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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to purchase my first Pilot. Either a 2018 EX-L CPO or 2019 EX-L CPO with a goal of under $30k. There are plenty of 2017 and 2018 models available at relatively low prices. Was wondering if the 2019 refresh was worth the extra money. There were a few old threads with the same topic, but perhaps a year or two later, people's opinions have changed.
Thanks
 

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I personally would go with the 19 because of the new added tech in it. The infotainment in the 18 look pretty outdated, but the 19 looks new. After a couple years the infotainment will make the 18 seem much older than it actually is.

If you don't care about the extra technology then the 18 is a good choice, but if you want the recent tech, then the 19 is the better option.
 

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Recommend you go play with both. See if the tech refresh is worth the money for you. If you're coming from an older car then maybe the 16-18 tech is good enough for what you want. If you'd prefer the latest and greatest then you'd better go for the newer models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses so far. Seems like most people are talking the dash system. Any thoughts about the performance and reliability ? I read a bunch of bad comments on the 9 speed trans.
 

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Thanks for the responses so far. Seems like most people are talking the dash system. Any thoughts about the performance and reliability ? I read a bunch of bad comments on the 9 speed trans.
Mechanically, everything is pretty much the same. 19+ just got the facelifted exterior and infotainment upgrades. The 9-speed was pretty wonky early on, but it received several software upgrades over the first few years and pretty much nobody complains about it now. I actually think it is the better of the 2 transmissions on those years, as the 6-speed is more prone to overheating (crappy OEM transmission fluid in a heavy vehicle).

Whatever year you get, you should plan on disabling the cylinder deactivation system (Variable Cylinder Management, VCM) as your first mod. It's been causing problems with V-6 Hondas for years, and the Pilot is no different. (1) Preferred VCM Disabling Device | Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums (piloteers.org)
 

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Which trim level?

generally I’m preferring new as possible because the tech we’re seeing inside any car is developing very rapidly.
 

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Thanks for the responses so far. Seems like most people are talking the dash system. Any thoughts about the performance and reliability ? I read a bunch of bad comments on the 9 speed trans.
People used to complain before the refresh, but after the refresh there's virtually none. If you are getting an EX-L then you'll get a 6 speed transmission which , thankfully, isn't as complicated as the 9 speed to work on so if you like working on your car at home, then you should be pretty happy. Only complaints on the 6 speed is that after a while the fluid starts to break down due to high heat. If you live in a hot place or you load up the car a lot then you should consider purchasing a transmission cooler.
 

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I personally would go with the 19 because of the new added tech in it. The infotainment in the 18 look pretty outdated, but the 19 looks new. After a couple years the infotainment will make the 18 seem much older than it actually is.

If you don't care about the extra technology then the 18 is a good choice, but if you want the recent tech, then the 19 is the better option.
I agree with this 100%.
Depending on how often you change cars the look matters especially if you want to keep it for 8-10 years.

The '19 has a much nicer gauge cluster and has an actual volume knob.


Thanks for the responses so far. Seems like most people are talking the dash system. Any thoughts about the performance and reliability ? I read a bunch of bad comments on the 9 speed trans.

The 9 speed received hardware and upgrades for 2019. You can read more on the wiki page.

Like the others have said the EX-L is a 6 speed in both years. Change the fluid more often than required if you plan on keeping it.
 

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Get the 2019 - I just went through this exact debate after seriously looking at 2017s and I’m picking up my 2019 EX-L tomorrow. All of the reasons discussed above are the factors that made me pick the 2019:

  • infotainment system is much, much better in the 2019, including an actual volume knob (wow)
  • more standard safety / Honda Sensing
  • transmission refinements and improvements
  • more refined interior / dash

I’m a repeat Honda owner, so I’ve already had a 2015 CRV with the dated and slow infotainment system (without a volume knob) and I honestly couldn’t stomach the thought of dealing with that again for 5+ more years. Since you’re willing to spend $30K, my advice is to be willing to spend $31K (as an example) and treat yourself to the 2019.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Get the 2019 - I just went through this exact debate after seriously looking at 2017s and I’m picking up my 2019 EX-L tomorrow. All of the reasons discussed above are the factors that made me pick the 2019:

  • infotainment system is much, much better in the 2019, including an actual volume knob (wow)
  • more standard safety / Honda Sensing
  • transmission refinements and improvements
  • more refined interior / dash

I’m a repeat Honda owner, so I’ve already had a 2015 CRV with the dated and slow infotainment system (without a volume knob) and I honestly couldn’t stomach the thought of dealing with that again for 5+ more years. Since you’re willing to spend $30K, my advice is to be willing to spend $31K (as an example) and treat yourself to the 2019.


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Thanks. This is almost my exact logic behind considering the 2019 model vs the much more discounted previous years.
 

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Do they both have a volume knob? I can’t remember if 18 got it or they waited until 19. Would make all the difference to me.
Only the 2019 has the volume knob. The 2019 has a massively upgraded and updated infotainment system and digital gauge cluster.

Honestly - if you’re even remotely into technology, this upgrade alone is worth getting a 2019 (in my opinion).


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I ended up getting a 2019 AWD EXL. The car is fantastic and I am very happy with it. My experience with the dealer I got it from was not.
 

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I ended up getting a 2019 AWD EXL. The car is fantastic and I am very happy with it. My experience with the dealer I got it from was not.
Congrats! Welcome to the 2019 EXL club. What was the issue with the dealer?



2019 Pilot EX-L Navi (Black) with SVCM, 30% tint

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Congrats! Welcome to the 2019 EXL club. What was the issue with the dealer?
- Finance guy said he looked at my purchase prequal app through Capital One and said that the interest rate was a whole point higher than what Capital One had told me. I disputed his claim but He said the prequals were "best case scenarios" and rates and stuff sometimes change when the actual loan numbers are put in. He got me a "deal" from another lender (a rate that was close to mine) which was probably through his friend or someone their dealership gets incentives from. I thought it was fishy, but it only impacted the payment by a few dollars. Called Capital One the next day and Capital One confirmed that the dealership submitted a seperate application with different information for me. So the finance guy outright lied in order to get me to go with a slightly higher rate with a different lender.

- The sales guy told me the car only had one key. He would try to call the previous (trade-in) owner to get the second key for me since it was recently traded in. When I came back the next day for the key he said used cars usually only come with one key, sorry...original owner didn't respond. I could always get another one made. That was the last straw. I told him that for the $3000 in fees (not taxes mind you...fees) they tried piling onto the purchase the least they could do was give me a second key. Guy says "ok let me see what I can do" and no joke, a minute later comes back with the second key. It had the car tag on it same as the first, meaning it was there the whole time and they probably intended on selling my own key back to me or to someone else.

There were other annoyances (and shady sales stuff) that you could expect when buying a new car from a dealership, but these two were really bad.

You might say "why didn't I just walk?" I almost did several times. I was able to negotiate almost all of the $3k in fees away so that was one of the good things. The only reason I stuck around at all was because IMHO someone goofed on the price of the car. There were several factory/dealer installed options like the towing package that weren't listed on the sticker or dealer website. I noticed right away on the test drive. It was basically a diet Elite with a tow package at a decent EXL price.

I would have been ecstatic with the whole thing if not for the two major problems I mentioned above. It just left me with such a sour taste. But thankfully I kept my wits about me and in the end I still think I came out on top.
 
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