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Honda Pilot vs Mazda CX-9 vs Toyota Highlander

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  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    Toyota Highlander: 5216
    Honda Pilot: 5438
    Mazda CX9: 1390
  • Considering that Toyota sells nearly 10 times as many vehicles as Mazda, I would imagine that Mazda is pretty happy with the way the CX9 is selling vs. the Highlander. I'm most surprised by the Pilot's success. This car has be universally panned by reviewers, most of whom agree that the current model is a step backwards. On top of that the car is expensive, ugly as can be, and somewhat truck-like in a market that is supposedly moving away from that image. I guess brand loyalty and a reputation for quality can go a long way.
  • citivascitivas Posts: 144
    It’s not even remotely true that the new Pilot was “almost universally panned” by the reviewers. The reviews were actually unusually polarized – usually there is a general consensus on a car in the professional community but in this case it got panned by some and lavishly lauded by others. Numerous prestigious sources gave it the top of its class or named it Car (or SUV) of the Year. So you must be reading a pretty selected subset of the major auto mags to come up with your conclusion.

    It’s also not fair to dismiss it as brand loyalty or quality. Our family were die-hard Toyota/Lexus fans, having had several vehicles from them and liked them all. We started out specifically looking at the Highlander and only considered other cars when we couldn’t bring ourselves to accept the significant compromises and limitations of that car. We test drive the Pilot early on and didn’t expect to end up with it because we didn’t like the look or finishes. But we did because in terms of features it was unmatched. Others who’ve posted here and elsewhere have said the same. In our case we weren’t even that price sensitive – we looked at the BMV, Audi, Acura, etc. too and none of them had all the benefits of the new Pilot. So we ended up with it by process of elimination – our first Honda ever. And it has become our favorite car ever. All five of my immediate family (including three kids), plus both set of grandparents love the pilot. One set of grandparents even has the Highlander Hybrid and now regret they didn’t get the Pilot. Our other car is a high-end Toyota Sienna and no one ever wants to be in it if they have a choice between it and the Pilot. It gets slightly better gas mileage than the Sienna too, and the Honda navigation blows the Toyota’s away. The full iPod integration is a favorite too – I couldn’t believe that they didn’t offer than in the Acura MDX cousin of the Pilot.
  • Reviews for the current Pilot were pretty poor, particularly in light of the praise showered on the prior version. Sure there were some decent reviews but Edmunds doesn't rank it too highly There are certainly plenty of good things you can say about it. This segment of the market has a lot of interesting cars and, unlike the minivan segment, they're not all marching to the beat of the same drummer. They all have strengths and there's something for everyone. The Pilot has great tech options and if you need 3 kids seats in the second row of your crossover, this is the one to get. But it has some major shortcomings as well:
    Fuel economy is no better than competition even though the car is neither extraordinarily powerful nor big.
    The styling is not particularly attractive although I guess some may like it.
    The brakes are pretty poor -- the Pilot may score well on crash tests but an additional 25 feet in 60-0 distance (vs. the CX-9) could mean the difference between a crash and a non-event.
    The price is relatively high and, if they're selling this well, dealers don't need to be as flexible in negotiations.
    Some may enjoy the Pilot. Is it better than the Highlander? I think so but that's faint praise. The Highlander (while also a strong seller) is not really a standout in this class either. It has a nice combination of power and fuel efficiency but there isn't too much else to distinguish it.
    We test drove many cars in this segment and, like I said, there's something for everyone. But for our family, the CX-9 and the GM Acadia/Enclave/Traverse stood out as being ahead of the pack. The Pilot and Highlander have some appeal but so do many others and I would say that if you take away the power of their brands, they are swimming in the same pool as the Hyundai Veracruz and Subaru Tribeca -- also good cars but not necessarily standouts.
  • Although this is all subjective, I have to fully agree with legacygt. I have been working for Honda for the past 9 years and I have owned a handful of their vehicles, mainly Civics and Accords and one CR-V. Honda may build exceptional quality vehicles but they have always been weak when it comes to brakes. Braking takes a lot of effort and durability of components (rotors and pads) have a very short lifespan..think, warped rotors and premature wear on pads, just take a look at the forums in the current generation Accord rear brake problems.

    When my wife and I decided to buy our CX-9 we also test drove and looked at the Highlander, Acadia, and Pilot. Clearly you know who the winner was!

    The Highlander was as expected from a Toyota product with nice quality fit and finish and good power and brakes. The highlander lost due to its expensive price, somewhat cramped interior and just boring styling (Toyota, in my opinion, has always made great quality vehicles but their styling is ho-hum boring and bland).

    The Acadia although very nice it is very expensive as well and it just felt to big for us, sort of clumsy in spirited driving, however, very spacious and nice standard equipment.

    The Pilot was also very nice in the inside, very refined in every aspect, nice options and standard equipment. The deal killer was its dumb looking, ugly front end styling. Which brings me back to the begining of my post.

    Honda, in my opinion, has dramatically deteriorated in their exterior styling department. The Pilot's front end as mentioned above is just plain ugly and does not flow nicely with the rest of the body. The current generation Accord is also not the nicest Accord Honda has produced. It has protruding frog like headlamps, the rear end is plain unflowy if you will and the side body lines are unorthodox with the body stance. The Element is unique to put it simple and nicely, unless you go with the SC model you may as well drive a Nissan Cube, Kia Soul, or Scion xB...all ugly in my book. Honda even managed to screw up possibly what would have been the nicest CR-V ever with an ugly looking two piece grille that resembles buck teeth. The Ridgeline...not a true truck in my book, but pasable. Definately would not be my first choice if looking for a truck. Also, if guys get a chance take a peek at the upcoming Accord Crosstour and tell me if you can find something nice about this whale looking montrousity. And last but not least, lets not even touch Honda's Acura division because all of their line up has been hit and abused with the "Decade's Ugly Stick"

    So all in all I believe that Honda has managed to continue its quality of refinement, fit and finish, and reliability but I hope they don't rely on their styling to get their units sold because they will be in deep trouble if they continue this trend.
  • citivascitivas Posts: 144
    The CX-9 is a nice car. We liked the ride and the look better than the Pilot or anything in the class. It was our second choice in the end when we bought the Pilot 14 months ago. The main things that stopped us were the truly terrible cabin tech (it really was terrible compared to the competition) at the time (perhaps they have improved this since) and the fact that the NJ dealers weren’t very competitive – the Pilot and it had comparable list prices but despite some people getting amazing deals elsewhere in the country in NY you could get the Pilot cheaper. In the end, though, I am glad we settled for the Pilot because we use that extra seating capacity so often, even though we didn’t expect to. I also liked that the Pilot options were so much more straight forward – Mazda made getting way too many of the bells-and-whistles options on the top model and it not only seemed like nickel-and-diming (plus you couldn’t get the best entertainment package for example and a sunroof at the same time), but then it made it that much harder to find a vehicle equipped exactly as you wanted it.

    I’ve read the brake reviews. All I can say is in normal world use (not crashes), the Pilot brakes great. They feel much smoother than our previous Toyota or Lexus vehicles and we don’t have issues with it not stopping quickly enough. As for the fuel economy, in the 4WD model it was comparable to anything else in the class except the Highlander. So to ding it for that is really to ding the entire CUV segment except the Highlander. In practice, it gets better mileage than our Toyota Sienna mini-van ever has, and more than our previous and much smaller Lexus RX300.

    The Highlander was a major disappointment. First, the Hybrid is a joke. To get it comparably equipped as a Limited with all the options (including air conditioning which they brake out into three different add-ons and don’t include standard!) made the price 25% higher than the non-Hybrid Limited, meaning even with $4 fuel (at the time) it would take about 15 years of serious driving to make up your cost. After that the car was just a collection of major compromises, including the useless non-split third row seating, the useless (and tiny) removable middle-row seating, the fact that adult males couldn’t sit in the third row without permanently crocking your head sideways, the lack of a memory seat option for the driver (seriously, that’s just pathetic in a $40K+ list price Limited model car), the fact that the rear screen entertainment blocks the rear view mirror view when down (this was true on the CX-9 too, but not the Pilot), the fact that the navigation system is useless while driving (true of the CX-9 too; whereas the Pilot continues to allow programming, preferably from the front row passenger, while on the road) or the lack of true iPod integration (an AUX port just doesn’t cut it these days). The only thing I really liked about the Highlander, other than my good track record with Toyota, was the gas mileage. It looked nicer than the Pilot too.

    Believe it or not, some drivers pick their car based on features over look or drive. I suspect this is the reason for the success of the Pilot overall. Though looks are so subjective. We bought our Pilot despite the looks but I am constantly surprised when some people go out of their way to rave about its looks. Granted, they are in the minority overall, but it is a large minority. I ask them what they like about it and they go on about how it looks like a “true” SUV and is “rugged” “truck-like” (as a complement) and how they HATE how so many other SUV’s are all “curvy” (meant as an insult), etc. To each their own. In any event, I know we bought it because our prioritizes were safety first (and they all were in the same class for that), features second, drive third and looks fourth, brand reputation or loyalty fifth. It destroyed the competition on features, especially for a family with three kids, a dog, a lot of grandparent shuttling and lots of kids carpooling, and the drive was fine. Obviously we’re not alone in our assessment. The fact that Car and Driver, among others, named it SUV of the year, over the Highlander and CX-9 among others and after we already pulled the trigger, was nice but had no impact on the decision. I suspect most car buyers don't buy based on reviews in the end -- its too big a financial commitment to leave to someone else's subjective judgment.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    Somehow the sales figures I posted re-ignited the discussion. Great.

    That title should really be changed to
    Highlander, Pilot and CX9, now that even 2010 CX9 is available at dealerships.

    Believe it or not, most people buy vehicles based on brand reliability reputation. Honda/Toyota obviously have the upper hands. Most people I know questioned my decision to go with Mazda. Their questions are all alike. "Is Mazda reliable?"
    I guess no one would ask such questions if I had purchased a Honda/Toyota.

    Well, IMHO, competition is good for everyone looking to buy a 7/8-seat CUV.
    Lots of CX9's electronics integration flukes have been addressed in 2009 and also 2010 already. My CX9 continues to impress me everyday. I love driving it.
    The brake is strong, on par with my ex-1998 BMW 540iA.

    Most of vehicles I owned before have been Hondas. Poor brakes? Definitely! They were scary under hard braking, if you ask me. Reliable? Definitely. None of the 5 Hondas I owned had any single problem after 7 years of ownership. That speaks volume. After 21K miles, my CX9 showed one window problem. Though a very minor assembly issue, it still counts as one in my book. :(

    A major downside with CX9 to me is the city-driving MPG. Expect 15mpg for AWD and 16-17mpg for FWD. I guess it comes with 3.7L engine, and wider tires (245mm) than competitors' offerings. With a 4500lb vehicle, 15mpg isn't too bad, but no where near good.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,193
    title should really be changed to Highlander, Pilot and CX9

    Good idea!

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • You may want to add Acadia and Traverse in the mix as well because most people compare these 5 CUV's Just an idea!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    In case you didnt know (not being a smart aleck, just trying to help :shades: ) there is a Crossover SUV forum as well, for a less specific discussion, besides these three.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    Great idea. After all, GM quadruplets sell as many units as the other three combined. How about
    "GM Lambda vs Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander vs CX-9"
    (Lambda=> Arcadia,Traverse,Outlook,Enclave"

    CUV includes many 5-seaters. This thread should focus on 7/8 seaters only. :)
  • First off, let me say I took better part of an hour yesterday reading throught his 41 page thread and I learned a lot. Citivas, I have to say a million thanks for all your input over time. It seems my vetting purchase for buying $30+ worth of sheet metal is the same as yours! Ive got a 3yr old and 6 month old and may have a 3rd in a few years.

    I initally wanted to lease, in the hopes of buying a more fuel efficient hybrid like CUV in a few years but I can't bank on that risk and I'd like to take advantage of the tax bennie this year.

    That said, my wife needs car and the Pilot was the top contender (after looking at all the others noted in this thread EXCEPT the CX9. We never even thought about the CX9 based on the 4/09 consumers reports, with reliability being a concern. My second concern with the CX9 is resale. But with the incentives available right now, 1.9%, its a huge consideration.

    What is now being said about their long term reliability of the CX9?

    Also, this is my only gripe, having read it on edmunds....
    "All I can say is in normal world use (not crashes), the Pilot brakes great. ... we don’t have issues with it not stopping quickly enough"

    How about stopping short? That is what is setting a fear of Honda in me. If she stops short, is that a problem? Has anyone with a Pilot noted ANY braking problems? I mean, in all consideration, that may be my dealbreaker on the Pilot.

    About cx9 vs pilot interior space, braking distances, How did you find the interior space of the CX9 compared to the Pilot? I've read Pilot has better use/more places to stash stuff but have also heard the cx9 is roomy.

    fitting 3 car seats across in the second row. the Pilot boasts this, but can the CX9 swing it?

    new consumers reports on resales- is there any new info on this that is different from the 4/09 issue?

    "In any event, I know we bought it because our prioritizes were safety first"

    That is my main and again, I am concerned with these braking distance reports.

    As I pulled into my office this morning, I saw a 10 Pilot across the street. I dont love the look either but I have to say, being a HUGE fan of the really retro Toyota FJ Cruiser (totally impractical for us), perhaps that is why I do like its look?

    So my biggest concerns are brakes and resale value Thoughts please? going to look at CX9 car tonight and the Pilot AGAIN.
  • jcpharmjcpharm Posts: 92
    mirrodie,
    i can't speak to the braking on the Pilot (leave that to others).

    with regards to:
    "fitting 3 car seats across in the second row. the Pilot boasts this, but can the CX9 swing it?"
    - no, you cannot put 3 LATCH-system carseats in the 2nd-row of the CX-9 (nor ANY LATCH carseats in the 3rd-row). you possibly could do two carseats and a booster (nonLATCH) in the middle, but not sure they would all fit.

    as far as roominess, you can look the specs up on each car to see the cubic feet, but ultimately you need to look at both cars and determine for yourself what feels roomiest to you. i hardly think that will be the deal breaker though...

    i do remember a long-distance road test review of the CX-9 from edmunds or car&driver noting that after ~40k miles they had no extra costs than regular maintenance....not sure you will get a report on much longer reliability testing than that considering the model has only been out since 2007.

    good luck!
  • If you have a bunch of little kids, I think a minivan is the only way to go. We had 4 kids in 4 years and that's the only way I'd go. Much more storage room for the playpens, strollers, diaper bag, and many other accoutrements of babydom.

    It never ceases to amaze me when I see people shortchange themselves because of vanity. So many women (and men) won't dare to be seen in a minivan because of some ridiculous image problem they will have with themselves if they buy one.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,193
    Or even if you don't have kids. Maybe if they renamed them to something else. But we digress:

    SUV vs Minivans

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • jcpharmjcpharm Posts: 92
    i think you are being a bit presumptuous to assume all CUV buyers are "vain" in their avoidance of minivans. For example, since we live in the Northeast, traction during the winter is very important to us and so we prefer AWD vehicles. There is no AWD option on the Odyssey and the Sienna AWD is not much of a bargain compared to large CUVs either. i have friends who own an Odyssey who say on icy days their minivan is slipping and sliding all over the place.

    I do admit that once you are at 3+ kids, it takes some creativity to comfortably seat them in a CUV and retain cargo space...
  • I too think you are a bit presumptuous. If I bang out another pair of kids, we'll see what happens. But while you accuse others of image problems, it seems perhaps you have popped out of no where to defend your image issues? None were mentioned here.

    Since you have 4 children, why didn't you get a Ford Econoline van? I would suspect its perhaps too LARGE for your needs? But have you shortchanged yourself? Perhaps.

    What I find incredible is the "thought compartmentalization" that minivan drivers seem to have. Such as the neighbors I have that say that with 2 kids, I NEED a minivan. I love how they are in my shoes and know MY needs.

    Funny but I know grown up families of 3-5 kids who did well with station wagons and sedans prior to 1990. Man has evolved with large families prior to the 1990s minivan.

    Then again, we are savvy travelers. I've also boarded a aircraft with wifey, toddler and infant, and only carry-on luggage aside from one 1 piece of checked luggage for 4 people for a week long transcon trip. Obviously, we know how to pack necessities. Perhaps MV drivers do not. I dunno.

    I would ask thought that you please remain on topic. I do moderate another forum and it seems the thread is being hijacked. Please remain to the questions I asked.

    Thank you.
  • Mirrodie, I too was in your situation about 6 months ago and got a lot out of this thread and citivas's comments. I believe he said you can fit three carseats although I don't know what kind he uses. I ended up buying a Pilot.

    I can tell you that I have an 08 (which is a bit narrower than the 10s) and I have fit three carseats in the 2nd row. But let me be clear that they were TWO toddler seats and ONE infant base/seat (which is a bit narrower than a toddler seat). I put the two toddler seats next to each other and the infant seat on the end and they fit..snuggly, but they fit. I don't think many CUVs would do even this. I can't comment on getting THREE toddler seats next to each other. Hopefully citivas can weigh in on that.

    I have had no problems with braking. I think the only issues with braking were in the one test done by Consumer Reports. I am a huge fan of CR but that didn't stop me from getting the Pilot just because it went an extra 8 ft or so (just guessing) during a braking test. If it was that bad (and a true everyday threat), CR would redflag the situation and basically say "don't buy this", which is what they do with truly dangerous products. Just my 2 cents on the safety aspect.

    Good luck!
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    >> I am a huge fan of CR but that didn't stop me from getting the Pilot just because it went an extra 8 ft or so (just guessing) during a braking test.

    Personally, I won't trust CR on testing cars other than their reliability data.
    There are other "guys" doing better jobs on testing automobiles.

    For stopping distances, the following data is from edmunds.com's fair and square test (meaning, same day, same track)
    CX9: 129ft
    Highlander: 131ft
    Pilot: 149ft
    The difference is not 8ft, but 20ft. Usually the distance would increase super-linearly if one looks at the data from 70mph-0 due to brake fading.
    I won't be concerned about 2ft difference, but I will when it is 20ft.
    A similar conclusion can be found on C&D, Road & Track, and Motor Trend,
    and Automobile magazines.

    10 years ago, a 149ft stopping distance might be considered as 'good', but nowadays, it is below average. A 129ft stopping distance is as good as any sports cars 10 years ago. :)
    I owned a '01 Odyssey for 8 yrs. I know about poor braking of Honda vehicles. I also owned an '91 Integra, and two Accords ('85 and '95). Not a Honda basher here. Just fact. And, Honda transmission is not as smooth as others'.
    Noisy interior also bothered me a lot.

    As to interior room, the Pilot is taller, hence more head room. CX9 is longer, hence more leg rooms (especially 3rd row). You have to sit in them to feel for yourself.

    Reliability-wise, I think Honda/Toyota have Mazda beat. CX9 reliability is not top-notch, but above average. I have mine for 2 yrs with 22K miles on it. I only had 1 minor window issue due to assembly (made in Japan, remind you).
    From reading this and other forums of CX9, most problems owners have are minor issues (suspension clicking, mirror glass shaking, electronic integration, etc). There have been very few powertrain issues. For CX9, engine is from Ford Duratec, and transmission is from Aisin (supplier of Lexus and Toyota).
  • Honestly, the brakes concern me as this will be primary in my wife's hands. But a Pilot PRO is that 3 child seats in mid row are possible. The con is brakes.

    The CX9 Pro is brakes with con of no 3 seats in mid row and perhaps reliability long term.

    And since I have great credit, now comes the financial question. I will qualify easily for the new incentives at Mazda, which Honda doesnt have. I can get 1.9% APR on a Maxda vs the going best rate of 5.89% on a new car loan. That might be the big PRO that might push us to Mazda. Even if Honda could match that, the brakes bug me.

    Citivas, where are you? Car 54.... ;) In all seriousness, I love all the forethought and sharing in this thread. We are so Torn.
  • jcpharmjcpharm Posts: 92
    as far your situation, if i read your previous post correctly, you stated you have a 3yo and a 6mo and "possibly another in a few years". That means your 3yo will be 5-6yo and your 6mo will be 2-3 yo when your 3rd arrives.

    Your 5-6yo will be perfectly fine in the 3rd-row seat with a booster (there are 3-point seat belts back there)...in fact, my almost-4-year old fits fine in a booster back there when i do have the 3rd row up.

    i don't think it's as big a deal unless you need immediate access to your oldest child in which case i guess the having all 3 kids in the 2nd row would be easier.

    just food for thought as i considered your particular situation.
  • In about an hour, I'll be in a CX9, working it out, looking at the room. (edmunds notes a difference of .8 cubic feet. That is nothing.) While Hondas are typically less reliable, you need reliable brakes. And considering Mazdas incentives, it may be a better vlue as well.

    Then I will test drive the Pilot again and work the brakes... bigtime.
    Im giving that salesman fair warning that he is in for a ride. But I gotta take it up to 60 and slam and see what transpires.

    Thank you for the thoughts.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    Personally, I think the whole reliability concern is blown out of proportion.
    First, a Pilot might have 0 problem for the initial 5 years, CX9 might have 1 or 2 minor issues. So what? Nothing that a 7yr/100K ext warranty can't cover and fix. Can you guarantee that a Pilot will be problem-free for 7yr/100K miles? I can't. My '01 Odyssey transmission was shot at 89K. That is why I got my CX9 to replace it. As I said, I had been a total Honda-fan before CX9. Now, I am just more open to all brands.

    To remind you, a 7yr/100K MAZDA coverage costs only about $1500. CX9 is having $4500 rebate from factory. i.e. You can easily get a CX9 for $7500/$8500 below MSRP! That is several thousands below a comparable Pilot or Highlander. Enough money to get you the ext warranty plus some changes for investment (or covering the "resale value" loss that one may be concerned with).

    Just my opinion.
    If you were like me owning vehicles for 7/8 years, resale value does not really matter that much since they will worth about $8/9000 by then, plus/minus a couple thousands.
  • Where did you see the $4500 rebate on the 2010 CX9? Just checked edmunds and all I see is 1.9 APR for 60 mo. Please let me know. grazie!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    To some, not having to take the car in for nagging issues is worth more money; having issues early on doesn't bode well for a car later in its life (some of us drive the wheels off of them! :shades: , only to put them back on and drive 'em even more!)

    I have a Honda (not a Pilot), but recommended two alternate brands to people very close to me. Both are happy with their choices; the parents' '08 Taurus had one recall, and my girlfriend's '07 Santa Fe has a drippy sunroof in the car wash, but neither of them has had anything major happen. My Accord even needed a new CD Changer near warranty's-end. I wasn't happy, but you're right, life does go on!
  • SO within an hour of each other, we drove the CX-9 and the Pilot:

    CX-9: My wife loved it, smooth ride she said. The interior to her seemed as roomy as Pilot but I thought Pilot had more space and certainly have more stowaway space. I didn't feel that the dashboard was 'upscale' compared to the Pilot. Its all plastic and the simulated wood grain on the cx9 was barely noticeable. I personally didnt care for the small armrest console on the cx9.

    The drive experience was hysterical. The dealer just gave my wife the keys and let her go alone. Then she returned and I took off by myself as well. I took the car out and did my own beating on it. I floored the pedal and felt that while it smoothly accelerated without the torque of the Pilot. I slammed on the brakes. Fine. Tight turning radius.

    I then made my way 30 minutes to the Honda dealer and called them in route with 40 minutes to closing.

    I took the Pilot out and the saleswoman came with me. I told her plainly that i was on a mission to put the car through the rigors. She said, "Oh, you mean you are really going to TEST test drive?"

    "Please buckle up. I need to work the brakes."

    We took the Pilot on some meadering roads. I floored the pedal and the Pilot was Not sluggish in my opinion. (Wife and I have a pair of Nissan Altimas. I am giving up the lease on my 2006 Altima 3.5, which I will miss dearly, while I ride the wheels off her 'young' 2000 Altima with 85K on it. The Pilot accelerated as well as the 3.5 Altima. It had MORE kick than the CX9, more torque.

    I slammed on the brakes a few times after hitting 50 to 60 MPH and the car responded.

    I got a quote and went home and crunched numbers.

    With the same options of leather sunroof and backup camera, the Cx9 is more $$ but with 1.5% financing, the CX9 ends up being ~1400 less than the Honda over a 6o month loan. However, according to kbb.com, the Pilots residuals are higher.

    We really liked the cars equally and so are still torn. But on numerical analysis, it seems we are going with the Pilot after all. We felt the features were very similar and it was simply a matter of styling taste.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    $4500 rebate is for 2009 cash buy or external loan.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    Looks like you are leaning toward Pilot. Congrats.

    So, you think Pilot's engine has more torque than CX9's? ;)
  • mms5mms5 Posts: 19
    We have been deciding between the CX9 and Pilot too. Thanks for your insight. I have decided on the Pilot too this week and this is why... I borrowed my friend's CX9 for the day and was surprised at how low I sat in it. When I looked out my side window, all I saw was the side mirror. That bothered me. I currently have a 2000 Odyssey and didn't realize how much I like sitting up instead of down. I thought the CX9 was very fun and peppy to drive. I test drove the pilot and liked the feel of the space up front. I felt much closer to the front windshield in the CX9. In your price comparison, did you factor in the $4500 incentive from Mazda?
  • jcpharmjcpharm Posts: 92
    i think you can only get the $4500 incentive if you finance externally from the dealer (eg. your local bank/credit union financing)...unless someone has had a different experience.
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