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Honda Pilot 2003 through 2005

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Comments

  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    If the pilot is based on the Odyssey Platform and follows the same design principles as the MDX, it will be big. I read several posts on both the Odyssey board and MDX board stating that it was an adjustment getting used to a vehicle as wide as the MDX and ODY. I remember some posts describing how it was too wide to fit into some garages. I don't have any problems if it is big . . . I just hope they don't make a sun/moon roof standard like they do on the MDX. I hate those things.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    I think it will most definitely be bigger than the MDX. But the width is of concern, too.
  • What's interesting about comparing the concept photos against the MDX is that the rear edge of the rear doors are nearly vertical in the Pilot versus the angular (smaller opening) doors in the MDX. Same goes for the rear of the vehicle. The MDX has a slanted backlight. The Pilot concept is nearly vertical. This would suggest that even if the Pilot and MDX are the same length, the Pilot should have more cargo space. However, I think that the Pilot will be longer. Earlier rumors suggested that the Honda SUV would be 8" longer.

    I agree about the width. What's interesting is that many vehicles are getting wider. The 2001+ Chryslers are wider (that the Odyssey no less). Same goes for the TrailBlazer/Envoy and Explorer. I have a pretty wide garage and the Odyssey fits fine, but it takes some getting used to. Especially if you are backing up at night into any spaces.

    I for one can't wait for the Pilot. I think it will be another Honda home run as long as the pricing is realistic (which Honda is usually quite good about) and the vehicle is a large midsize (whatever that means), Honda will have a home run.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    I think in the same ballpark as the current Explorer and Montero. Although some magazines list the Montero as a full size.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Wider stance (coupled to a shorter wheelbase) would allow more stability around corners and side impact that these high CG vehicles need (take Hummer for example). But then, there are tradeoffs everywhere, this one seems to be for safety.

    I think Pilot would be larger on the inside than Explorer evenif they are identical on the outside.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    I also favor the tradeoff of excessive width for on-road stability. Though, the width needs to be at wheels (track) rather than just the girth of the vehicle.

    The rear door on the MDX was designed with a slope for a reason. With the hinge farther forward on the vehicle, the door swings in an upward arc rather than backward. This means that you don't have to take a few steps back when opening the gate. If you've ever had someone park close behind you, you'll understand what I mean.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Hopefully the Pilot's rear gate will also incorporate a liftgate (I wonder why the MDX doesn't have one- the CR-V did, obviously the MDX designers must have thought about it).

    I also think the Pilot's interior room will be much greater than the Explorer's, while having the same exterior dimensions. I can tell that the 3rd row, even if large enough for only 3 ids, will have superb legroom and height if they are to use the same seating arrangement in the Mobilo.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    are you talking about the rear window opening, like on an Explorer? The MDX does have a liftgate.

    Bob
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Yes, I meant the rear window opening, like on an Explorer or CR-V. I didn't mean to confuse it with the liftgate.
  • stragerstrager Posts: 308
    Ever since we got an Odyssey, it's been a everyday hassle to get it in the garage along with our Accord, AND be able to get out of the car.

    Just wondering, are garages in California narrower than those on the East Coast? Or perhaps auto mfrs feel that vehicle width is not a consideration for most buyers.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Width helps with stability. As you know, this is especially true with SUVs, which have a higher center of gravity.

    I think any "full-size" car will have some problems when it comes to getting in narrow areas. Even though your van is a "mini-van," it is very nearly the same width as a full-size Ford Crown Victoria.

    Bob
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    I'm sort of expecting a Durango sized interior. When the rumors were spreading a few years back, it was supposed to be a "Tahoe-sized vehicle". I assume they meant the Chevy Tahoe, not the lake region. =) Anyway, the consensus at the time was something with an exterior smaller than the Tahoe, but with nearly as much interior room. Sounds like a Durango to me.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Sorry...but...

    " I don't like the name"...who cares? It's a car! We don't have to "like" the name!

    Seriously...I wouldn't pay a lot of attention to the spy photos. They are usually pretty far off.

    Honda keeps things pretty quiet until the release date. One thing...I think it'll be a winner!
  • I would expect the Pilot's seats to fold like the MDX's do. Here is a good picture of the MDX with 2nd and 3rd row seats folded flat.


    http://carpoint.msn.com/Vip/Gallery/Acura/MDX/3.asp


    The 3rd row seating in the MDX is supposed to hold 2 children. If the Pilot's is to hold 3, then it will indeed be somewhat larger than the MDX. By the way, the MDX is a full 4 feet wide in the back, between the wheel wells.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    the 3rd seat folds as one unit. I didn't see any line indicating a split fold, which would be a shame if that's the case. Split folds are far more useful.

    Bob
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    I'm not an engineer, but from owning an Ody it would be mechanically difficult to have a split folding seat that drops down into the floor well. There would be a need for something coming up from the floor to the seat bottoms in order to support the center of the seats when open. It would be difficult to load anything in with posts sticking out of the floor when the seat is down.

    Perhaps there could be some sort of folding support mechanism that would move with the seat but that would entail more connection points in the floor, more obstructions to a flat floor, and greater potential for failure.

    I'm sure Honda has done a cost benefit analysis on this. If there was enough market potential at the anticipated cost increase to have a split folding seat, Honda would probably do it.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I think it's more a "cost" issue, than a "mechanical" issue. I'm sure there are bright engineers who could figure a clever yet practical way to make a split rear seat.

    In terms of folding, I suspect it folds forward, like the MDX, Durango, Explorer, etc., and not backwards into a well like the Odyssey.

    Bob
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    I think they could do that as well, but that would require reengineering the frame the Pilot is based on - namely the Ody/MDX chassis. Who knows how much that could cost. Unless I'm mistaken - doesn't the MDX rear seat drop into the floor like the Ody??

    Based on the numbers, there will be 3 across seating for the second row in the Pilot. Everyone's complaint with the Ody is that they need room for 5 and cargo. Now everyone's complaint will be they need room for 6 and cargo. Too bad we can't make everyone happy.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    No, the MDX's 3rd (split) seat folds forward, like that of the Explorer and Durango. And judging by the sketch of the Pilot's interior, I suspect it does the same.

    Bob
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    Well never mind. What a waste of bandwidth on my part. Thank you for correcting me although my argument would work well over in the Ody forum!!

    I've never sat in the MDX and assumed the rear seat was the same as in the Ody. Further, when I saw the photo at MSN of the seats down, there is a handle on the interior near the bumper that made it look like that was the case. Now that I look closer, light slowly is dawning on marble noggin. In that case they should be able to easily make a split seat.

    Now the real argument - 50/50, 60/40, 33/33/33 split? :-)
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    (which I doubt will happen if the sketch is correct), would be to match the split in the middle row seating, which is probably a 33/66 split. Wider vehicles generally have this split, whereas narrower vehicles usually have 60/40 split.

    Actually, when you think about it, if the middle seat had a 60/40 split, and the rear seat had a 66/33 split (because the third seat is a bit narrower due to the intrusion made by the rear wheel wells), the split between the middle and rear seats would probably line up, or at least be quite close to lining up.

    In the MDX, Acura gave the rear seat a 50/50 split, because it only holds two people. The problem is with that set up, you get an awkward spilt when the middle seat is partially folded. The split between the rear and middle seats is nowhere even close to one another.

    Bob
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Rob2 - Just to remove all doubt... =) The Ody seat folds flat towards the back of the vehicle. The rear seat in the MDX folds toward the front and meets the middle row. The handle that you see in that picture is actually there for access to a compartment under the floor.

    I agree that it would be technically possible to create a split third row, but I don't see the need. How often are you going to have five people in the vehicle, while hauling something too long to fit behind the second row, and not be able to stow it on the roof? Not likley. IMHO.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    Thanks for the final word on the topic!! :-)

    The Ody I know way too well. We have that seat up and down a couple of times per week. I made the mistake of assuming the MDX used the same setup.

    The split seat (or lack of) comes up as an issue in some of the Ody forums very often. If someone has 5 people travelling, they find the non split seat to be a waste as they either have too much luggage to carry or have to leave someone in the driveway. Personally, it's not an issue - 2 kids, seat down with all our stuff. Get to Grandma's, stuff comes out, seat goes up, and the geriatrics get to contort themselves into the third seat!! Luckily they are in good shape!!
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Pardon me if I'm wrong about this, but isn't the problem with the Ody the fact that the second row only seats two? That doesn't look to be the case with the Pilot.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    << I agree that it would be technically possible to create a split third row, but I don't see the need. How often are you going to have five people in the vehicle, while hauling something too long to fit behind the second row, and not be able to stow it on the roof? Not likley. IMHO. >>

    Probably more often than you think, as rob2 has alluded to in the Ody forums. I, for one, wished Honda had offered a 66/33 split on that third seat. It certainly would increase your cargo/passenger flexibility options. The domestic mini-vans give you that feature, even though their rear seats doesn't fold into the floor. At least you can remove a portion of the third seat.

    Bob
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Got an example?

    With 2 people up front and 3 across in the second row, you can fold down the third row and have (I'm guessing here) about 35-40 cu.ft. of cargo space. Based on what I've seen from the Ody and MDX, that's enough room for two bikes or almost a dozen small suitcases.

    If I'm correct in post #124, the Ody has trouble because the second row can only accomodate 2 persons. Thus you are forced to use all three rows to fit that 5th passenger (and have no cargo sapce).
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    having a split third seat gives you more options. The domestic mini-vans feel it's a valid point, otherwise they wouldn't offer that feature. It's not just the amount of cubic feet, it also has to do deal with awkwardly shaped cargo that may better fit into a vehicle with this kind of flexibility.

    It's just another *sales feature* that one may or may not need or desire.

    Bob
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    The Ody has 2 captain seats for the second row. There was a bench offered in 1999 but they are very rare. Even with the 3rd seat up, there is tons of room in the Ody. I wouldn't plan a one week ski vacation for 7 with it, but for us it works just fine.

    AFAIK the domestics offer 2 and 3 person seating in some variation of bench or captain configuration for the second row and third rows. Honda seems to likes simplicity in manufacturing and their research must have shown that customers had a preference for the second row captain seats and the magic seat. I know that the 2 captain seats was the configuration I wanted in every van I looked at. Although the seats are removeable in the domestics, I don't have a place to store them and don't always want to leave them behind.

    As for the Pilot, they will probably offer some sort of split seat as that is what the competition offers and from what I have seen, there isn't a whole lot of cargo space behind the third seat. I was suprised that although a friend's Expedition is the same length as the Ody, there is little space behind the third seat. Hence a split seat will make more sense.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    My point in bringing up the domestics was simply to point out that they offer the availability of partial or full 3rd row seating. The Odyssey's 3rd row seating is an all or nothing affair.

    I love the Honda "magic seat," but I would love it even more if it had a split-fold capability.

    Bob
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Coincidentally... I got to drive a new 2002 Ody this afternoon. I have a buddy that just bought one. With this discussion in mind, I took a close look at the magic seat. It hinges about 4-6 inches off the floor on the sides of the vehicle. When the seat folds into the floor, the L-shaped supports rotate 180 degrees and meet flatly onto the floor. If there were similar supports in the middle, it would have to be anchored to a fixed post in the middle of the floor. They'd need another design. I'll have to take a close look at how the MDX does it, since I suspect that foward-folding design will be in use.

    Bob - I suspect that one reason for offering a split rear bench is so that they can be removed in two pieces. As one piece, the seat would be cumbersome, heavy, and more difficult to store.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    << Bob - I suspect that one reason for offering a split rear bench is so that they can be removed in two pieces. As one piece, the seat would be cumbersome, heavy, and more difficult to store. >>

    Absolutely, but it also offers another "marketing selling point" as well as increasing your passenger/cargo packaging options.

    I'm sure it's just a matter of time before Honda, or someone else offers a split-folding rear seat that folds into a well like the Odyssey. As we all know, everyone tries to leap-frog the competition in one form or another.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    to add a little *twist* to this discussion:

    Here's a press release on the new Lexus GX 470, which I suspect is the Lexus version of the '03 4Runner. I spoke to a Toyota rep the other day at the Washington DC Auto Show, and he mentioned that the new 4Runner would have the 4.7L V8 as an option.

    This vehicle, and even more so&#151;the new 4Runner, will go up against the new Pilot, as well as the MDX. It has the same full-time 4WD as found on the Land Cruiser/LX 470, which means it has a low range. I've also read elsewhere that it will seat 7.

    The new 4Runner will go on sale next fall, shortly after the Pilot debuts, and the Lexus version next January.

    Bob

    http://www.lexus.com/about/news/popups/pr_2001/pr_2001_12_17.html
  • Varmit, you are right about the mechanism regarding the two distinct folding seat styles in the Ody & MDX. The disappearing "magic" seat in the Ody requires a very deep well in order to accomodate the very substantial full rear seat. The Ody can use this bulky system because it has an independant rear suspension that has no rear differential supplying drive power to the rear wheels. This setup allows a lot of unobstructed under chassis space to be available as the spare & fuel tank are located amidship. The MDX rear seat on the other hand, is a thin and not very comfortable affair with little leg room, mostly suitable for young children or small adults in a pinch. The seat folds forward and has an articulated hinge which pivots the bottom cushion back slightly to allow the back of the seat to fold flat. The entire height of the folded seat is about half the height of the Ody seat when folded. My thinking on this design stems from the fact that the all-wheel drive mechanism and the rear mounted spare severely cuts into the available under chassis space. In addition, the height of the load floor in the MDX is substantially higher than the Odys' even taking into account the higher ground clearance of the MDX. I think that some of the reported 8-9 inches in increased length of the Pilot vs. the MDX will probably go to increasing the foot well IN FRONT of the 3rd seat, in order to allow for more height for leg space. Some of the increased length may also be devoted to lengthening the cargo space behind the an upright 3rd seat. In the MDX and other vehicles like it, there is little rear cargo space with the rear seat erect.
    Some of the items on my Pilot wish list- 1) Enough cargo space with both rear seats folded to accomodate a 4x8 sheet of plywood. 2) A better folding or sliding seat mechanism on the 2nd seat to access the rear seat. 3) a folding 3rd seat EXACTLY like the ODY (what a marketing coup that would be!) I should be able to repoort on all these speculations after jan 12, after viewing what I hope will be a production prototype of the Pilot in Detroit.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    If I'm not mistaken, in Japan the Odyssey is available with AWD (RT4WD?). I'm assuming the rear seat still folds into the floor, even with a rear differential to deal with.

    I wish they would offer that over here. :(

    Bob
  • Hi,

    I had finally decided on the the Odyssey and now I am thinking of waiting for the pilot, or at least until Jan auto show to find out more.
    I looked at the Buick rendezvous and there wasnt enough cargo behind the third row and with three carseats in the 2nd row, I couldnt access the third row. I am hoping that there will be access to 3rd row in the pilot without disrupting the carseats, and that there will be enough cargo behind the third row (like an Odyssey), and that it will be easier or the same to drive/park as the Odyssey. I prefer to have the infant and toddlers closer to me in the 2nd row.

    Karen
  • rsholland, the Odyssey sold in Japan is more like the original smaller version sold in North America (pre 1999), with conventional sedan-like doors instead of sliders. I don't think it's offered in an AWD model. I couldn't get the Honda Japan web site to work but did look at Honda Australia (where the Japanese version is exported to), and there is no mention of all-wheel or 4-wheel drive. I think the deep well in the back pretty-much precludes that. It's also why I think the Pilot's rear seat will be more like the MDX's. I guess we'll see in about a week.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Bob - You are correct. The JDM Ody uses RT4WD. Though I think Shelly's point about the suspension is still valid. IIRC, the Ody also has any oddly placed fuel tank and spare tire that make the magic possible.

    Karen - It's too soon to tell. We can only speculate about the Pilot until Honda releases some "official" materials. Though, I'd have to say that I doubt it. There would need to be a fifth door on the side of the vehicle to get past the second row of seats.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    With 3 row SUV's, there will always be a compromise between 3rd row comfort vs. behind the 3rd row cargo space. The Pilot, like the MDX, Rendezvous, Durango, and Explorer, will likely have limited head and leg room for 3rd row passengers and limited cargo space behind the 3rd row.

    Also, I don't see how the Pilot, or any SUV, can allow access to the 3rd row with 3 car seats in the 2nd row...it sounds impossible to me.

    It sounds like you really need an AWD minivan or a full-size SUV like a Tahoe or Sequoia.

    All of the 3 row SUV's will easily handle 5 people and their cargo. Cargo space only becomes a problem when you add that 6th person and must deploy the 3rd row seat. The Pilot is likely to be similarly handicapped. Only a minivan or full-size SUV will haul this many people and carry their cargo with ease.
  • Could you give me a link re JDM Odyssey and RT4WD? I couldn't find anything. Thanks.
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    you'd just end up playing chauffeur :)) Ideal SUV for me would be something not much bigger than the CR-V, with a small V6 and 4 captain's chairs. Just enough seats for the 4 of us and the aisle down the middle so we can throw the skis inside and still have plenty of space for luggage.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    I doubt the Pilot will be very big. My impression is a Montero-sized SUV, but much much wider.
  • Will the Pilot have an option for the DVD based Navigation System? Also, will the Pilot be on display at the LA Auto Show?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    At this point, you know as much as we do&#151;which is very little...

    Bob
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    But I love the rumors and speculation...
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Honda has gotten fairly predictible. Take a given platform, a given pricepoint, what the competition has on the market, and it's not too hard to get an idea of what the new Honda will be like. The design of the seats, exact towing capacity, and other such details are too minor to figure out, but the basics are pretty easy.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    US Odyssey is sold as Lagreat in Japan. Here is the link...

    http://www.honda.co.jp/auto-lineup/lagreat


    The following link will take you to Japanese Odyssey...

    http://www.honda.co.jp/auto-lineup/odyssey


    Latter is available with optional AWD and a choice of 2.3/I-4 (150 HP) and 3.0 liter V6 (210 HP) engines mated to five speed automatic.

  • Thanks!
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    HondaSUV.com has more pictures of the Pilot. The ones on the main page are okay, but there are larger versions in the forums (you have to register). As I expected, the styling details are very similar to the drawings, but, without the same artistic "flair", it has a more mundane look. Seems like a beefed up CR-V.


    Robert, one pic clearly shows a split in rear seat. =)

  • Has anyone had experience pre-ordering a new model such as the Pilot from a Honda dealer in advance of its release date? When will dealers accept orders (presumably, hopefully, at MSRP)?
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    I wonder if the Pilot will be a US exclusive since the Passport wasn't sold in Canada either.
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