for your insightful responses.

The primary concern is the wait time, the budget allows for AWD. Indeed the price difference isn't significant considering the cost of investment.

Saftey is right at the top of our priority list, that's why we're considering the AWD version. We're currently using a spare vehicle from the family, however it needs some work and we need something of our own, which we'd like to have sooner rather than later.
Considering we will be keeping this vehicle for a few years as the children grow, it seems practical to wait for the AWD, as that option can not be added after the vehicle is purchased.

Thanks for sharing. Have you ever found the handling, stability or traction lacking in the FWD? Also were there any situations where you found yourself wishing you had AWD?

Slightly off topic but related in the grand scheme of things, what would be a feasible way to rent/loan a vehicle to use during the wait period for the Pilot?

Thanks again to everyone for responding. :)
If you鈥檙e concerned with the wait time, what about going outside of just your immediate market for a dealer who is willing to deal? At the end of the day here, this is just a commodity.

You鈥檙e at the end of the month and that鈥檚 how I got my deal. I called about 20 dealerships near the end of January, locked in with one who had one on the way, and I purchased on Feb 2.
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I would never get the FWD on that car, that's a solid $50k ruined.
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I would buy Odyssey over FWD pilot, it's more practical in every way. Pilot shines over competition for driving dynamics, majority of which comes from torque vectoring differential in AWD system.

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Thank you all for your insightful responses.



The primary concern is the wait time, the budget allows for AWD. Indeed the price difference isn't significant considering the cost of investment.



Saftey is right at the top of our priority list, that's why we're considering the AWD version. We're currently using a spare vehicle from the family, however it needs some work and we need something of our own, which we'd like to have sooner rather than later.
Considering we will be keeping this vehicle for a few years as the children grow, it seems practical to wait for the AWD, as that option can not be added after the vehicle is purchased.



Thanks for sharing. Have you ever found the handling, stability or traction lacking in the FWD? Also were there any situations where you found yourself wishing you had AWD?

Slightly off topic but related in the grand scheme of things, what would be a feasible way to rent/loan a vehicle to use during the wait period for the Pilot?

Thanks again to everyone for responding. :)
Since it is FWD, I have had the rare occasion where it broke loose when getting on it to get on the freeway mainly due to tire wear. I live in the Dallas area and although snow and ice is infrequent, it happens a couple of times a year. I have never had a problem with it. I would say though that if money is not a big deterrent, as you said, you are already looking at a major investment, I would go for the AWD for the many reasons others have mentioned and the reason why I am....family safety.

I wish I could give you insight on short-term leasing or renting but don't have the knowledge to do so.

Best of luck in your decision!
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If you鈥檙e concerned with the wait time, what about going outside of just your immediate market for a dealer who is willing to deal? At the end of the day here, this is just a commodity.

You鈥檙e at the end of the month and that鈥檚 how I got my deal. I called about 20 dealerships near the end of January, locked in with one who had one on the way, and I purchased on Feb 2.
I absolutely agree with you! I would never have gotten the deal I did if I had not expanded my search out 200-400 miles. I will have a few challenges to pick it up but it will be worth in getting it a a decent price.
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Thanks much for your help everyone. We've decided to go with the AWD, and bought the Elite for a difference of 9k on the OTD price. For the added features the trim offered, and also the fact that it was on the lot, we felt happy with the choice. I appreciate all the feedback to my question, you all have been awesome.

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Thanks much for your help everyone. We've decided to go with the AWD, and bought the Elite for a difference of 9k on the OTD price. For the added features the trim offered, and also the fact that it was on the lot, we felt happy with the choice. I appreciate all the feedback to my question, you all have been awesome.
Congrats!

I analyzed and analyzed and analyzed some more and then ultimately just said what the heck, go for the Elite, treat yourself. Always excited to drive it and really happy with the new SUV.
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Looks like AWD can tow more.. in case that's important now or in the future.

But FWD gets little better gas mileage...

2WD
3,500 lb towing capacity
19 city/27 highway/22 combined mpg rating

AWD
5,000 lb towing capacity
19 city/25 highway/21 combined mpg rating

Some people like AWD better on wet roads and heavy rains as well. The system is more complex, so technically a chance it might need repairs that a FWD wouldn't. But especially for a growing family, I'd err on the safety side for rain or unexpected mayhem.
I lived in South Florida for 45 years. I now live in Northeast Georgia in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. I definitely understand why you would ask this question. I just bought a 2023 Pilot Trailsport and it is my first awd vehicle. When you're on a wet road waiting at a Red Light and you want to get in front of the guy next to you, when the light turns green the AWD will take off while the other guy's wheels are slipping.
You made the best choice going AWD. FWD should not exist for a car this size.
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