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2020 Honda Passport Touring AWD Metallic Steel
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But why not a full size van, then? Even my '79 Dodge van was capable off the beaten track, and the interior space was practically limitless. See my signature. Maybe something more recent, lol, but you might find something interesting more within your budget than a Sequoia or some AWD GM land yacht.
Have you any clue how hard it is to sell one of these today? Nobody wants one anymore.

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2020 Honda Passport Touring AWD Metallic Steel
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Thanks for all the feedback so far.

I found this yesterday which was very enlightening: https://www.cars.com/articles/looking-for-a-family-hauler-get-ready-to-compromise-1420680350851/

Highlander has less room than the Pilot I have now, so I think that's pretty much a no-go. This article above kind of lumps all of the mid-size SUV's with V6's into the "Crossover" group. I think that's fair. Limited4WD/AWD, light towing capabilities.

I hadn't really looked into the Sequoia, but the cargo looks as weak as the Pilot...however I could then run a trailer with ease. The same is true for a Suburban/Yukon, Expedition/Navigator, or I suppose the Nissan Armada. The estimate MPG is making me want to puke though, plus the cost of a trailer. However, I see that the Suburban, Expedition EL and Navigator L all are very close to having the same interior cargo space as the average minivan...hmm.

That makes me wonder if I could get by with one of those plus using a hitch mount carrier AND roof storage option. Something else to consider. If I could do that perhaps the same is also true for the Sienna in AWD?

I think right now on my short list is a larger size SUV like the Suburban/Yukon XL, Expedition EL or Navigator L. Or perhaps Sienna or Odyssey with a roof AND hitch carrier. (long shot, but if I limit my off-road and pick my gravel "roads" carefully...I also hate the thought of no spare, even though I've never needed one) I think I will also look into full size passenger vans too, although I think long term I might regret having rear wheel drive as a daily driver in the snow and ice during the winter.
Don't forget to add to the list the Wagon Queen Family Truckster
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You think you hate it now, but wait until you drive it.

On a serious note, as much as I loved my Pilot Touring and love even more my Passport Touring, both AWD, you are on the right track with a larger vehicle. Vehicles should fit your needs not your wants. If you turn it around then you will end up with a vehicle that does not do the job and you will end up hating it. Good luck with your search for the vehicle that fits you.
 

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How did I forget the Sequoia? That would be a great option. Bulletproof V8 engine, plenty of space, towing capacity.
At this point, fuel economy is going to be horrible no matter which vehicle you choose.
 

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How did I forget the Sequoia? That would be a great option. Bulletproof V8 engine, plenty of space, towing capacity.
At this point, fuel economy is going to be horrible no matter which vehicle you choose.
IMO the Sequoia, Armada, Yukon (non XL), Tahoe, etc. are not in this search because they aren't that much more spacious than the current Pilot. He is clearly looking for something truly commodious, where you have all 3 rows in use and still have 5' of cargo floor behind the 3rd row.
 
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IMO the Sequoia, Armada, Yukon (non XL), Tahoe, etc. are not in this search because they aren't that much more spacious than the current Pilot. He is clearly looking for something truly commodious, where you have all 3 rows in use and still have 5' of cargo floor behind the 3rd row.
That's true. Yukon XL/Expedition XL/Suburban/Excursion would be perfect.
 

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IMO the Sequoia, Armada, Yukon (non XL), Tahoe, etc. are not in this search because they aren't that much more spacious than the current Pilot. He is clearly looking for something truly commodious, where you have all 3 rows in use and still have 5' of cargo floor behind the 3rd row.
But, the OP plans to keep this next vehicle for 10 years.
Which one would you want to depend on and maintain/repair for that length of time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Well, this is interesting. I took the wife and kids over to check out a Lincoln Navigator and a Toyota Sienna. Mind you, neither one of the two actual vehicles we looked at would I get. But it was good enough to get a feel for the interior and storage on a Nav "L" model or an AWD Sienna.

My wife's perception was that the Lincoln didn't seem much bigger in useful space than the Pilot we have. It was clearly bigger in seating areas for the 3rd row people. We both liked the luxury feel (duh, who wouldn't). The Sienna everyone raved about. Especially the ease of access to the 3rd row, the space and the seats. We have a couple friends with Honda Odyssey's. I think a 2016 and a 2018. We're going to check those out too.

Side note: Having checked out the FWD model, I could dig an AWD Sienna. 6.5" of ground clearance vs the 8" for the Pilot, and last trip I did off road it up in the hills and stuff. I was making my buddy nervous going places he wouldn't, and he had a Suburban at the time. It seems capable enough, as evidenced here:
Mind you, it looks like a hippo trying to hike itself over a barbed wire fence, but for light off pavement it probably is fine.


I came away wanting something that doesn't exist; a "Pilot EL". Basically a Pilot with a little more leg room for the 3rd row and about two more feet on the back end of it and rated to tow 5,000lbs. The good gas mileage and ability to just drop 2nd and 3rd row seats we use all. the. time. Honda and Toyota, get your act together. You could crush the Suburban market.

Right now on my short list is a Expedition EL/Navigator L, Suburban/Yukon XL (if I can find one cheap enough). The biggest con being gas mileage. Or still maybe a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. Then a distant third is some sort of full size passenger van. I just don't relish the thought of a RWD van in the snow and ice we get here in the great plains in KS, NE, MO, SD, CO where we are most of the time. Still we will likely keep the Pilot for bumming around.
 

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But, the OP plans to keep this next vehicle for 10 years.
Which one would you want to depend on and maintain/repair for that length of time?
Any of the GMs... My dad has an '11 Yukon XL Denali that is 11 years since purchased this year. Sure, it's had some minor issues but I love driving it. As I've said before, I don't expect my vehicles to be perfect. With the wealth of knowledge on forums and youtube how-to videos, I can fix enough things to make it worth going to a dealer or shop for the few things I can't.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I do NOT want the complications of a twin turbo V6 in my monster family hauler. I'd rather get a tried and true pushrod V8 and deactivate the cylinder deactivation system and know the LS/LT will run forever that way.

Well, this is interesting. I took the wife and kids over to check out a Lincoln Navigator and a Toyota Sienna. Mind you, neither one of the two actual vehicles we looked at would I get. But it was good enough to get a feel for the interior and storage on a Nav "L" model or an AWD Sienna.

My wife's perception was that the Lincoln didn't seem much bigger in useful space than the Pilot we have. It was clearly bigger in seating areas for the 3rd row people. We both liked the luxury feel (duh, who wouldn't). The Sienna everyone raved about. Especially the ease of access to the 3rd row, the space and the seats. We have a couple friends with Honda Odyssey's. I think a 2016 and a 2018. We're going to check those out too.

Side note: Having checked out the FWD model, I could dig an AWD Sienna. 6.5" of ground clearance vs the 8" for the Pilot, and last trip I did off road it up in the hills and stuff. I was making my buddy nervous going places he wouldn't, and he had a Suburban at the time. It seems capable enough, as evidenced here:
Mind you, it looks like a hippo trying to hike itself over a barbed wire fence, but for light off pavement it probably is fine.


I came away wanting something that doesn't exist; a "Pilot EL". Basically a Pilot with a little more leg room for the 3rd row and about two more feet on the back end of it and rated to tow 5,000lbs. The good gas mileage and ability to just drop 2nd and 3rd row seats we use all. the. time. Honda and Toyota, get your act together. You could crush the Suburban market.

Right now on my short list is a Expedition EL/Navigator L, Suburban/Yukon XL (if I can find one cheap enough). The biggest con being gas mileage. Or still maybe a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. Then a distant third is some sort of full size passenger van. I just don't relish the thought of a RWD van in the snow and ice we get here in the great plains in KS, NE, MO, SD, CO where we are most of the time. Still we will likely keep the Pilot for bumming around.
I will reiterate my opinion... taking a minivan on anything other than paved or smooth gravel roads is asking for trouble. No protection underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Again, a Quigley 4x4 conversion van is what you need.

Well, I don't play the lottery and as I mentioned in the original thread post, I have a wife and five kids...that doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room in the money department. 😂


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I've been researching and thinking more about it.

In the past with the Pilot we've gone to areas like this (like up around the mesa base for camping/hiking or worse yet getting to the top of the mesa to the sheep camp);


but in all reality, most of them down on the desert bottom are "county roads" like this;


If I'm being honest with myself we won't go up to the sheep camp any time in the near future. If I'm also honest with myself, I'm getting too old to go scaling the mesa again either. I might drive up there in a 4x4 pickup a decade from now when my kids are older, to camp again. In the near future we will hike around at the base, I'm sure. But most of those areas are accessible from roads like in the latter video, especially if I just curb myself to "no-go" zone by vehicle and am willing to hike in from a few miles out.

I guess what I'm saying is that if I "pick my battles" carefully, I can minimize the need to drive on poor stretches to nothing worse than the examples given in the second video. There is one family member who lives in a worse area, but they have 4WD. Perhaps they can just meet us elsewhere for lunch.

This is why the better gas mileage of the minivan is appealing to me, and I cannot completely eliminate it from the equation.
 

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So most of us heavily recommended going with a full size SUV do solely to the need for additional ground clearance and some light overlanding capability. If you are truly going to be on gravel or hard pack, fairly smooth dirt roads then a minivan may actually work for you. But even then all it takes it one well placed rock or pothole and you could be doing quite a bit of damage.
 
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OK then, a minivan for you it is. :)




If you are truly going to be on gravel or hard pack, fairly smooth dirt roads then a minivan may actually work for you. But even then all it takes it one well placed rock or pothole and you could be doing quite a bit of damage.
Man, I drove minivans over rough dirt and gravel roads for years and years (see my signature). When a protruding rock would bang or scrape, my wife would screech, thinking that was the end of the vehicle. It was always fine.
 
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