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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

This is my first post on any car forum.

I think it's finally time for me to replace my 1992 Honda Accord with 196,000 miles on it. :D At the moment I'm leaning strongly toward a Pilot or a Highlander.

I'm am quite surprised and dismayed by the amount of Pilot problems that I have read about here (Starting problem, scrunching problem, right rear tire vibration, trouble with caps on roof rack, seats breaking down, etc. etc. etc)

I have also noticed that a lot of the earlier problems reported in messages dated in August 2002 have apparently been eliminated (water pump, timing belt) because I don't see any later messages about them.

Even if the starting problem is resolved by the 2 second delay after putting the key in that strikes me as pretty unrefined for a $30k vehicle.

I'm wondering if waiting a while longer is likely to result in more of these problems being fixed and me ending up with a vehicle of the quality I've come to take for granted from Honda?

I'm also wondering if I'm getting an unbalanced view of its quality by reading these messages. After all if I had bought a Pilot before reading these messages I and experienced no problems I would have been unlikely to come here to report it since that's what I've come to expect from Honda?

1) If you owners had it to do over again would you buy a Pilot?
2) Would you have waited for a later version?
3) Would you wait a little longer yet, if you were in my shoes?

Does anyone know of a forum of this quality for the Highlander so I can find out if there are just as many problems with it?

:8:
 

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florida_guy said:
Hi everyone!
-snip-
1) If you owners had it to do over again would you buy a Pilot?
2) Would you have waited for a later version?
3) Would you wait a little longer yet, if you were in my shoes?

Does anyone know of a forum of this quality for the Highlander so I can find out if there are just as many problems with it?

:8:
1) YES - no question at all in my mind.
2) I really do not think you will see any major changes in the Pilot for several years.
3) Only you can answer that - but after comparing the available vehicles - if the Pilot offers you things the others do not, then seems to me the decision is easy.

I have found that forums like this can get pretty wild at times when people start comparing "problems". I have been on similar lists on my Honda ST1100 motorcycle for MANY years and it is amazing how much you hear about this problem and that - but when it comes right down to it virtually any owner would not give up their bike on a bet. Same thing on BMW motorcycle lists, and although I have never owned one - probably BMW automobile lists.

My brother-in-law has a Highlander. He likes it. But when we sat and compared vehicles after I bought my Pilot - he fessed up and said had the Pilot been available when he got his Highlander - he would have got a Pilot instead.

Good luck!!

rod
 

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I'll 2nd that

Even with the little bugs, not everyone is experiencing them...The major problems (the early recalls) are gone and we are left with this starting issue. I waited as long as possible for my Pilot to get a later production date, and have to say that I do love my Pilot even though I had the starting issue one time. I do think that the Pilot as any 1st production year vehicle is going to have a few bugs the first year, even if it is closely related to the MDX, it isn't identical.
As for going with a highlander, I wouldn't deal with Toyota dealerships, they don't know the meaning of the word customer satisfaction or service. I'd say go for the Pilot now :)
We are of course biased Pilot owners, but I don't think anyone wishes they had gone with a Highlander-at least I sure don't.
Have you seen the comparison photos? There's a link here in general discussions, great photos...the highlander looks quite small in comparison.
Good luck! Go drive a Pilot, let us know what you think :)
 

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And just for the record...

I "think" I had the starting problem once. It just seemed to take a few milliseconds longer than I was used to. Now, I simply get into the habit of inserting the key when I enter the vehicle and then fasten my seatbelt - then I turn the key. So, is this real or perceived? :confused:

I remember a story of a gal that was having a problem starting her car. Out of desperation, she took the key back out and licked it - then put it back in the ignition. She tried again and it started. She was convinced she had found the "fix" and from that point on, she would always lick her car key before she put it in the ignition. Go figure....

rod
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Re: Should I delay my Pilot purchase until problems are worked out?

colorider said:


1) YES - no question at all in my mind.
2) I really do not think you will see any major changes in the Pilot for several years.
3) Only you can answer that - but after comparing the available vehicles - if the Pilot offers you things the others do not, then seems to me the decision is easy.
...
My brother-in-law has a Highlander. He likes it. But when we sat and compared vehicles after I bought my Pilot - he fessed up and said had the Pilot been available when he got his Highlander - he would have got a Pilot instead.

rod
Thanks for your reply.:)

I wasn't as clear as I wanted to be with question 3. I'm trying to decide if waiting a few months will give Honda a chance to fix some of the other problems like the starting problem and the scrunching problem. I do not expect any major changes any time soon either, just bug fixes.

What, if any, problems have you experienced with your Pilot?

Also, if its not a no no to stray off topic, what did your brother-in-law like about the Pilot vs the Highlander?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: I'll 2nd that

74PILOTMOM said:
Even with the little bugs, not everyone is experiencing them...The major problems (the early recalls) are gone and we are left with this starting issue.

Have you seen the comparison photos? There's a link here in general discussions, great photos...the highlander looks quite small in comparison.
Thanks very much for your reply.

I share the concern that another poster raised. Resale. Even if they get all this stuff fixed won't word get a round to avoid buying 2003 Pilots used?

I did see the great comparison photos that were posted. Actually the Pilots size while an advantage in some ways is a concern to me in others...

1) Harder to park because it's 5" wider than Highlander and only 1" less wide than a Navigator

2) Harder to slide through congested traffic for the same reasons

3) I like to explore the great outdoors and I'm concerned there may be times when the wider Pilot won't be able to squeeze through dirt roads where the Highlander would
 

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Re: Re: Re: Should I delay my Pilot purchase until problems are worked out?

florida_guy said:


Thanks for your reply.:)

I wasn't as clear as I wanted to be with question 3. I'm trying to decide if waiting a few months will give Honda a chance to fix some of the other problems like the starting problem and the scrunching problem. I do not expect any major changes any time soon either, just bug fixes.

What, if any, problems have you experienced with your Pilot?

Also, if its not a no no to stray off topic, what did your brother-in-law like about the Pilot vs the Highlander?
Like I said in my later post, I "may" have had the starting problem once. I have had no other "problems". If you look at the list that is maintained here, all the owners have entered what "problems" have occurred on their vehicles.

My brother-in-law likes the layout (storage) between the front seats. Some people complain about the column shift on a Pilot - but with it there, it frees up a lot of area for storage. Area the Highlander does not have. The Pilot is a fair amount wider and has a wider track than the Highlander. Plus, the 3rd row of seats are very handy when you do have to haul more (small) people.

rod
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Re: Re: Re: Should I delay my Pilot purchase until problems are worked out?

colorider said:


If you look at the list that is maintained here, all the owners have entered what "problems" have occurred on their vehicles.

rod
Are you referring to the list of problems in the knowledge base where people can register that they had a certain problem. Or is there some other list I haven't found yet?
 

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For me its the first Honda ever. I love it...yes I am getting the problems but which car does'nt have minor problems. I know ML300 and Discovery owners (my sisters) who have bigger problems with their cars...

Go Pilot :2:
 

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Pilot is my first Honda. I got it on 12/31 of last year. So far I have ZERO problems (knocking on the wood). I think many problems have been already fixed.
 

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I think the more recent Pilots have many of the problems ironed out. Mine was delivered on February 5, 2003. So far, no vibrations, no starting problems, no loose vents, etc. The only thing I have noticed is an occasional scrunch noise on bumpy roads from the driver's side door that others have described. You have to listen, and the sound of the bumpy roads is much loader than the sound of the scrunch.

As for the size of the Pilot, it drives like a much smaller vehicle. My wife is not exactly the world's best driver, and she has no problems at all getting in and out of school and grocery parking lots.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Stone said:
I Mine was delivered on February 5, 2003. So far, no vibrations, no starting problems, no loose vents, etc.

As for the size of the Pilot, it drives like a much smaller vehicle. My wife is not exactly the world's best driver, and she has no problems at all getting in and out of school and grocery parking lots.
Thanks to you Stone and all who've responde for the valuable input.
 

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Our Pilot has over 4,500 miles and it is totally problem free. We love all the space and comfort features. Kids love the DVD. It is an awesome car. :2:
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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I've gone 11,000 miles + and still no problems, so to answer your questions.

1. Yes. It's worth every penny.
2. No, the basic design has been tested with the MDX for the last couple years.
3. It's up to you, You might be able to find deals if dealers still have 2003 models when the 2004's come out, or if Honda comes out with some kind of sale.

Good luck,
:)
 

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We bought our Pilot on January 31st. and have had no problems. The car is big on the inside but is very easy to drive. We don't have any regrets at all!
 

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***'s are my replies for you

florida_guy said:




I share the concern that another poster raised. Resale. Even if they get all this stuff fixed won't word get a round to avoid buying 2003 Pilots used?

***I think we Pilot.org people are the only ones who are really talking about this, and other cars have problems, just no cult following because they don't love theirs as much anyway ;) We expected perfect, so we're a little miffed.


1) Harder to park because it's 5" wider than Highlander and only 1" less wide than a Navigator

***Yep, she's wide, and taller than the highlander but EASY to drive park and maneuver, just like a car -I swear to you! Just tonight we had to flip a U turn quickly and the thing is absolutely precise and stable. Car mags rave about the stability too.

2) Harder to slide through congested traffic for the same reasons

***I've noticed people move out of MY way in this big mobile ;)

3) I like to explore the great outdoors and I'm concerned there may be times when the wider Pilot won't be able to squeeze through dirt roads where the Highlander would

***Hmmm...good point, It's the widest in the mid size class. I think you'll see that the VTM-4 system and stability will make up for it's parameters.
...Not for serious rock hopping though...

Have you test driven yet? You'll love her.
:4:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: ***'s are my replies for you

74PILOTMOM said:
***'s are my replies for you :4:
Thanks for your thoughtful replies. Glad to know that it's easy to park. Any way you cut it though you are going to have 5 less inches to open the door to try to get the groceries in. That's one big advantage the mini-vans have, sliding doors.

No I haven't test driven it yet. I'm doing all my research and going to go to the dealer with a list of questions when I'm done. I am a little concerned that the salespeople aren't going to be willing to let me take it out for a lengthy test drive because of the "if you don't buy it someone else will" syndrome.

I intend to quite innocently ask if there are any bugs since it's a first year vehicle and see what kind of a response I get from the salesperson.
 

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florida_guy,
Warning, If you keep researching this site. It can and will lead you to know more about the Pilot than the salesman. :4:
 
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