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I've now put 3,000 miles on my new Honda Pilot EX. I chose one in silver with leather and a navigation system.

Likes
  • Interior space. It is a very wide vehicle and there are all kinds of clever touches for configuring the seats as well as cubby holes for stowing my gear. The rear cargo area is massive.
  • Quiet. The engine is uncannily quiet, when we first got the truck we had to double-check whether the engine was actually off or merely idling.
  • Ride & Handling. Short of a Touareg or Cayenne, I think this is about as good as you'll get. It's truly amazing to me what they are doing now with high center of gravity SUVs. In the case of the Pilot, I think this is a function of the independent suspension and the very wide track.
  • Performance. I have not really wrung it out, but its pretty good so far - definitely quicker than my 150hp Mazda MPV used to be! However I definitely notice that the engine is not a large capacity high-torque slugger. If it comes to a steepish uphill grade on a freeway, it will downshift. You'll have to check the tachometer to see that it's happening because it's so seamless, but it's happening nevertheless. The braking is superb.
  • HVAC. This works very well. The climate control is excellent and keeps the inside at whichever temperature you choose very effectively, there is an "switchably independent" system for the rear passengers. I have not yet been through an Atlanta summer with it so cannot deliver a verdict on the A/C. I'm told the a/c cooling capacity is apparently huge for a vehicle of its class.
Dislikes
  • Tire Noise. This handily offsets the benefits of the silent drivetrain. On all but the smoothest tarmacadam road surfaces there is way too much noise coming in from the wheel wells. Maybe its the Goodyear tires, I don't know.
  • The Navigation System. It's very good, but nevertheless not worth the extra money. I'm sure that there are later generation systems out there that do a better job. This is a technology that has yet to mature IMHO.
  • Jack cover. In the rear cargo area is a little cubby which stows the jack, tire wrench etc. The cover over this thing is a cheap nasty item that would not have been worthy of GM at its worst in the 1980s; totally out of character with the excellent fit & finish everywhere else. It's fallen off and I have yet to replace it.
  • Roof rails. The two transverse roof rack bars are spaced so that, when you get to 70mph they agitate the airflow and set up a faint but noticeable low frequency judder. I'm going to experiment with repositioning them if possible.
Would I buy another? Yes, definitely (without the NAV system).
Is it more fun to drive than my 2000 Infiniti I30? No. You cannot beat a high power-to-weight ratio and a low center of gravity!

Regards to all.
 

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Make sure the roof rails are installed in the correct direction. There is a front side that must face the front as the rails are aerodynamic. The dealer installed mine backward and there was a lot of noise. When I checked things out, I saw a sticker that said "front" and it was facing toward the back. When I turned them around, the sound went away.
 

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I would have to add to list of "likes" the center console. I think they really did a great job with it. I usually like the shifter to be there, but the way the thing is organized is so convenient.

On my "dis-likes" list would have to be the shifter. It always tends to go from Neutral "N" to D3. Skipping right over Drive "D".

Other than that I'm a pretty happy camper.
 

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I found that the trick with the shifter is it does not work like the way we think a column shifter should. If you pull the shifter all the way toward you when going into D, it will not go past D. If you pull it somewhat toward you, but not all the way, that is where it needs to be in order to go below D (D3, etc). This is backward from what I would expect. I found this out when I purposefully tried to go to a lower gear so I could test locking the rear wheels. I pulled the shifter all the way toward me and could not get it to go below D.
 

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I'll give it a shot.
 

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Here's a diagram of what firsthonda explained... sometimes, a picture helps a little.

This tag was attached to my steering column when I took delivery of the Pilot.
 

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firsthonda said:
Make sure the roof rails are installed in the correct direction. There is a front side that must face the front as the rails are aerodynamic. The dealer installed mine backward and there was a lot of noise. When I checked things out, I saw a sticker that said "front" and it was facing toward the back. When I turned them around, the sound went away.
If there is no sticker, is there a way to tell which side is front and which is rear? Mine was installed by the dealer, but I guess the installer must've taken the sticker off and I want to double check that my rails are installed correctly!
 

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kemosabe said:


If there is no sticker, is there a way to tell which side is front and which is rear? Mine was installed by the dealer, but I guess the installer must've taken the sticker off and I want to double check that my rails are installed correctly!
There is a strip of rubber that runs along the rail. This strip should be on the "front" side of the rail (toward the front of the vehicle) when installed properly. The side of the rail with more metal should be toward the back of the vehicle. That is how the sticker told me to place them and all noise went away when placed this way.
 
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