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Honda Pilot vs Mazda CX-9 vs Toyota Highlander



  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    LMAO! :P

    You got me! :blush:
  • citivascitivas Posts: 144
    RE: your comments comapring the CX-9 to the Pilot, you are half right. It's pretty clear the CX-9 is a more responsive vehicle. Looks are subjective. Some people like the boxy look of the Pilot more, some hate it. But its hard to justify some of your other statements. The Pilot is a "true" crossover in every sense of the definition. It is built on a car frame and suspension system, has car-like handling and gets big-car-like MPG -- slightly better than the CX-9 for that matter. It's also even easier to access the 3rd row, which is roomier and has capacity for 3, than the CX-9. It even has the same slide-forward feature you attribute to the CX-9. The Pilot also has better tech, including a vastly suerpior nav system.

    I really like the CX-9. Great vehicle. The Pilot is great too, just different. If you want capacity, good cabin tech, okay MPG for size or like the "classic" SUV look, the Pilot is the choice. If you love sporty handling and less utilitarian interior, the CX-9 is the choice. It's really hard to justify the Highlander as the best choice compared to these two on any crieria, unless price is no object and you're getting the Hybrid even though you will never make up the cost difference versus fuel bill in your lifetime of use.
  • Citivas is on point.

    Just put in a few hundred miles on my Pilot today. 18.5 combined mpg, seated 2 in front, 2 kids in cars seats in middle with an adult between them, plus a stroller, and adult in the 3rd row.

    Just yesterday we were parked across from our best friend's CX-9. Sure its sportier looking, but I really didnt care for the cramped, cambered-in rear shoulder area/ ceiling in the 3rd row.

    Our car is a tool. If we wanted a sports car, I'd get that.

    And as far as fuel.....if Honda ever puts that Diesel Pilot back into consideration, we'd jump. As already noted, the TOyota Hybrid did not impress, even though on paper, it seemed like the best choice.
  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    I agree. Citivas is right on the money. I own a CX-9 but work for a Honda dealership. I chose the CX-9 over the Pilot (even though I could have gotten a comparably equipped Pilot for a little less money for being an employee) because of two things.

    1. Pilot is utilitarian at the cost of sporty in all aspects.
    2. I cannot stand that dumb ugly front end.

    Both of these however are subjective reasons not to go with a Pilot over a CX-9.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Both of these however are subjective reasons not to go with a Pilot over a CX-9.

    Many people buy based on subjectivity. We are all entitled to our opinions!
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    For 2011, Mazda has increased the fuel economy of the CX-9 to 17 city / 24 hwy for FWD models, and 16 city / 22 hwy for AWD models. They will also be equipped with new 18" and 20" wheel designs.
  • buyer101buyer101 Posts: 80
    Since fuel efficiency is based on a number of factors it would be nice to know what Mazda changed to achieve better fuel efficiency. Not sure if a couple of MPG here and there tilts a buying decision, but good to see that Mazda is doing something about it.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    I am also interested in knowing what Mazda did to raise MPG of 2011 models.
    The 2007 CX9s have 3.5L engines. Owners have reported much better MPG than later models with 3.7L variants. For 3.7L engines, Mazda revised the intake manifold and programming. Interesting to know what Mazda does this time for 2011.

    If the 2011 has the DI (direct injection) engine, it would be a very nice improvement to the CX9s, not just MPG, but for torque and horsepower. One can always hope... :)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    As far as I know, no DI.
  • I can't see any on Northern California roads.
    I started researching SUVs only recently. I went to blogs, ranking, reviews. It seems CX-9 wins hands down in the category of Toyota Highlander, Pilot, and Escape (throw MDX in the mix if you like).
    With CX-9 winning so comfortable, I presumed they would be all over the roads, parking lots. Not so, I could hardly find a few. The SUV space here is dominated predominantly by Highlander and Escape, with good no of Pilots and MDX's. CX-9'sare so out of the picture that it begs the question, why the discrepancy..There must be some reason fro the shall we say poor sales of Mazda CX-9s. Anyone care to enlighten me.
  • valdemarvaldemar Posts: 14
    Because it is Mazda and not Toyota or Honda. Having said that I do see quite a few cx9s here in SoCal..
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    The reality is that Highlander is very competitive vehicle and gets on average 2MPG better fuel economy then CX9 which is major plus with today's gas prices. I'm not going to go over advantages or shortcomings since this is endless topic. Make sure that you test drive one before making any decisions. I live in Ohio and noticed that Highlanders almost never have been advertized by the Toyota dealers in the auto section of the local paper, that makes me believe that they do sell like a hot cakes. I got my base AWD 2008 model with 3 row seats back in 2007 for $26K+ tax and recently friend of mine bough used 2008 FWD with 2 row seats and 25000 miles for $24.5K and considers himself lucky.
  • valdemarvaldemar Posts: 14
    2MPG advantage? We are talking about ~$300 savings per 15k annual miles or $25/month. Would not be enough for me to consider a car that 5 of my neighbors already have, but surely there is enough people who don't care about that.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited June 2011
    $300 a year makes $1500 for 5 years and so on, not a chump change. And this is just one of the decision points , there are obviously plenty more, just count HLs at your neighbors garages. If you want to be different and have extra cash burning your pocket then buy something else in spite of. When I bough mine, new generation just came out and no one had it, my decision was based only on practicality and dependability. Now after 4 years owning a HL I have no regrets.
  • valdemarvaldemar Posts: 14
    It was a smart choice, and it sounds like that was what you were after.
  • Let me start off by saying I have a 2009 CX-9. Summer of 2009 I test drive a Ford Flex, GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse, Hyundai Santa Fe, Hyundai Veracruz, Honda Pilot and Toyota HIghlander. My priorties were smoothness, power, performance and handling and comfort. CX-9 won hands down. Following were Honda Pilot (noisy and weak brakes) Ford Flex (wierd styling for me), Hyundai Santa Fe (value leader but too small), GMC Acadia/Chevrolet Traverse (too exepnsive and no inventory as GM was shut down) and finally the Toyota Highlander (too bland and too isolated from driving experience).
  • wdhytewdhyte Posts: 92
    wow, that's funny...wife and I hit almost the same batch of vehicles during the summer of 09 too. I really wanted to get the Ford Flex until I drove it...loved all the roominess (my being 6'1 @250# and wife being 5'11 (quite a bit lighter ;-)) was GREAT BUT, it had all the cornering and zoom of a cinder block. I was seriously bummed. The GMs were all the same, the Saturn was the same (and closed up shop about 45 days later) so we added the Mazda in the mix and were amazed and still are. I love driving it and for trips it's fine. W/the 20" wheels its noisy around town and you don't get the best ride as we all know but it was (IS) the best of the lot IMHO. My only disappointment to date is the number of squeaks and rattles it has developed rather quickly. Oh yeah, and the crappy BOSE sound system...BOSE just isn't as good as it used to be (we have the grand touring w/NAV or back seat stuff). I'd but it again.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    We bought the '10 GT in November. I agree the Bose sound system is poor as the '03 Yukon Denali Bose system blew it into the weeds. My wife asked me why I didn't upgrade the sound system!!!!

    The drive is the best in the category, period, the End! Since I didn't get the GPS and RE system, I was wondering if the audio quality would be any better.

  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    edited July 2011
    Why not many CX9 on the road?

    Many people are obsessive with "reliability".
    They choose among Toyota/Honda exclusively.
    I got asked many times, "Why did you buy Mazda?" :mad:
    For the record, I only had two very minor issues (taken care of at oil changes)
    from 3 and half yrs of ownership. That is decent reliability in my book,
    though my wife's Prius is issue-free, but it had more than THREE recalls.

    On the Highlanders. True, it is probably 2mpg better than CX9. However, consider how much more you pay for the Highlander, comparably equipped.
    If you drive 12000/yr, assuming 20 vs 18mpg, the difference is only 67gallons,
    i.e. 67x$4 = $260 yr. If you pay $2000 more for your Highlander, that is enough to cover 8 yrs of mpg differences, w/o considering interest....
    Not to mention that Toyota charge more for comparable parts and maintenance. I know because my wife has a Prius. I receive coupons from both all the times. :)

    Oh, did I mention the trashy/cheapo 1-piece 3rd row seat of Highlanders?
    It is a joke, really.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    Price difference between cx9 and HL is a moot point. Depends on timing, location, your negotiation abilities and trim/features you want. In 2007 I paid $26K+tax for 2008 Base with AWD and 3 seat rows. I don't think you can get comparable cx9 for this much. HL also has higher resale then cx9 so don't forget to include it in your math. BTW starting from 2011 model year HL has split 3rd row. 2011 model started to be produced back in august of 2010.
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