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With the group buy for running boards and side steps about to end, I can't decide on which to get. My wife really wants something to help her mother in/out as well as the kids.

While it looks like the RB provide more protection for the sides while driving on dirt roads, they also stick out from the body a bit. Being of the vertially un-challenged persuasion, I don't want my legs and shoes hitting them every time I get in/out.

Now the side steps, IMHO, have the sportier look, but do they stick out from the body as much as the RB? Also, will they provide protection while driving on dirt and gravel? Oh, and they are cheaper than the RB.

Opinions?
 

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Thread, I ordered and installed the side steps about a month ago - ostensively to help out grandma now and our toddler in a year or so - but mostly because I liked the looks of them ;). I'm still glad that I got them for the latter reason but I can tell you that they do little if anything to assist any of us getting in and out.

IMO, the normal step-free Pilot clearance is fine for the 5 y.o. -> 69 y.o. set and the step just adds something to be cleared getting in and out because the intermediate ledge of the step is so narrow and tucked under the existing frame that is doesn't provide any functional help to 79 y.o. grandma. She has taken to stepping over it like the rest of us (but with quite a bit more effort).

The RB's may do more in this area - if so, I would go for them. For looks, though, I still like the side steps. YMMV.


Threadhead said:
With the group buy for running boards and side steps about to end, I can't decide on which to get. My wife really wants something to help her mother in/out as well as the kids.

While it looks like the RB provide more protection for the sides while driving on dirt roads, they also stick out from the body a bit. Being of the vertially un-challenged persuasion, I don't want my legs and shoes hitting them every time I get in/out.

Now the side steps, IMHO, have the sportier look, but do they stick out from the body as much as the RB? Also, will they provide protection while driving on dirt and gravel? Oh, and they are cheaper than the RB.

Opinions?
 

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Threadhead said:
With the group buy for running boards and side steps about to end, I can't decide on which to get. My wife really wants something to help her mother in/out as well as the kids.

While it looks like the RB provide more protection for the sides while driving on dirt roads, they also stick out from the body a bit. Being of the vertially un-challenged persuasion, I don't want my legs and shoes hitting them every time I get in/out.

Now the side steps, IMHO, have the sportier look, but do they stick out from the body as much as the RB? Also, will they provide protection while driving on dirt and gravel? Oh, and they are cheaper than the RB.

Opinions?
Threadhead ....

If your focus is to get something to help and elderly women or assist kids with getting into the vehicle the running boards are the way to go. They have a large enclosed surface area and the possibility for injury is minute. On the other the side steps is one cylindrical tube which a childs foot could easily slip through and cause injury ...

PrG
 

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I am facing the same dillema. I really like the looks of the Side Steps. If it were based on looks alone, I would buy the steps. However, from the pictures I've seen, they do not look as useable as the running boards (which pjl just added credence to), and the extra protection added by the boards is a large plus on their side.

:8:

Anyone with the boards have a comment? If they aren't much better (as far as their utility as a step is concerned), then I would just buy what I like (also cheaper) and that would be that. If they are more usefull than the steps, then that might shift my opinion the other way.
 

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r_h, re: utility as a step, I question how much the RB's will help out, too. The problem is that ledge differential height it provides is too small. I assume that there is a reason regular stair steps are "heighted" the way they are to facilitate climbing (~ 9"-10"?). Well, climbing from the side step (and RB?) into the car is like climbing a 2" step - it's just weird/awkward/annoying. Hence, everyone in our extended family just steps over it.

The looks-cool factor still works for me, though :2:.

r_hammel said:
I am facing the same dillema. I really like the looks of the Side Steps. If it were based on looks alone, I would buy the steps. However, from the pictures I've seen, they do not look as useable as the running boards (which pjl just added credence to), and the extra protection added by the boards is a large plus on their side.

:8:

Anyone with the boards have a comment? If they aren't much better (as far as their utility as a step is concerned), then I would just buy what I like (also cheaper) and that would be that. If they are more usefull than the steps, then that might shift my opinion the other way.
 

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I think perhaps instead of thinking of it as a step ... isn't it more an extended platform with which to better prepare dismounting from the vehicle. It gives the person that extra 6" of space at the door with which to maneuver and better facilitate entering and exiting the vehicle ... For example ... when you unboard an aircraft on the runway where a stair platform is rolled up to the side of the plane for passengers to walk down. It is made so that the first step is not not an immediate downstep but a three to five feet plateau with which you prepare yourself, baggage, children, etc to begin decending the stairs ...

:eek:

PrG
 

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I like the looks of the running boards on my white Pilot. I never use them and I have to be careful not to brush my pants against them, but my youngest child absolutely needs it to climb inside.
 

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I installed the running boards a couple of weeks ago and couldn't be happier.

To PRG's point, I was really concerned about my little girl's foot either slipping off the bar OR even more so, getting caught in the crack.

The good news is that she can now step up into the Pilot without any help. The bad news is that as soon as she's in, she loves to jump on the leather with her mucky shoes. Chalk that up to bad parenting??

Great functionality on the running boards IMHO....
 

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I got the side step mostly for the looks. I think they look "cooler" than the running boards.

My 4 year old does use them to get in and out of the 'X. No slipping problems.

The other issue is that running boards will accumulate dirt and snow.
Both add to the looks of the SUVs.
 

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Ms. MDX said:
I got the side step mostly for the looks. I think they look "cooler" than the running boards.

My 4 year old does use them to get in and out of the 'X. No slipping problems.

The other issue is that running boards will accumulate dirt and snow.
Both add to the looks of the SUVs.
WRONG!!! Both running boards and side steps make the SUV lower to the ground. Thus, defeating the purpose of the SUV... Plus, I think they both look silly :1:
 

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gupt0014 said:


WRONG!!! Both running boards and side steps make the SUV lower to the ground. Thus, defeating the purpose of the SUV... Plus, I think they both look silly :1:
Good point on the lower clearance with the side steps or running boards. They probably would be a negative for any serious off road use.

But then again, someone planning some serious off road use would probably need to consider another vehicle other than a Pilot or MDX.

Although I love my MDX, I plan to only use it for snow (get me to the sky slopes) and will not be using it off road. If off road use was important to me I would consider a truck based SUV that would be better suited for that type of use.
 

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gupt0014 said:


WRONG!!! Both running boards and side steps make the SUV lower to the ground. Thus, defeating the purpose of the SUV... Plus, I think they both look silly :1:
Actually, there are still components closer to the ground than the side steps, so they do not reduce ground clearance. Of course, they do at that exact spot on the sides, but not overall.

As far as a foot slipping between the side step and the body, I don't think it's possible. The inside edge of the step is very close to the frame bottom. It looks like there is a gap from most photos because of the angle. If you look at it straight on, the step is very close to the body. My 4 year old daughter doesn't have any problems at all.

I think both options are great, but the steps give it more of a rugged/sporty look while the running boards give it a more luxury/dressed look.

Just my opinions,
Chris
 

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gupt0014 - Have you heard the phrase "it's not what you say, but how you say it". Let's be nice to each other :4:

My comment "The other issue is that running boards will accumulate dirt and snow" had nothing to do with clearance, but with running boards accumulating dirt/snow in the corner of the "L". Since side steps are open this will not happen. So my comment is not "wrong".

I bought my 'X for many reason, offroading in knee deep snow was not one of them. And I won't get into the "looks" issue with you.

I believe the original poster asked for "Opinions". Aren't I entitled to give mine? :confused:
 

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I double checked when I got home. The space between the side step and the body is about 3/4 of an inch. Definitely not something a foot could slip through. I am glad the issue was raised, as I hadn't really thought about it. Since it was mentioned here, I checked it and all is well. No worries!

Chris
 

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MY opinion is that I like the side steps over the running boards. They are sportier, still provide an intermediate step and don't allow gunk to collect in them. They also offer a little extra side side impact protection much like the hitch does in the rear.

I have both of these in my basement, where they still look pretty cool, just waiting for their home to arrive...
 

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gupt0014 said:


WRONG!!! Both running boards and side steps make the SUV lower to the ground. Thus, defeating the purpose of the SUV... Plus, I think they both look silly :1:
yeah, but this is the "Running boards or Side steps thread!?

do you get it? if you don't like them WHY are you even looking on this thread? so saying they both look silly says you should not be here


thanks
rob:confused:
 

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gopilot said:


yeah, but this is the "Running boards or Side steps thread!?

do you get it? if you don't like them WHY are you even looking on this thread? so saying they both look silly says you should not be here


thanks
rob:confused:
I know you're supposed to count to 10 before responding in anger, but man, you just set a record. So how high did you count over the past month and a half?

LOL. Just teasing. Digging up an old thread to flame someone is kinda' rough.

Chris
 
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