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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
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!
Thanks for answering my AWD question and for sharing your personal experience with a Pilot in Alaska’s winter! They are very common cars here so must be doing something right. I always ran Blizzaks before we moved to the mountains; now I swear by studs. I have no doubt the AWD Pilot will be unstoppable with studs.

I’m also thrilled to hear about someone who picked the Ascent over the Pilot! I’ve been rattling that one around in my head and only the other day definitively concluded that the CVT is too screwy/risky and the engine (even with the turbo) far too undersized for a car that big on the terrain I’ll be dealing with day in, day out. Although, the Ascent interior is lovely, particularly the Touring with the brown leather, and it does have some very nifty safety features for the money. After three test drives, I found the ride in even the nicest trim very loud, giving it yet another strike. Very stark contrast between its road + engine noise and that of the supremely quiet, airtight Pilot. I think my sentimentality for Subarus (plus that gorgeous brown leather!) blinded me from immediately seeing all of those major flaws in the Ascent. (Remarkably poor reported gas mileage is another one.) So now I’m sitting deliberating over the Pilot with an appropriate engine and my beloved Outback with an appropriate engine!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
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.
Haha! Statistically, you are not wrong! I knew someone would eventually jump in with a gasket joke.
 

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Thanks for answering my AWD question and for sharing your personal experience with a Pilot in Alaska’s winter! They are very common cars here so must be doing something right. I always ran Blizzaks before we moved to the mountains; now I swear by studs. I have no doubt the AWD Pilot will be unstoppable with studs.
The Pilot's AWD system was originally designed to "defeat winter", as opposed to go rock crawling.
If you're going to get a Pilot with 20" wheels - such as the SE trim - then place your order now for a set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 SUV winter tires.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 SUV - Next-generation safety / Nokian Tires
Otherwise, with the 18" wheels, you'll have a few more choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
The Pilot's AWD system was originally designed to "defeat winter", as opposed to go rock crawling.
If you're going to get a Pilot with 20" wheels - such as the SE trim - then place your order now for a set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 SUV winter tires.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 SUV - Next-generation safety / Nokian Tires
Otherwise, with the 18" wheels, you'll have a few more choices.
Great tip, thanks! I’ll call our local tire shop once I have the car and get set up with a set!
 

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The Pilot overall IMO is far from quiet as compared to other vehicles like it. The factory Bridgestones particularly are noisy, my Continental snows and Michelin Defenders are definitely quieter. The upper trims (touring and elite) have extra sound deadening and different glass that is quieter. My '19 EX-L does great in snow/sand/gravel but definitely miss the extra ground clearance. I added a skid plate and it has some nice scrapes in it. There is NO underbody protection, oil pan is low and NO factory options to add plating. JSport, No-Lo, and I think Burtman are the ones I saw.

I just had a 2020 Outback for a week and found the seats more comfortable than the Pilot. It also had the extending thigh cushion and a lot more safety/nanny that could be good or bad. Look to side for 3 seconds and it beeps saying keep eyes on road, don't move when car in front does and it beeps also saying car in front has moved. Outback had steering adaptive headlights that move to inside of corner when driving.

The Outback should handle better based on COG and weight. The AWD on Pilot has torque vectoring to assist with the handling. Brakes as noted in threads are a softer pedal that doesn't inspire as much confidence for some (and me). It stops fine but just an overall feel. The Outback to me felt much better for brakes. I'm not a fan of CVT's also and all the newer Outback/Forester/Ascent have that.

I got Pilot because it was one of the few with a useable 3rd row and better mileage compared to previous Sequoia. It was also limited choices for something with a better AWD system for other terrains. Search on me and "sand" and there are links to how tranny modes work because the manual doesn't tell you anything. Some links got to Ridgeline owners club also.

Ridgeline Owners Club has a lot more members listing rims in the classifieds if you want to get them for your snows (and a full size spare).

I would recommend a tranny cooler if you are up and down the mountains daily.

His video's are long but very detailed, ALEX ON AUTOS and he covered the Pilots as well as the Ascent / Telluride etc.
 

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I'm also going toss a nod out to the Mazda CX-9 that many have commented as being one of the most fun and sporty to drive options. 3rd row for people not great but better ground clearance also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
The Pilot overall IMO is far from quiet as compared to other vehicles like it. The factory Bridgestones particularly are noisy, my Continental snows and Michelin Defenders are definitely quieter. The upper trims (touring and elite) have extra sound deadening and different glass that is quieter. My '19 EX-L does great in snow/sand/gravel but definitely miss the extra ground clearance. I added a skid plate and it has some nice scrapes in it. There is NO underbody protection, oil pan is low and NO factory options to add plating. JSport, No-Lo, and I think Burtman are the ones I saw.

I just had a 2020 Outback for a week and found the seats more comfortable than the Pilot. It also had the extending thigh cushion and a lot more safety/nanny that could be good or bad. Look to side for 3 seconds and it beeps saying keep eyes on road, don't move when car in front does and it beeps also saying car in front has moved. Outback had steering adaptive headlights that move to inside of corner when driving.

The Outback should handle better based on COG and weight. The AWD on Pilot has torque vectoring to assist with the handling. Brakes as noted in threads are a softer pedal that doesn't inspire as much confidence for some (and me). It stops fine but just an overall feel. The Outback to me felt much better for brakes. I'm not a fan of CVT's also and all the newer Outback/Forester/Ascent have that.

I got Pilot because it was one of the few with a useable 3rd row and better mileage compared to previous Sequoia. It was also limited choices for something with a better AWD system for other terrains. Search on me and "sand" and there are links to how tranny modes work because the manual doesn't tell you anything. Some links got to Ridgeline owners club also.

Ridgeline Owners Club has a lot more members listing rims in the classifieds if you want to get them for your snows (and a full size spare).

I would recommend a tranny cooler if you are up and down the mountains daily.

His video's are long but very detailed, ALEX ON AUTOS and he covered the Pilots as well as the Ascent / Telluride etc.
Ohhhh jeeze, the plot thickens. The lower ground clearance with exposed underbody does concern me since our switch-backed driveway is 900’ long and unpaved. A large rock could easily kick up and cause serious damage. Since I don’t NEED the third row for storing humans, maybe I should consider the higher-sitting Passport… I’ve done no research on these. Do they have any underbody protection and other “stuff” that makes them more suitable for off-reading? I don’t consider my lifestyle “off road”esque but maybe it is compared to the average consumer that these family SUVs are designed for??

I definitely have more videos to watch. I’ve binged a ton but haven’t come across this Alex person yet. Scrolling through what he’s done, seems he’s covered a lot of car comparisons I’ve been thinking about. The confusion will continue.

Thanks also for mentioning the extra sound dampening materials used in the higher level Pilots. I’ve not driven anything less than a Touring so could be in for a loud surprise with the SE if I’m expecting equivalently low interior noise. Eek.
 

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Ohhhh jeeze, the plot thickens. The lower ground clearance with exposed underbody does concern me since our switch-backed driveway is 900’ long and unpaved. A large rock could easily kick up and cause serious damage. Since I don’t NEED the third row for storing humans, maybe I should consider the higher-sitting Passport…
Get a Toyota 4Runner.
 

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Ohhhh jeeze, the plot thickens. The lower ground clearance with exposed underbody does concern me since our switch-backed driveway is 900’ long and unpaved. A large rock could easily kick up and cause serious damage. Since I don’t NEED the third row for storing humans, maybe I should consider the higher-sitting Passport… I’ve done no research on these. Do they have any underbody protection and other “stuff” that makes them more suitable for off-reading? I don’t consider my lifestyle “off road”esque but maybe it is compared to the average consumer that these family SUVs are designed for??

I definitely have more videos to watch. I’ve binged a ton but haven’t come across this Alex person yet. Scrolling through what he’s done, seems he’s covered a lot of car comparisons I’ve been thinking about. The confusion will continue.

Thanks also for mentioning the extra sound dampening materials used in the higher level Pilots. I’ve not driven anything less than a Touring so could be in for a loud surprise with the SE if I’m expecting equivalently low interior noise. Eek.
Yes, I bought and installed a front skid plate on my Passport. I got mine from Jsport. NoLo also has front, rear and gas tank skid plates for the Passport.

FYI, if you get a skid plate, get one of these, either you or your mechanic will thank me at oil change time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Get a Toyota 4Runner.
Nope. Horrendous gas mileage and I hate how they ride and the luggy and loud engine and how the cabin sounds and the driver seat positioning and the crappy plastic interior and the extremely dated electronics/infotainment (if it’s even to that level). IMO most people with 4Runners are giant tools too, but that’s anecdotal. The ONLY redeeming qualities of the 4Runner are the sliding rear glass window and how you can option them without the stupid third row. Other than that, I do not like anything about them. Also, crazy expensive to get anything remotely nice (the popular SR5 is total junk).
 

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Nope. Horrendous gas mileage and I hate how they ride and the luggy and loud engine and how the cabin sounds and the driver seat positioning and the crappy plastic interior and the extremely dated electronics/infotainment (if it’s even to that level). IMO most people with 4Runners are giant tools too, but that’s anecdotal. The ONLY redeeming qualities of the 4Runner are the sliding rear glass window and how you can option them without the stupid third row. Other than that, I do not like anything about them. Also, crazy expensive to get anything remotely nice (the popular SR5 is total junk).
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness.
240 hp turbo engine, 9.5" ground clearance, A/T tires, optional under guards for the engine, transmission, differential and fuel tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness.
240 hp turbo engine, 9.5" ground clearance, A/T tires, optional under guards for the engine, transmission, differential and fuel tank.
Again, nope. Have you seen the disgustingly large infotainment package on that thing?! I got through about 3 minutes of a video on it before I absolutely ruled that car out, and that was back when I was giving the V4 a little forgiveness. Even with the turbo, I think it is undersized. My 2015 Outback 2.5i was very sluggish in our mountains and accelerating onto highways. Drove me nuts. I imagine the same 2.5 with the turbo will be constantly spooled on the 2022 Outback, just guzzling gas in addition to being loud. I’ve driven that engine a few times on the new Ascents and do not like it. If they made the 2022 Outbacks with the 3.6R I’d already have a brand new one sitting in the driveway and endure the heinous infotainment screen.

What else ya got? ;)
 

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I did the skid plate on the Pilot just like Daltongang did on the Passport. Neither one comes from factory with underbody protection, the listed companies have them as aftermarket choice. The dealer won't have versions to order. The Passport do have I think 1" extra ground clearance. The skid plates are not that expensive and will cover the vitals.

You can also see some videos on JohnDZ Adventuring he has a lifted Passport and used to have a lifted Subaru.

The 4Runner without 3rd row does NOT give you a storage place in place of where it folds to. My Fire Chief ordered his with no 3rd row figuring it would have a cover and a big hole for storage, NOPE. He wishes he got the 3rd row and removed it then made a cover. The 4 Runner was one of the vehicles listed that many keep 15 years plus and a lot of mileage. Old tech and stuff seems to lend to longer reliability.

OUTBACK OFF ROAD the Car Question video's also do a LOT with a ramp to show the one wheel in air thing if concerned on traction.
 

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Ohhhh jeeze, the plot thickens. The lower ground clearance with exposed underbody does concern me since our switch-backed driveway is 900’ long and unpaved. A large rock could easily kick up and cause serious damage. Since I don’t NEED the third row for storing humans, maybe I should consider the higher-sitting Passport… I’ve done no research on these. Do they have any underbody protection and other “stuff” that makes them more suitable for off-reading? I don’t consider my lifestyle “off road”esque but maybe it is compared to the average consumer that these family SUVs are designed for??
Don't go overboard here. This is not a Civic Type R or WRX STI. If your old Outback could make it up your driveway without issue than the Pilot will not have a problem. Could you put a skid plate on? Sure. Is it necessary for decently-maintained, unpaved roads? No way. Do people who love real off-roading go overboard on the Pilot to make it look like the real deal? (Cough, cough, sorry guys.) Absolutely!

For real off-roading I agree this is not the car you want, at least not without serious skills and some necessary mods. IMO your gravel driveway is exactly the type of soft-roading these unibody SUVs are design for. I'm chuckling at the direction this thread is going while looking in the driveway at my Odyssey and Pilot side by side. Ground clearance should not be an issue for regular gravel-roading.
 

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Again, nope. Have you seen the disgustingly large infotainment package on that thing?! I got through about 3 minutes of a video on it before I absolutely ruled that car out, and that was back when I was giving the V4 a little forgiveness. Even with the turbo, I think it is undersized. My 2015 Outback 2.5i was very sluggish in our mountains and accelerating onto highways. Drove me nuts. I imagine the same 2.5 with the turbo will be constantly spooled on the 2022 Outback, just guzzling gas in addition to being loud. I’ve driven that engine a few times on the new Ascents and do not like it. If they made the 2022 Outbacks with the 3.6R I’d already have a brand new one sitting in the driveway and endure the heinous infotainment screen.

What else ya got? ;)
The Motorweek test of the Outback with the 240hp turbo engine showed a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds and they averaged 27.3 mpg.
Humongous touchscreens are the latest trend.
So many SUVs/CUVs seem to be designed mainly to function as shuttle craft for soccer moms.
What do you think about Jeeps?
 

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Don't go overboard here. This is not a Civic Type R or WRX STI. If your old Outback could make it up your driveway without issue than the Pilot will not have a problem. Could you put a skid plate on? Sure. Is it necessary for decently-maintained, unpaved roads? No way. Do people who love real off-roading go overboard on the Pilot to make it look like the real deal? (Cough, cough, sorry guys.) Absolutely!

For real off-roading I agree this is not the car you want, at least not without serious skills and some necessary mods. IMO your gravel driveway is exactly the type of soft-roading these unibody SUVs are design for. I'm chuckling at the direction this thread is going while looking in the driveway at my Odyssey and Pilot side by side. Ground clearance should not be an issue for regular gravel-roading.
I beg to differ but everyone has their opinions. If I have a capable AWD SUV it should at least not get this.

Mine sees beach driving and rocky gravel road to cabin. Some rocks are bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
The Motorweek test of the Outback with the 240hp turbo engine showed a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds and they averaged 27.3 mpg.
Humongous touchscreens are the latest trend.
So many SUVs/CUVs seem to be designed mainly to function as shuttle craft for soccer moms.
What do you think about Jeeps?
They didn’t average that with the turbo spooling 1/3rd of its driving which is what it’ll be doing in my life. (TBH fuel economy is not a primary factor in my decision here. The difference between 20 mpg and 25 mpg is like $500 annually. Not to be snobby, but whatever.) Even if I could be talked into accepting the turbo, I won’t accept it if it means ALSO accepting that obnoxious 2022 OB touchscreen. A girl has her limits!! Why couldn’t they just use the Ascent infotainment on the upper level 2022 Outbacks, gahhhh!!! I do think the turbo engine is crazy undersized for the huge Ascent; no way the OB and Ascent should have the same engines. It cannot make sense on BOTH vehicles.

Jeeps are fun but nowhere near as comfy and the SUVs and wagons we’re discussing. To get a cushy Jeep Wrangler, you’re looking at nearly $60k - nuts!!!
 

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You could also check a new Highlander that has a 6 cyl. Highlander vs Mazda check them on Alex on Auto's and Car Question (I haven't yet). I do like that both the Mazda and Highlander have a regular tranny not a CVT.
 

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I never test drove the Mazda. I test drove the Highlander and it feels like it has more power but a more "boring" ride. The Pilot actually felt more lively and nimble compared to the highlander. The Highlander also does not have near the cargo capacity in terms of third row legroom/headroom, rear cargo length and cargo height. This is using a measuring tape and looking at dimensions, not just basing it on the manufacturers listed cargo cubic feet number.
 
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