Acura MDX or Honda Pilot owners?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by BHW, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. BHW

    BHW Long timer

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    Anyone here drive a Pilot or MDX? I'm thinking about picking one up as a daily driver/kid hauler. Looking at used ones, probably 2004-2006. I know the early ones had transmission problems...up to 2004 I believe. Comments?
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  2. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

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    We've got a 2007 Honda Pilot that we purchased brand new...it has been absolutely flawless.

    Currently almost 70K miles on it, and it has NEVER been in the shop.

    Everything on it still works, and it still drives like new.

    Plenty of room, plenty of power, and gas mileage in the high 20's.

    Handles very well in the snow (which we have plenty of!).

    I would buy another one without hesitation.
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  3. BHW

    BHW Long timer

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    I really want a 3rd row seat....but don't want a Sequoia, Tahoe, etc. I already have one guzzler, my Tundra. Everything I've read on the Pilot/MDX says mileage ranges from 16-19, with low 20s on extended highway trips. Is yours a hybrid?
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  4. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

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    Ours has the 3rd row seat....it really only good for kids, but does get used once in a while.

    Ours is NOT a hybrid....I have not done an actual mileage check, but on long highway trips the mileage is very good (especially, compared to my GMC 2500HD crewcab which gets 11-12 mpg :eek1).
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  5. BHW

    BHW Long timer

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    Yeah, the 3rd row would be stowed 95% of the time. But it would be nice to be able to take my two kids and another adult or two without having to take two vehicles. Most likely only used when grandparents are visiting, etc. The extra space would be nice for trips too. For several years we had either a Honda Passport or a Toyota 4Runner. The last few years we've had neither, and I kinda miss the utility of an SUV. But the one thing we've never had was the 3rd row seat, which I've love to have, without the mini-van factor! :wink:

    I'm just looking to park my Tundra except for days when really need a truck. It's old and beat up, but still runs well...and it's paid for.
    #5
  6. Cigar

    Cigar Been here awhile

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    Purchased a new 2003 Pilot when they came out in 2002. Still have it with 179k on the clock son still drives daily. Very little problems.
    #6
  7. kobudo28

    kobudo28 Banned

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    I purchased a 2003 Pilot new, no problems and I got almost 24 mpg highway. Sold it and bought an 07 Ridgeline. 32K on it, zero problems.

    My son has an 03 Pilot with 135,000 on it and other than regular wear and tear items there have been zero problems with it. The biggest problem I have with it is trying to keep up with the surface rust so that is does not get away from me. Salty NH winter roads you know.

    Two of my sister in laws have Pilots, zero problems with either.

    The Pilot is very versitile and it bigger on the inside than it seems. There is a lot to like IMHO. Still not sure about the new body style though.
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  8. VegasKLRider

    VegasKLRider Long timer

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    I have a 2011 Pilot EX 4WD with about 30,000 miles on it. It has been on several road trips. It has tons of room, extremely comfortable ride (think Lincoln Town Car), ample power (is there ever enough?), plenty of bells and whistles and good build quality. I average 19 mpg driving city and highway even with the AC on. Highway-only goes up to 23 or so. The MDX is pretty much the same, only it costs more and looks a bit more streamlined.

    Keep in mind that it isn't designed for hard core offroad use, but the 4WD system makes rain or snow much less dramatic. It is the most surefooted vehicle in those conditions that I have ever driven.

    All in all I am thrilled with it.
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  9. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

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    We are second owner on an '03 Pilot. The only trans problem was a 4th gear sensor (located outside) that warranty fixed. As a Honda tech for 23 years, I've put dozens of trannys in the Odyssey, but not the Pilot. It's got about 120k on it now. No other issues.
    Mileage runs 17 to 22. There's a lot of room inside compared to the overall size of the vehicle.
    The 4WD system is not for serious four wheeling. Just drive it.
    The "fly by wire" throttle body came in '06. I prefer the cable throttle type.
    Just be sure the one you find has had proper maintenance. T belt, spk plugs, valve adjust all due at 105k. ($$$$)
    #9
  10. BHW

    BHW Long timer

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    I'm going to be looking closely to see if they have had proper maintenance. A lot of what I'm looking at is right around the 100,000 mile mark. I bought my Avalon with 110,00 on the odometer...and according to a Carfax report and by checking the vin with Toyota, I found it had been maintained, timing belt replaced, etc already. What I don't want is to buy one and have to spend $1500 on it right away. I like the looks of the Pilot more than the MDX, but like the interior of the MDX more....even though it's smaller inside than the Pilot.
    #10
  11. Ursa Major

    Ursa Major Bemused

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    I've had one of each, a 2004 Pilot (I only owned it from 72,000 miles to 75,000 miles before selling it on) and a 2008 MDX I owned from new to 26,000 miles, when I traded it to the first owner of the Pilot (a co-worker) for the Pilot plus a lot of cash - I only needed an occasional car in that location and the Pilot was fine for the purpose. No problems with either one. I don't have kids, I had them as all-around snow country SUV's in Park City. I never had the third row up in either one, but the new owners of both (and the first owner of the Pilot) both use them all the time. They're great soccer-mom-mobiles.

    My only issue with the Pilot was road noise, which is unfortunately a Honda affliction, I've got the same issue with my 2011 Ridgeline, which is basically a long wheelbase Pilot pickup. The MDX was quieter; mine is the newer generation than the ones you're looking at. The mileage on both was around 18-19 mpg (better than the Ridgeline, where I'm at 16-17).

    Great cars for the purpose; I think the MDX is one of the best, most underrated SUV's available today. I'd buy another one in a second, you get a lot for the money.
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  12. straightrod

    straightrod Long timer

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    ^ I can't stand road noise in a vehicle. The MDX is quiet, right?
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  13. BHW

    BHW Long timer

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    Can anyone confirm if either the MDX or Pilot models from 2003-2006 had an auxillary audio input jack for MP3 players? The next vehicle I purchase will HAVE to have this, as neither of my current 2000 year model Toyotas do. The Tundra didn't get one until around 2002.
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  14. crampfan

    crampfan Banned

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    Wife has an 04 Pilot 160k with only minor issues,and still look and drives like new. We bought it as a certified Honda when it was 6 months old. Crampwife is very hard on cars, this is the only one that she hasn't been able to destroy before 150k
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  15. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

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    We have an '05 MDX that we got about three years ago... currently 95K miles.

    Ours had the torque convertor fail, and I drove three other '05's that had the tell-tale judder from the failing TC.

    Overall a great reliable vehicle... shitty 'round town MPG (~17) and quite if you buy the right tires.
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  16. BHW

    BHW Long timer

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    I've read that Acura was a little better about fixing the torque converter/transmission issue than Honda was. I've heard mixed reviews on the recall for the transmission issues as well. I plan on doing pretty extensive research on ANY MDX or Pilot I might buy.
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  17. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

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    This is also a problem in the 2004-06 Saturn Vue which has the same 3.5 V6/5 speed slush box Honda power train. We cured this condition in the wife's by having the dealer do a trans fluid flush using a BG machine. Honda doesn't recommend this but it works (for about 20k miles)if you catch it in time.
    #17
  18. Ursa Major

    Ursa Major Bemused

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    The 2004 Pilot EX-L (i.e. maxed out config) didn't have an aux jack, which was frustrating (but it did have cassette, woo-hoo!). The 2008 MDX did have one, but that was the next generation, so it may not speak to the 2003-06 MDX.
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  19. BHW

    BHW Long timer

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    Yeah, I looked online and discovered that there is an available adaptor that you can buy (about $90) that allows you to use auxillary inputs with the factory radios.

    *Looks like this may only be an option on later models. This MAY be a deal breaker....as I do not like aftermarket head units, and HATE the idea of owning yet another vehicle without an auxilliary input! Crap!
    #19
  20. Guano11

    Guano11 Behind Bars....

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    2005 Pilot here, 50,000 miles, no real issues. Our 3rd row got used a lot; it was among the most spacious of it's kind in '05, and appeased Guanowife's minivan aversion. MDX is a bit smaller, but supposedly better-appointed; worth noting the MDX's AC is actually given a BTU rating, a testament to its output. Feels much smaller on the inside, though.

    Pilot is a pretty dull drive IMO; bigger & more cumbersome than I prefer. I choose our old RAV4 when I have to drive, much more sprightly (but waay nosier). Mounted Michelin Lattitudes on both the RAV and the Pilot and they've made a world of difference in diminishing road noise (at a price, but worth it). But I never thought the Pilot was noisy in the first place....

    Regarding the transmission: Book recommends a complete flush & fill at 45K, but the dealer will only drain & refill once, changing only about 1/3 of the fluid (but charging you for the book service (you have to drive it a bit to get the rest out; book says to drain/refill/drive & repeat 3 times for the 45K service)). At 45K, my fluid was "ok", but not as clean as I'd liked. Now I just drain & refill the tranny once every other oil change. Easy service.

    Some nitpicks on an otherwise nice vehicle: LCD backlighting for the center console readouts (stereo, HVAC, etc) is worthless at night, almost unreadable even at full bright. Front/rear audio/video control is not intuitive. Headliner is detached & drooping waay more than it should. :huh And the center armrest looks like it's been underwater for a couple of months, all old, stretched & discolored. In fact, the entire interior fit & finish is sub-par, IMO, with noticeably large gaps between plastic pieces. A-pillars (windshield sideposts) really create a blind spot at intersections -- they're thick and in juuust the right spot to completely block an oncoming motorcycle; you have to physically reposition yourself to look around them.

    We get 19mpg consistently in combined city/highway; never seen "high 20's".
    Would I buy another? No, too dull. But my wife probably would -- lots of utility & a great family hauler.
    #20