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Hello, I am new to this forum and have joined because I am thinking of purchasing a 2019 Honda Pilot with the 9-speed transmission. I have owned Honda & Acura products in the past and they all have been good, reliable, solid vehicles lasting a long time. I like the idea of the Pilot because of the room it offers & the IVTM AWD system and together they would seem to make it a good vehicle for car camping, off-pavement travel, etc. In my mind, Honda means solid, reliable quality - no drama ownership. However, after reading sites like Edmunds, KBB and this and other forums, I am concerned with this generation of Pilot. It seems there are areas people are really unsatisfied with, for example, the transmission (especially), rear suspension noises over rough pavement, the infotainment system & fit and finish of the vehicle. I would have thought that even if there were some initial issues, they would be fixed by now - as this is the 4th year of the model. So this is why I am asking for your thoughts and insight, issues, comfort level and happiness level on the 2018 & 2019 model year Pilot. I would be buying this to last for many years to come. Thank you in advance.
 

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Hi
Got the 2018 Honda Touring @ 15 months ago and am delighted with the vehicle. Have more than 20K miles already. Moved from a Highlander. The 9 speed transmission behaves great and shifts seamlessly. The shifts in low speed are quicker than a traditional 6 speed so it is common for the gears to move up and downshift in a parking lot when you look for a place to park. I absolutely love the vehicle. For an 8 seater and an actual 3rd row where you can fit two without being reported to human rights, it offers a well planted drive, is solid on the highway, great at passing and the interior is quiet. The Honda Pilot beat the Highlander, Acadia, Q7 and the RX that we test drove due to a great combination of space, price and technology. The Chevy Traverse came the closest of the lot.
We chose the most comprehensive warranty on the car given that we tend to own it for a long time ... just like we've done with our earlier SUV's. and given the tech and integrated features ... thought it is best to cover them all for the maximum duration possible. Go get it. At least give it a great test drive and put it thru its paces.
 

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Hello, I am new to this forum and have joined because I am thinking of purchasing a 2019 Honda Pilot with the 9-speed transmission. I have owned Honda & Acura products in the past and they all have been good, reliable, solid vehicles lasting a long time. I like the idea of the Pilot because of the room it offers & the IVTM AWD system and together they would seem to make it a good vehicle for car camping, off-pavement travel, etc. In my mind, Honda means solid, reliable quality - no drama ownership. However, after reading sites like Edmunds, KBB and this and other forums, I am concerned with this generation of Pilot. It seems there are areas people are really unsatisfied with, for example, the transmission (especially), rear suspension noises over rough pavement, the infotainment system & fit and finish of the vehicle. I would have thought that even if there were some initial issues, they would be fixed by now - as this is the 4th year of the model. So this is why I am asking for your thoughts and insight, issues, comfort level and happiness level on the 2018 & 2019 model year Pilot. I would be buying this to last for many years to come. Thank you in advance.
Technically speaking, there are differences between the 2019 and 2018 models (like when it comes to that 9-speed transmission, for example) that can play a role.
 

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At this stage I wouldn't buy a 2019. There are at least 3 new 2020 models from other companies that are just around the corner.

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At this stage I wouldn't buy a 2019. There are at least 3 new 2020 models from other companies that are just around the corner.

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Hello and thank you for weighing in. Were you speaking of all-new models like the Highlander coming out in December or new year models like the 2020 Pilot or Ascent? Thank you.
 

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Hello and thank you for weighing in. Were you speaking of all-new models like the Highlander coming out in December or new year models like the 2020 Pilot or Ascent? Thank you.
2020 Explorer, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade. Depending on Budget, 2020 Cadillac XT6 and Lincoln Aviator.

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2020 Explorer, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade. Depending on Budget, 2020 Cadillac XT6 and Lincoln Aviator.

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Thank you for your response. I am familiar with those. Would not consider the Hyundai or Kia at this point and the XT6 & Aviator are both out of my price range & I'm not keen on the domestic brands.
 

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Thank you for your response. I am familiar with those. Would not consider the Hyundai or Kia at this point and the XT6 & Aviator are both out of my price range & I'm not keen on the domestic brands.
The Hyundai and Kia are proving to be far superior value, quality and are more advanced. They feel more luxurious by far as well. Not sure why you wouldn't consider them.

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The Hyundai and Kia are proving to be far superior value, quality and are more advanced. They feel more luxurious by far as well. Not sure why you wouldn't consider them.

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Yes, in general, I have no problem with Hyundai brands. I think the perception of the brand has not yet caught up with reality. Both the Telluride & the Palisade are handsome designs with really nice interiors and plenty of space. But the downsides are (for me) 1) Poorer than average fuel economy 2) Poorer than average dealer support 3) Seriously troubling depreciation (there is no used market for them like there is for people who search for a used Honda or Toyota - explained to me by several dealerships). 4) They are no longer the value they once were. They are just as expensive as other brands. 5) Brand new vehicle - impossible to judge how reliable and trouble-free it may or may not be. Again, for me, when all of these things are added together, they don't make a lot of sense.
 

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Technically speaking, there are differences between the 2019 and 2018 models (like when it comes to that 9-speed transmission, for example) that can play a role.
What year do you have and are you happy with yours and has it been fairly trouble-free?
 

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3) Seriously troubling depreciation (there is no used market for them like there is for people who search for a used Honda or Toyota - explained to me by several dealerships).
Hold on to all your service records and I might buy it off you in 6 or 8 years. :)
 

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Just got 3000 miles on my 2019 Touring. I am still very happy with the purchase. The transmission is not as precise as BMW I traded in, so Honda's software clearly is not as good as BMW even though both transmissions are ZF brand. But the tranny works well so far, no complaints. There is some extra thumping noise coming from either suspension or wheels. I think it is a bit louder than on my previous cars, which is a bit annoying. I think that's about it for me. I like AWD and torque vectoring a lot. I wish suspension was a bit stiffer/sportier and I wish ground clearance was about a bit more.
 

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1) Poorer than average fuel economy 2) Poorer than average dealer support 3) Seriously troubling depreciation (there is no used market for them like there is for people who search for a used Honda or Toyota - explained to me by several dealerships). 4) They are no longer the value they once were. They are just as expensive as other brands. 5) Brand new vehicle - impossible to judge how reliable and trouble-free it may or may not be. Again, for me, when all of these things are added together, they don't make a lot of sense.
Agree to disagree, trying not to hijack but I wanted to respond with my own opinions.
1) EPA ratings are meaningless. YMMV is the key theme. I have gotten 16.5 mpg average on my city driven Pilot, not even close to the 19 mpg City that Honda promised me. I've also seen 30+ on the highway so YMMV. I wouldn't choose a vehicle for incremental gas mileage improvements anyway.
2) Dealers vary from place to place
3) I lease so depreciation doesn't bother me
4) They offer better value in terms of content. They are better equipped for the same money, that's different than cheaper.
5) Yes it's a new vehicle but they test extensively these days, besides, that's what the superior warranty is for.

Forgive the brevity, my tone is meant to be conversational only, not argumentative. If you want to discuss further, we'll make a new thread :)



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Very happy with our 2019 Touring AWD. Only have about 5600 miles on it but have a lifetime average of 24.8 MPG according to the fuel information inside the car. That however is always overstating the hand calculated MPG by 1MPG-1.5 MPG. Still don't consider over 23 MPG average as bad since the last several months have been just running around in town mainly.

Transmission has been fine, ride is good, wind noise not noticeable, paint work ( Diamond White Pearl) has NO flaws in it, body panels align well, and all of the options work well, EXCEPT the navigation which even though it is Garmin is a piece of garbage as far as I am concerned. Voice commands usually have to be repeated two or three times, many places can not be found, and the traffic warnings are way off when they give a time delay. More complaints I could mention about it, but just use the WAZE for a much better experience.

We are planning on keeping this car for a very long time, and I was very surprised to find that I was able to get a Honda extended warranty for 8 years, 120000 miles, and $0.00 deductible from on line Honda dealers for $1350.00! I was used to the GM or Ford warranties which were about $1000.00-$2000.00 more! Always came out ahead with the warranties except one time on my 2003 F150. May have lost about $500.00 after it was all said and done as that truck was a real dependable vehicle. Sold it with almost 170000 miles and no expensive or unusual repairs.

If the Honda proves to be as reliable, it will only have cost about $14.00 a month for the warranty over the long term, and I am sure I will be using it once or twice at least.

Considered the Traverse and Buick Enclave briefly, but the upper trim models only came with captain chair second row seats. We are retired and do driving vacations. We also have a German Shepard mix who rides with us in town, so the split bench seat was the best and only choice for us.

The Auto Idle Stop is a feature I have had on our last 3 cars and I really like the idea of it. However, Honda's system is kind of lacking in being able to operate as seamlessly and as often as I would like or have experienced in the other brands I've owned. For example, on the Pilot I can not get the AIS to work if I have just the HVAC fan turned on drawing in fresh air IF the outside temp is around 72 or higher. Works well if I shut off the HVAC or if I run the A/C other than in re-circulation mode.

I feel we got a very good deal on the purchase and was surprised after hearing stories about how Honda dealers don't discount their vehicles much. We got almost $5000.00 off MSRP AND there was no trade nor did the dealer have any "add on" accessories or options, such as paint protection, wheel locks, body side moldings, etc. Other owners are reporting even more savings than what we got.

First time in over 51 years of driving that we don't have at least a GM or Ford product in the garage. The Pilot is our one and only vehicle now and I don't think we made a poor decision buying it. Didn't want a vehicle with a 4 cylinder, or one with a CVT transmission. The Pilot fit our needs so far and I don't see that changing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Agree to disagree, trying not to hijack but I wanted to respond with my own opinions.
1) EPA ratings are meaningless. YMMV is the key theme. I have gotten 16.5 mpg average on my city driven Pilot, not even close to the 19 mpg City that Honda promised me. I've also seen 30+ on the highway so YMMV. I wouldn't choose a vehicle for incremental gas mileage improvements anyway.
2) Dealers vary from place to place
3) I lease so depreciation doesn't bother me
4) They offer better value in terms of content. They are better equipped for the same money, that's different than cheaper.
5) Yes it's a new vehicle but they test extensively these days, besides, that's what the superior warranty is for.

Forgive the brevity, my tone is meant to be conversational only, not argumentative. If you want to discuss further, we'll make a new thread :)



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Hey, thanks for your response. I appreciate you making the time and giving your perspective. :) Leasing, changes the math. If you lease, then some of the issue I have cease to exist. The warranty is perhaps the best in the business, but after having owned Land Rovers, Volkswagens and other less than stellar cars - the inconvenience of repetitive service visits and repairs is aggravating. Putting the Hyundais aside for the moment, over the last several weeks I have signed up on multiple Pilot forums and Facebook pages. I have read hundreds of posts. I think the posts over the last 48 hours from 2019 Pilot owners still having problems with their transmissions and assorted, continued, unable to be diagnosed and repaired driveline, suspension or body clunks, thunks, creaks, & noises. has put me off this generation of the Pilot. Not sure what happened to Honda, but it seems that this Pilot, it's flagship SUV - in its fourth year, is shockingly poor. I can read posts with basically the same issues since 2016. I can't believe the issues have not been addressed, or successfully addressed much earlier on? This is definitely not the Honda I and my family grew up buying and driving - most of us have owned several Hondas and/or Acuras! Great cars. Great dealers. I didn't originally like this Pilot, preferring the more masculine look of the previous generation. But I was seriously considering it - liking the Black in the Touring trim. But the Pilot, minus the Honda "Goodness", is a deal-breaker. The Ascent is having similar issues & a new Highlander is coming out in 5 months making the current model a no go. Oh well, I guess I will have to wait. Who knew that looking for Japanese solidity, reliability, value & longevity would be so hard to find in the 21st century...
 

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Very happy with our 2019 Touring AWD. Only have about 5600 miles on it but have a lifetime average of 24.8 MPG according to the fuel information inside the car. That however is always overstating the hand calculated MPG by 1MPG-1.5 MPG. Still don't consider over 23 MPG average as bad since the last several months have been just running around in town mainly.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Safe travels! :)
 

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Why don't you get an EXL since it has the 6 speed? We bought a left over 2018 EX AWD a little over a month ago and have almost 3k miles already. We love it! So far no issues at all and the transmission is smooth as silk.
 

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Why don't you get an EXL since it has the 6 speed? We bought a left over 2018 EX AWD a little over a month ago and have almost 3k miles already. We love it! So far no issues at all and the transmission is smooth as silk.
Thank you for that suggestion. Thought about it. Took a look. Seems like the interior/features put me off. Is the AWD system the same IVTM4 as the Touring & the Elite? I'll take another look :) I'm glad you are happy with yours :) Any clunks or thunks coming from the rear??
 

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Thank you for that suggestion. Thought about it. Took a look. Seems like the interior/features put me off. Is the AWD system the same IVTM4 as the Touring & the Elite? I'll take another look :) I'm glad you are happy with yours :) Any clunks or thunks coming from the rear??
As far as I know all trims have the same AWD system. I haven't had any clunks or anything come from the rear end. It's been perfect so far.
 

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Adding my .02 since I just went through the excruciating process of trying to avoid purchasing a pilot but ending up with one anyway.

Generally, it feels like the mid size SUV is still a work in progress. Pretty much every vehicle in this class has its share of deal breaking compromises.

Most of the segment have old engines mated to vehicles heavier than they've ever been designed for (Ascent, Atlas, Telluride/Palisade, XC90). Many still can't get interior tech and ergonomics right at the right price point (Atlas, Pilot, Traverse, Enclave). Quite a few have question marks on reliability (Pilot, XC90, MDX, Atlas). A couple I scratch my head at who they were meant for (CX-9 on size, 2020 Explorer on price). Most can't fit 7 with captain's chairs. Then there's the elders that somehow are still on the market (Sequoia, Armada, Pathfinder, Durango, Flex, MDX) for 2020 prices.

To unshackle from most of these compromises compromises requires upping your budget 50% or more over the cost of a Pilot when equipped with anything...the Q7 at 60k+, Discovery at 60k+, Infinity at 60k+, Tahoe/Yukon at 55k+, Suburban/Yukon XL at 60k+, BMW X7 at 80k+, Expedition at 60k+, Navigator at 70k+, etc. etc.

If you look at my price paid, I would argue Honda recognizes their problems in terms of supply and demand and future supply and demand given the competition in the segment.

I have no idea how reliable mine will prove to be, but a warranty and a strong dealer network go a long way towards managing the risk of the issues you read and hear about with the current generation.

In the end, I could afford but couldn't rationalize a 60k+ people hauler so massive it would probably look like junk from being dinged in parking lots after 1-2 years. Taking out the big and luxurious, the Pilot despite all its flaws was the best all around when considering price.

If the Explorer, Palisade, Telluride and new Highlander lower prices as supply catches up with demand it could be very different. JMO...in July 2019, there's nothing to feel bad about in going with a Pilot.
 
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