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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, first post here. We are a longtime Honda family -- my wife has a 2007 Odyssey and I have a 2013 Accord. New Gold Wing on the way! We have one teenager, and 2 dogs.

We are looking to replace my wife's car and deciding between a new Pilot EX-L, and the Subaru Outback. We've test-ridden both and love the look, drive, and reputation of both.

Anyone have experiences owning both vehicles? If so, how would you compare them?

Any problems or concerns to be on the lookout for in owning a 2020 Pilot EX-L?

When do we anticipate the next re-design? 2022?

Thank you!!
 

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I’m new here as well but I can tell you just search the forum for discussions about redesign. Also, check out the “New Member” section.

Honda is only five years in the design of current gen and imagine with the refresh they just had in 2019, it’ll probably be awhile. Retooling costs aren’t cheap.

Something to think about with the decision is who will service the car. If you own all Honda’s, I’m sure you have a good mechanic or are familiar with them yourself. Having worked on Subaru’s, they are fine to maintain but different. Just make sure you think that part through.
 

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I would say they are comparable in terms of reliability... in my extended family we've had 3 Outbacks and 4 Pilots over the years.

To be honest, they aren't comparable vehicles in my opinion. Do you want a 2 row that is lower to the ground and feels more planted or a 3 row capable of hauling way more stuff and people? Do you need to tow heavy loads often or less than 2,000 lbs?

With the current generation Pilot using an AWD system similar to Acura's SH-AWD, I would say their AWD systems are equal.

Do you like the refinement of a V6 with an automatic or the buzziness of a flat 4 with a CVT?

Do you put stuff on the roof a lot that you will need easy access to?

Honestly, the vehicles that are more comparable are the Passport and Outback. While I like the Outbacks just fine I would prefer the Passport. Higher tow rating, I like the look better and a V6 with a standard automatic is a more desirable driving experience to me.
 
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I had 2 Outbacks: 2002 and 2013 and both were 4 cylinders. Both cars offer tons of room for hauling stuff, but Pilot can haul more people, which it does not seem to be an issue for you. I loved my Outbacks but the primary reason for a switch was the power and speed. I liked how efficient Pilot was on highway and quick around town. Outback added a turbo version so the speed issues seems to be resolved. That engine had enough power to pull Ascent, so Outback should be much quicker than the pilot. I was fine with having CVT, it was a very quick adjustment for me going from the conventional automatic. Subaru did have to replace my CVT under warranty. I got super lucky - my tranny failed two days after Subaru announced they extended warranty to 100K for their CVT on certain models and years. Overall, Subaru was extremely reliable and I had a great service at the local dealer.

One thing i have to say for the Pilot, the new AWD system is much better than Subaru's. I never had issues with traction in Outback with and without snow tires. However, i like how Pilot's AWD is ever-present while Subaru's requires a little slip to be engaged. Also, i like the overdrive function when cornering. Since AWD and speed were the main drivers, I chose Pilot over Outback.
 

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Subaru "owned" up to the CVT stalling issue on my '11 Outback that was past 100k. I don't think there was a widely announced recall but the stalling issue created an unsafe driving experience. Like my '04 Pilot the '11 Outback has been reliable and competent in the snow. Outback head light bulbs burned out nearly every winter and were challenging to replace. The Pilot is much larger SUV and doesn't exactly compete with the smaller Outback.
 

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The Pilot is a great vehicle. It seats 7-8 depending on their age/size. Decent cargo room when all three rows of seats are being used. Tons of room if you are only using the front two rows. With that said, I just traded in my 2013 Pilot Touring for a 2020 Passport Touring. It's just the wife & I. We rarely needed the 3rd row seating. Basically the Passport is a two row Pilot. the body has been shorted 10", it is 2" wider than the Pilot and has an extra 1.5" of ground clearance. The cargo capacity is excellent.

If you need the seating then go for the Pilot. If not take a look at the Passport. I agree that the Outback is closer to the Passport than the Pilot. The Toyota Highlander is on par with the Pilot for seating etc.
 

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This comparison is apples to oranges. These vehicles do not even compete against each other. The question you need to answer is what your needs are. Do you need the 3rd row or the room the Pilot offers or would you do fine with the Outback? Do you want a 6 cylinder or turbo 4? Do you want a CVT (Subaru has had reliability issues with those) or a conventional automatic? I personally love the Outback but needed the 3rd row and do not trust the Subaru CVT for longevity.
 

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Well the OP posted 2 days ago and hasn't circled back. I guess we will never know.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Hey everyone many thanks for all your helpful insights and words of encouragement. It’s all appreciated!

We took test rides of both vehicles and my wife prefers the Pilot. She loves the enormous size, and that it feels more like her Odyssey.

I actually preferred the Outback. Maybe I’ll get that for myself at some point. But for her it’s looking like a Pilot sometime this spring.

Thanks again. Any predictions on when a new model is coming out? (In case that will happen later this year)
 

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Hey everyone many thanks for all your helpful insights and words of encouragement. It’s all appreciated!

We took test rides of both vehicles and my wife prefers the Pilot. She loves the enormous size, and that it feels more like her Odyssey.

I actually preferred the Outback. Maybe I’ll get that for myself at some point. But for her it’s looking like a Pilot sometime this spring.

Thanks again. Any predictions on when a new model is coming out? (In case that will happen later this year)
In terms of size the Ascent would be comparable when it comes to Subaru.
 

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The ascent is a beautiful vehicle. We test drove those as well. In my wife’s opinion the second and third rows do not allow quite the spaciousness of the pilot. I agree. But it’s a great vehicle and I’d be proud to own one.
 

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Hey everyone many thanks for all your helpful insights and words of encouragement. It’s all appreciated!

We took test rides of both vehicles and my wife prefers the Pilot. She loves the enormous size, and that it feels more like her Odyssey.

I actually preferred the Outback. Maybe I’ll get that for myself at some point. But for her it’s looking like a Pilot sometime this spring.

Thanks again. Any predictions on when a new model is coming out? (In case that will happen later this year)
The ascent is a beautiful vehicle. We test drove those as well. In my wife’s opinion the second and third rows do not allow quite the spaciousness of the pilot. I agree. But it’s a great vehicle and I’d be proud to own one.
Probably not for 3 or 4 model years. The last generation went '09-'15, so if this one follows the same cycle it will be '16-'22 so '23 would be the first year of the 4th gen.

Also the Ascent got horrible reviews for car seat users. Apparently the arrangements for the seat belts and lower LATCH anchors was pretty horrible and it doesn't allow certain seating configurations and you have to remove the car seat for access to the third row. Both of those are if you got the bench seat. I am in the heart of car seat ages right now so that's an important consideration for me.
 

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Hey everyone, first post here. We are a longtime Honda family -- my wife has a 2007 Odyssey and I have a 2013 Accord. New Gold Wing on the way! We have one teenager, and 2 dogs.

We are looking to replace my wife's car and deciding between a new Pilot EX-L, and the Subaru Outback. We've test-ridden both and love the look, drive, and reputation of both.

Anyone have experiences owning both vehicles? If so, how would you compare them?

Any problems or concerns to be on the lookout for in owning a 2020 Pilot EX-L?

When do we anticipate the next re-design? 2022?

Thank you!!
I’ve a 2016 Honda Pilot EX. It had fuel injector failure at 52K and the cost was $1300 upon me. I read in news that 2019 Honda Pilot has serious issues with Infotainment and there is class action lawsuit against Honda for 2019 Honda Pilot. Frankly, the new generation Hondas are having several issues. If I were you, I would stay away from Hondas.
See the jdpower reliability ratings. Honda is nowhere near the top.


They make sporty/stylish cars but quality wise Honda is just an average car.
 

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This comparison is apples to oranges. These vehicles do not even compete against each other. The question you need to answer is what your needs are. Do you need the 3rd row or the room the Pilot offers or would you do fine with the Outback? Do you want a 6 cylinder or turbo 4? Do you want a CVT (Subaru has had reliability issues with those) or a conventional automatic? I personally love the Outback but needed the 3rd row and do not trust the Subaru CVT for longevity.
To me, the 3rd row seating is not a consideration. I've never used the third row seats in my 2012 Pilot and don't plan to ever use them. I like my Pilot because it is spacious, has good storage capabilities and a very good cargo area. It has been a very reliable vehicle.

You are correct this is an apples to oranges comparison. Personally, I'd not consider an Outback as it is more a station wagon than an SUV. Also, I don't see myself ever considering buying a Subaru in the first place. YMMV. :)
 

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I learned over the weekend that the 2nd gen Pilot can apparently fit 4' wide sheet goods flat across the floor where my Traverse can't. Score one for the 2nd gen Pilot... pretty sure the 3rd gen can't though.
 

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To me, the 3rd row seating is not a consideration. I've never used the third row seats in my 2012 Pilot and don't plan to ever use them. I like my Pilot because it is spacious, has good storage capabilities and a very good cargo area. It has been a very reliable vehicle.

You are correct this is an apples to oranges comparison. Personally, I'd not consider an Outback as it is more a station wagon than an SUV. Also, I don't see myself ever considering buying a Subaru in the first place. YMMV. :)
Sounds to me like a future Passport owner in the making.
 
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