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Discussion Starter #1
We have 3 kids ages 1, 2, and 8 and are currently cramped up in a 94 Honda Accord!? So we are in need of a bigger vehicle soon! We were going to go with an Odyssey but with all the good things we're hearing about the Pilot, we're really considering it instead. I always wanted an SUV but with all the bad news they have been receiving as far as safety goes, we decided not to. But of course, Honda has a great reputation on safety and possibly setting a new standard in SUV's w/ the Pilot. Just curious why anyone decided to go with the Pilot instead of the Odyssey and vice versa if you were deciding between the two and especially have kids!

Thanks alot for any feedback!

Joe:)
 

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We have two kids. We never seriously considered a minivan in part because I need something with at least a semi-professional presence--something that the Pilot EX-L gives me. Plus, I like the looks of it more than a minivan. I also like sitting up a bit higher than in a minivan. Oh yeah, and our kids love it, too although they are so young they would have been happy with anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Howdy. Is it easy for you to get your kids in and out of the Pilot? I have 3 in car seats and love the fact the Odyssey has auto sliding doors. But I like the shape of the Pilot.
 

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We have 2 kids. 2 1/2 and 4 1/2. We just got our Pilot 2 days ago. So far it has been easy to get them in and out. We have one car seat by each door of the middle row. I don't think we miss the sliding doors because we have never had them. If you do a search on "sliding door" on this website you will see that (like everthing) there are plusses and minuses to that feature on the Odyssey. Also do a search on "car seat" as I was reading last night (I think it was in the thread about how do you use the third seat)about some good ways to configure car seats in the pilot.

With three kids in car seats, I would encourage you to "test drive" the car seats when you look at cars. With just 2 we didn't really see the need to strap them and in try different configurations, but with 3 and one of your kids being 8, there are numerous possible configerations that could work for you whether you get the O or the P.

Good luck!
 

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Minnesota weather was a deciding factor for us. We looked at the Odyssey but decided on the Pilot because of the 4 wheel drive. The Odyssey is a very nice vehicle. But the Pilot seems to be more.......for lack of a better word, substantial in versatility and appearance.
 

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For what it's worth, my wife and I replaced our vehicles in the following order. She replaced her old car in 1999 with our kids at 1 and 3. We went with a minivan (Sienna) and it was a blessing. The sliding doors and lower entry height made a big difference with 2 car seats. Now our kids are 4 and 6 and I just replaced my old car with the Pilot. It's taller but we did get the sidesteps (helps alot) and they pretty much get themselves stapped into the boosters and close their own doors. I don't think the Pilot would have worked out as well when our kids were younger. I think a minivan is still the ultimate kid hauler! Good luck with your decision. Ultimately, either will work. We had 5 kids in my family and we never had a van or larger vehicle of any type. Somehow, we all survived...:D

Chris
 

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xyzzy is right about a minivan being the ultimate kid hauler (or at least *little* kid hauler). However, our 4 1/2 gets in and out of the Pilot fine. And we don't have side steps.
 

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Swedish Utility Vehicle

Hey Howdy Ag, pardon the non-Pilot posting, but I noticed that you have a '90 Volvo 240 DL wagon. I have an '89 240 DL wagon. I read recently that these cars are also know as SUV's (Swedish Utility Vehicles). Found that amusing.

OK, we are looking to replace either our 240 wagon or our '89 Volvo 740 wagon with an '03 Pilot. (there's the Pilot reference).

Rob
 

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The minivan, if it has comfy captain's chairs in the second row, may give a more comfortable ride for adults in that row on a long trip. That is the only thing i may regret about giving up in our minivan, which we are trading in for the Pilot. I rarely ride in the back, though, so we'll see.
 

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You can't go wrong either way ... It's just up to what your preferences are and what you want out of the vehicle ..

PrG
 

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havasu said:
The minivan, if it has comfy captain's chairs in the second row, may give a more comfortable ride for adults in that row on a long trip. That is the only thing i may regret about giving up in our minivan, which we are trading in for the Pilot. I rarely ride in the back, though, so we'll see.
I thought the same until I took a 4+ hour trip in the middle seat of an MDX. I was very surprised with the comfort and my a$$ didn't go to sleep. The ability to adjust the back seat angle made all the difference. I think the Pilot would be the same, except for the center arm rest being lower.
 

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If you're thinking left brain, then the Ody wins hands down. The step in height is lower, the rear sliding doors are huge, the rear seat very usable (especially for changing diapers), the roof mounted a/c registers give each child/passenger comfort (big here in Texas), the magic seat totally rocks with plenty of roof for cargo with the seats up and with the seats down, it can carry way more than the Pilot. The only reason not to get it as a family car is if you go with your right brain and simply cannot drive a minivan and the stigma that goes with it.
 

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We chose both. My husband chose the Odyssey because, not only is it the ultimate kid hauler, but it's the ultimate hauler of everything. From surfboards to furniture and everything in between. It is also easier if you find yourself dropping the kids off to school. The backpacks are easier to get into the van at the lower height after you conveniently opened the automatic door from the luxury of your driver's seat. I chose the Pilot though because I like to bring the dog. I prefer him to be in the safety of a confined space behind the second seat rather than flying through my front windshield should an unfortunate event occur. Yet, I still have the versitility of hauling a load of kids around. Honda also made sure they addressed the rollover issue by widening the wheelbase to avoid this problem. You can't go wrong with either one.
 

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SUV safety issue is BS

We traded in a 97 Explorer for the Pilot. Unless you are completely inept driver or you do not maintain your car properly, there is no issue. Drive and SUV like an SUV and you'll be fine. I didn't drive our Explorer like my BMW, nor do I plan on driving the Pilot that way. Ever notice that most of the SUV crash issues are from the deep south or Florida? (no flames please):rolleyes:
One thing I've always like about minivans is the ability to walk from the front row to the back to deal with the kids, only the highlander and RX300 allow this. It would be nice if the Pilots whole "mommy management system" was modular and could be popped out as an option. Of cource the HVAC would need to be moved to the headliner.
 

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I read that the Odys ground clearance is less than 5 inches. The Pilot has a ground clearance of 8 inches. The pilot is able to handle moderate off road situations and heavy snow where the Ody is not. For those that care about/need the SUV features, there is no comparison between the two vehicles. The Ody has got to be more comfortable/convenient for families on the go, but I will say that I have carried 8 in my Pilot and it worked just fine for a fairly short trip around town.

MK
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you for the informative responses! My wife is leaning toward the Odyssey, but I'm still trying to convince her on the Pilot. I believe we can conveniently seat our 1, 2, and 8 yr old comfortably in a Pilot. We'll see!:4:
 

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My wife and I debated this as well and decided that 90% of the time we would enjoy the Pilot and 10% we might actually need the extra room of the Ody. We decided to put our money on the 90%. And my wife refuses to drive a van :p
 

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Seating everyone is not the issue ... It's just the added convenience of being able to ease out of the front captain's chairs and walk into the back in order to slap your kids around, stick a bottle in the crying one's mouth, or change a diaper on the fly ... It's just a convenience thing ... what is it you want out of the car ?

PrG
 
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