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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm contemplating a gently used '15 vs. a 4 runner. MPGs, increased space, and price are obviously pluses for the Pilot. I am curious to know if anyone has tackled the white rim trail in a stock Pilot. I don't intend to do serious off-roading, but would like to hit the white rim trail or some similar roads. Would it be too much for a pilot? Thanks for any help on this one.
 

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I would suggest spending $25 or so on a device to monitor tranny fluid temp......they plug into the OBDII port under the dash.
 

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I'm contemplating a gently used '15 vs. a 4 runner. MPGs, increased space, and price are obviously pluses for the Pilot. I am curious to know if anyone has tackled the white rim trail in a stock Pilot. I don't intend to do serious off-roading, but would like to hit the white rim trail or some similar roads. Would it be too much for a pilot? Thanks for any help on this one.
IMO in stock form the 4Runner may be challenged and sustain some damage while the Pilot may not make it back.
This is a quote from the trail guide:
White Rim Trail Difficulty
White Rim Trail conditions range from intermediate to highly technical. It is rated moderately difficult for high-clearance, 4WD vehicles in fair weather conditions. There are portions of the route where one wrong may be disastrous, and tricky sections requiring three-point turns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I appreciate the posts thus far, but am wanting to know if anybody has done it in a pilot. People have made the trip in Subarus and older rear wheel drive sedans. I want to know what people thought of it that did it in Pilots.
 

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Get the 4Runner. Bulletproof reliability. Way more powerful. Look at Lexus GX470s. They are extremely off road capable, have a V8 and quiet, comfortable ride.
 

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We have both vehicles in the garage here. I don't think of the Pilot as a lot more than a tall luxury sedan. The most serious off-roading I'd consider is a dirt parking lot or maybe a maintained fire road. The 4Runner is a real truck, body on frame, with rear drive axles, much more likely to survive "technical" sections. The 4Runner has bash plates under driveline pieces like the engine, gearbox and transfer case. It also has significantly more available low-speed wheel torque than the Pilot, a BIG transmission cooler from the factory, and is very much intended for the duty you describe.

Jack Vogt's suggestion of the GX470 is excellent, by the way. It's a Land Cruiser in sheep's clothing, best of both worlds.

I love the Pilot, but in spite of its mighty appearance and all, I just don't think of it for more than pavement duty.
 
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I appreciate the posts thus far, but am wanting to know if anybody has done it in a pilot. People have made the trip in Subarus and older rear wheel drive sedans. I want to know what people thought of it that did it in Pilots.
Check out this video as this Pilot owner has pushed his Pilot harder than Honda has envisioned...

 

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I don't know the white rim trail but the OP's description of technical sections suggests some crawlng, where I think the Toyotas will have a very distinct advantage if only for ground clearance and wheel travel. I would happily put K in a GX Lexus, but she loves her 4Runner and isn't interested in learning a new car while hers is familiar and does everything she asks.

She did take the Pilot for errands this morning. It was already dusty when she took it, 4Runner had been cleaned, and the Pilot was washed/cleaned when she returned. Her 4Runner doesn't have heated seats, making the Pilot an easy sell on winter days in and out of the car. She doesn't use most of the stuff in the Pilot, radio/audio stays off and nav is by her phone.
 

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As suggested, for a trail where you need low range to control momentum and because of the difficulty, there is only one choice. The Pilot is fine where it can idle along and not ride the torque converter but if you are rock crawling or doing challenging hills the transmission temps will spike for sure. The 2nd gen Pilot is a great soft roader and I'd say it is every bit as capable as any stock Subaru.
 

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Also From the article above:

The trail requires a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle with a low gear range. Front or rear-wheel-drive only vehicles, automatic all-wheel drive, and low-clearance vehicles are not allowed. ATVs/UTVs and OHVs are not permitted.
 

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Check out this video as this Pilot owner has pushed his Pilot harder than Honda has envisioned...

Are you serious? A bunch of really wet roads and puddles?
 
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