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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. First post, but I have been visiting forum a while and researching. Been a Toyota forum member for years.

Currently looking at a 2019 Pilot EXL WITH NAV AND RES. 22k miles. Also considering a 2019 Highlander XLE.. We have test driven both.

We have been Toyota owners for years. Mostly camry and highlander. Currently have a 2008 highlander I will sale, when we do decide to buy. It has been very reliable and dependable. Being 65 and retired now, wanting to get a newer, more comfortable ride with the new safety features. But reliability and dependability are important.

I know all brands have issues that hopefully lead to service bulletin, ext warranties, updates and recalls. I can live with initial issues, that the manufacturers resolve. But the 2017-2019 Pilots seem to have a few unsolvable issues or issues that owners are taking in their own hands. Mainly the infotainment crashing, having to add a trans cooler to prevent overheat and engine issues.

We really like the overall Pilot offerings and it really rides well. But non resolvable issues are deal breakers. Hondas quality seems to be going down, per posters comments. I am not yet comfortable with buying a Pilot, but would like to be.

I would like to have feedback from long-term owners. Of 2017-2019. Is there anyone with higher mileage with good experences? How many miles currently? Are the engine mods and trans cooler really necessary for long term normal driving? Will the infotain issue ever be resolved.? Thanks for your input.
Randy
 

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Hello. First post, but I have been visiting forum a while and researching. Been a Toyota forum member for years.

Currently looking at a 2019 Pilot EXL WITH NAV AND RES. 22k miles. Also considering a 2019 Highlander XLE.. We have test driven both.

We have been Toyota owners for years. Mostly camry and highlander. Currently have a 2008 highlander I will sale, when we do decide to buy. It has been very reliable and dependable. Being 65 and retired now, wanting to get a newer, more comfortable ride with the new safety features. But reliability and dependability are important.

I know all brands have issues that hopefully lead to service bulletin, ext warranties, updates and recalls. I can live with initial issues, that the manufacturers resolve. But the 2017-2019 Pilots seem to have a few unsolvable issues or issues that owners are taking in their own hands. Mainly the infotainment crashing, having to add a trans cooler to prevent overheat and engine issues.

We really like the overall Pilot offerings and it really rides well. But non resolvable issues are deal breakers. Hondas quality seems to be going down, per posters comments. I am not yet comfortable with buying a Pilot, but would like to be.

I would like to have feedback from long-term owners. Of 2017-2019. Is there anyone with higher mileage with good experences? How many miles currently? Are the engine mods and trans cooler really necessary for long term normal driving? Will the infotain issue ever be resolved.? Thanks for your input.
Randy
I wouldn't necessarily say you need a transmission cooler unless your towing, live where it's really hot or in a lot of stop and go traffic everyday. But adding just a transmission cooler is not a large expense. The most important thing is to change your ATF regularly.
The only engine modification I would make is adding a $100 VCM disabler. It takes 10 minutes to install. I have this modification because I like my engine running on all 6 cylinders 100% of the time. And I believe it will prevent future repairs.
 

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There is a lot in your post one could respond to. Let me share this. Like you we've been long time Toyota people, but also LT Honda buyers too ... and I'm also a few years head of you. ;)

We bought a '16 Pilot new over a Highlander. The Pilot had more room, but the Highlander was a quieter ride. The ONLY problem I've had was a pesky fuel pump chirp that my local dealer was unable to confirm & unwilling to fix, even though Honda had a technical service bulletin out about it. A second dealer acknowledged it and fixed it under warranty at 58K miles. Now with 62K miles, and the warranty expired, I can hear that darn chirp starting up again. Ugh! Otherwise we are happy with the Pilot, and frankly like it. While I can't speak to the current model year for Pilots, I do have a '18 CRV and absolutely hate it. Because of that vehicle I will never buy a Honda again. My CRV has the notorious fuel dilution issue, which I heard about before I bought it. But Honda in it's infinite wisdom has decided that is a "cold weather" problem and will only provide the engineering fix in about 7 or 8 select northern states within the USA. My local dealer refused me on it. Personally I think it is a cold engine problem. However Honda did issue an extended engine warranty for my CRV last year, but will not say why the extra warranty was provided. Even my local dealer sheepishly acknowledged that they do not know why either. I'll spare you the long story, but I am also not a fan of the CRV's safety features, camera system and cruise control, to name a few. I'm probably in the minority on this forum, but the bottom line is that after owning 4 Hondas I simply do not trust that company anymore. Sorry for the rant. To be fair, we've had mechanical problems with our Toyota's too. No auto brand is perfect.
 

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2020 Honda Passport Touring AWD Metallic Steel
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I to am 65, retired and just purchased a few months ago a new Honda. Not the Pilot, but a Passport Touring, the Pilots 2 row brother. I went from a 2013 Pilot Touring purchased new in 13, to the Passport. So far no issues what so ever. I should say, that I loved the 2013 Pilot, and that it was a completely reliable vehicle. In 7 years the only thing it needed was tires, a battery and regular MM maintenance. The only issue I ever had was an entertainment issue that was easily resolved. Consensus was that when I preformed and update, there was a glitch in copying the data that caused intermittent (3 or 4 times) blackout of the screen. The dealer reset the system and reinstalled the newest update and the problem never occurred again. I loved my 2013 Pilot, but it was just more/wrong vehicle than we needed for our lifestyle. The 2 row Passport is a perfect fit with a great balance of 5 passengers and much greater full time rear storage

When I bought I looked at the Highlander, but found the interior quite dated. It also had the same issue that my 2013 Pilot had. It was more vehicle than we needed. While we have 3 granddaughters but we found that we didn't use the 3rd row seat all that often. Nor did we use the rear entertainment system.

I looked at Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Acura, Lexus, & Range Rover and ended up with the Honda. Toyota really didn't offer anything in between the Rav 4 and the Highlander. The Passport was a better fit for us with our 3 kids grown, gone and with families of their own. Not trying to sell a Passport here, but they are basically the same vehicle with different interior configurations. The Odyssey, Pilot Passport & Ridgeline are all of the same family sharing much of the same equipment including the engine and transmission. The Odyssey does have a 10 speed rather than an 9 speed transmission.

We were a house divided family and still are. The wife had a Toyota Rav 4 that we bought new that she liked. It however had a few issues. Mostly annoyances, but still issues. Dome light housing that would not stay in place, peeling pain on the front bumper, Spare tire cover that rattled. None that Toyota could permanently fix.

Now she has a 2016 Nissan Rogue and loves it. 75K and no issues at all. She drives a lot thus the high milage for a 4 year old vehicle. She looked at a Rav 4 again and found it to be dated compared to the other vehicles on the market at the time and didn't like the body style of the CR-V, although the interior was her favorite of all the vehicles she looked at.

The Honda infotainment issue has been a problem for some, but the numbers seem to be low overall in relation to the number of vehicles sold. Some 2019 and 2020 Passport owners have reported the same issue.

Keep in mind that no one comes to a forum and says their infotainment system is fine or shocks or what ever is fine. People with problems are the ones that generally come for help and guidance. Also the 2020's seem to not have the infotainment issue that some of the 2019's do.

Like most vehicles the Toyota has its own issues. There are several TSB/Recalls for the 2019 Highlander. (page 6 & 7) Offficial TSB and Recall Thread

If you haven't, pull a car fax on the 2019 Pilot. You don't say if it is new but with 22K It makes me think it is a used vehicle. It is dealer demo or lease vehicle ask for the service records as well. I would ask to see the service records if it was a trade in and that particular dealer serviced the vehicle. If not if you have the vin# you can go to the office Honda Owners Site, plug in the VIN and see what service records Honda has. You can also check for any recalls for that vehicle and see if there are any outstanding.
 

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There is a lot in your post one could respond to. Let me share this. Like you we've been long time Toyota people, but also LT Honda buyers too ... and I'm also a few years head of you. ;)

We bought a '16 Pilot new over a Highlander. The Pilot had more room, but the Highlander was a quieter ride. The ONLY problem I've had was a pesky fuel pump chirp that my local dealer was unable to confirm & unwilling to fix, even though Honda had a technical service bulletin out about it. A second dealer acknowledged it and fixed it under warranty at 58K miles. Now with 62K miles, and the warranty expired, I can hear that darn chirp starting up again. Ugh! Otherwise we are happy with the Pilot, and frankly like it. While I can't speak to the current model year for Pilots, I do have a '18 CRV and absolutely hate it. Because of that vehicle I will never buy a Honda again. My CRV has the notorious fuel dilution issue, which I heard about before I bought it. But Honda in it's infinite wisdom has decided that is a "cold weather" problem and will only provide the engineering fix in about 7 or 8 select northern states within the USA. My local dealer refused me on it. Personally I think it is a cold engine problem. However Honda did issue an extended engine warranty for my CRV last year, but will not say why the extra warranty was provided. Even my local dealer sheepishly acknowledged that they do not know why either. I'll spare you the long story, but I am also not a fan of the CRV's safety features, camera system and cruise control, to name a few. I'm probably in the minority on this forum, but the bottom line is that after owning 4 Hondas I simply do not trust that company anymore. Sorry for the rant. To be fair, we've had mechanical problems with our Toyota's too. No auto brand is perfect.
Just for the record.., There is no fuel dilution problem for Pilots that only come with a v6 engine and they have a good crash rating.
 

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Hello. First post, but I have been visiting forum a while and researching. Been a Toyota forum member for years.

Currently looking at a 2019 Pilot EXL WITH NAV AND RES. 22k miles. Also considering a 2019 Highlander XLE.. We have test driven both.

We have been Toyota owners for years. Mostly camry and highlander. Currently have a 2008 highlander I will sale, when we do decide to buy. It has been very reliable and dependable. Being 65 and retired now, wanting to get a newer, more comfortable ride with the new safety features. But reliability and dependability are important.

I know all brands have issues that hopefully lead to service bulletin, ext warranties, updates and recalls. I can live with initial issues, that the manufacturers resolve. But the 2017-2019 Pilots seem to have a few unsolvable issues or issues that owners are taking in their own hands. Mainly the infotainment crashing, having to add a trans cooler to prevent overheat and engine issues.

We really like the overall Pilot offerings and it really rides well. But non resolvable issues are deal breakers. Hondas quality seems to be going down, per posters comments. I am not yet comfortable with buying a Pilot, but would like to be.

I would like to have feedback from long-term owners. Of 2017-2019. Is there anyone with higher mileage with good experences? How many miles currently? Are the engine mods and trans cooler really necessary for long term normal driving? Will the infotain issue ever be resolved.? Thanks for your input.
Randy
I only have 1,600 miles on my Pilot and it’s been running great! I’ve heard that Honda will release an update on the 27th which is supposed to fix the infotainment issues with the 2019-20 pilots. Did the Pilot you’re looking at come from a lease or were there issues with it? If you just want reliability then go for the Toyota, but if you want a good balance between reliability, space, and comfort, then go for the Pilot. As long as you take care of it, it’ll take care of you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the input. As I said, I have been auto forum menbers for years and understand most people come here to complain or look for solutions, after the fact. I also know the forums contain great knowledge from individuals like you. I am trying to be proactive as to not make an uneducated decision.

The USED honda 2019 EXL pilot with NAV and RES we are considering is at a dealer and is a one owner with records. I have negoated $33k out the door.

We drive normal and won't tow. But normal is a mix of all types of driving and temps.

Yes the Highlander has some issues, as all vehicles. As I mentioned not concerned about issues that the dealer can fix uunder warranty. All my Toyotas throughout the years, I have never had an issue that the dealer could not permanently fix. My Toyotas have also run for years and high mileage basically trouble free.

I am wondering the long term reliability Of the Pilot? What mileage have you guys seen so far?

The normal driver should not have to install coolers or bypass electronics to ensure reliability. Most people won't even know to do this. What shape are those used vehicles going to be when they enter the use car market.

I will watch for the infotain solution mentioned that is suppose to appear next week. Hopefully that will make me more comfortable to buy a Pilot.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One more question please. It appears that this year and model pilot has the complete honda sense safety package as standard equipment. Would that be true?
 

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The major parts on the Pilot are tried and true reliable Honda. The engine runs great with little to no problems or expensive repairs. Transmission issues for these years seem to be few and far between. If you’re on this forum, it may seem like a lot, but people typically only join the forum when they are having an issue. With the number of 3rd generation Pilots on the road I assume most people don’t have any issues.

I’m not familiar with the Highlander as much but people say it’s a great car, but the back seats aren’t as comfortable. Whenever I shop for cars I always consider Toyota’s and have test driven many of them, but there’s just something about Honda’s that keep me coming back—excluding 4Runners which I would own in a heartbeat if they weren’t so expensive.

So all that to say, the additional tech in cars leads to more things that can possibly break. But as you said that’s with any car, not just the Pilot. I don’t think either car is the wrong choice, but I am biased so I will definitely recommend the Pilot.
 

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Been a Toyota forum member for years.

Currently looking at a 2019 Pilot EXL WITH NAV AND RES. 22k miles. Also considering a 2019 Highlander XLE.. We have test driven both.

We have been Toyota owners for years. Mostly camry and highlander. Currently have a 2008 highlander I will sale, when we do decide to buy. It has been very reliable and dependable. Being 65 and retired now, wanting to get a newer, more comfortable ride with the new safety features. But reliability and dependability are important.
Yes the Highlander has some issues, as all vehicles. As I mentioned not concerned about issues that the dealer can fix uunder warranty. All my Toyotas throughout the years, I have never had an issue that the dealer could not permanently fix. My Toyotas have also run for years and high mileage basically trouble free.
Given your long-term history and satisfaction with Toyota vehicles, you should stay with that brand.
If this could be your last new car and you want something nicer, also look at a Lexus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We Also test drove a 2017 touring with the 9 speed. It did not exhibit any of the issues I have read. It was actually very smooth. What do you guys think about 6. Speed vs 9 speed?
 

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We Also test drove a 2017 touring with the 9 speed. It did not exhibit any of the issues I have read. It was actually very smooth. What do you guys think about 6. Speed vs 9 speed?
The 9 speed is really smooth, but it’s really expensive to service. People say that it adapted to their driving after 500 miles but mine did after 1000 miles. I’d probably skip the 9 speed if I was buying a pre 2019, but after 2019 I’d actually prefer the 9 speed. The 6 speed is not known for reliability, but it won’t disappoint you. I think you’ll be really happy with it. If you tow or live in a hot area, a transmission cooler is a good idea, and you should change the fluid often. If the fluid wasn’t changed yet, then change it right after you get the car, and change it around 25k miles just to be safe.
 

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The 9 speed is really smooth, but it’s really expensive to service. People say that it adapted to their driving after 500 miles but mine did after 1000 miles. I’d probably skip the 9 speed if I was buying a pre 2019, but after 2019 I’d actually prefer the 9 speed. The 6 speed is not known for reliability, but it won’t disappoint you. I think you’ll be really happy with it. If you tow or live in a hot area, a transmission cooler is a good idea, and you should change the fluid often. If the fluid wasn’t changed yet, then change it right after you get the car, and change it around 25k miles just to be safe.
By expensive to service it’s like $350 every 60,000 miles or so. Not a big deal. It’s not easy enough for me to want to DIY. I expect the price of the fluid will get cheaper once Honda makes the 9speed standard on all Pilots (starting 2021). There is no evidence that service needs to be done sooner unlike the standard Honda 6-speed.


I think many people experience odd shifting behavior with the 9 speed because they aren’t used to it. It learns how you drive and adjusts shifting based on that.
 

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Why does the 6 speed require 25k fluid changes? Does manual say that or is that just a preference?
Oh I’d recommend doing it often because @Nail Grease had literally black fluid that came out of his 3 year old Pilot. 25k might be excessive but about 35k should be good.
 

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Why does the 6 speed require 25k fluid changes? Does manual say that or is that just a preference?
Honda has had transmission issues typically caused by dirty overheated fluid. Swapping the fluid regularly improves shifting and increases lifespan of the transmission. Typically it’s done every 60k but for peace of mind many choose to do it sooner.

Our old Odyssey went over 200k without a fluid change. The transmission failed around 230,000 miles. Depending on how you drive and the climate you live in, the fluid can deteriorate quickly.
 

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Honda has had transmission issues typically caused by dirty overheated fluid. Swapping the fluid regularly improves shifting and increases lifespan of the transmission. Typically it’s done every 60k but for peace of mind many choose to do it sooner.

Our old Odyssey went over 200k without a fluid change. The transmission failed around 230,000 miles. Depending on how you drive and the climate you live in, the fluid can deteriorate quickly.
200k without a fluid change!!! And I thought odyssey’s had bad transmissions lol.
 

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Oh I’d recommend doing it often because @Nail Grease had literally black fluid that came out of his 3 year old Pilot. 25k might be excessive but about 35k should be good.
The Pilot EX-L I rebuilt had 19k miles on it when I got it. The original owner likely did daily stop and go traffic in Houston which also included 2 hot summers. Fluid obviously never changed. But in the owners defense, Honda had issues. Right now I feel I'm winning with full-synthetic fluid, a transmission cooler, and the VCM disabled. The transmission is no longer slipping. Regular fluid changes needed to be done at least once yearly for that type of driving and conditions. We've put almost 6k miles on it now with no issues. The transmission temperature has only reached 185°F this summer.
 
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Have a 19 elite, no issues with 9 speed in almost 8k miles. I think it shifts very smoothly and am quite happy with it. No issues with anything so far. I tow so I have ATF cooler, but the cost was only a few hundred so I would suggest it for anyone driving in hot weather and/or stop and go traffic. I don’t see that as having to buy something extra just to make the vehicle work, but investing in a long term daily use. Kentucky doesn’t get too hot or have too much traffic outside of Louisville or Lexington, so might not be needed if you still live there.

Our 06 odyssey trans died around 230k, probably from too few fluid changes. I’m going to change fluid often on my Pilot.
 
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