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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We are getting rid of our 2016 Pilot and looking at a new 3 row SUV to grab some new features we would love. Both the Pilot 2021 and MDX 2020 have features we are looking for. I thought it might be nice to go into the Luxury MDX ride since there are some overall driver improvements - seating, design, overall look. But I was surprised how advanced the Pilot was. I personally do not mind the dual screen MDX infotainment but there were just a lot of other bonuses in the Touring model

  • Pilot wireless charging
  • Rear Entertainment (my kids are 4 and 5 and although using iPads might be fine this is a nice perk)
  • Power Tailgate (I think the RDX has this but the MDX doesn't)
Overall a few extra perks for going with the Pilot Touring which is a solid car. The big thing however, is I would save $45 per month versus the MDX. Any other feedback on the Pilot I am missing on? Because right now it seems like the smarter family car. I’ve seen previous threads on older models but comparing 2020/21 Pilot Touring and Acura MDX pretty close since there are tons of discounts on both with the Acura msrp being slashed for leases. I mainly in my mind am debating paying a bit more for that added comfort. But the fact I also get less features pushes me back to the Pilot.

Any fresh thoughts?
 

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The Pilot seems like the clear winner to me. The MDX has less space and tech than the Pilot. Nowadays one of the biggest things that makes a car’s age show is the infotainment. The MDX has an outdated infotainment imo which will make the car seem much older than it actually is. The Pilot on the other hand has a really nice infotainment which most probably will still look good after 10 years.

May I ask which trims you are comparing for both cars? If you can, you should try to opt for at least the Pilot EX because it adds many features which the LX is missing.

I think the MDX recommends premium gas which is a big turn off to a lot of people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Pilot seems like the clear winner to me. The MDX has less space and tech than the Pilot. Nowadays one of the biggest things that makes a car’s age show is the infotainment. The MDX has an outdated infotainment imo which will make the car seem much older than it actually is. The Pilot on the other hand has a really nice infotainment which most probably will still look good after 10 years.

May I ask which trims you are comparing for both cars? If you can, you should try to opt for at least the Pilot EX because it adds many features which the LX is missing.

I think the MDX recommends premium gas which is a big turn off to a lot of people.

Thanks for the input. I currently also drive an Acura ILX which I heavily use Carplay on. As this is available there shouldn't be too much of a difference. The dual screen design is dated and in previous Pilots but it isn't a huge concern to me here. Typically I use Carplay with Nav on the top screen and have my playing music on the bottom screen. It is the other tech I am more concerned with.

For the sake of attempting to make this even I am comparing the Honda Pilot Touring 2021 AWD alongside the Acura MDX 2020 Tech package. There is some overlap on features which is great. The seating felt a bit more plush on the Acura and driving was a bit better. Overall exterior look is better in my personal opinion but I believe that is where the advantages end.

I have two kids both 5 years old and the carseats make accessing the third row a bit challenging so it is only used on rare occasions. That space is mostly just going to be cargo. But the benefits of having rear entertainment and I believe available Wifi in the car is a big plus. Saving money on sticking with non-premium gas is big and the $50 less per month is noteworthy.

I went into this decision wanting to go with the Acura MDX but it seems there are just too many features on the Pilot to overlook.
 

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The MDX is a great car if you want to enjoy the driving experience, but the Pilot would be better for passengers compared to the MDX. I haven’t been in a new MDX so I’m not sure if it’s a night and day difference but I wouldn’t mind trading a bit of driving feel for more space and tech. The Touring AWD is a much better overall package compared to the MDX tech imo. Heres a thread which compares the two models if you want to check it out: why buy a Pilot if you can buy an MDX?. Be aware that this thread is from 2016 so it might not be the newest stuff.
 

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For me it was a personal choice, I test drove the MDX and while it was luxurious on the inside, I could not see myself spending another 10K+ for the notion of a "luxury vehicle".
Pilot felt more spacious in the 3rd row and cargo areas, but there was no night and day difference between the two.
I preferred the convenience of interior space over luxury, expensive interior.

As a matter of personal opinion, I did not feel much of a difference in the driving experience ... I also believe there are dual (dashboard) screens on the MDX, which I did not care for.
In essence, the Pilot version just seemed like a more practical car, practical choice ... more bang for the buck ... lol, more car for the money.

I saw this article based on 2020 models, I only partially agree with some of the comparisons.
 

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I think the MDX recommends premium gas which is a big turn off to a lot of people.
This is mostly how they get a few more HP/TQ out of these engines. By some more advanced fuel maps and ignition timing advance- needing higher octane fuel.
 

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This is mostly how they get a few more HP/TQ out of these engines. By some more advanced fuel maps and ignition timing advance- needing higher octane fuel.
Acura says it helps with longevity or something like that.
 

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Mdx replacement is coming out momentarily. The Pilot is more advanced today as it has to survive another two to three years as is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For me it was a personal choice, I test drove the MDX and while it was luxurious on the inside, I could not see myself spending another 10K+ for the notion of a "luxury vehicle".
Pilot felt more spacious in the 3rd row and cargo areas, but there was no night and day difference between the two.
I preferred the convenience of interior space over luxury, expensive interior.

As a matter of personal opinion, I did not feel much of a difference in the driving experience ... I also believe there are dual (dashboard) screens on the MDX, which I did not care for.
In essence, the Pilot version just seemed like a more practical car, practical choice ... more bang for the buck ... lol, more car for the money.

I saw this article based on 2020 models, I only partially agree with some of the comparisons.
The price difference is why I didn't want the MDX back in 2016/2017. It was so large for what you get. The problem here is that It is between paying $452 (Pilot Touring)and $495 (MDX Tech). The difference in price is not as great as it used to be and I believe that is mainly Acura aggressively discounting the MDX with the new one coming out. I am also not a fan of the first year of a new release so I wanted to lease either the Pilot or MDX now at a decent rate and in 3 years see what things look like to buy new or perhaps a preowned.
 

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The price difference is why I didn't want the MDX back in 2016/2017. It was so large for what you get. The problem here is that It is between paying $452 (Pilot Touring)and $495 (MDX Tech). The difference in price is not as great as it used to be and I believe that is mainly Acura aggressively discounting the MDX with the new one coming out. I am also not a fan of the first year of a new release so I wanted to lease either the Pilot or MDX now at a decent rate and in 3 years see what things look like to buy new or perhaps a preowned.
Are you talking lease rates or finance? If it's the former, the MDX almost always leases better than the Pilot, and you should talk to a different dealer. If you're financing, that's a great deal either way unless you're going over 60 months. If you're financing for 72 or -- it's hard to even write it -- 84 months, you're probably never going to own the car anyway.
 

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We bought a 21 Elite Pilot because the MDX interior was outdated and the new MDX was too far out for our needs now. Plus the new Acura design language of putting a g spot in the interior is weird and once you see it you can't un-see it.

About the only negative for the Pilot to me is no mileage based service but a service minder system, bah. And having to do valve adjustments again with Hondas ancient engine. I've been spoiled with my coyotes.
 

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My 0.02 cents.

1. The center console and armrests in the Pilot are significantly more kid / family friendly. If / when you need to reach into the middle row and pick up a toy or have the front passenger reach or climb back to check on a baby or help with whatever it's much easier in the Pilot since the center console is lower and not a giant over sized padded armrest.

2. Comments about Infotainment are true. Not just for the MDX. Look how dated the QX60 looks inside with all the buttons. The screen on the Highlander doesn't even look HD (i think they updated it recently).

3. Only way I would consider the MDX is the new Type S with 355hp but to be honest for that money I'd probably look at something that has better towing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Are you talking lease rates or finance? If it's the former, the MDX almost always leases better than the Pilot, and you should talk to a different dealer. If you're financing, that's a great deal either way unless you're going over 60 months. If you're financing for 72 or -- it's hard to even write it -- 84 months, you're probably never going to own the car anyway.
This is leasing and I spoke with two dealers for both Acura and Honda as well as Rodo. This was with no money down and taxes and fees rolled in. Seemed like a pretty good deal. But didn’t think it was necessary to shop around further.
 

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Biggest challenge for me is the styling on the Pilot. Otherwise the new Pilot seems to be a great choice in features, price, and utility. I really wanted to like it but the wife has ruled it out mostly due to styling. She likes the “2022” MDX, but I’m struggling to get on board with it due to the lack of good package / color combos + I’m not 100% sure you can still disable vcm. The old MDX is nice if you like the colors and packages and the discounts on them right now are insane.
 

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We love our Pilot, but when this dies if we are in the position my wife would like to move up to an MDX. She always loved their design over the Honda and now that they have a power upgrade available she will likely go for that. Our Pilot is a '15 w/ 60k miles, so we have PLENTY of time before we need to worry about that.
 
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We love our Pilot, but when this dies if we are in the position my wife would like to move up to an MDX. She always loved their design over the Honda and now that they have a power upgrade available she will likely go for that. Our Pilot is a '15 w/ 60k miles, so we have PLENTY of time before we need to worry about that.
Yep - the 2022 though is still frustrating. Why can't you get an A-Spec WITH the Advanced package??!!?!? Like absolutely no one would want the sporty colors and styling package with all the extra features. UGH. It's sooo freaking DUMB. I could settle for the red exterior, but I don't want a tan interior. Brown, black, white, just something other than 1993 Camry TAN.

Hoping the "Type-S" solves that... though I've got one foot out the door with Honda anyway.
 

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Yep - the 2022 though is still frustrating. Why can't you get an A-Spec WITH the Advanced package??!!?!? Like absolutely no one would want the sporty colors and styling package with all the extra features. UGH. It's sooo freaking DUMB. I could settle for the red exterior, but I don't want a tan interior. Brown, black, white, just something other than 1993 Camry TAN.

Hoping the "Type-S" solves that... though I've got one foot out the door with Honda anyway.
Hopefully they sort that out by the time we are ready to purchase. I'm also hoping the Type S doesn't end up with aggressive bolsters. Honda/Acura seats are tight enough for me, seats like that mean I could never drive that car for more than an hour at a time.
 
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Yep - the 2022 though is still frustrating. Why can't you get an A-Spec WITH the Advanced package??!!?!? Like absolutely no one would want the sporty colors and styling package with all the extra features. UGH. It's sooo freaking DUMB. I could settle for the red exterior, but I don't want a tan interior. Brown, black, white, just something other than 1993 Camry TAN.

Hoping the "Type-S" solves that... though I've got one foot out the door with Honda anyway.
In fairness, there are more Camrys with red interiors than tan at this point -- they're everywhere. Tan may well be the new red.
 

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In fairness, there are more Camrys with red interiors than tan at this point -- they're everywhere. Tan may well be the new red.
Very valid point, though it's not so much about being unique as much as it's just what I like. Tan just isn't really my favorite.
 

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We are getting rid of our 2016 Pilot and looking at a new 3 row SUV to grab some new features we would love. Both the Pilot 2021 and MDX 2020 have features we are looking for. I thought it might be nice to go into the Luxury MDX ride since there are some overall driver improvements - seating, design, overall look. But I was surprised how advanced the Pilot was. I personally do not mind the dual screen MDX infotainment but there were just a lot of other bonuses in the Touring model

  • Pilot wireless charging
  • Rear Entertainment (my kids are 4 and 5 and although using iPads might be fine this is a nice perk)
  • Power Tailgate (I think the RDX has this but the MDX doesn't)
Overall a few extra perks for going with the Pilot Touring which is a solid car. The big thing however, is I would save $45 per month versus the MDX. Any other feedback on the Pilot I am missing on? Because right now it seems like the smarter family car. I’ve seen previous threads on older models but comparing 2020/21 Pilot Touring and Acura MDX pretty close since there are tons of discounts on both with the Acura msrp being slashed for leases. I mainly in my mind am debating paying a bit more for that added comfort. But the fact I also get less features pushes me back to the Pilot.

Any fresh thoughts?
Just be aware that many of us with 2019 and 2020 Pilots are experiencing issues with the infotainment system and a very annoying popping/cracking sound from the front speakers. There is a lot of information about this issue In this community of you search for it. With the lack of attention and care from Honda regarding our issue- I wish we would not have purchased and save ourselves a huge headache.
 
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