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Hard in what way? I've spent a lot of time in German cars, they are amazing vehicles to drive. Sure, maintenance costs can eat at your soul and if you don't value the "experience" that much then that's all you'll see. I'm not in a position to but at a later point in life I wouldn't mind having the option to grab a German car. Or Italian. Or British.
 

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Hi cintocrunch,

Well, my issue was with Audi specifically. its not easy to work. You have to take half the car apart to solve a small problem which cost a lot in labor......It drove nice, had a 3.0TFSI. great car. But the water pump went ($1600 fix- warranty covered it) around 30,000 miles, started getting cylinder misfire error code (supposedly this is normal and will cost about $2000 to fix) ... this happened around 33,000 miles. I was under the impression that these issues prop up later on in its life cycle but not this early. The other costs were mainly (like you said) maintenance..which I dont mind paying......($400 for tires, $130 for oil change, etc etc etc.).

I got nervous with the potential major problems developing (I am not paying $2000 to fix a cylinder at 33K miles) and warranty running out in June 2022 and got out.

I have a BMW X5, and I love that car. Between the both, the BMW seems like a better build vehicle overall, and its about 7 years old now...
Yup, German cars can do that to you for sure. Some of the older models used to be easier to work on, the newer ones are getting out of hand.
 

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The new Pilot drives much better than the 2012 model. What exactly was changed in the engine to accomplish this? From what I remember, I only got 14 to 18 mpg on the old one with mixed driving. This one gets me about 17 to 22 mpg in mixed driving (mostly city) which is a pleasant surprise. Also I noticed that using premium fuel results in slightly better fuel mileage and power (maybe psychological). What kind of magic did Honda perform on the 3.5L to get these real-life results? :) Hopefully no compromises in the quality of the engine was made.
The older 3.5L was bulletproof (even though the timing belt had to be changed ever 70K miles). Drove 4000 miles so far on the new Pilot; so far, love this car!
It's a whole new generation and is focused more on the on-road experience than retaining some off pavement abilities like the 2nd gens. The engine and transmission in the 3rd gens are definitely more eager, they feel like they have 100hp more rather than 30-40.

The biggest revision to the J series for the 3rd gen is the introduction of direct injection. We have not seen a lot of issues with carbon buildup like the German cars tend to have and running high quality synthetic oil designed for GDI engines will help resist oil vaporization which leads to ingestion in the PCV and intake valve deposits.

Remember, this is still a J series and it still has a timing belt. Service interval is 7 years/105k miles (whichever is first) unless you are towing or otherwise REALLY torturing you Pilot a lot.
 

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This is a good point. Its a relief to know that carbon build up is not a problem compared to the other GDI vehicles (Like you mentioned) out there, VW products being notoriously famous for this issue.

Only thing that has me nervous:
I just was told last week that the transmission on the Honda Pilot was a German designed ZF - 9 Speed? :eek: :cautious:.
The ZF-8 Speed is well known in the BMW communities as a solid transmission but I am told the 9 speed is not that great. Hopefully, Honda made the right decision going with the ZF-9SP.
No concerns about the 9 speed after the '19 refresh IMO. The '16-'18 had some software issues that led to some hardware failures, but Honda seems to have sorted them out and we don't see many complaints on '19+ 9 speeds.

ZF was founded in Germany, but I think a huge percentage of their transmissions are manufactured in South Carolina now, I have some family that works at the ZF plant and BMW plant in the area. Also, I don't think German transmissions have been all that problematic... BMW had a lot of solid transmissions over the years (I think one of their least reliable outside of the early SMG was the GM 5 speed auto they used in the late 90's early 00's), same with Mercedes (the NAG-1 has held up REALLY well in JK Wranglers with the torture they can put on a transmission).
 
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