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Honda Pilot 2003 through 2005

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Comments

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I think the Pilot will require additional coolers for towing. A front wheel drive based AWD with a car frame has to work harder than a rear wheel drive truck with ladder frame (expedition and other "trucks"), thus putting more stress on the drivetrain. The Pilot reads like a clone of the MDX (we already know it is) with very few changes other than a little length, and possibly interior plastics, so I imagine the same coolers would work too.

    I think if you are looking for serious towing, one of the bigger trucks would suite you best. A snow-mobile or sun-fish would probably go pretty easily though.

    As far as cargo capacity, 80 or 90 cu feet, make no difference if it can only handle 800-1000 lbs. plus the driver. 4 200 pound adults, adn 200 lbs of gear is very easy to pile in. The load capacity is a very important number when factoring in how much it can really carry.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    varmint:

    Nope, didn't say it's just based on equipment, though equipment is important. Everyone has to draw their own conclusion. To the original points, I would not buy a Civic simply because it doesn't have head protection, while some of its competitors do. But I'd buy a higher-riding vehicle (like the Pilot) without head protection because I do think the injury risk is lower. Some folks wouldn't, though.

    sbcooke:

    The 2000 MDX's payload rating is 1,265 pounds. The Pilot's may be similar. The Toyota Highlander V6 4WD has a payload limit of 1,105 pounds. The 4WD Explorers have a payload of about 1,452 - 1,462 pounds. 4WD Expeditions are 1,544 - 1,635 pounds. You bring up a good point, it's not just about cubic feet. I think Dateline NBC had a feature a while ago about the dangers of driving with an overloaded (from a payload weight standpoint) vehicle.

    Beyond cubic feet, useable space is another consideration. The good news is that the MDX has a lot of useable capacity, as measured in Car & Driver's "beer case" test, where they stack boxes and do not exceed the height of the rear seat much. The Pilot should do somewhat better because Honda seems to have found more useful interior space in it. Though some of that will be offset by the fact that some of the cubic feet will come from the more upright rear lid. That helps with moving furniture but not with stackin' beer since it shouldn't be up that high.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I enjoy the underlying theme of this forum...Beer.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    I agree that payload is an important figure, but every manufacturer has a different idea of what acceptable limits are. It's kind of hard to tell until someone like Dateline or CR does an independent test.


    FWIW, I think that most people won't push the payload limits in a vehicle like this. Anyone serious about hauling heavy stuff will know better than to use a Pilot/MDX/Highlander... Or if they do have a need, they'll use a trailer. I know, I know... never underestimate the stupidity of the average person... But I doubt it would be a problem for the average buyer based on need.


    Thought payload is a valid consideration, it's been my experience that cubic footage is a more important measure. There's lots of stuff that is big, but not heavy. These ten trash cans probably weighed less than 100 lbs.


    image

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I hope they were clean.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Wmquan - I'm sure that's true. I'll have to go back and read the original posts. But as I recall, you made a blanket statement about Honda not being a leader in safety and only cited a few pieces of equipment for examples.

    I agree with a few things. Particular bits of safety tech have been slow to reach us here in the US and Honda is not the uncontested leader. But I wouldn't base an opinion on a car with equipment as the sole criterion. That's like saying that a van with 200 hp will out accelerate a small car with 160 hp simply because the van has more power. HP is only part of the story. In this case, safety equipment is only part of the story. Honda seems to be doing quite well with structural safety; the other (not so sexy) part of that story.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    LOL. Yeah, they're fresh from Home Depot. We needed something to put a little ice in. Beers gotta stay cold, right? =)
  • How specific was your agreement when you went on a waiting list for your MDX. I understand about getting the price in writing, but what about the other things that may come with it. i.e. "Desert Prep" or "Winter Weatherproofing Prep" or even "Toddler Prep" Did you have to agree to any packages or enhancements or financing that the dealers decided to put on to bump the price up?
  • SpyponderSpyponder Posts: 128
    That beer case test is an unreliable measure of cargo capacity. What if one were looking to haul cases of bottled beer, rather than canned beer (or vicy-versy)? Or a mix of the two? Bottled beer is heavier and takes up more space in a case than canned beer. Myself, I'd use kegs - much more efficient and cost-effective way to get the brew home. ;)
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    rustyjay:

    My agreement said "accessories at buyer's discretion" but didn't go into the add-on packages which technically aren't accessories. So I was certainly vulnerable there but my dealership didn't try to pull anything. I guess one could try to word it more specifically to include add-ons?

    Varmint:

    You bring up a good point about structure. One thing I'd like to see is Honda/Acura show pictures with actual rollover testing of the Pilot/MDX. MB isn't shy about showing footage of them rolling over their SUV several times with no crushing. I hear that Lexus wanted to copy the MB "Staying Alive" commercial, but could not copy the rollover portion because the RX300 could not take that kind of punishment without roof pillars collapsing. I've seen some pretty horrendous photos of RX300 rollovers (though you have to take each individual photo with a grain of salt since the circumstance of each rollover is different -- however, when you see enough of them you get a general idea).

    varmint & sbcooke:

    It always comes down to how one uses a vehicle. I agree that having cubic feet arranged in a positive fashion (not in odd nooks and crannies) helps with big bulky items like furniture pieces.

    On the other hand, having useable cargo room helps tons with trips to Costco when you have many assorted boxes and odds'n'ends. That kind of stuff isn't safely packed into the upper reaches of a cargo compartment.

    I guess the ideal design is to have sufficient amounts of both. Either that or put a huge partition in the back, but that's what covered pickups are for ;-)

    Now, if you're driving around with five adult males 250 lbs, you don't have any payload left in the MDX and possibly the Pilot, but the assumption is that they already drank the beer, save for the driver.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Of course, there is no need to caution anyone here against drinking and driving as I am quite certain no one here does that!

    tidester
    Host
    SUVs
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    The previous case test I had seen were cans of coke. Guess the C&D folks weren't in a soft drink mood.
  • Has anyone seen the interior and exterior specifications yet? I assume the fist and second row will be identical to the MDX. The third row looks cramped for 3 and the cargo space behind the 3rd row looks to be only marginally greater than the MDX which is 14.8 cu ft.

    Have seen the interior seating of the new 2003 Ford Expedition with all seats folded flat and they state 110 cu ft. It is interesting how many vehicles are moving towards non removable fold down seats.

    Cheers
  • Just seen the Pilot on Wednesday at the Detroit show. Nice SUV...
    I'm sure most of you have seen the pictures from the show, believe me they don't do the pilot justice. Great looking vehicle. Good luck getting one come July, If you think the waiting line was long for the MDX - this will be twice as long. Another notable, the Lexus had the G470 (or the 4Runner replacement), this is the same sharing as the MDX/Pilot. The price on the new 4Runner will most likely be higher and no one know when it will be released.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Press release from the Aussies (nice metric specs at the end) link


    Looks like Honda is cross-comparing with the classes: "The wheel track is reported to be the widest in the midsize SUV class and should contribute to a solid feeling of stability. Not only that, the Pilot will likely prove nimble thanks to its four-wheel independent suspension and the fact that it's the lightest eight-passenger SUV on the market." - From the Edmunds autoshow coverage.


    Maybe I misread it earlier, but I thought they were comparing track, cargo, and weight to other mid-sized SUVs. This stipulates "8 passenger" for the weight.

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    1250 lbs. is actually pretty decent. While not an expedition or suburban capacity, it still leaves you 400 lbs with 4 200 (+) adults. My Trooper has 900-1000 lbs of load capacity, while it has 90 cubic feet of room, a family vacation can easily put it past its limits. Don't get me wrong, the trooper is quite a truck, but it makes me consider cargo room vs. payload capacity.
  • Saw Edmunds' photos of the Pilot .. has anyone noticed that the passenger side shelf that was above the glove compartment in pics found elsewhere (like canadiandriver.com) is not to be found here? Does that mean the U.S.-spec Pilot will not have that handy shelf?

    And what about the e-brake handle that was on the console?
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Sbcooke - You got to wondering if the Pilot can carry as many people as it has seats for. It would be close. In order to stay under 1250 lbs your seven passengers would have to average no more than 178 lbs.
  • Does anyone know what the MPG will be for the Pilot? Also, when will it be coming out and how many units are expected for the US market? Thanks in advance.
  • When identical rear view pictures of the Pilot and MDX 2nd and 3rd row seating it appears that the measurements are identical except for the Pilot 3rd row seat is 2 inches wider on the right side versus the MDX. The floor length behind the upright 3rd row seat is also identical. The only other differences appear to be the more upright structure. Waiting for Honda to confirm my estimate.....

    Regards
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Woops. Post 321 should have read, "You got me to wondering..."

    Falcon - I think it's safe to bet it'll be about the same as the MDX. It's coming out in Spring.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    You got to think that the only people in the way back are going to be kids, maybe very small adults. Let's take a semi average family... 3 men at 250, Grandmother 150, wife 125, kid 30, niece 50, nephew 65. and we are looking at 1170. Let's hope this is on the way home from Thanksgiving and not to.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Those are three large gents! I think the average adult male is closer to 175 lbs. Car makers generally use 150 lbs for the average passenger. 150 x 8 (doesn't the pilot seat 8) is 1200. 50 lbs for luggage. You don't have much room for luggage with 8 people on board.
  • mark189mark189 Posts: 107
    I say leave the fat brother-in-law at home!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    150 pounds per person is the number car manufacturers use to calculate passenger weight. I know it's an "average," but I still think it's way too low. I'm sure putting 8 average adult males in a Pilot will greatly exceed its load limit.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    into this discussion is because the interior layout is so similar to that of the Pilot. Both offer 8-passenger capability, both have split-folding middle and rear seats. I think people seem to be most impressed by the interior of the Pilot, more so than anything else. So I think, to a degree, the comparison is legitimate. My guess is tha the Pilot will be closer to the Expedition, in terms of width, than to the Explorer.

    Also, the Expedition offers legitimate off-road and excellent towing capability, as compared to that of the Pilot. Yes, I am comparing a full-size to a mid-size, but I bet in terms of width, they'll be very close in size. And... width often determines one's driving impression of size, more so than length.

    Bob
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    250 may be excessive for comparison sakes, but I was just trying to demonstrate how fast it adds up. Add a lot of gear, loaded cargo box and bikes on the roof and you are over the recommended limit very easily.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Back to the pilot. I believe the e-brake handle doesn't exist. I think it has a pedal activated e-brake much like cars of old.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Dudleyr - I believe that manufacturers take into account the fact that a driver must be in the car. So the weight is 1250 lbs plus one driver. Hence the 1250 divided by seven passengers.

    Bob - I've always thought that seat height would leave the largest impression.

    In terms of passenger and and cargo capacity, the Pilot may compare with the Expy, but I think that price, platform, towing, and other differences will keep them apart.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    width has always made the biggest impression on me, in determining size. The wider it is, the bigger it feels.

    The fact that Honda is offering an 8-passenger vehicle, means that it does want some full-size SUV customers. The word Tahoe has often been mentioned as a competitor, well, so should Expedition—especially now that I've seen the improvements made to the '03 model.

    Bob
  • thornthorn Posts: 91
    Off-road? Given its size, rock-climbing is not on the menu. So its off-road advantage is slight or none-existent.

    The Expo should get 13 mpg - according to a report I've seen. The Honda will get 1-3 mpg better than the MD-X. And on regular gas I'll bet.

    The Honda, like the Acura, will also prove faster and handle better than the Ford. Towing and a little more room will be the Ford's advantage.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    but it will go places the Pilot won't. I'm not claiming that the Expedition can go places that a Jeep Wrangler can, but previous Expeditions have been pretty good off road. And certainly much better than the Explorer has been off road. I expect the same to hold true for the new model.

    Why do you expect it to get better mileage than the MDX, and on regular fuel? It has the same premium gas engine as the MDX, and it will be larger and heavier. That all points to worse gas mileage.

    Not trying to start a fight here between the Pilot and Expedition. Just pointing out similarities and differences. The Pilot "could" attract Expedition customers who don't really need all the capability of an Expedition. ON the other hand, those who like the Pilot, but want more capability, will be lured by the Expedition. That's all.

    Bob
  • thornthorn Posts: 91
    I suspect the weight of the Pilot will be less - better mileage.


    Fuel - Honda usually reserves premium-fueled engines for its premium division. Looky here:


    Headlining the changes is an increase in horsepower. The 3.5-liter VTEC-equipped V6 now produces 240 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque, an increase from 210 hp and 229 lb-ft. Honda says the revised engine provides for quicker acceleration and no longer requires premium fuel. It is connected to a new five-speed automatic transmission (upgraded from a four-speed) that offers improved shift quality and efficiency.

    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2002/honda/odyssey/ex4drminivan35l6cyl5a/overview.html?id=lin0006

    As for the Expo advantage off-road - the Amphicar could swim, did that make it a boat? OK, that's an exaggeration, but everyone knows these vehicles will stay on the tarmac almost w/o exception and neither will be used for rock climbing if anyone has any sense.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    about the revised change of no longer needing premium fuel. I wonder if that also holds true for the MDX, as it has the same engine?

    Bob
  • thornthorn Posts: 91
    But I doubt it. Acura can get higher perf with a higher compression ratio. Acura has to keep its perf edge over its less well-heeled relatives.

    Actually, with the computer systems you can probably run the Acura on regular too - with reduced perf.

    A neighbor has an Audi A6 2.8 and runs it on regular to no ill mech effect. The Audi is a slug either way, just more so with regular.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    the weight of the Pilot will be less than the MDX. It will be larger, and therefore almost certainly will be heavier.

    Bob
  • cffutscffuts Posts: 3
    I just ran across some Pilot pics at http://www.hondanews.com under the 'What's Hot' section. Most detailed that I've seen to date.
  • thornthorn Posts: 91
    Where?

    Outside - no.

    Inside - yes.

    Based on the platform and drivetrain of Acura's MDX, the Pilot is smaller outside but roomier inside than its more luxurious cousin.
    http://www.edmunds.com/news/autoshows/articles/48583/page007.html
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    to the best of my knowledge, have the exact same performance ratings. I think the engines are identical. In the past, these 3.5L engines "could" run on regular, but with reduced power, as you mentioned.

    One thing I'm not wild about the 3.5 engine, is that it has a timing belt that will have to be replaced at some point, and that is costly to do. I wish it had a timing chain instead.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I don;t know how it would get large inside, without also being larger outside. Have you seen specs? I haven't, but logic leads me to believe that it will be larger both outside and inside.

    Bob
  • thornthorn Posts: 91
    #341 again.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    when I see a spec sheet. Edmunds has been wrong before.

    The first question that comes to mind, if this is true, is why is the premium MDX smaller inside, and a 7-passenger vehicle; and make the mainstream Pilot (seem) more attractive by making it larger inside and offering 8-passenger room. If I were an Acura dealer, I'd be asking that very question...

    Bob
  • thornthorn Posts: 91
    The MD-X is marketed at the same people who buy the BMW suvs. I suspect the MD-X will certainly have a perf edge over the Pilot.

    The Pilot is aimed at the Highlander/Explorer market. Remember, the Highlander offers more room at less price than the Lexus model that shares components.

    I really don't think Honda buyers expect to have to buy premium fuel - except in the sports models like the S2000 and the last Civic Si.

    Look at what Honda does with the TL and the Accord V6. TL gets the perf edge.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    The MDX rear seat has Hip room: 48.5" in Shoulder room: 58.6". This is for 2 people. How can the pilot have seating for 3 and not be bigger? Add a headrest and a seat belt. That is how. That seat is wider than a lot of 2nd row sedan seats.

    The pictures and articles seem to indicate, they moved the front passengers forward an inch or two, added an inch or two of width on 3rd row seat, made the truck longer by a few and made the outside a little boxier.

    It seems pretty easy to get 8 passenger seating, since the MDX probably already has room to make the same claims.
  • theracoontheracoon Posts: 666
    How about while it may be based on the same wheel base, the Pilot body is boxier than the MDX with a more vertical line to it's rear hatch, for one. And a redesign of the interior panels could also allow increased interior room.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Is supposed to get 17mpg, according to sources at Ford.

    As for the size of the Pilot - don't forget that when Acura showcased the prototype MDX, it was actually a 7/8th scale model. I suspect the Pilot will be bigger in its true form.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    << Look at what Honda does with the TL and the Accord V6. TL gets the perf edge. >>

    True, but the TL gets a different engine from that of the Accord. The TL's is a 3.2L, while the Accord gets a 3.0L. The MDX and Pilot share the exact same engine.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    << It seems pretty easy to get 8 passenger seating, since the MDX probably already has room to make the same claims >>

    If that were the case, why not do it? If it's good for Honda, it should also be good for Acura.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The wheelbase on the '03 Expedition remains at 119" and the new '02 Explorer's wheelbase is 113." I think the Tahoe's wheelbase is around 117."

    I believe the the MDX's wheelbase is around 111." I would expect the Pilot's wheelbase to be longer than 111."

    Bob
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Maybe 2003 will have that and bigger motor? Maybe they won't change it at all? Maybe since the MDX is meant to be more luxurious, they don't want to cram 3 people in there? Seriously, I have been shopping for the right car for a while. Most of the wagons I looked at had smaller back seats. I always make the salesguy sit in the back seat with me, this way I can really size it up. Is there room for a car seat, etc. In the subaru legacy back seat (I like subaru's just too small for my needs) we were shoulder to shoulder. It has 3 headrests?

    Maybe it is just an image thing, the Pilot is the everyday SUV and the MDX is luxury/sport SUV?
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