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Pilot vs MDX

18335 Views 64 Replies 45 Participants Last post by  Commuter
Well, I figured I'd get things started since I figure a bunch of folks might be trying to understand the difference between the Pilot and its "big brother" the Acura MDX. I've shamelessly taken them from a great series of posts by wmquan over on Perhaps our generous host can help w/fixing the table formatting w/all the blanks @ the top. I can't figure that part out :8:
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Re: $4000 mark up

I agree about the comments about Merced Honda. My salesman was Dave Carmack. Say hello to him from me, if anyone happens to go there and talk to him.



davisdog said:

If you are looking to buy a Pilot, several of us silicon valley folks have bought or are buying from Merced Honda. Its a couple hour drive, but they sell all their pilots at MSRP with no forced options and no BS...I'm ignoring the local dealers (including Steven Creek which is just down the street) since they are $3-$5K over...hope they rot on the lot for them.

John Perry is the salesman I'm going through (getting a Sagebrush)...

I had deposits on both and chose the Pilot over the MDX (even took my Pilot to the Acura dealer to get my deposit back. While I was getting my check back from the business manager, there were FOUR Acura salesmen checking out the Pilot! :eek: )

Anyway, I personally could not see a huge difference in drivablilty and I drove them both quite a bit before buying. I look at it this way:

MDX is more luxury oriented
Pilot is more utilitarian oriented.

I had a hard time envisioning my MDX trouncing through the campgrounds and hunting grounds this summer and fall. I really could see (and have seen) my Pilot doing it. Call me practical!

Plus, the $6k saved goes towards toys for the Pilot and an all-inclusive January 10-year anniversary gift for me and my wife!
I have never thought of Acura as a luxury car in terms of classy ones such as Mercedes, BMW and Lexus. It sounds a bit snobby but that's how I perceive LUXURY cars. I always thought Acura as a more refined Honda. That's all.

In those terms, I agree. In terms of better leather, faux wood trim and the image of an Acura versus a Honda, I would make that a valid comparison IMHO.

I don't view vehicles as an investment (yes, I'm in investment banking) so the extra money the MDX would have cost versus what you get to me was not worth it.
Re: $4000 mark up

yhlin said:
Just went to a dealer today. They're asking for $4K mark up.
For an EX-L MSRP plus $4K, it's only ~$200 less than MDX base
MSRP. I was pretty much in shock and asking them the question:
"why do I want buy a HONDA Pilot when I can get a ACURA MDX
for $200 more"?

Guess what, they couldn't answer the question ;)

It's $5000.00 here ... don't pay it ... i didn't ....

Re: Comparison

bengelking said:

I had a hard time envisioning my MDX trouncing through the campgrounds and hunting grounds this summer and fall. I really could see (and have seen) my Pilot doing it. Call me practical!

Plus, the $6k saved goes towards toys for the Pilot and an all-inclusive January 10-year anniversary gift for me and my wife!
I agree, completely. I like to go camping, diving, cycling, skiing, take my dog in the car. When I looked at the MDX or even the Highlander, they where too cutesy. Would kill me to get them dirty or have the dog step on the seat. The Pilot is fantastic, in that is was created more for the rugged elements, although still visually pleasing. So I'll be able to thoroughly enjoy my activity and not be overly concerned about what’s happening to my SUV.


PS Enjoy the anniversary gift, Jan 10 is my birthday!

PS If you shop the Pilot you should be able to get one at MSRP. The first dealer by me wanted Market Value, made a few calls and quickly found a dealer who was very willing to do MSRP! Save your money...make a few phone calls/emails!
Can that braking number of 205ft. be correct???:confused:

That no. is from 70 - 0 mph. The test from Motor Trend said 138 ft from 60 - 0 mph. Somehow I think the brakes on the Pilot are just average even with 4 wheel disc brakes. Other SUVs such as Ford Explorer needs only about 105 ft from 60 - 0 mph. But I still like my Pilot.
> Other SUVs such as Ford Explorer needs only about 105 ft from 60 - 0 mph.

I think that your number is way off. Most cars are in the 130-140 ft range for 60 - 0 mph. The fastest braking "normal" production car ever tested by one of the magazines was the Toyota Supra Twin-Turbo with 13" 4-wheel discs -- it's number was 108 ft.

I'd rather have 131 than 138 but it ain't the worst number that I've seen.
Motor Week Pilot Numbers from Program #2143

Here's link to MW review and numbers to add to your spreadsheet. 0-60 in 7.8......probably with regular gas....:cool: !!!

Thanks! I updated the table on

Interesting how MW sets up their acceleration tests!

Sorry, I misread the no. from Motor Trend. The braking 60-0 mph for '02 Ford Explorer should be 120 ft. That is way better than the Pilot. I wish the Pilot has such exceptional brakes.
what about MVA . . .

One of the more notorious ploys of Honda/Acura dealerships is the dreaded Market Valuation Adjustment or MVA that they tack onto MSRP when they have a 'supply vs demand' vehicle on their lot. Whereas most MDX are now offered at MSRP, Pilots have been commanding this premium. I've heard of a few dealers here in SoCal demanding anywhere from 2,000 to 4,500 over MSRP !!! They figure if you won't pay it, the next guy will . . . not sure how you would categorize, but MVA should be added to the comparison chart at least until the playing field is level . . .
Re: what about MVA . . .

socalJD said:
. . . not sure how you would categorize, but MVA should be added to the comparison chart at least until the playing field is level . . .
From what I've seen, there are Pilots to be had at MSRP, just as there are MDX's. And there are still MDX's at above MSRP and Pilots for above as well. I think it varies greatly depending on what region you're in. As such, I don't know how a chart can accurately portray it and still be fair. There is Edmunds TMV but I don't know if that's an apt value to use or not.

Sorry, but a Pilot at 2-4,000 over sticker buys me an MDX.
I am paying MSRP and not a penny more on mine, hopefully it will be in on Saturday. If the markup is 4K then definitely the MDX purchase will be the choice and that would be a no brainer.

I am sure both vehicles can be purchased at MSRP if you really shop around. If you compare the base MDX with the PILOT EX L RES, the cost difference is about $2,700.

But I don't think it's NOT really a fair comparison because you are getting a DVD entertainment center and 1 extra seat for the PILOT vs. SUN ROOF and heated seats.

$60 more a month for a base MDX vs PILOT EX L RES on a 48 month loan. The DVD is really important for my family that is why I am ordering a PILOT, I can do without the extra seat but I'll take it.

Either way both are excellent vehicles.
Navigation System

If you want a navigation system the choice gets easier because Acura dropped the base + nav option. The difference in price to get a car w/ a navigation system is about $7K. That made my decision easier. Not to mention I'll be driving a 2003 car that's not a year old when I take it off the lot!

I had no trouble getting MSRP in Dallas with no additional accessories. My dealer was happy to track down any particular color/model I wanted from other dealers (I believe they swap future deliveries). Now he just needs to deliver later this month!!

Does anyone know what the Pilot DOES share with either the MDX or Odyssey. I saw someone mention the drivetrain (MDX). I'm just curious how new the critical parts are so I can decide on the extended warrenty...
Paid over MSRP

Did anyone ever asked why do dealer asking for more than MSRP on a Honda Pilot?

Supply and Demand......

Since the supply is low and the demand is high, then consumer will get hit with higher price. A very simple rule.

In other word, we as a consumer did this to ourself. Since we like a product, we want it. If the supply of the product is low, we willing to do whatever to get a hold on the product. That's including paying $$$ over MSRP.

In this situation, who actually gain? Off course, the dealership that jack up the price. I think it a very bad practice as the dealership is taking advantages of us (as a consumer)

:31: :31:
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How can

the dealership be blamed for "taking advantage" of us if, as you say earlier in your post, "it is our fault". If "we" consumers refused to pay over MSRP "they" couldn't take advantage of "us". It isn't as if the Pilot is the only SUV or car available. "My daddy used to say that "We Americans get the type of government we deserve". By this he meant that if we don't like what is happening get out, vote and change the system. If we don't like paying over MSRP--don't. If no one bought at over MSRP the price would come down. Sorry--getting off my soap box now.:rolleyes:
Sorry a little late to the post:

That is why I got the list of options and worked with the total price. So they marked up the car 2K but got a truck load of options for 1700- I guess it is the give and take. Plus we are planning on keeping the Pilot for quite a while. I also having the choice I prefered to stay local. I know being in the bay area we seem to pay a premium for everything. They did install this thing called Starguard that I had them take out of the price, because it is not needed the the Honda key disable feature. The sales guys said, "Well I guess you got that and the wheel locks in your deal"

And also getting the car with Nav put a spin on it. It seems to me that the Pilots with Nav are harder to come by, so the comparitve MDX was still more money. I also like the more traditional SUV look of the Pilot.

I could have gone to the central valley and maybe have gotten a better price, but that is time that I would have to spend that I did not want to.

I look at it this way. I spent the same price out the door for my Pilot with Nav as a co-worker that bought a base 2002 MDX a few months ago. In fact after he drove mine he said he would have waited if he new about the Pilot.

All and all I was happy with the Sales person, kind of upset about the added markup, but I bought it local, had it in stock and we really like the car so far. I bring it in tomorrow for the install of all the options. Time will tell the rest.

My $0.2

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