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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(As a backdrop: the older 4x4 2005 Pilot automatically uses 4 wheels when accelerating from stop, giving you a fast acceleration.)
Unfortunately, there are few 2nd gen used Pilots in my area to test-drive. I need to know how the FWD and AWD 2012-2015 models accelerate from stop, on standard pavement conditions?
 

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2016 CRV Touring AWD, 2005 Pilot RIP.
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Honda always pushed the FWD vehicles to the southern tier of the country where the climate was less prone to extremes caused by snow and ice. The Pilot is a heavy car and the extra traction, even at low speeds of the AWD system is useful in heavy rain as well.
Prior to 2006 MY all Pilots were AWD. 2006-08 FWD were limited by traction when taking off from a stop in wet weather, and unhappy when towing. The recommendation is always AWD if towing is possible.
MY late FIL was against buying an AWD Pilot in 2006 and he lived in Greenville SC. I'm glad he did. He has no complaints after doing so either.
 

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Neither of my Pilots have AWD. I had always been under the impression that if you're in the south you should avoid AWD/4WD because more maintenance and more things that could possibly break. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't mind having an AWD Pilot and actually wish I did. However, I feel perfectly safe driving the FWD version. Having good tires can make a whole lot of difference in traction as well.

So that being said, depending on where you live, I wouldn't go out of my way to find an AWD version, but if a good deal were to present itself, I see no reason why you would regret having the extra traction.
 

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2008 Piot SE FWD, 2015 Pilot LX 4WD. 2005 GSX-R1000
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I have an 08 FWD, and now added a 15, 4WD/AWD.
We bought the 08 just south of Houston, but in it's 1st year, took it to Brewaukee WI. Even the FWD does well in snow and ice- because it's relatively heavy, AND FWD!

** Edit- around here, while there are many AWD/4WD vehicles, there are as many of more FWD vehicles here around Milwaukee- that seem to do well also.

Now, my RWD only, v8 manual tranny w/ posi traction- SUCKS BIG ones on the ice and snow! the Posi helps a little. FWD is golden in the ice and snow. Especially when it's been plowed anyways. I can't believe I dorve it for years on the snow and ice and never crashed it!! Nearly EVERYTHING around here is when it snows too.

Sure, on a wet street, starting out on or near the cross walk painted strip, the front wheel Might slip half a turn when you first hit the gas pedal.

As said, southern states, unless taking it 'mudding'- FWD works well.

Up 'Nourth'- AWD is nice, FWD works well too.

We currently have both. But the FWD is Gen 1, 4WD Gen 2, doesn't make much difference, but I've not driven a Gen 2 FWD, sorry.
 

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I have a 15 AWD Pilot. From someone who moved from the North to the South, drove it through the snow and ice in the north and the rain in the south, I would still go with the AWD and not tempt fait. My family is still in the North and its good to have the added traction incase I need to go up there during the winter. My family lives in the boonies where it is very hilly, they receive a lot of snow and the roads are only plowed maybe once a day. So having to manage 1 to 2 feet of snow is pretty normal. The towing capability is also higher on the AWD than the FWD. If you want to tow with a FWD, you will have to add a transmission cooler which is already present with the AWD versions. I have a friend who has an 08 and lives in the North and from what I understand the AWD works differently on the first gen then it does on the 2nd gen forward. He has told me that his starts in AWD and switches to FWD around 12 mph and doesn't engage again unless stopped. The 2nd gen on forward starts in AWD and switches to FWD but will reengage the rear as needed to maintain traction. So where I am from, the FWD version will not do the job and as such you never see FWD SUV's but only AWD.

Honda made this AWD system pretty bulletproof. All you need to do is maintain it and it will not fail. Honda has been using the same AWD system with some programming tweaks for almost 20 years now with its original introduction in the Acura MDX released in 2001.
 

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I'm in the south. Ours has literally never seen speck of snow on the ground. Our Pilot is 2wd as I figured we'd never need AWD down here and have never needed it in any of our CARS. I was wrong. With an suv as big and heavy as the Pilot however, you REALLY should just get AWD - I wish I had every single time I'm trying to pull out in traffic and the poor right front tire is doing it's best to move this brick of a vehicle. It's worse when wet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the responses, very useful!
You have clearly shown the advantages of the AWD:

..The Pilot is a heavy car and the extra traction, even at low speeds of the AWD system is useful in heavy rain as well...
--> Better traction in rain,

I have a 15 AWD Pilot. ... its good to have the added traction ...The towing capability is also higher on the AWD than the FWD. If you want to tow with a FWD, you will have to add a transmission cooler which is already present with the AWD versions.....Honda made this AWD system pretty bulletproof. All you need to do is maintain it and it will not fail...
--> better towing, and AWD has a transmission cooler and it is fully reliable,

... you REALLY should just get AWD - I wish I had every single time I'm trying to pull out in traffic and the poor right front tire is doing it's best to move this brick of a vehicle. It's worse when wet.
--> and last but not least, AWD is much safer in city traffic

I must say, the most important advantage I have felt when driving the 2005 4WD Pilot, has been in being able to rely on this SUV to pull in quickly to where I need to be in traffic: you aim and it always delivers.
The feeling of control and safety with this 4WD in traffic is so much better than in any other SUV or minivan I have ever owned (Which were in the same size and price range as the Pilot).
Reading your posts, I'm more than ever wanting to get an AWD 2nd gen Pilot, (though in the South these are so rare, and hard to get at an affordable price)
 

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I think AWD is one of those options that pays back well at resale time. Somewhere around 80% investment recovery on other cars I've bought and sold. You get the extra coolers for the transmission and steering, and more. The financial penalties show up at the pump and at your car insurance. Even though the AWD is passive until needed, it still manages to affect fuel consumption by 1-2 MPG.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A simple "Just get the AWD version" wan't good enough for you?
Just crashed my PC trying to reply to your post, had to reboot cold, so I lost the data in all my open windows... The site is very busy with ads etc and lots of posts, so I try to spend little time on it, which is why I didn't reply to your post specifically...
"Just get the AWD" doesn't enlighten the decision-making, which is about deciding whether and why, to spend the extra money and wait the extra time (more than 2 years so far) to wait for the locally available 2nd gen AWD. So since you didn't explain anything, there was nothing to comment on. (And since you want an opinion...frankly, your post was tone deaf to the affordability issue)
On the other hand, I did thank YOU, implicitly but.literally, when I thanked EVERYONE.
 

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"Just get the AWD" doesn't enlighten the decision-making, which is about deciding whether and why, to spend the extra money and wait the extra time (more than 2 years so far) to wait for the locally available 2nd gen AWD. So since you didn't explain anything, there was nothing to comment on. (And since you want an opinion...frankly, your post was tone deaf to the affordability issue)
It's called cutting to the chase.
My post was made prior to the mention of any budget constraint.
 

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AWD Pilots come with factory installed tranny coolers????
 

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I think a separate transmission cooler is included when you order the "towing package."
 

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......but the dealership installs the tranny cooler, right? And without the cooler, AWD Pilots are not rated for 5K lb towing, correct? Same for the Passport, I believe. At Honda.com under “Build Your Pilot” is there a “Tow Package” selection?.........I didn’t see “Tow Package” anywhere at Honda.com. Seems like a “Tow Package” would include a hitch, harness and tranny cooler, no?

I looked for a Pilot “Tow Package” at College Hills Honda and didn’t see one.....maybe I missed it.
 

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From Honda.com...

Build and Price Result

Towing capacity can be increased to 5,000 lbs on Pilot AWD models with dealer-installed ATF cooler accessory.
At least that's what it says for the current model year. But guys on the forum are DIYing their "tow packages quite frequently.
 

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Seems like statements in this thread infer that AWD Pilots come with a factory installed tranny cooler.......don’t think that is correct.
 

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Installing a 5K lb rated hitch on a Pilot does not automatically mean the Pilot is rated to tow 5K lbs. In addition to the hitch, the Pilot MUST have a tranny cooler as well.
 

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Wonder if any Piloteer here has strayed a little and installed an aftermarket tranny cooler? 🤷‍♂️
 
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