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Discussion Starter #1
I have to say I was pretty disappointed when I checked out an EX-L (sans nav or sense) last weekend. A few months ago I was tired of waiting and was about to get a Highlander XLE when I finally saw the Pilot announcement. The promo color was nice, the specs were nice, I was going to wait. And I did and what I've seen so far was meh. It was funny to see the salesman almost rip off the bumper to show me the non-existent trailer hitch that was hiding beneath it.

It did remind me a lot of a minivan, I'm on my second Odyssey. The console between the front seats was kinda lame vs. the beefy one on the highlander. I did like how they did the armrest compared to the Odyssey, similar but different. 2nd and 3rd row were roomy, but the 3rd row was really short, my knees were in my chest, it's been awhile but I think the Highlander was better. The touchscreen controls and layout stunk, I was not impressed at all, the Highlander was far better. I cannot see how an EX-L can command a high price. The interior as a whole was pretty boring and sorta cheap, made my 2012 van seen more luxurious. Also rear storage was surprisingly small, the promo shots with the cooler really made it appear far more roomy than it is.

That all said I'm going to try and find a Touring to see if that makes me change my mind. I can't see getting one w/o Sense, makes no sense. Also I didn't realize that the button shifter was only on the Touring/Elite, that was a surprise. The EX-L shifter looked like cheapest material shifter. I do like the lanewatch and multi-angle backup camera. They certainly did a good job burying the battery, took me a minute to find it, so much for an easy swap if needed.

FWIW, I've had a 82 Civic, 93 Accord, 00 Civic, 04 CRV, 03 CRV, 06 Odyssey, and currently a 10 Accord and 10 Odyssey... aka a lot of Hondas. So I'm not a Honda basher.
 

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I think your really trying to talk yourself into one.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am trying to talk myself into one.

It's a sad reality. I just hope the Touring is better. On paper it's perfect, but not sold yet. I'm hoping to drive a Touring and a XLE this weekend back to back, bring the family to get their thoughts. If we get it, then it might be our national parks vehicle this summer for a 2 week excursion. We did three weeks in the van a couple years ago and it was awesome.
 

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What I like about the Pilot's third row is that the second row is fore-and-aft adjustable. So if you are just using the second row you can crank back the seats and give passengers huge leg room. But when using the third row you can balance the second and third row leg room to make it tolerable for both.
 

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Like a lot of others, I am between the highlander and the pilot. I like a lot about the pilot and was really hoping it would win, but ultimately it looks like I'm going with the highlander. Mostly it's because the pricing is just too crazy for what you get compared to a highlander, and I love that a lot of the tow package is standard on the highlander xle & up (upgraded fan, alternator, cooler, etc).
 

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I have to say I was pretty disappointed when I checked out an EX-L (sans nav or sense) last weekend. A few months ago I was tired of waiting and was about to get a Highlander XLE when I finally saw the Pilot announcement. The promo color was nice, the specs were nice, I was going to wait. And I did and what I've seen so far was meh. It was funny to see the salesman almost rip off the bumper to show me the non-existent trailer hitch that was hiding beneath it.

It did remind me a lot of a minivan, I'm on my second Odyssey. The console between the front seats was kinda lame vs. the beefy one on the highlander. I did like how they did the armrest compared to the Odyssey, similar but different. 2nd and 3rd row were roomy, but the 3rd row was really short, my knees were in my chest, it's been awhile but I think the Highlander was better. The touchscreen controls and layout stunk, I was not impressed at all, the Highlander was far better. I cannot see how an EX-L can command a high price. The interior as a whole was pretty boring and sorta cheap, made my 2012 van seen more luxurious. Also rear storage was surprisingly small, the promo shots with the cooler really made it appear far more roomy than it is.

That all said I'm going to try and find a Touring to see if that makes me change my mind. I can't see getting one w/o Sense, makes no sense. Also I didn't realize that the button shifter was only on the Touring/Elite, that was a surprise. The EX-L shifter looked like cheapest material shifter. I do like the lanewatch and multi-angle backup camera. They certainly did a good job burying the battery, took me a minute to find it, so much for an easy swap if needed.

FWIW, I've had a 82 Civic, 93 Accord, 00 Civic, 04 CRV, 03 CRV, 06 Odyssey, and currently a 10 Accord and 10 Odyssey... aka a lot of Hondas. So I'm not a Honda basher.
Highlander looks more like a minivan than does the new Pilot.

As someone else posted, the third row in Highlander is a joke. I have sat in my friend's Highlander.

Pilot has a bigger storage than Highlander.
 

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The highlanders third row is a joke.
It's real simple-don't buy it if you don't like it!
Exactly... :)

Highlander looks more like a minivan than does the new Pilot.

As someone else posted, the third row in Highlander is a joke. I have sat in my friend's Highlander.

Pilot has a bigger storage than Highlander.
Obviously looks are subjective... but I think more are saying the new Pilot looks more like a minivan than the Highlander. :D But I'll admit they both clearly have the "minivan-mama" look in their DNA... I like to tease my wife who refuses to drive a minivan about her SUV's disguised as minivans... :29:

You guys clearly haven't sat in a '14 or '15 Highlander... if you look at the specs, the Pilot is a whopping 3"-4" shorter in leg room than the Highlander.... BUT the Highlander has 3"-4" more in the front row... soooo, in reality after you adjust seats in both vehicles, you'll end up with about the same space from front to back. I spent a pretty good amount of time back to back and I'd suggest anyone looking at either vehicle to do the same. Some will like the Pilot and some will like the Highlander.
I don't get why some bash vehicles they've not owned or even sat in (especially when these two brands offer a great history of reliability). I'm not going to bash the Pilot now that I'm no longer a Pilot owner. I still like it, but for us the Highlander was a better vehicle for a variety of reasons (XLE vs EX-L). I've owned 4 Pilots, so Honda actually had us in their back pocket for another Pilot however their redesign just didn't do it for us...
 

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I have looked at the 14-15 Highlanders multiple times. I cannot even sit in the 3rd row. The Pilot's 3rd row does sit low leaving your knees somewhat high( every crossover I've seen has a low seat to allow for headroom), but I can actually sit in the 3rd row comfortably with ample headroom. I wouldn't feel bad at all having an adult ride in the 3rd row of a Pilot. That huge difference alone has made our decision for the Pilot over the Highlander.
 

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I have looked at the 14-15 Highlanders multiple times. I cannot even sit in the 3rd row. The Pilot's 3rd row does sit low leaving your knees somewhat high( every crossover I've seen has a low seat to allow for headroom), but I can actually sit in the 3rd row comfortably with ample headroom. I wouldn't feel bad at all having an adult ride in the 3rd row of a Pilot. That huge difference alone has made our decision for the Pilot over the Highlander.
That's because Honda has their front two rows set more forward than the Highlander.... you need to adjust the front two rows so you have equal room in both. :1pat: The Highlander offers more room up front until you move both the front row and middle rows up to where the Pilots sit. If it was as bad as some say then there's no way I would have gone from 4 Pilots in a row to a Highlander with 3 kids (2 teenagers). It's just not the case. That was a MAJOR concern of mine as well but it's just not the case once I looked them over myself side by side. Neither is fabulous especially for myself at 6'3" but neither is awful either. It's funny because my first impression of the Highlander up front was holy smokes!! this vehicle is a HUGE amount more room up front than the Pilot until I sat in the 3rd row and had no space at all... THEN I adjusted each row so they were about the same in each vehicle and guess what?? They were/are pretty much the same. ;)
So this will be the debate now... Highlander owners will say there is more room up front and the Pilot owners will say more room in the 3rd row... :D neither is correct when you adjust each seat row. It's like saying 2 quarters are worth more than 50 pennies...
 

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Not a deal breaker for some, but just to throw a curve ball into the equation, the Pilot does seat three across in the third row vs. only two across in the third row of the Highlander.

Probably not three adults across in the third row of the Pilot (unless they were really chummy), but I could see putting three kids back there if the need arises.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Interesting debate on the 3rd row. While that is a consideration for me, neither the Highlander or the Pilot left me warm and fuzzy about the space, but that row will be for my kids when needed.

Overall the EX-L for the price they want is kinda crazy, I don't see the value. I'll make my final judgement when I see the Touring. Bothers me for all the car makers is that they don't make things like Honda Sense available standard, Toyota only has it on the Limited, rumor is their 2016 will have it on more levels.

I want a comfortable car, reliable, 3 rows and good tech on it. I'm just curious to know what others think when they finally got into a Pilot. I read comments that people see a difference in the interior going from a EX-L to the Touring, but they are supposed to be about the same.
 

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Interesting debate on the 3rd row. While that is a consideration for me, neither the Highlander or the Pilot left me warm and fuzzy about the space, but that row will be for my kids when needed.

Overall the EX-L for the price they want is kinda crazy, I don't see the value. I'll make my final judgement when I see the Touring. Bothers me for all the car makers is that they don't make things like Honda Sense available standard, Toyota only has it on the Limited, rumor is their 2016 will have it on more levels.

I want a comfortable car, reliable, 3 rows and good tech on it. I'm just curious to know what others think when they finally got into a Pilot. I read comments that people see a difference in the interior going from a EX-L to the Touring, but they are supposed to be about the same.
I agree with the comments about the Highlander and Pilot. The third row in each is designed for a short commute, less than 30 minutes for adults.

3 people will not really fit in either the Pilot or the Highlander 3rd row unless they are stick figures.

The Highlander is priced competitively as I got my Highlander XLE with navigation for $35,000. I would have to pay at least $3,000 more for a Pilot w/o navigation.

I do like the additional space in the rear compartment of the Pilot.
 

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Before purchasing a Pilot EX-L AWD we crossed shopped a Pathfinder SV AWD and a Highlander XLE AWD.

Didn't like the pathfinder due to button crazy center stack and TONS of hard plastics all over the dash. CVT was "rubber-bandy" and power delivery had noticable delay. Although the around-view cameras were pretty cool.

Exterior styling on the highlander was pleasing except for the unsightly front grille. Ditto comments above re 3rd row seat room...headroom was very poor. Infotainment interface was nice but wasn't a fan of the storage ledge beneath. Just a place for stuff to accumulate IMHO. The highlander also felt underpowered when compared to the pilot.

After researching the AWD systems on the highlander and the pathfinder they appeared to be inferior to the system offered on the Pilot. toyota and nissan seem to provide biased power to the front until slipping is detected at which point power is sent to the rear. The pilot has the ability to deliver up to 70% of the engine torque to the rear wheels. Of that 70%, 100% of that torque can be sent to either the left or right wheels via separate clutch packs.

After driving on some windy country roads today and powering through the corners, it was noticeable to me that the AWD system was accelerating the outside rear wheel to propel the vehicle through the turn. There's some body roll but its well controlled and i felt very confident driving it.

Overall, we are happy with the decision to purchase honda and look forward to using it for the years to come.
 

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Got a 16 touring for the nav and sense package. I really wanted the ex-l but Honda does not offer that package. The bonus IMO was getting the 20 inch wheels with the 9 speed tranny. Came out of a 14 MDX and actually prefer the 16 pilot. IMO make sure you get the sense package as it makes driving a pleasure.
 

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After researching the AWD systems on the highlander and the pathfinder they appeared to be inferior to the system offered on the Pilot. toyota and nissan seem to provide biased power to the front until slipping is detected at which point power is sent to the rear. The pilot has the ability to deliver up to 70% of the engine torque to the rear wheels. Of that 70%, 100% of that torque can be sent to either the left or right wheels via separate clutch packs.

After driving on some windy country roads today and powering through the corners, it was noticeable to me that the AWD system was accelerating the outside rear wheel to propel the vehicle through the turn. There's some body roll but its well controlled and i felt very confident driving it.
This is the reason I would get the Pilot over the Highlander. Add Honda Sensing and that detuned direct injection engine from the MDX and it's the better vehicle to me, mechanically. The Highlander seems like a refreshed vehicle from the previous generation while the Pilot is really all-new.
 

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I agree with the comments about the Highlander and Pilot. The third row in each is designed for a short commute, less than 30 minutes for adults.

3 people will not really fit in either the Pilot or the Highlander 3rd row unless they are stick figures.

The Highlander is priced competitively as I got my Highlander XLE with navigation for $35,000. I would have to pay at least $3,000 more for a Pilot w/o navigation.

I do like the additional space in the rear compartment of the Pilot.
The highlander also gives you a lot more than navigation compared to the pilot. You get the 115v outlet, rear window sun shades, opening rear glass in the hatch, all of the powertrain parts you need to achieve the 5000lb towing capacity, and the option to add captain's chaos for $250. And it can be had for under invoice, which is a $1200 savings from the pilot invoice price, or about $3500 from the actual transaction prices I've been seeing. That is a big difference. The only features the pilot offers not going on the highlander is remote start and that is an easily added dealer accessory.

They only reason I'm still looking at the pilot is a really want Honda sensing. I like those options above, but the only one I would really get a lot of use from is the rear sun shades and I think the safety features are more worthwhile. If Toyota does offer the 2016 xle with their safety package, then it probably becomes a no brainer for me.
 
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