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Discussion Starter #1
First off, let me state I'm very fussy and picky, and things like noises bother me.

Secondly, I want to feel that I get good value and quality for my money and am willing to pay slightly more to ensure that I do.

Having said that, I am starting to think I should have paid the extra $5,000 here in Canada for the base MDX over the leather Pilot.

For that money, not only, would I have gotten the sunroof, wood trim etc. but NOT gotten the saggy leather seats, crappy outside temp. guauge etc.

Maybe I'd still have the thunks, rattles and scrunches - don't know for sure but it appears the MDX shares some of these.

If I knew the quality level of the MDX was on a higher level than the Pilot I'd switch for sure.

I can't say I like the looks of the MDX that much more than the Pilot and would have to sacrifice some room inside but I'm seriously considering it.
 

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ablatt...

Not sure if it is the same in Canada, but in the U.S., the base MDX does not come with a NAV system. Althought the base models have a screen itegrated into the dash, it is a "trip computer" only and NOT a NAV system. When first comparing models, we also thought that EVERY MDX came with a NAV system installed.

We also were seriously considering the MDX but the substantial additional cost, in reality, seemed to buy little more. Also, take a brief tour of the acura-mdx.org site and you'll see that many of the problems experienced by new Pilot owners have been common to the MDX as well.

In my view, however, virtually all of the issues identified thus far are relativley minor ones... especially in comparison to many other models of comparable sport utility vehicles.

Not sure if you have a Pilot already... if so, do you not like it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do have one - Silver EX-L, 3000KM.

The ride is OK and I have no major mechanical problems BUT the leather seats sag a lot, I have the seemingly irreparable and annoying Windows/Door scrunch, and one or two other rattles.

My wife also hates the headrests.

What bothers me is that the finish quality level seems low and, maybe I'm wrong, but it is higher on the MDX.

So I am pondering away.
 

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Pilot verses MDX

I take delivery of my wife's Pilot EX-L RES this Thursday. Comparably equipped (sans RES on the MDX), the MSRP difference was nearly $3500.00 US in favor of the Pilot. A moon roof, heated seats, chrome exhaust finishers, and no DVD for $3500??? NOT!!!
 

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Go to the MDX dealership and ask them to let you test drive one overnight. Tell them everything you stated here (they love to "steal" a competitors customer). That's the only way you'll know. If you like it that much better, trade your Pilot or put it on Ebay....it will sell.

If money isn't the issue, explore what it takes to make you happy.

Good luck!
 

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MDX verses Pilot

My wife drove an MDX several times and we narrowed the list down to Lexus RX-300, Toyota Highlander, and the MDX Touring package. The Honda dealer sold me the Pilot for MSRP with all accesories at the Honda web site cost (~$70.00/hour labor) and gave me the 6 year/75,000 mile HondaCare extended warranty for $195.00. The folks at the local MDX dealer were stogy! The reason I got the extended warranty was another dealer who was offering "double warrabty" deals on all his cars; the only problem with his deal was that the extra warranty years were insured by him and ALL his accessories had unbelieveable markup. I currently own an Accord coupe with moonroof and do not believe that is a deal breaker. The Acura dealer was also talking about an adder above MSRP, so I used my conservative bias and bought the Pilot. I have also arranged a tire swap for Goodyear Fortera HL tires (Tread Wear 540 Traction A Temperature B) for the difference between advertised retail prices for both tires. Both Acura and Honda use a lousy OEM tire on their vehicles...
 

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Honda Pilot is a new model. Give it sometime for the manufacturer to work out all the bug.

As we know, the first year model of any car will have more bugs than second or third year model.

IMO, Pilot is a very nice car. It doesn't matter Acura or Honda. They both the same. As I heard, Pilot is manufacturer in Ontorio, Canada- One of Honda best reputation assembly factory.

Here is why I select Pilot over MDX.
1. Pilot has RES. MDX will need aftermarket one.
2. Compromised sunroof. No problem. I can get aftermarket.
3. 8 passenger (pilot) over 7 passenger (MDX).
4. Extra $6000-7000 saving with Pilot over MDX
5. No luxury tax on Pilot.
6. Same exact 3.5 L engine that use on MDX, Odessey / Pilot
7. 36000 miles /3 years warranty (Pilot) vs. 50000 miles/ 5 years warranty (MDX). I haven't have much problem with all my Honda car.
 

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Re: ablatt...

Just so that new members do not get confused , the site address for our sister-forum is www.acuramdx.org

ChiefPilot said:
Not sure if it is the same in Canada, but in the U.S., the base MDX does not come with a NAV system. Althought the base models have a screen itegrated into the dash, it is a "trip computer" only and NOT a NAV system. When first comparing models, we also thought that EVERY MDX came with a NAV system installed.

We also were seriously considering the MDX but the substantial additional cost, in reality, seemed to buy little more. Also, take a brief tour of the acura-mdx.org site and you'll see that many of the problems experienced by new Pilot owners have been common to the MDX as well.

In my view, however, virtually all of the issues identified thus far are relativley minor ones... especially in comparison to many other models of comparable sport utility vehicles.

Not sure if you have a Pilot already... if so, do you not like it?
 

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Ablatt - our expectations are similar

I have been away for a while and have some catching up to do. I read your post with interest. In previous posts, I have outlined issues relating to my Pilot that were unexpected and very disappointing. I am most envious of those who can tolerate the various problems the Pilot is experiencing and suffer no loss of joy in ownership. If the gasket squinch, suspension rattles and thunks, brake booster swish and other issues don't bother you, consider it a blessing. I am not so built. My expectations of a $33,000 (Nav) vehicle is higher than what I received. Honda has been making vehicles for how long? The problems I am hearing about and seeing cause me a lot of concern as to the integrity of build. I am concerned that we are going to find that future Pilots will receive major structrual improvements. How will that impact us? A Honda field engineer will visit my dealer next Tuesday to make a determination on my vehicle. I am most interested to see how Honda and my dealer support me on the issues. Don't worry, I will keep you informed. I hope those owners that are happy will continue to be. I hope that I can soon say that I am as well. BP
 

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After paying over $30,000 you deserve to be happy.

I really wanted an MDX but chose the Pilot for a number of reasons.
1) Cost (I do think Honda took out more than they should have)
2) Ride (The MDX is very stiff riding) the Pilot isn't perfect either.
3) Resale (I would have bought a base MDX, Most have Touring)
4) Center console (I'll take function over style anytime).
5) Availability (MDX had a 3 month wait for my color choice).
6) Fuel (The Pilot doesn't need premium).
I didn't get leather because of the lack of seat heaters.

I shopped quite a few similar vehicles and feel that the more you compare the better the Pilot looks. Try out an Explorer or a Trailblazer Ext). Compared to many (even at discount) it's a bargain.

I will say that my wife's Highlander (still) has no squeaks, rattles, scrunches or other vile issues. Comparing quality, Highlander versus Pilot, the Highlander wins (it's just not big enough).

I would re-shop around and if you really dislike the Pilot that badly, get rid of it.
It's only a car, life's too short to be unhappy.
 

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In my opinion only...

Honda has never been quite as good as toyota in designing and building a "quiet" vehicle. They seem to have a little less emphasis on eliminating the squeaks, scrunches, rattles, etc. than Toyota. That having been said; however, I think the quality and reliability of the engine, transmission, and other "big" stuff has been excellent. I'm keeping my fingers crossed; but so far Honda has not suffered the types of things that Toyota has on a wide basis like the "oil sludge" and other recalls. Keep in mind too that the bigger a vehicle gets the harder it is to keep all things "quiet". That big cargo area acts almost like a "boom box" and accentuates the Negatives. I'm not saying Honda couldn't do better; but I looked at the Highlander a long time before selecting the Pilot and my choice was to go with the Pilot because of the extra cargo area, bigger engine, 5 speed transmission, etc and most of all about $4,000 less in price.

I am very fussy and picky about noises too; but I just felt better about the Pilot in the end. Only time will tell for me if I made the right decision. After I narrowed my choice down to all good vehicles (Pilot, MDX, Highlander) I just finally got tired of evaluating and went with my "gut" Good luck:4:
 

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I wounldn't say that Toyota is any better at eliminating squeaks. My wife has a 2000 Sienna and it's full of rattles, squeaks, etc. Here are the main ones: front driver window seal squeak (sound familiar), dash squeaks due to foam insert rubbing against plastic, pop from under carriage when starting to back up, driver seatbelt upper anchor rattles. These aren't things that developed over time. These are things that have been there from day one. We still love the van. It's a VERY smooth ride and we liked it much better than the Ody, so we are willing to accept these small annoyances.

I've never owned a car that hasn't had its little sounds here and there. I think the web just gives us the opportunity to share these little things and make more of them than they really are. I do admit, though that the little rattle that I get from my RES panel grates on my nerves!

Chris
 

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Yeah...

some squeaks, rattles seem to get on my nerves more than others. The ones I REALLY hate are the ones I don't know what is causing them. Is it serious? Will it cause driving to be dangerous? Will something fail 500 miles from home? The one thing I do like about Honda is that I feel comfortable that, as long as I maintain it properly, it is less likely to leave me stranded than most other vehicles. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I appreciate all the feedback.

I've decided to hang on to at least October-November and see what the 2003 MDX looks like and what other manufacturers come out with (any other 7/8 seaters?).

I DO like the ride of the Pilot and having the major components work right is no insignficant detail.

I'll see what the dealer can do with some of the noises in a couple of months when its time to change the oil. Maybe by then they'll have a solution to the windows scrunch etc.

I'll also see what Honda says and what feedback others get about the saggy leather by then.

In the meantime, I'll burn some CDs and play them nice and loud.
 

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Considering your...

mixed feelings, I think that is a good rational decision. Lexus, Toyota and Acura are all coming out with updated and/or redesigned SUVs within the next 4-6 months. If you see something you like a lot better and is within a price range you are willing to pay(notice I didn't say afford) you can probably still get a pretty good penny for your Pilot:)
 

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I really like my Pilot.
One of the reasons for getting it now was that after driving the Highlander I couldn't tolerate my Mountaineer any longer.
I agree with Copilot, there are a lot of new crossover vehicles coming out in the next year.
I think the MDX will continue to move more upscale and Honda will come out with a Pilot SE to fill in the gap (with heated mirrors, heated leather and a MOONROOF).
I'm not using a crystal ball just looking at history.

Comparing the Pilot's nagging little issues to my Mountaineer's large issues, I definately made the right choice (for now).
If in a few years (with my very high residual value) I'll look at the at the landscape again and buy my next office on wheels.
 

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Field Engineer Visit

Relating to my earlier post on this thread, I left my Pilot at the dealership today. Both a field engineer and the dist rep will be at the dealership on Monday. American Honda provided a rental unit (Chevy Impala). Will keep everyone informed of the results. I have experienced difficulties in posting and apologize if responses have been erratic. Thanks - BP
 

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BillR,

I think Honda positions the SE between the LX and the EX [at least they do on the Accord]. To the best of my knowledge, the EX always is their "very best".
 

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ablatt said:
I appreciate all the feedback.

I've decided to hang on to at least October-November and see what the 2003 MDX looks like and what other manufacturers come out with (any other 7/8 seaters?).

I DO like the ride of the Pilot and having the major components work right is no insignficant detail.

I'll see what the dealer can do with some of the noises in a couple of months when its time to change the oil. Maybe by then they'll have a solution to the windows scrunch etc.

I'll also see what Honda says and what feedback others get about the saggy leather by then.

In the meantime, I'll burn some CDs and play them nice and loud.
The 2003 MDX will have a 3.8 Litre engine, with probably 260-270HP (this from the Acura dealer who showed me the 2003 model update sent to the dealers from Acura). The price will also likely be $1K to $2K higher, though this wasn't in the letter so it's purely a guess based on past performance. In Canada, this means most likely a sticker price of about $50K. This is $7K more than the EX-L. For 20 or 30HP and a moonroof (heated seats and mirrors are already on the EX-L). No other changes planned for the MDX in 2003.

Frankly, I didn't find the trim in the MDX to be significantly better than the Pilot. In fact, I find fake wood to be offensive on a $50K car.

The other interesting new vehicles out this year will be a redesigned Toyota 4Runner with a much smoother ride. Unlikely that it will have 3 rows of seats though. The Volkswagen Touareg is also coming out later this year, and looks pretty sweet, but again I believe only seats 5 (also will likely cost over $50K CDN).

Also there will be a bigger Lexus RX next year (probably 2004 model), with a bigger engine (so it will be called the RX350). It will have 3 rows of seats. If you want superior trim and generally a better dealer experience, with all due respect to Honda/Acura, that'd be the one to look at. There's also the Lexus GX 470 released recently which seats 8, but it's getting up there in price ($50K US).

---
03 Pilot EX-L SS w/RB
01 Audi S4
 

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You know I do not care what fricken Vehicle any one drives or buys there is going to be problems. I am EXTREMELY picky and I have found problems with our pilot in only 4 days of owning it but I knwo that NOTHING is perfect no matter how much any company tries. Yes in a 30,000 vehicle there will be noises but so is there in a 50 m 60 m 70,000 vehicle also.

Now I have been waiting for 2 years for the pilot to come out( not on order just waiting since I found out about it), I bought the pilot because it servered what my wife and I wanted but also because it is a HONDA. I drove the Mdx and I did not want to pay that much nor do I really care for Acura dealers.
I am simply a Honda buyer, I have been since I was 18 and I don't think I will stray. My family has had all the US brands and also Toyota's. Yes the toyota woudl most likely be my second choice but a distant second I do not think the quality of a toyota is the same as a Honda, but it is still a great auto maker.

So I guess it is a matter of going insane over a squeak and blemishes or simply making sure the dealer fixes the errors and enjoying our HONDA Pilot's!!!!!
Later,
Pat
 
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