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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I just found this forum using a Google search on "Honda Pilot". I used to have an '85 Accord and then bought a Chevy Blazer in '96. I've since gotten married and have a kid and really want another Honda. I was thinking of getting an Odyssey because we plan on having at least one more kid and I want to be able to tote my kid(s) and their friends around. My wife HATES minivans so I started thinking about a Pilot when I learned they have a 3rd row. I've read a few posts and it didn't take long to realize that you folks REALLY love Pilots so I'll ask: Why should I get a Pilot over an Odyssey?

Thanks!

Jeff
 

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Because your wife hates minivans. Make her happy. :D
 

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Pilot is a all wheeldrive so you can do more with it. The pilot has plenty of room for a family. But most importantly, b/c your wife hates minivans. However, the Odyssey is a sweet mini van if you had to get one.
 

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In case you ever drive on snow/ice/wet and mudy pavement.
Your wife hates minivan; how about you? Do you love minivan over SUV down below?
 

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LOL tracy, love that response!

Actually, I am a 'minivan mom' at the moment (until tomorrow! cross fingers the dealer actually delivers my pilot!) and I will say that a few years ago, I never in a million years thought I'd drive a minivan. I think it was '99 when I was shopping for a new SUV and I just could not even conceive of owning a minivan. I had my mind set on an SUV but unfortunately, I had champagne taste and a beer pocketbook and couldn't afford what I wanted. So I settled for a sedan and HATED it with 2 kids. Way too small once hubby was in there with us. DH found a deal on a minivan and we traded for that. At first, I really liked the room of the van. But after awhile, it was really too much room. That van turned into a garbage can on wheels. I'm really a neat freak and the kids would drag one toy after another in the van, I would forget they brought it in there, it would end up on the 3rd row or on the floor where I couldn't see it and the cycle would continue. Plus, its pretty hard to be cool in a minivan - ROFL! Anyway, we began shopping around for a new vehicle this summer and I really liked the Highlander. I didn't know the Pilot was even out there at this point. In my research, I stumbled across the Pilot and investigated that. What sold me on the Pilot was the fact that a 3rd seat was available. That and the fact that the best car I ever owned was a Honda sold me on the Pilot.

Don't know if you plan to stop wiht 2 kids or add to it, but with us, we know 2 is it. We don't NEED a third seat all the time (like you have with the van) but it is nice to have it on occasion when the kids have a friend or whatever. The Pilot suits our needs and our wants (I still wanted an SUV!). We settled on the LX because of the value for the money. I wanted the EX with DVD but in figuring, the features I wanted could be added to the LX for a considerable savings over getting the fully loaded EX.

As far as the actual handling of the Pilot over the minivan - I can't answer that yet as we haven't taken delivery yet. But here is just an idea of why we chose the Pilot over a minivan. HTH!
 

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allykat said:
I think it was '99 when I was shopping for a new SUV
Newbies!:2: :2:

'91 Second kid on the way
Used '89 Range Rover to replace '83 Honda Civic 4dr.
Used '91 Range Rover to replace totales '89
Pilot introduced 6-02, pilot purchased to replace Rover.

Hu, Whats a minivan?
 

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The Pilot is as safe as any minivan out there--5-star results on all 4 NHTSA crash tests and a 4-star rollover rating. These scores are better than any other SUV on the market now that the MDX has been downgraded slightly.

It's made for street driving and it's great in snow. While it's not a real rugged off-roader, 99.9% of SUV owners never get any more off-road than their driveway and their is a safety issue with truck-based SUVs. Unlike other car-based SUV crossovers, the Pilot is based on a larger but very stable minivan chasis with cool 4-wheel drive. I'm surprised nobody thought of it before Honda-Acura.

The Pilot has just enough SUV energy to project, and deliver, a more fun loving image and experience. We go to the Adirondacks often and live next to the Sourland Mountains (they're not really mountains but the roads are kinda of cool and rugged). I would just feel kinda wimpy and henpecked in a minivan. My 16-month old and I want to go out on a Saturday morning and do real guy things, like get coffee and the newspaper at the nearby 19th century General Store. In the Pilot we're cool guys in a cool SUV with a DVD. In a minivan with little wheels we're just running errands for Mom.

I do wish the Pilot had side curtain airbags and vehicle stability assist like the '04 MDX and Highlander, but the MDX has poorer emgergency handling even with VSA and the Highlander just isn't cool. It's really a car. A few inches here and there on the inside just make the Highlander feel as small as my wife's old Corolla, which I hated taking on family trips. The Highlander's new 3rd row is a stopgap that is only good for 4-year olds: any older and they won't fit, any younger and you'll never get them into their car seats back there. The Highlander has a 3-star roll-over rating. You might expect a Camry based crossover to be ultra safe. While it drives like a car, you just shouldn't try to make a car into an SUV. It's trying to be what it just isn't.

I'm really being long-winded here, but it basically boils down to the Pilot being a wonderful combination of manliness, versatility, and safety for a family car that Dad's not embarrassed to drive and Mom considers very practical and easy to drive. It's not as sporty as the MDX but it's my wife's car not my Miata. Deep down I would feel guilty if I spent the extra money on an MDX for the sportiness and the prestige (hey, it's not a Jaguar). My Dad would look down on me and say, "What did you spend that extra $3-$4K on, sporty styling on a family car?!?

In my 16-month old's words, the Pilot is a "cool cahr." He NEVER says that about minivans.
 

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but the MDX has poorer emgergency handling even with VSA

For real? In snow/ice, or general "quick steering" type situations? Is there a thread where this was discussed? I nearly went with the MDX because of VSA and driving in the snow but decided I didn't need it badly enough to pay extra. Sorry to get off the topic.

Back on topic, I'm not quite a Pilot owner yet but it's a very close alternative to a minivan without being one. With a ~30K investment, you might as well like what you drive.
 

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4 adult sized people-2 big dogs-3700 mile trip

JDTHEPIG,we took a trip from New Orleans to Flagstaff AZ in the pilot 2 months ago.2 adults,2 big-200 lbs+ 17 year old kids-and 2 very leggy 70 lbs greyhounds,a 13"TV-VCR,Playstation 2,small ice chest,several big pillows all were inside the Pilot.We drove straight thru(1500 miles in 24.5 hours-with just stops to eat,walk dogs,get gas-maybe 8-10 stops.There was plenty of room.
The Pilot is plenty big enough for 4 people even with the extra things babies need.Heck,at least they don't need 13"TV-VCR'S with Playstation 2's like my son and his buddy needed.I thought about the RES,but we-they-decided the screen was too small for their game playing needs.
If size is the concern,don't worry about it.There will be plenty of room for them,and 4 of their buddies(5 if you stay home and let mother drive) until they are 14 or so.The rearmost seat is a bit small for adult sized folks,but it is fine till age 13-14 or so.Luck,Charlie
 

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Hey N_Jay! I neglected to mention when I was shopping for a new SUV in '99, I was driving an Explorer at the time....just wanted a brand, spankin' new one and couldn't afford what I had my eye on. So pffft - not a newbie! ROFL ;o)
 

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BCinTX said:
but the MDX has poorer emgergency handling even with VSA

For real? In snow/ice, or general "quick steering" type situations? Is there a thread where this was discussed? I nearly went with the MDX because of VSA and driving in the snow but decided I didn't need it badly enough to pay extra. Sorry to get off the topic.

Back on topic, I'm not quite a Pilot owner yet but it's a very close alternative to a minivan without being one. With a ~30K investment, you might as well like what you drive.
See this thread over at our sister site, acuramdx.org:

Consumer Reports Says MDX's VSA Doesn't Help Emergency Handling Much

Consumer Reports has an emergency manuver test that they do on every car, basically testing the maximum speed that a car can negotiate an obstacle course. The MDX was below average both before and after the addition of the VSA in '03. The Pilot was average, which is pretty good for an SUV or minivan. I think Acura has tried to differentiate the MDX as much as possible as a more sporty, young professional's car as opposed to the Pilot being a more family oriented car. But a sporty drive in a midsize SUV comes at a safety cost.

I trust everything wmquan says over at acuramdx.org. He is very well read on important safety issues. He might say that I'm exaggerating marginally better scores of the Pilot over the MDX and I probably am, but the scores mean something and I am proud of the Pilot's good scores. Still, Honda should have done the right thing and added side curtain airbags at least as an option on the '04 Pilot. It would be good marketing for a family vehicle and they will take a hit from Toyota's '04 Highlander upgrades.

BTW, I'm not quite a Pilot owner yet either but I feel like one. My Sagebrush Pearl EXL-RES with the ever important fog lights and CHROME BUMPER GARNISH should be delivered in a couple of weeks.
 

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Thanks robrecht, that's comforting to know.
Come Monday the "not quite yet" part goes away, assuming no surprises at the dealership.
 

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allykat said:
Hey N_Jay! I neglected to mention when I was shopping for a new SUV in '99, I was driving an Explorer at the time....just wanted a brand, spankin' new one and couldn't afford what I had my eye on. So pffft - not a newbie! ROFL ;o)
No Problem, just in a sarcastic mood.

We looked at the Explorer in '91, but the '89 Rover was the same price for a whole lot more vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks!

Wow! Thanks to EVERYONE for your input. The Pilot sounds very appealing indeed. The 4WD sounds great because I live in MN so I frequently drive in snow & ice. The only things I'm not sure about are the price and the 3rd row. I must admit I've done very limited research so far and I don't expect you folks to do it for me. I don't even know how much a Pilot costs vs. an Odyssey or if the 3rd row is something that has to removed or if it folds up like the Odyssey. I'll go off and do some research and come back when I have more questions/comments. Thanks again! btw - I'm not sure if we're going to have more than 1 more child or not...we're struggling with conceiving #2 :( and I'm not getting any younger.
 

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I almost bought an Odyssey (has the same power train). You may laugh but one of the main reasons I didn't was because the spare tire compartment didn't have enough room for a full-size spare...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Samuel2003 said:
I almost bought an Odyssey (has the same power train). You may laugh but one of the main reasons I didn't was because the spare tire compartment didn't have enough room for a full-size spare...
You might think this is even sillier...It is my understanding that the '03 Odyssey doesn't have an outside temperature feature (I may be wrong) so I was waiting for the '04 on hopes that they'd add it. I learned that they're not really changing anything in the Odyssey so, no luck. I figured the Pilot didn't have it either but I just discovered a post indicating that the Pilot has the feature!! I have it in my '96 Blazer and can't imaging giving it up.

I also found that the Pilot is only about $2700 more (for the leather/DVD version) and the 2nd & 3rd rows look very versatile. The '04 feature of the adjustable 2nd row is icing on the cake! Now, if they'd just come out with a purple paint option so my Viking's magnets would match, I might order one tomorrow!! :D

One "pet peeve" question: why do you have to get leather seats to get a DVD system? :confused:
 

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Re: Thanks!

JDThePig said:
Wow! Thanks to EVERYONE for your input. The Pilot sounds very appealing indeed.
This site is awesome! It is one of the best reasons for buying a Pilot. Everyone is so helpful!

JDThePig said:
Thanks again! btw - I'm not sure if we're going to have more than 1 more child or not...we're struggling with conceiving #2 :( and I'm not getting any younger.
Like I say, the people on this site are VERY HELPFUL, but we'll let you handle the conceiving part. Good luck with #2.
 

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JDThePig said:
One "pet peeve" question: why do you have to get leather seats to get a DVD system? :confused:
Well, if you're in Minnesota, you'll probably also want the heated seats, which are standard with the leather seats and not available in cloth. Don't know if that makes things worse or better?
 

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Another Pet Peeve why can't you get NAV and DVD?? I wanted NAV wife and kids wanted DVD, they won.

I will get one of them garmin street pilots which is cheaper and has benifits of being able to upgrade maps easier and cheaper as well as being able to be moved from car to car or boat. I also don't care about voice activation, it would be nice but not something I would die for.

Mike

:rolleyes:
 

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Not a shred of buyer's remorse

One month and 1400 miles into our Pilot experience and the wife summed it up best..."I am so glad that we did not get a minivan", the Pilot being her car.

We had come down the Pilot, the Oddy, and the 2004 Sienna, but in the end the Pilot won....and still is a winner in our book. Even with a brother in law at Toyota...no dealing on the new model or even an available Sienna in AWD, and that was ultimate factor in going with the Pilot...well, that and the still relatve rarity of other Pilots in the area and the fact that a Sienna AWD XLE is wandering into MDX territory on price if you option it up...

Did I mention the fact that this board has a certain way with peer pressure during my research phase....
 
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