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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
In the market for a new car and just can’t get the 2021 Pilot off my mind (likely Special Edition since I absolutely HATE the idea of paying for a TV/DVD system - if anything shows how stale the Pilot is, it’s that!). I currently drive an F-150 with 6’5” bed, so very accustomed to lugging around a large vehicle that sits very high. However, I’m also a former Outback owner (loved that car in our Alaska winters and terrain) and can get a great deal on an impeccably-maintained 2018 Outback 3.6R Touring. I’m quite familiar with how the Outbacks handle winding mountain roads - 7 miles x 2 of legit mountain driving is a daily event in my life - so am a bit fearful to fork over decent cash (at 0%, heck yes!) for a Pilot with unknown performance in this environment.

What can anyone tell me about the severity of the Pilot’s body roll on twisty roads? I know the thing drives beautifully on highways and through town, which is the other 2/3rds of my commute, but I’d like to get a sense of what the mountain portion might be like. I imagine it’ll be significantly worse than the shorter Outback, despite that the Outback has much more ground clearance. (Or do I have the physics wrong?) Admittedly, the Pilot’s body roll cannot be worse than my giant truck’s and it’s not like body roll has ever stopped me from bombing down hill in that thing!

Other things I should consider as I pick between the 2018 Outback and 2021 Pilot? (Don’t suggest I get a Passport; veto.) It’ll be my daily driver and fur baby + gear hauler. Our family has another big truck so size for lugging crap isn’t a major factor driving which of the two I choose, but more space in another car is never a bad thing. It’s sort of dumb, but I’m obsessed with the Pilot’s large slide-top center console and tons and tons of pockets and places for crap; I’m the type that tends to live out of my car and you can never be too prepared! The Outback is a known quantity, a tested beast through snow and winter and mountains, MUCH more luxe and pretty on the inside than the Pilot (not that I’m against simple and functional at all), cheaper, and I’m just a little sentimental about Subarus.

What to do…
 

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Well I haven’t driven an Outback or a ‘21 Pilot, but I’ll say given the size/weight difference I’m sure there will be body roll. Best option would be to do some sort of extended test drive and experience it for yourself. If it doesn’t really matter to you, I’d just expect it to be worse than the outback and accept that with increased size, there will be some compromises.
 

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2020 Honda Passport Touring AWD Metallic Steel
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Body Roll is a combination of speed and the center of gravity of the vehicle. If the roll feels like it is too much, slow down a little. You can counter act a bit of the roll with stiffer sidewall tires, but it is only a minimal amount of compensation. I have had no complaints with my 2020 Passport touring on winding roads and my Passport has an additional inch of clearance over the pilot.
 

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Body Roll is a combination of speed and the center of gravity of the vehicle. If the roll feels like it is too much, slow down a little. You can counter act a bit of the roll with stiffer sidewall tires, but it is only a minimal amount of compensation
Guess that rules out some squishy touring A/S tires....
 

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2020 Honda Passport Touring AWD Metallic Steel
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Guess that rules out some squishy touring A/S tires....
Not necessarily. You get what you pay for. My 10 ply Michelins all season tires did a marvelous job, wet, dry, mud, snow and sand. Now they were a little more expensive than some low cost performance tire, but you get what you pay for.
 

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I guess I won't be much help in this thread lol 🤠, being from south Texas. Calling @Steffo 😁👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I haven’t driven an Outback or a ‘21 Pilot, but I’ll say given the size/weight difference I’m sure there will be body roll. Best option would be to do some sort of extended test drive and experience it for yourself. If it doesn’t really matter to you, I’d just expect it to be worse than the outback and accept that with increased size, there will be some compromises.
All sorts of compromises with these things! It’ll absolutely be less body roll than my truck so I’m trying to convince myself that’s actually a “win” in this category.

There are very few new cars to be found in general here. I’ve actually driven a couple of used Pilots to get a sense of what they’re like along with a new Passport. The other week I was able to snag a test drive of a new 2021 Pilot Touring that inexplicably wasn’t pre-bought when it got here, but the dealer barely lets you go out for more than 20 minutes around town let alone venture into the mountains. Prolonged exposure to these cars isn’t something I’m able to get at the moment. I’m living very vicariously through YouTube videos and am trusting the Pilot insight I’ve gleaned from scouring this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Body Roll is a combination of speed and the center of gravity of the vehicle. If the roll feels like it is too much, slow down a little. You can counter act a bit of the roll with stiffer sidewall tires, but it is only a minimal amount of compensation. I have had no complaints with my 2020 Passport touring on winding roads and my Passport has an additional inch of clearance over the pilot.
You want me to slow down?! What fun is that!

But that is an excellent and inexpensive suggestion. I will take it under advisement ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I guess I won't be much help in this thread lol 🤠, being from south Texas. Calling @Steffo 😁👍
Should I need opinions on the ventilated seats, max AC efficiency, and durability of the interior trim under hell-like temperatures, I now know where to turn.
(A joke we like to share with our proud Texas tourists: What happens to Texas when you cut Alaska in half? It becomes the third largest state ;)
 

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Should I need opinions on the ventilated seats, max AC efficiency, and durability of the interior trim under hell-like temperatures, I now know where to turn.
(A joke we like to share with our proud Texas tourists: What happens to Texas when you cut Alaska in half? It becomes the third largest state ;)
Went to Alaska for 2 weeks during the summer. I could live there. Loved the Halibut fishing.
 

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Went to Alaska for 2 weeks during the summer. I could live there. Loved the Halibut fishing.
No you couldn't.

"Speed limits in Alaska 65 mph: specified areas of the Alaska interstate and on some rural freeways. Areas with this speed limit are posted.
55 mph: any roadway other than those specified in these rules."
 

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No you couldn't.

"Speed limits in Alaska 65 mph: specified areas of the Alaska interstate and on some rural freeways. Areas with this speed limit are posted.
55 mph: any roadway other than those specified in these rules."
I could live there for the summer. I could beat the Texas heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well it is hart to argue with Physics. "Rollover occurs when the force of gravity vector passes through the pivot point."


FYI the vehicles listed are from 2001 or earlier.
You’re talking to an engineer haha

I theoretically know exactly why I should literally slow down…but pesky physics shouldn’t ruin my fun! Furthermore, I have lots of faith in the very smart engineers behind the Pilot’s myriad safety features!
 

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Maybe this might help, he tests the Pilot at the 5 min mark. I never had problems with body roll with a 21 Pilot, feels fine going through the curvy roads up the mountains around Ca.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Maybe this might help, he tests the Pilot at the 5 min mark. I never had problems with body roll with a 21 Pilot, feels fine going through the curvy roads up the mountains around Ca.

Neat video, thanks for sharing! Can you/someone confirm that the AWD system he’s testing in what appears to be a Touring or Elite is the same system that exists in the lower Pilot trims (specifically the SE) with AWD? Honda doesn’t put a better AWD system on some of the trims, do they?
 

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Neat video, thanks for sharing! Can you/someone confirm that the AWD system he’s testing in what appears to be a Touring or Elite is the same system that exists in the lower Pilot trims (specifically the SE) with AWD? Honda doesn’t put a better AWD system on some of the trims, do they?
Only the LX doesn't get the "Intelligent Traction Management" system. All other trims do. Heck, I always found the base AWD system fantastic. In the 2 Alaskan winters I lived through I only used Snow mode when it was super icy or slick, and Sand or Mud when I was playing around in fresh deep snow. (always on Blizzaks)

Edit:
As for the body roll question, I dunno, I have always thought the Pilot was great to drive. I've spent plenty of time in more aggressive sporty cars, so I'm no stranger to what it feels like to drive quickly, and no the Pilot is no sports car. But while I may be slightly disappointed with modern Honda reliability, I think they still are producing vehicles with enjoyable driving dynamics. The Pilot is no different when compared to other bigger SUVs I've driven; it drives well, period. That said, I'm a former Subaru owner too, and I always enjoyed how the higher trim Subarus drove. Honda's excellent AWD system and my fear of the Subaru CVT pushed me to the Pilot over the Ascent.

Good luck with your decision!
 

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In the market for a new car and just can’t get the 2021 Pilot off my mind (likely Special Edition since I absolutely HATE the idea of paying for a TV/DVD system - if anything shows how stale the Pilot is, it’s that!). I currently drive an F-150 with 6’5” bed, so very accustomed to lugging around a large vehicle that sits very high. However, I’m also a former Outback owner (loved that car in our Alaska winters and terrain) and can get a great deal on an impeccably-maintained 2018 Outback 3.6R Touring. I’m quite familiar with how the Outbacks handle winding mountain roads - 7 miles x 2 of legit mountain driving is a daily event in my life - so am a bit fearful to fork over decent cash (at 0%, heck yes!) for a Pilot with unknown performance in this environment.

What to do…
Grab that last-of-its-kind six-cylinder Outback while you still can.
Visit us, again, a few years from now when the head gaskets need to be replaced and you're trying to decide between spending the money on repairs or buying a new vehicle.
 
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