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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took possession of my brand new 2016 Pilot Elite AWD back in August 2015, and this month marks 5 years as it being my daily driver. So, I thought I’d share some observations. First, as a disclaimer, I live in Florida so I’m not driving it in extreme weather or high altitudes up and down mountains. It has about 48,000 miles on it. That said:

We did take the Pilot to the mountains of NC a few times and it mostly handled well. It was new and we were breaking it in at that time and the first time I went up a very steep hill with the engine revving, I smelled something strong come through the air vents like burning plastic or oil, but it went away after a short bit and didn’t happen again. It was odd but no more smell after the initial steep ascent.

When I first got the Pilot I thought some of the plastic trim pieces like mud guards and sunroof wind guard felt cheap and even loose, but 5 years later all trim still there and looking good.

Shortly after I first got it my touchscreen display went black. It was a blown fuse. I’m sure lots of electrical failures can be traced to blown fuses, check those first.

The only real visible wear after 5 years is the drivers side carpet. I don’t abuse it but it looks like crap. These carpets if used daily will probably wear significantly in a couple years. All other carpets, like passenger side and rear (used less) still look fine.

Paint still in great shape. No fade or cracks after 5 years. It was garage kept for four years until my daughter got her license and car, so for the past few months my Pilot has been kicked out of the garage but paint holding up well. Keep it waxed if outside for UV protection.

Had only one recall on my model in 5 years that I can remember, had to replace some part in the engine but I can’t remember what. The service tech said it was quite complicated replacing it. I can’t find that particular service bulletin online for some reason.

It’s a little bit of a gas hog, but not too bad. I do mostly stop and go local driving so that drives down my fuel efficiency. Highway it has good mileage.

My biggest pet peev since day 1 has been the insane auto stop/start feature. Every time I start the car I have to press the disable button so the engine doesn’t shut off every time I stop at a light. I’ve pressed the disable button so many times the white lettering has worn off. Do later models do away with the annoying stop/start feature? I hope they do.

All in all, after five years it still looks and handles like new (except for the drivers side carpet and stop/start disable button). I still feel proud driving it around, I still think it looks good for what it is. Can‘t wait to see what the 2022 redesign will look like. I hope it’s more boxy and truck looking like the original Pilots were.

In the meantime, while waiting for the 2022 models, I’m cheating a little and looking hard at Toyota. I want more of a truck next time, instead of a curvy SUV. I’ll repost in late 2021 when I decide to buy the newly designed Pilot or a Toyota, Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either. Both build the most reliable engines on the planet. You’d have to be crazy to buy German or American cars nowadays, I really believe. Honda and Toyota are tops.
 

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Congrats on 5 years with your Pilot! I think the engine recall might have been with the timing belt. What color is your Pilot? Have you seen any paint defects since it was new? My 2020 white Pilot has a few dust specs under the clear coat. Have you considered replacing the auto stop/ start button on your shifter? Also, for 2021, all the Pilots have auto stop/start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Congrats on 5 years with your Pilot! I think the engine recall might have been with the timing belt. What color is your Pilot? Have you seen any paint defects since it was new? My 2020 white Pilot has a few dust specs under the clear coat. Have you considered replacing the auto stop/ start button on your shifter? Also, for 2021, all the Pilots have auto stop/start.
Thanks! My color is steel sapphire metallic (blue) and the paint has held up very well. But like any car, you have to take care of it, keep it waxed and under cover whenever possible. I’m way beyond the new car break-in point and being obsessive with tiny paint flaws. But the paint holds up. The timing belt was not the issue on my model, it had something to do with cooling. Maybe transmission cooler part? I just can’t remember and I can’t find anything online about it. It was about 4 years ago. And I’m probably not going to replace the faded auto stop/start button. That’s really the only visible blemish other people in the car can see and I can certainly live with that.

One thing I’d like to add that I really like in the Elite model- the DVD player under the touchscreen. I’m a bit old school sometimes and I like to play music CD’s. The DVD player allows you to play music CD’s as well. I love it!! Many newer cars don’t even have DVD or CD players. (Except Lexus, another very good and dependable Japanese brand that caters to old schoolers like me). My wife has a smaller ‘20 Lexus hybrid SUV and she loves it. Can’t go wrong with Honda, Toyota or Lexus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well since I posted that 2 months ago, I decided I’m going to trade in my 5 year old Pilot for a Toyota truck. 2021 model year may be the last year for a Toyota V8, which are apparently super reliable, so I’m going to get one before they’re gone. It’s been a good ride with my Pilot, lots of trips and memories, but I decided it’s time for change. I want something that feels like a powerful, real deal truck. Who knows, maybe 5 years from now I’ll return to a Pilot if they still make them, probably be electric by then. Ford is even launching an electric pickup truck soon, apparently electric motors can have loads of torque. Everything will be either electric or V6 with turbo in just a few years, sooner than you think. V8’s are dying off fast for mass produced cars so I decided to get the cream of the crop V8 Toyota truck before the page turns. Again, I have no regrets with my third generation Pilot and it’s been a good SUV for the past 5 years. I just need to get the V8 out of my system now before they’re all gone.
 
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