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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm totally new to this forum. I really need your help before buying a pilot.
Currently I'm driving a real off road car with 4x4 control and low range gear (mitsubishi montero). I'm planning to buy a honda pilot as it has bigger space for the kids and camping stuff. My questions are:
1. Since I'm living in a country that is mainly composed of desert, is the pilot capable to do decent dune bashing?
2. I do lots of cars recovery (as a volunteering rescuer), can the pilot do that?
3. I guess the 2008 and older models has better approach angle, so is it a better off road version comparing to the newer versions?

Thanks in advance
 

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2008 Piot SE FWD, 2015 Pilot LX 4WD. 2005 GSX-R1000
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Hello and welcome.

You'll get plenty of opinions on this here.

I own 2 Pilots and love them both.

An 08 FWD
and a 15 4WD- that's what they call it anyways.

The short answer from me- a nobody- is NO

Not without Wheels, Tires, needing lifts- still very limited.

IMHO, not for what you want it for.

Again, I love my 2 Pilots too.
 

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IIRC, the Montero is a RWD, w/ 4x4

The Pilot is FWD, w/ added RWD. No low range gears, etc.
To me, not the same animal.

IMHO
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello and welcome.

You'll get plenty of opinions on this here.

I own 2 Pilots and love them both.

An 08 FWD
and a 15 4WD- that's what they call it anyways.

The short answer from me- a nobody- is NO

Not without Wheels, Tires, needing lifts- still very limited.

IMHO, not for what you want it for.

Again, I love my 2 Pilots too.
Thank you for the prompt direct to the point response
 

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You're welcome! What Country?

And, please wait for other peoples opinions too!! It's only my opinion of your question.
 
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Based off your off-road expectations there are more robust 4x4 choices out there like an old pathfinder or 4Runner that will tolerate the type of dune bashing /recovery that you mentioned. Proper vehicle prep will be needed regardless of what you choose.
My dream Pilot build....LOL
Tire Wheel Vehicle Land vehicle Automotive tire
 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Although I will say this: The Pilot's VTM-4 system performs exceptionally well in the sand, often even better than the usual suspects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Based off your off-road expectations there are more robust 4x4 choices out there like an old pathfinder or 4Runner that will tolerate the type of dune bashing /recovery that you mentioned. Proper vehicle prep will be needed regardless of what you choose.
My dream Pilot build....LOL View attachment 142584
Thank you, actually start looming for old pathfinder, 4runner is not available at this country
 

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Hi all, I'm totally new to this forum. I really need your help before buying a pilot.
Currently I'm driving a real off road car with 4x4 control and low range gear (mitsubishi montero). I'm planning to buy a honda pilot as it has bigger space for the kids and camping stuff. My questions are:
1. Since I'm living in a country that is mainly composed of desert, is the pilot capable to do decent dune bashing?
2. I do lots of cars recovery (as a volunteering rescuer), can the pilot do that?
3. I guess the 2008 and older models has better approach angle, so is it a better off road version comparing to the newer versions?

Thanks in advance
Mtardi-

I spent seven years in the mid 1990's in the US Border Patrol roaming around the Imperial Sand dunes on the California/Mexico border. We had Ford Broncos, Chevy Tahoes, Ford Expeditions, Dodge Durangos and mil-spec humvees; all were stock/non-modified with the exception of the humvees. The single most important factor when navigating the dunes was not so much the vehicle, but the tires and tire pressure. Because of the tire on the Tahoes, which were standard highway all-season, they outperformed all the other vehicles; not because of the tread design or manufacturer, but the stiffness of the sidewall. As you probably know, when driving in deep sand or dunes in a stock, non-modified vehicle, it is recommended to lower the air pressure in the tires to increase the footprint of the tread and thus increase traction as the weight of the vehicle is spread over a larger surface. The Tahoe tires had softer sidewalls, and when dropped down to 10 or 15 PSI, bulged out considerably more than the stiffer M/S and offroad tires of the other vehicles; because of this, the Tahoe could, in many cases, outperform the others in while only in 2WD. Strangely enough, the humvees were the worst performers due to HP/weight ratio and inability to increase the tire footprint by lowering pressure (built-in tire inflator was handy though).

Granted, we didn't use the vehicles for any sort of extreme hill climbing like Competition Hill at Glamis, but the Tahoes got around just fine around the unnamed dunes and bowls on the border. I suspect a Pilot would do just fine. Enjoy yourself in the dunes.
 

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Mtardi-

I spent seven years in the mid 1990's in the US Border Patrol roaming around the Imperial Sand dunes on the California/Mexico border. We had Ford Broncos, Chevy Tahoes, Ford Expeditions, Dodge Durangos and mil-spec humvees; all were stock/non-modified with the exception of the humvees. The single most important factor when navigating the dunes was not so much the vehicle, but the tires and tire pressure. Because of the tire on the Tahoes, which were standard highway all-season, they outperformed all the other vehicles; not because of the tread design or manufacturer, but the stiffness of the sidewall. As you probably know, when driving in deep sand or dunes in a stock, non-modified vehicle, it is recommended to lower the air pressure in the tires to increase the footprint of the tread and thus increase traction as the weight of the vehicle is spread over a larger surface. The Tahoe tires had softer sidewalls, and when dropped down to 10 or 15 PSI, bulged out considerably more than the stiffer M/S and offroad tires of the other vehicles; because of this, the Tahoe could, in many cases, outperform the others in while only in 2WD. Strangely enough, the humvees were the worst performers due to HP/weight ratio and inability to increase the tire footprint by lowering pressure (built-in tire inflator was handy though).

Granted, we didn't use the vehicles for any sort of extreme hill climbing like Competition Hill at Glamis, but the Tahoes got around just fine around the unnamed dunes and bowls on the border. I suspect a Pilot would do just fine. Enjoy yourself in the dunes.

OK, real life situation, from a professional.

Thank you for your service.

** There's a STRONG vote for the Pilot VTM..........WITH good soft sidewall tires!
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mtardi-

I spent seven years in the mid 1990's in the US Border Patrol roaming around the Imperial Sand dunes on the California/Mexico border. We had Ford Broncos, Chevy Tahoes, Ford Expeditions, Dodge Durangos and mil-spec humvees; all were stock/non-modified with the exception of the humvees. The single most important factor when navigating the dunes was not so much the vehicle, but the tires and tire pressure. Because of the tire on the Tahoes, which were standard highway all-season, they outperformed all the other vehicles; not because of the tread design or manufacturer, but the stiffness of the sidewall. As you probably know, when driving in deep sand or dunes in a stock, non-modified vehicle, it is recommended to lower the air pressure in the tires to increase the footprint of the tread and thus increase traction as the weight of the vehicle is spread over a larger surface. The Tahoe tires had softer sidewalls, and when dropped down to 10 or 15 PSI, bulged out considerably more than the stiffer M/S and offroad tires of the other vehicles; because of this, the Tahoe could, in many cases, outperform the others in while only in 2WD. Strangely enough, the humvees were the worst performers due to HP/weight ratio and inability to increase the tire footprint by lowering pressure (built-in tire inflator was handy though).

Granted, we didn't use the vehicles for any sort of extreme hill climbing like Competition Hill at Glamis, but the Tahoes got around just fine around the unnamed dunes and bowls on the border. I suspect a Pilot would do just fine. Enjoy yourself in the dunes.
Thank you so much for this wonderful review
 

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Indeed, the Pilot with VTM-4 is already surprisingly good in the sand, and even more so with the right tire setup.
Took my fully loaded Pilot last summer for a risky quick spin onto a section of the beach in North Carolina. Getting stuck would be a big problem plus a fine for no beach permit. No problem on packed wet sand by the ocean edge but crossing the soft sand dunes to leave the beach area would be challenging for any large truck. I did not air down the tires but the VTM-4 performed unusually well over the soft floaty sand dunes. The only issue was ground clearance and making contact with the hot beach sand. Cleaning up the sand later was more trouble than anything else.
Iron
 

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Your sand is my snow. Same experience, only my bottoming out residue melted away on its own eventually.
 
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