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Honda Pilot 2003 through 2005



  • I hope honda offers a decent stereo in the Pilot (or at least the option to upgrade). The stereo in the Odyssey is below average to say the least and it just seems insane to spend almost 30k and have to replace the stereo system. Not sure why they do this ... I guess they figure most people don't notice or care about the sound system.
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    I don't think Honda has put in a top-notch stereo in any of its models (including Acura), ever.
  • Re: The new photos of Pilot on Honda SUV site. I agree with you, Varmit, the new Pilot appears to be, styling-wise, a CRV on steroids. I'm going to reserve final judgement for Jan 12, however, when I see it in the flesh. As usual, Honda is a very conservative company, but apparently that's what it takes for them to be very successful in the automobile business. The pictures also make clear a few other items: the rear seat will fold forward like the MDX, but it appears there is more room behind the 3rd seat than the MDX. The engine looks to be the exact same appearance as the Ody 3.5.
    Re: Irdjeffrey about ordering in advance: whenever I have done it locally, most dealers will write an order locking them in at MSRP.
    Re; Canadiancl and Honda Stereos (which ARE generally poor), the only exception is the ACURA line- where for example the MDX touring edition comes with an excellent BOSE system.
  • Isn't it time to start a new thread on the upcoming Honda Model X?.........
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    I think we should probably wait and see if the Model X is going to sold here in the North American markets. That's where most of our posters are coming from.

    Regarding the exterior: Yep, the wide, angular headlights and slanted grill do resemble the 1st gen CR-V. I think that the stance will set it apart though. If the drawings posted earlier are similarly acurate, then the back end will look very different than the CR-V's.

    IMHO, space behind the third row looks to be about the same as the MDX. Though, I recently read a report stating that the Pilot would have smaller dimensions than the MDX. That's a direct contradiction to everything else we've seen.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Model X may be introduced into the US as early as '03. Here's an item from the Detroit News.




  • I think the Pilot looks nice - like the new CR-V should have (IMO the new CR-V's facia makes it look a little too angry & pointy-nosed). Definately conservative, but attractive. Too bad my wife just bought that Odyssey! :(
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Anyone know if there will be a 2WD version of the Pilot?
  • canadiancl, it's going to be built in Canada so I can't see it not being available here.

    varmit, is this the news item you were reading? From a new Zealand website called Stuff:

    "Though it shares platforms with the upscale Acura MDX, the new Honda ute will be smaller on the outside yet roomier on the inside, with lots more storage."


  • Ah, the web is a wonderful place. No new information in this article from an African web site but they do also have a feature on spotting the teeniest bikini on the beach!


  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    And I don't mean the Chevy! Damn, those headlights look good. Give new meaning to "High Intensity Discharge" :)))
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Stangelj - Yep, that was the article. The more I read about it, the more I am convinced that the Pilot will simply be an MDX with new sheetmetal and without the luxo treatment. The engine looks like the same plant in the Ody and the AWD system sounds like VTM4. Same plan as the Highlander/RX300. It should make it easier for Acura to justify adding more luxury stuff to the MDX.

    CanadianCL - The HIDs look nice, but I'm more concerned with ergonomics. =D
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    Everything looks to be designed properly and within easy reach. I'm sure it'd "feel" great ;)
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Can someone e-mail the pics of the New Pilot that were found on the Hondasuv.com website? I have been trying to register, but I cannot. So could you PLEASE e-mail them to me.

    Thanks in advance
  • I am thinking about an MDX but now I want to wait to see the Pilot. Any idea on price/feature differences with the MDX? I heard it may have more third row seat room which is important for our growing family.
  • I guess I get to break the news first! There are tons!!! of photos of the new Honda Pilot available at wieck.com. Go to the public section and search on Honda Pilot. It looks great in red and it does have a split folding 3rd row seat and available DVD entertainment system. Enjoy!
  • Here are my observations after looking at the photos of the new Honda Pilot. It looks good. The sketches that Honda put out where very accurate. The interior didn't look cheap at all. I suspect that we are looking at EX trim in the pictures. It didn't have any fake wood, which is a plus. The leather seats looked really nice. I couldn't tell if it had a sunroof. Notice that it has a column shifter. Will there be an option for a bench front seat, bringing total seating capacity up to 9? The third row seat is exactly what I expected. Although I would like to have had a "magic seat" like the Odyssey, I figured it wasn't going to work with 4 wheel drive. The Pilot essentially has a larger version of the third row seat in the MDX with a 60/40 split. I think the wheels shown in the pictures are larger than what we will get in the production version. I think if the price is reasonable (low 30s for an EX with leather) I think Honda has probably knocked another one out of the park. Be prepared for dealer markups above MSRP, long waiting lists, etc... especially if you want yours in red.
  • The pictures that Vince is referring to are the sames ones at wieck.com, which is a media services company. The licensing on the photos in the public area says they are for personal viewing only. I hope Vince paid his licensing fees!
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Honda posted up lots of Honda Pilot Prototype photos for the auto show:


    Also has RSX concept photos.

    It appears that one .org'er was right, that the "eight passenger" seating is just putting a third headrest in the third row, and splitting it 66/33, and saying you can put three kids there. It looks no wider than the MDX third row, assuming the vehicle is the same width. The third row is like the MDX's, not the magic seat in the Odyssey (which of course is impractical to do with the MDX/Pilot design).

    There are no visible top tether anchor points for the third row, possibly because they aren't in the prototype. There are three for the second row however.

    Note lack of sunroof in one photo (the one with the entertainment system).

    The shifter is on the steering wheel column.

    Styling is way conservative, kind of a big CR-V with Highlander elements (e.g. the upright tailgate).

    Don't know if the prototype is a full-sized because the photos don't show any additional room beyond the MDX, at least from what I can tell.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Honda unveils Pilot SUV

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    Hope hope hope it includes a dvd Nav system. my next vehicle must have one. the entertainment system is a +/-. when will we know options?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
  • everyone. It looks good, conservative is ok with me. Glad to see there is no wood grain on the dash like the MDX has. This is a pet peeve of mine. Wood grain, and it should be real wood, only belongs on truly upscale luxury cars like Jags.
  • More pictures and a video from the Detroit Auto Show web site.


  • kmhkmh Posts: 143
    This a homerun right off the first pitch for Honda!

    True to their conservative styling but definitely will turn heads when people see a "big" Honda SUV rolling down the road.

    I like almost every aspect of the Pilot from the rear seating setup all the way to the 5-speed auto.

    I sometimes wonder if Honda isn't shooting themselves in the foot by offering the Pilot and the Acura MDX. I'll assume that the Pilot will be prices well lower of the MDX and therefore may turn some folks who may want a more practical, less expensive alternative toward the Pilot.

    I'm sure the Pilot will definitely trounce the Toyota Highlander in bang for the buck!
  • If the Pilot comes in at $25-$30k, Honda will have a HUGE home run on their hands. Think about it. 240hp, 3rd row seating, 20 mpg, AWD all for under $30k loaded. Heck of a value compared to the Highlander. In fact, Honda would be straddling between the Highlander and the Sequoia (yes I know, the Sequoia can tow and go offroad) in size. Nice place to be. (If you think about it, the CR-V straddles between the Rav4 and Highlander). Really, the competition is the Durango, Explorer and other mid-utes. Seeing that they are $35k loaded, the Pilot may seriously underprice them. It'll be the same situation that happened in the minivan category when the Odyssey was introduced in 1999.
  • h1vch1vc Posts: 295
    anyone know when they are going on sale? This year or next?
  • Just like the advance photos posted by varmit....Pilot looks like a CRV on steroids.The PREVIOUS generation CRV that is. It's clean lines, and conservative approach will not stop it from selling like crazy. It seems that from the press releases that you have a choice of Nav OR DVD entertainment- but not both. The dash is a tad more interesting than the standard Honda designs, but ultimately predictable. It appears from the photos that if the Pilot is longer than the MDX, some of the increase is in the front end which appears to be slightly longer than the MDX. The rear window also seems a little longer than the MDX, but this might just be an optical illusion because the rear-most pillar of the Pilot is more vertical than the MDX. I agree with
    wmquan that the 3rd seat appears to be the same width as the MDX 3rd seat, but with 3 headrests instead of 2. Again, I will try to see more when I see the Pilot in the flesh next Sat.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Looks just like an MDX with different sheetmetal, which is not a bad way to go.

    Third row looks small, but I was expecting that. The vertical rear end makes for more cargo space, but the door will swing farther back when opening. I'll have to reserve judgement on the dash. I would have liked to have seen the large and simple three dial HVAC setup that is in the new CR-V. NO MANUAL!!

    Agree with Shellymeister' assessment of the front end. It does look longer, but I think that's an illusion. The lower (and flat-faced) headlights allow for a longer hood line.
  • kmhkmh Posts: 143
    Anyone think they'll be able to get a "deal" on the Pilot? Methinks it's going to be a deja-vu of the MDX and the S2000 or even the Odyssey in terms of pricing markups and such. I'll bet it's going to be a year or more before the pricing will get reasonable. Heck, the MDX prices are still way up over their MSRPs around my area... I guess time will be a real test of my patience! ugh!!!
  • jjmanjjman Posts: 77
    it's looking better and better, SUV's aren't supposed to be stylish they are meant to be rugged or trucklike and they did a great job of that and also differentiating it from the MDX.
    also the actual vehicle should be 5-7 inches longer than the prototype. YES!! more 3rd row leg room!
  • They are being pretty cagey about the actual horsepower numbers. 3.5L engine, same as Ody, but no numbers. Are they trying to slot this below the MDX, which has 240 hp like the Ody?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    except it doesn't have a Low Range in the tranny, and that it only has moderate towing capability.

    It seems more off-road capable than the Highlander, but less off-road capable than the TrailBlazer, and other "traditional" mid-size SUVs. Same comment about towing: For a mid-size SUV, its towing is borderline.

    The reason I point this out, the Pilot will compete for traditional SUV customers, as well as Highlander-like customers. There are many mid-size SUV owners who *do* need or want true off-road and good trailering capabilities, and the Pilot may not be right for them. Say what you will about the outgoing Passport, but at least it had a low range and was more off-road-worthy.

  • Seeing that the Odyssey has 240hp now, it makes no sense for Honda to offer a "detuned" version of the 3.5 for the Pilot. Maybe the reason they are hush is to not dissuade MDX buyers to switch to the MDX.

    I would expect that the MDX will receive some kind of power upgrade (more hp or maybe a V-8 from the upcoming Legend) in the next year or two to differentiate it from the Pilot.

    Personally, I'd rather have a Pilot for several reasons. One, I can afford one and two, it will likely have more cargo space.
  • kmhkmh Posts: 143
    Where can I find the specs on the Pilot? I'd suspect that like the MDX, Honda doesn't intend for the Pilot to be an off-road menace. But I'm willing to say the Pilot will be better in NVH and comfort than the "traditional" mid-size SUVs.

    And, you're right, if people are looking for a vehicle that will tow more and have more capable off-road performance, then they'll likely NOT buy a Pilot. But for folks who are transitioning from, say, a CR-V or want something with a little different from a minivan (i.e. Odyssey) this will present a great alternative for this segment.

    And regarding the Rodeo, er, Passport. I say good riddance. I was an unfortunate owner of a '98 Rodeo and will never buy it or a rebadged one EVER again regardless that it could boulder hop or whatever. Not much fun when it's in the shop more often than on the road, IMHO.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    that the V6 is likely to grow a bit, perhaps to around 3.7L, or so it's been rumored.

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Is on the front page of www.hondanews.com

    The Marketing folks at Honda are deeming it as the "Ultimate Family Adventure Vehicle." Stressing points like a place for children's crayons. That's all marketing speak, of course.

    I believe that its price range will be from $28k to $33k. I do not believe that Honda has to price it lower than the competition for it to be successful because it compares favorably in many areas (though not all). There is no mention of a 2WD version or a smaller engine option, so there won't be a $25k variant to do battle with 4-cylinder or 2WD variants of the competition (e.g. Highlander).

    The rumor mill has it that the 2003 MDX will be improved with possibly a larger engine and xenons, and perhaps more. Honda can easily price the "EX" version of the Pilot high and not worry about the MDX because they can discontinue the base version of the MDX.

    Unfortunately, the Pilot will probably sell for MSRP for a while (a year?) after its introduction, making its actual selling price more than its competitors which are dealing up from invoice.

    Honda is more tight-lipped than the average manufacter and details like pricing probably won't be known until very late. The pricing on the MDX wasn't publicly known until less than a month before it actually hit showrooms.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I have heard good things about the Rodeo. Maybe the Passport was not as good.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    << Unfortunately, the Pilot will probably sell for MSRP for a while (a year?) after its introduction >>

    I bet it's (much) longer than that, if the Odyssey is any indication.

  • The Passport and Rodeo are the same vehicles. Only difference is the Passport has "H" and "Honda" badges on them, and Honda has packaged options in the LX and EX trim. If you look around the Passport's engine or undercarriage, you'll see Isuzu written all over the place (literally).

    There are plenty of nightmare stories about the Passport/Rodeo, but if you're friend enjoys it...great. That's all that matters when you think about it, right?
  • I hope with the five or six SUVs that are coming out in 2002 and 2003, Honda will at least consider negotiating with you instead charging MSRP and other dealer markups like Acura. I'm thinking that there will be a stampede of customers coming from the Acura dealerships to the Honda dealerships. Hopefully this SUV will set the standard and not be a bust like I here the GM SUVs are.
  • But then again, when the stampede goes in the direction of Honda, maybe I'll tip toe back to Acura and see what type of deals Acura will be giving before they change their design on the MDX.
  • SpyponderSpyponder Posts: 128
    Well the Pilot looks like a strong contender for being my next new vehicle.

    One question - the press release states that the Pilot will include "theatre-style seating". Does that mean the floor will be sticky and cluttered with empty popcorn boxes? ;)
  • I don't think Honda does the negotiating, it is the dealer, and they respond to supply and demand. Initial numbers look like 75,000 a year according to the press release, but Honda has a lot of production capacity opening up in their Canadian plant now that Ody is moving to the new Alabama plant. So, expect Honda dealers to love life now that they are moving from 120,000 Ody's a year to 150,000 and adding 75,000 to 125,000 Pilots, all at MSRP.
  • Ha, ha, ha. I think you have to pay extra for those features. If you have really deep pockets, they can include a kid in the 2nd row who will kick your driver's seat every time you go for a ride.

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    No great shakes here. The second and third rows are slightly higher than the front row, in order to make room for stuff underneath (AWD system, spare tire -- which is why the Odyssey magic seat isn't possible in the MDX/Pilot). The MDX has this seating arrangement and it helps your kid throw stuff at you.

    It should help a bit with the overhead DVD though.

    MSRP will eventually end for the MDX and Pilot, it's just a matter of when. There is definitely a lot of competition out there. Unfortunately the MSRP or MSRP+ pricing brings out the worse in a lot of Acura and Honda dealers. I'm sure Odyssey owners have enough stories ...
  • SpyponderSpyponder Posts: 128
    I'm not too sure about the predictions of price-gouging. Sure, it'll sell for MSRP at first, as do all hot new vehicles. But price is still governed by the concept of supply-vs.-demand. Once Honda gets production ramped up in the new plant, the supply problem that has kept Ody prices high for so long should dissipate. Pilot prices should go the same way after the "early-adopters" buy the first shipments and those that follow start cluttering up the dealer lots.

    Plus, there's not much point speculating about price gouging until they actually set the price!
  • The Edmunds article about the Pilot also mentions a smaller exterior but LARGER interior? How does that work? The MDX seems to be at the max of its available interior volume, so how do you increase interior size without increasing exterior dimensions? Also jjman seems to think that actual production version will be 5-7 inches longer. Where is that information coming from? The version on display now in Detroit seems very much production-ready. It's hard to believe that they went to all that trouble and interior detailing just to introduce something different a few months from now.
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