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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pulled the trigger on 2020 Highlander over the weekend. The first question from just about everyone is "why didn't you trade your 8 year old Pilot instead of your 2 year old Hyundai Sante Fe?"

Well, the answer is twofold, the first is I just like the Pilot better, even with 81K on it.

I was starting to get a little nervous about all the Hyundai Theta 2.0T/2.4L engine failures. A class action lawsuit forced Hyundai to offer a transferable lifetime warranty on the short block-which is obviously a good thing. But then it was kind of a "hurry up and wait" situation until when(not if) it happens. It was a 2018 with the 2.0T that we bough brand new and had to completely change the oil change paradigm to one where Hyundai wants one done every 3 or 4 k miles(Toyota is saying every 10K!, not a chance). Wifey and I both liked it, it was paid for, but I just thought it was a good jumping off point and the Pilot soldiers on along with the new Highlander.
 

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How did Hyundai notify you
The first question from just about everyone is "why didn't you trade your 8 year old Pilot instead of your 2 year old Hyundai Sante Fe?"
I was starting to get a little nervous about all the Hyundai Theta 2.0T/2.4L engine failures. A class action lawsuit forced Hyundai to offer a transferable lifetime warranty on the short block-which is obviously a good thing. It was a 2018 with the 2.0T that we bough brand new and had to completely change the oil change paradigm to one where Hyundai wants one done every 3 or 4 k miles(Toyota is saying every 10K!, not a chance).
Was your 2018 Hyundai a Santa Fe or a Santa Fe Sport?

Assuming it was a Sport with the 2.0 T-GDI engine, how did Hyundai notify you that the recommended oil change interval of 6 mo./6K miles, as stated in the owner's manual, was no longer valid?
Was there any recommendation to use only a full synthetic formula motor oil?
 

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Had to be the Sport, the "regular" (longer, 3 row) Santa Fe is was powered by the 3.3 Lambda at the time. It's really odd Hyundai is having so many issues with the Theta, the Lambda was bulletproof after year 1 when they revised the timing chain guide material.

Enjoy the Highlander (or should I call it a "Lowlander" since we are Pilot fanboys and girls here!).
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes to the 2.0T. I do believe the OM called for 3750 miles as a "severe" service schedule. That said, I think it was that particular dealership that pushed the issue. I went along to attempt to mitigate LSPI and with cleaner oil, my thought was that volatility burn off would be cleaner oil and possibly also mitigate the carbon effect from GDI engines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Had to be the Sport, the "regular" (longer, 3 row) Santa Fe is was powered by the 3.3 Lambda at the time. It's really odd Hyundai is having so many issues with the Theta, the Lambda was bulletproof after year 1 when they revised the timing chain guide material.

Enjoy the Highlander (or should I call it a "Lowlander" since we are Pilot fanboys and girls here!).
Cinto STILL love and have the Pilot. It's had a few issues(that Hondacare took care of) but at 81K miles I just feel like it's got at least 5 or 6 more good years left maybe with some fluid/brake changes.

Another guidepost in the decision was "if I get rid of the Pilot for a pickup, we would have the Sante Fe Sport for vacations, etc." Since I do most of the driving and am much more comfortable taking long drives in the Pilot vs Sante Fe, we'll flip it. I would be "equi-comfortable" in the Highlander, too.
 

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Cinto STILL love and have the Pilot. It's had a few issues(that Hondacare took care of) but at 81K miles I just feel like it's got at least 5 or 6 more good years left maybe with some fluid/brake changes.

Another guidepost in the decision was "if I get rid of the Pilot for a pickup, we would have the Sante Fe Sport for vacations, etc." Since I do most of the driving and am much more comfortable taking long drives in the Pilot vs Sante Fe, we'll flip it. I would be "equi-comfortable" in the Highlander, too.
I know some people give the second gen a bad rap for the small percentage that had VCM related issues... I deactivated the VCM and I have no reason to think our Pilot will do anything but last us to 200k, my wife loves it and she has no interest in getting rid of it (except for maybe a new MDX after she graduates PA school if she can handle parting with the money). I am 6'3" and 300+lbs, the Pilot I can handle for a couple hours but the seat is too narrow and it doesn't allow me to get far enough away from the wheel without going all the way down, which I prefer not to do if possible. My Traverse has much more comfortable seats.

Do you use the 3rd row seats? Some people get mad at me when I tell them I don't consider the Highlander and Pilot as competitors since we do put kids and adults in the 3rd row and the Highlander is not an acceptable vehicle for such use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know some people give the second gen a bad rap for the small percentage that had VCM related issues... I deactivated the VCM and I have no reason to think our Pilot will do anything but last us to 200k, my wife loves it and she has no interest in getting rid of it (except for maybe a new MDX after she graduates PA school if she can handle parting with the money). I am 6'3" and 300+lbs, the Pilot I can handle for a couple hours but the seat is too narrow and it doesn't allow me to get far enough away from the wheel without going all the way down, which I prefer not to do if possible. My Traverse has much more comfortable seats.

Do you use the 3rd row seats? Some people get mad at me when I tell them I don't consider the Highlander and Pilot as competitors since we do put kids and adults in the 3rd row and the Highlander is not an acceptable vehicle for such use.
Cinto I came very close to buying a 2021 Chevy Colorado long bed crew, had it not been in WT trim I may have actually "overcome my fear of GM quality" and actually done it. I deactivated my VCM at around 60k, but even before then, the way I drive, it didn't shut the cylinders off much.
 

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Pulled the trigger on 2020 Highlander over the weekend. The first question from just about everyone is "why didn't you trade your 8 year old Pilot instead of your 2 year old Hyundai Sante Fe?"

Well, the answer is twofold, the first is I just like the Pilot better, even with 81K on it.

I was starting to get a little nervous about all the Hyundai Theta 2.0T/2.4L engine failures. A class action lawsuit forced Hyundai to offer a transferable lifetime warranty on the short block-which is obviously a good thing. But then it was kind of a "hurry up and wait" situation until when(not if) it happens. It was a 2018 with the 2.0T that we bough brand new and had to completely change the oil change paradigm to one where Hyundai wants one done every 3 or 4 k miles(Toyota is saying every 10K!, not a chance). Wifey and I both liked it, it was paid for, but I just thought it was a good jumping off point and the Pilot soldiers on along with the new Highlander.
Just curious, why not a 2020 Pilot? When I was looking a few months ago I looked at the Highlander and the Highlander hybrid. Personally didn't like the style of either one. With that said, if Toyota was still making the FJ Cruiser for the American market that would probably be the vehicle sitting in my garage now instead of the Passport.

Yes I know the FJ styling was retro, but a buddy had one and we could take it just about anywhere. I like that old Land Rover look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just curious, why not a 2020 Pilot? When I was looking a few months ago I looked at the Highlander and the Highlander hybrid. Personally didn't like the style of either one. With that said, if Toyota was still making the FJ Cruiser for the American market that would probably be the vehicle sitting in my garage now instead of the Passport.

Dalton the biggest 3 reasons-The Toyota does NOT have VCM, the ZF 9speed transmission or the timing belt in addition to the cheesey ratcheting arm rests.
 

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Cinto I came very close to buying a 2021 Chevy Colorado long bed crew, had it not been in WT trim I may have actually "overcome my fear of GM quality" and actually done it. I deactivated my VCM at around 60k, but even before then, the way I drive, it didn't shut the cylinders off much.
My only grip with the limited amount of time I've spent in the Colorado was the seat bottom is a little short for my long legs. Otherwise I quite like them, and the GM High Feature V6 (3.6 DI engine used in EVERYTHING) has been an excellent motor once they got the right oil spec'd (synthetic only) and opened up a few of the oil passages to ensure proper oiling of the timing chain. GMs transmissions are dimwitted but they don't have excessive failures.

Just curious, why not a 2020 Pilot? When I was looking a few months ago I looked at the Highlander and the Highlander hybrid. Personally didn't like the style of either one. With that said, if Toyota was still making the FJ Cruiser for the American market that would probably be the vehicle sitting in my garage now instead of the Passport.

Yes I know the FJ styling was retro, but a buddy had one and we could take it just about anywhere. I like that old Land Rover look.
Gonna get a Bronco? I'd like one of the off-road looking vehicles but we need 3 rows right now in both of our vehicles.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just curious, why not a 2020 Pilot? When I was looking a few months ago I looked at the Highlander and the Highlander hybrid. Personally didn't like the style of either one. With that said, if Toyota was still making the FJ Cruiser for the American market that would probably be the vehicle sitting in my garage now instead of the Passport.

Yes I know the FJ styling was retro, but a buddy had one and we could take it just about anywhere. I like that old Land Rover look.
Dalton don't know if you saw my earlier reply, but in addition to the the VCM issue, ZF 9 speed transmission and timing belt replacement expense there's this:

 

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9 months in and the ZF 9 is a total non issue.

VCM; Never had a problem with it. One of the best ways to not have some of the issues talked about here is to do full and proper maintenance. It seems that many people that have VCM issues are also people that have bought other peoples problems, (used vehicles). Some of them have even bought totaled vehicles and rebuilt them. It becomes a little harder to say what caused issues when there are other previous owner(s) involved.

No issue with the timing belt replacement. Chains have their own set of issues.

When I bought I looked at the Highlander both gas and hybrid. Definitely not impressed with the body or the interior. The in-laws had one as does the son. They are capable vehicles but did not check off enough boxes.

I probably spent 5 days in total test driving virtually everything on the market these days. The vehicle that checked off the most boxes thing time was the Passport Touring. 10 years from now who knows.
 

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It seems that many people that have VCM issues are also people that have bought other peoples problems, (used vehicles). Some of them have even bought totaled vehicles and rebuilt them. It becomes a little harder to say what caused issues when there are other previous owner(s) involved.
They probably didn't use full synthetic fluids.
 

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Some of them have even bought totaled vehicles and rebuilt them. It becomes a little harder to say what caused issues when there are other previous owner(s) involved.
They probably didn't use full synthetic fluids.
Y'all are feisty today, poking the bear... At least one of you has the power to shut him down when he gets all fired up!
 

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