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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a deposit down on a silver Pilot which should be arriving soon. Now that many of you have been driving your Pilots for over a month now, I was wondering what your true opinion of the Pilot is? Have you encountered more unforseen problems than you would have liked, or is your Pilot just what you thought it would be and more?

335 Posts
One of the best decisions I've made! I'm sooo happy with my Pilot!


PS Put a deposit on it in February, when all I had was a picture! It was known to be bassed on the MDX, so that was good enough for me!

29 Posts
We've had our SS Pilot for 2 weeks almost and I LOVE it!!!

We had been looking at the Mercedes and the Sequoia and neither one of them seemed quite right. We put a deposit on a blue one on 6/22 and found the silver that we wanted on 6/29 and bought it that day after a 5 minute test drive. This vehicle more that meets all of our needs.

61 Posts
BUY IT!!!!!

You won't regret this decision one bit. Have had ours for 3 weeks and LOVE IT!!! I bought this vehicle without driving it. OOPS...the wife did test drive one before we ordered ours. It's well worth the year or so wait before it came out!!!!

116 Posts
I am going to be very honest here -- you ask a serious and important question and you deserve a considered answer.

Yes, I like my Pilot, and yes, I would probably buy one again if I were to do it again. But there are a few issues that might have me looking long and hard at both the Highlander and the Pathfinder as alternatives.

I felt we needed the third row of seats for carpools, extra family members and friends, and that's why I was limited to the Pilot -- or an American-made -- at this time. If I did not have that need, I would definitely look at the Nissan and Toyota alternatives, especially if Toyota is coming out with a third row of seats in the next Highlander (I'm not yet at the point where I can buy American -- maybe because I once owned a Ford Pinto?)

Anyway, I love the look and flexible seating of the Pilot, and I actually love the way it handles. What don't I like then? :

1) There's more interior noise and rattles (door, glass, glove compartment, thudding gas and thudding brakes) than I'd expect in a $30,000 car. If you drive with the stereo on, you'll probably never notice it. I like to drive in silence, and it's irritating.

2) I have an odd engine rattle or knocking which I (and the service dept) have yet to figure out. I noticed it on Day 2. Guess it stirs memories of my 77 Honda Civic that blew a head gasket and has me a little spooked.

3) The VTEC downshifting on hills can be annoying. It makes for a rather lurching ride at times (if you live in a hilly area; if you're in Kansas, you're fine). In fact, in the first few days, I fought motion sickness every time I drove the car -- I must have gotten used to it, tho.

4) I don't like the tires that come standard. And believe me, I've never had an opinion about any other tires I've ever owned.

5) The gas mileage hasn't been stellar. My last in-town tank was 17 mpg,which I considered good. But I took an interstate trip last weekend and didn't top 20. If I didn't need such a large car, there are other, thriftier options. I drive a lot, tho, and have put on 3,200 miles since June 1.

Now that I've typed all that, I feel like I'm sort of dumping on my beloved Pilot, and want you to know that it's still a very neat car. I just don't think it walks on water... if I hadn't needed a car immediately, I think I should have waited until I could actually test-drive a couple of choices -- and been ready to walk away if I heard rattles or clanks.

395 Posts
No rattles or noise here. (Also no hills.) I think TopMomm got a Pilot that was built on a Monday morning.

I love it, and I'd buy it again.

34 Posts
Thumbs up so far ....

we'll have had our Pilot two weeks tomorrow (thursday) and by then will probably have put close to 1000 miles on it. its been great so far for our needs: getting my son in and out of the car without hurting my back, hauling some garage storage cabinets, bringing home my son's new Thomas train table, etc. its mainly my wifes car but i find myself driving it when i get the chance to run errands and the like.

similar to an above post, we wanted a third row. we didn't want a minivan, and i really didn't want an american car. that basically left the MDX, which we actually almost got, and the Pilot. i'd say get it.

72 Posts
We test drove a pilot about 5 weeks ago and put a deposit down on a green one with a Nav. The dealership ticked my wife off so we wnt to another. They had a Silver with Nav coming in but we wanted a red one. They said they would try to trade for a red. That weekend, we stopped by another Honda dealer and they had a red with nav scheduled for delivery. We dropped a deposit and waited. It took 3 weeks but on July 5, we picked it up and drove directly to Myrtle Beach for the weekend. Lucky us, the Nav system took us on a route that we later learned saved us 3 hours stuck on I-95. Without it, we would have followed 95 further north and been stuck.

After 1100 miles, back to the dealership to have the accesories put on...the Rear View Camera, Side Steps, Cargo Liner and Retractable Cargo Cover.

We got our first door ding yesterday when some idiot in the parking lot here at work took a gouge out of the paint on the lower door plastic trim. I am so tempted to print cards stating "The owner of the Honda Pilot parked next to you has recorded your car's tag, color and make. Any dings found will be compared to your car's information and if a match is found, a claim will be filed against your insurance. PLEASE BE CAREFUL OPENING YOUR DOORS." And I would do it too.

No problems to report with the exception of an intermittant air seal leak at the top of the Driver's side door. The dealership is going to work on it when the touch up paint comes in.

335 Posts
I park away from others in parking lots. Don't be surprised if it was done intentionally. I've been cut off, on the road, several times already!...their EATING their hearts OUT!!!!

11,113 Posts
I love my Pilot. I traded in a Highlander, and the Pilot is larger, quieter, and has a much better build quality. The Highlander had a brake recall, Wind Noise recall (reed noise right through the doors in crosswinds), and other assorted rattles, not to mention the well known engine oil "Sludge" issue.

The Pathfinder is a much much smaller vehicle inside than either the Highlander or Pilot. And as currently designed, the Highlander is too small for even a child's 3rd row of seats. A major re-design would be needed to add 3rd row seating.

I should have never traded my '98 Accord for a Toyota, and now I'm extremely happy to be back in the Honda fold.

290 Posts
My opinion: Buy it! I bought mine on 6/3 and have over 2200 miles.

However, I would NEVER buy a car I hadn't seen close up and driven. I think it is crazy. For those of you who ordered yours sight unseen and before they were available to test drive, you are a lot more optimistic than I am. I don't understand why you would commit yourself to spending that kind of money before you really know what you are getting. The only reasons I can think of are: don't care, very trusting, have too much money and need to spend it (for those in this last category, please send me a check in the amount of $31,000 to cover costs related to this message).

I did all of my research and had decided I was either going to buy a Lexus RX300 or a Toyota Highlander. Once I drove them, I decided against both of them. I considered the Acura MDX, but I don't care much for it's look.

I didn't even know about the Pilot until about a week before they came out. I figured that I wouldn't be able to get one, but I went down to the dealer on 6/3, the first day they were available, and drove a couple. I decided there on the spot that it was the vehicle for me.

I do have some of the issues mentioned in the different threads, and I do have some complaints, but none of them are serious enough to make me not want my Pilot. It is still a great vehicle. I think it is great looking, roomy, powerful, and functional.

Unlike TopMomm, I haven't noticed any squeaks or thumps (except for the gas thump when the tank is almost full), nor any problems with the shifting (and I had a couple of trips through the NC mountains). I agree that the tires are crappy. I am very happy with the gas mileage, but I am coming from a V8 all-time 4wd that earned me on average, slightly less than 13mpg. I am now averaging around 18mpg. :2:

But, obviously, everyone needs to make their own decisions. I can't imagine why anyone would buy one of those Asteks, or Avalanches. Those things are horribly ugly to me :16: . But then, we all see things a little differently.

20 Posts
We bought it! We love it!

We've had our PILOT for about 2 weeks. We absolutely love the vehicle. Call us crazy or stupid but we took delivery of it without even test driving it. I guess we could have gotten burned, but we didn't and we're glad we made the PILOT decision. Ours is the silver EX with cloth seats. I added rear splash guards, retractable luggage cover, rubber floor mats (for Winter driving), locking lug nuts and a bottle of touch up paint (Ouch!). The PILOT is actually my wife's car but I drive it whenever she's not looking. Here are the major reasons we purchase the PILOT.

1. SUV like vehicle
2. Front wheel drive with 4 wheel to get out of deep snow
3. Comfortable and roomy front compartment for long road trips
4. Smooth and quite ride
5. Quality engineering

All the other features of the PILOT are nice but weren't our primary reason for buying. However the features that I do like are:

1. Reclining 2nd row seats
2. 3rd row seats that fold down flat
3. Lots of nooks and crannies to store things
4. 240 Horse Power
5. Cell phone holder
6. Good sound system
7. Automatic Climate Control
8. All the interior lights
9. Rear windows that go all the way down
10. Outside temperature guage

In my opinion these are areas Honda could improve in:

1. Wider rear view mirror to improve rear visibility
2. Rear splash guards standard
3. Trip computer
4. Automatic headlights

That's about it. Not once have we had buyers remorse. The sales rep at Victory Honda was great! No complaints about the vehicle or the buying process. We can't wait to take our first long road trip in our PILOT.

BTW, our children are grown so we didn't buy it for a "family" vehicle. It's just the two of us.:2:

165 Posts
More amazing info

New Honda Pilot is a Favorite Among New Car Shoppers On; Pickups Replace Passenger Cars as Top Two Vehicles

Business Editors & Automotive Writers

IRVINE, Calif.--(AutomotiveWire)--July 16, 2002--The 2003 Honda Pilot debuted at number 7 on the list of the top 50 cars researched by new car shoppers in June on Kelley Blue Book's Web site,

The overwhelming response to the first mid-size SUV developed from the ground up by Honda with the Honda nameplate made the Pilot the highest debut to date on's Top 50.

In June, pickups maneuvered their way back to the top of the list with the Ford F Series and Chevrolet Silverado & Sierra in first and second place. Pickups replaced the Honda Civic and Accord as the number 1 and 2 vehicles. The number of passenger cars appearing in the Top 50 declined in June and represented less than half of the top 50 new vehicle models that attracted consumer interest last month on Kelley Blue Book's Web site (

About Kelley Blue Book

Based in Irvine, Kelley Blue Book has been relied on by both consumers and the automotive industry as the trusted resource for car-buying research and information since 1926. Its Web site,, is the number one automotive information site in the nation, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

It attracts more than 4.5 million unique visitors, generating more than 25 million pricing reports per month. For the fourth year in a row, is also the most visited site by consumers who go on to buy new and used vehicles, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

Following is the complete Top 50 list of 2002 and 2003 new car models that drew the most interest by visitors to in June:

1 Ford Pickups (F Series)
2 Chevrolet/GMC Pickups (Silverado & Sierra)
3 Honda Civic
4 Honda Accord
5 Ford Explorer
6 Toyota Camry
7 Honda Pilot
8 Nissan Altima
9 BMW 3 Series
10 Volkswagen Jetta
11 Toyota Corolla
12 Chevrolet/GMC Tahoe/Yukon
13 Ford Mustang
14 Toyota Tacoma
15 Volkswagen Passat
16 Ford Expedition
17 Honda Odyssey
18 Toyota Highlander
19 Chrysler/Dodge Voyager/Caravan
20 Ford Escape
21 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
22 Nissan Maxima
23 Dodge Ram Pickups
24 Honda CR-V
25 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
26 Jeep Liberty
27 Jeep Grand Cherokee
28 Nissan 350Z
29 BMW 5 Series
30 Acura TL
31 Mitsubishi Eclipse
32 Toyota 4Runner
33 Acura MDX
34 Toyota Sequoia
35 Ford Focus
36 Audi A4
37 Nissan Xterra
38 Hyundai Santa Fe
39 Chevrolet/GMC S10/Sonoma
40 Infiniti G35
41 Toyota Tundra
42 Mini Cooper
43 Nissan Frontier
44 Ford Ranger
45 Toyota RAV4
46 Toyota Avalon
47 Dodge Dakota Pickups
48 BMW X5
49 Nissan Sentra
50 Toyota Matrix

--30--KT/np* JE/np

CONTACT: Kelley Blue Book Public Relations

Alison Korsmeier, 949/770-7704

[email protected]



SOURCE: Kelley Blue Book

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-0- Jul/16/2002 17:33 GMT 
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