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Honda Pilot 2003 through 2005



  • 93fsu193fsu1 Posts: 97
    I am very dissapointed in the Pilot. It seems like it has been sitting in mothballs for four years, the design is very outdated.

    The interior, especially the center console is horrible.
  • thornthorn Posts: 91
    I think in actuality the Honda is more advanced than just about anything out there. They aren't selling 30 year old engines.

    But that's OK. No need for you to wait in line.

    You can buy a Ford.
  • SpyponderSpyponder Posts: 128
    Is it me, or are the "glass half-empty" crew coming out of the woodwork here lately?

    Sheesh, unless you went to the Detroit show, you haven't even SEEN the Pilot in the flesh, and final production specs and prices won't be available for months.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
  • SpyponderSpyponder Posts: 128
    Could we keep it on-topic please? ;)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    lol, you don't like my ad blurbs?

    Besides, it's supposedly Swedish car trivia tonight - you don't want to miss that!

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • Where are there more detailed pictures on ? Those look like the same ones released on Jan 6. The detailed ones, where it says download are only available to the press, unless I' looking in the wrong spot. The most detailed ones I've seen so far are here:

    Click on the thumbnails. Has anyone found a greater selection of more detailed pictures than the 6 they have on canadiandriver?

    rsholland, re: The MDX and Pilot share the exact same engine.

    They don't use the same engine. The Pilot is to come with the same engine as the 02 Odyssey, which does not require premium fuel to achieve its 240 hp. MDX should get a new engine in 03 to keep it ahead of 03 Pilot.

    As for fuel efficiency, keep in mind the 02 Odyssey EX Leather (the heaviest Odyssey) weighs only 2 pounds more than MDX (4376 vs. 4374 lbs). Clearly the Odyssey is the larger vehicle and has much more interior space. I expect the Pilot to weigh in slightly under the MDX so it is conceivable it will also have better gas mileage. Also look at the fuel economy specs for Odyssey vs MDX. The Odyssey is rated at 18/25 mpg and the MDX is 17/23. The new Odyssey engine may be a bit more fuel efficient although I know many other factors come into play such as aero drag, driving through 4 wheels instead of 2 for example. In any case, to me I expect the Pilot to be slightly more fuel efficient than the MDX.

  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Where their vehicles need to be seen in real life, in the "flesh," in order to be appreciated. The pictures don't do them justice.

    Examples: Acura RSX, 02 CR-V.

    So before calling the Pilot "outdated" or anything else, it's only fair that judgement be reserved until you can finally see it in person.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297 go to public and search for "honda" and "pilot". Just more of the same as the ones at canadiandriver though.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I did a search on mdx and pilot. They have a shot of both engine bays. It is pretty interesting look at the little details inside.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    << rsholland, re: The MDX and Pilot share the exact same engine.

    They don't use the same engine. The Pilot is to come with the same engine as the 02 Odyssey, which does not require premium fuel to achieve its 240 hp. MDX should get a new engine in 03 to keep it ahead of 03 Pilot. >>

    Whether the '03 MDX gets a different version of the 3.5 remains to be seen. Right now, they&#151;the Odyssey, MDX, and Pilot all use the same 240 HP engine.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    rumors that the 3.5 may grow to 3.7. As of right now, it's just a rumor. If it does happen, will only the MDX get that engine? Or, will all three get that larger engine? Who knows...

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I was searching for 2003 MDX changes. I don't remember the site, but I did a google search with 2003, mdx, 3.8 and it came up with several autonews sites that said for sure that there was going to be a 3.8 in 2003. I would imagine it would be december before any of those are seen.

    On the other hand, I talked to a dealer who said there will be no changes for 2003? His motivation is obvious, so I take it with a grain of salt.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    MDX's V-6 is rumored to grow in displacement. But there's also rumor that a V-8 from upcoming RL and NSX will be dropped in to go against the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz ML V-8 variants.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I heard that too. So maybe we'll see a 3.8 MDX, and a 4.? MDX.

    If the MDX gets a V8 as an option, I bet the 3.8 will replace the 3.5 in the Odyssey, Pilot, as well as the MDX.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I wouldn't be surprised if the Pilot also gets the V8 as an option. It's strongly rumored that the next 4Runner, which is do next fall, will get the 4.7 V8 as an option. If that happens, I would expect Honda to follow suit.

    Since Lexus is bringing out the GX 470 next winter, which comes standard with the 4.7 V8, it would not surprise me if Acura drops the V6 altogether, and makes the V8 standard. Then again, by keeping the V6, Acura could still have a vehicle to compete with the smaller Lexus RX 300, which will also be revised shortly. So, who knows what will happen...

    This new Lexus GX 470 is to be the basis of the next 4Runner. You can read about here at Edmunds in their Detroit Auto Show coverage.

  • 93fsu193fsu1 Posts: 97
    No, I have not seen the Pilot in the flesh but The looks are dated, in my opinion. I have been waiting two years for this Honda and I expected more.

    No chance I will ever buy a Ford, my two cars now are Honda products (Integra and Civic). The RSX looks like an Integra with a new front end and better equipped. I loved the CL until I drove one and it is very uncomfortable.

    Honda is falling behind in styling. Just my opinion. When you look at the other SUVs in the pipeline, this one is clearly behind in that regard. The MDX is a fine machine, so hopefully the Pilot will indeed prove better in person - but the single dial controls and other oddities of the center dash console area are just plain weird.

    It is amazing too, that in the 80's they produced a Civic CRX that got 50 mpg and here we are 20 years later and they are hyping a hybrid Civic which still only gets 50 mpg. At least Honda is trying.

    But it seems a critical eye is not a bad thing when it comes to evaluating a much anticipated new product from an industry leader. A cheerleader I am not.
  • 02 MDX and 02 Odyssey engines are not the same. See the attached link that describes the evolution.

    The MDX has more torque and over a broader range. Remember that engine hp is based on torque times RPM, so given the MDX's extra torque, the Odyssey must achieve its 240 hp at a higher RPM than the MDX does. The specs support this. The 02 Odyssey is rated at 240 hp at 5500 rpm and 242 lb.ft. of torque at 5500 rpm. The MDX is rated at 240 hp at 5300 rpm and 245 lb.ft. of torque over a range of 3000-5000 rpm. The MDX's torque must drop below that of the Odyssey's when it gets to 5500 rpm for them to acheive the same peak hp rating. The MDX would clearly have more low-end pull.


    Good look at the tire tread on some of these--unidirectional tires. Anyone recognize the tread pattern? I don't suppose these tires will come on the production version though.

  • rihoopsrihoops Posts: 91
    I highly doubt Honda will put a V8 in the Pilot.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    it's 99.9% the same, not 100% the same.

    << To pump more power from the 3.5-liter V-6, Honda borrowed the Acura MDX's larger-diameter, two-stage intake system and freer-flowing exhaust to reduce resistance. The MDX's three-rocker VTEC variable valve timing and lift system extends and enhances the engine's range, and a bigger-bore throttle body, larger-diameter valves, and an increased compression ratio (from 9.4:1 to 10.0:1) do their part to bump horsepower from 210 to 240 at 5500 rpm and boost torque from 229 to 242 pound-feet at 4500 rpm. That's the same power and three fewer pound-feet on regular fuel than the MDX puts out drinking premium. >>

    So the advantage of the MDX engine is that it gets 3 more foot-pounds of torque, but uses premium gas. I think I'd rather have the Honda version...

  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    If any of you are close go see it yourself, and take some pictures. i only see the red, is it the red they use for the accord coupe, civic, or is it burgondy? i prefer civic/accord red. the mdx red has a bit of maroon in it which is just ok, not a real standout. we're on a list.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I think the torque curve is very important. A wide flat curve of 245 ft-lbs. of torque between 3000-5000 will mean more power and faster acceleration while hauling 1200 lbs. of people around. Peak torque at 4500 rpm's is not a huge difference, but could make one feel sluggish vs. fun to drive with a lot inside. Horsepower and torque numbers are very important, not just the peak, but the rpms they are obtained. Read the reviews of some of the smaller sports cars, like the Audi TT, the complaints about low end torque mean that until you reach 4000 rpms it is a dog.

    We are all speculating that the pilot will get the odyssey version of the engine? Maybe it won't?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    You're correct, especially for SUV and truck usage. However, Honda is also known for making cars that don't make much torque, and/or low-rpm torque. The S2000 is the best example of that.

  • Yes, it's an interesting trade-off. The MDX engine would offer better all-around performance but at the expense of having to use premium fuel. I don't know what the difference is in the U.S. but premium fuel in Canada comes at a pretty high premium (pun intended). It's anywhere from 5 to 10 cents a litre more and we're paying about 55 cents a litre for regular right now in Calgary.

    On my 99 Odyssey, which gets 210 hp with premium and 205 hp with regular, I run it on regular. I tried premium for a few weeks and couldn't tell the difference. For what it's worth, my vote would be for the 240 hp Odyssey engine in the Pilot so I could avoid the extra 15% cost of fuel. I'd live with the slightly lower performance. I'm happy with the performance of my 99 Odyssey 99% of the time, but there is the odd time when you need power fast and you've got to wait that extra second or 2 for the "whoosh" to kick in for the revs get up closer to 4k.

    Perhaps we should do a little survey. If you were buying a Pilot, which engine would you rather see in it, the 02 Odyssey's or the 02 MDX's? Assume it had no influence on the overall price of the vehicle, just on the price of fuel and on performance.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
  • couimetcouimet Posts: 130
    Relatively bland exterior. Looks roomy.

    But a column shifter!
  • stlgasmanstlgasman Posts: 139
    Has anybody seen what the wheelbase and length will be?
  • I noted in a previous post on the message board that someone allready had their name on a waiting list (see post #375)....Is that true?. Are some Honda dealers taking deposits and/or names for the Pilot this early???.
  • milousmilous Posts: 39
    Looks like a pretty nice vehicle, but I do not like the center dash stack at all. It looks like someone ran out of time and just stuffed the radio and vents in there where ever. The vent should have been centered better with space above it instead of hugging the radio with space just below it.

    I like the steering wheel and gauges, but I hope that there is another interior color besides that awful looking brown (hopefully gray).
  • Yes. On Friday I phoned the dealership that sold us our 1994 and 1998 Accords and asked to be put on the waiting list. The salesman agreed to without a deposit. I've been putting off replacing my '94 Accord for a couple years now. I'm glad I waited.
  • Did your salesman indicate there were other people on the wait list?. Did he promise you that you would be contacted and offered the Pilot at MSRP when they first arrive?. Just curious...I've heard horror stories from people who waited and waited for their Odyssey.
  • I arrived at the Detroit Auto Show at about 6:30pm on Sat the 12th. The show was very crowded as usual, in my estimation there were at least 8-10,000 people still in Cobo Hall. Why am I going on about the number of people at the show? Because NO ONE was even looking at the PILOT! Every other stand displaying a new vehicle from every other manufacturer had loads of people gawking- but not at HONDA! Admittedly, most of the other vehicles were flashier and more interesting to look at, and many show go-ers are much more interested in the Concept vehicles. But come on! Nobody at the Honda Pilot? This does not mean that the Pilot will be a flop. On the contrary, I think it will be a huge hit, because of the projected pricing and the fact that it probably is a very good vehicle in it's category. I, for one , won't be buying one. Why? It's possibly the most boring and tired-looking vehicle that Honda has EVER released. Sometimes a vehicle looks better in the flesh than in pictures. Not this one. I hate to be so critical about a Honda product, but this Pilot borders on ugly. It does APPEAR marginally smaller on the exterior than the MDX, though I think it is just about exactly the same size. The ACURA stand was about 100 feet away from the Honda stand and you could clearly see a silver MDX from the Pilot stand. What a difference! The MDX has a look and a shape that at least is somewhat appealing from certain angles. Not so the Pilot- it's a total snore from any angle. By the way, the color that the vehicle is painted is DEFINITELY NOT a production color. It is a very highly metallic red that was painted just for the show. Those ultra metallic colors appear on most show or concept cars. In addition, some of the lower body ribbed cladding looks like it was glued in place just to provide some semblance of styling. My guess is that some of that cladding will not appear on the production version. I also wonder whether the bumpers will be painted in the lower priced versions of the Pilot, just like the CRV in Japan. The tires on the prototype were, I believe, 245/70/16. I also don't think that will be a standard size tire on the final production version. The 3rd seat seems to be virtually a clone of the MDX- which is to say that the 3rd seat belt is almost a joke, as to be able to fit 3 humans back there would be only doable by contortionists. The dashboard and interior were not as nice as they seemed in the photos. The radio surround needs either wood or aluminum, in order to dress it up a little. I never thought I would say this- but, I think the Toyota Highlander is a far more attractive vehicle.
  • Yes, others were on the waiting list. My main reason for getting on the list now is so that I can hopefully test drive it early. There's no sense is pining for a car that doesn't drive to one's satisfaction.

    We did not discuss pricing. It's irrelevant to me because I figure if the price isn't MSRP or less I'm walking. There are way too many other vehicles to choose from to get suckered into paying more than MSRP. Besides I also have the option of keeping my Accord a little while longer. Hey it's paid for.
  • A lower end Highlander with the v6 and AWD can be had for around 27k.

    The Pilot will cost around the same.

    What makes the Pilot so special over the Highlander?

    I am kind of partial to Hondas but I am not so sure the Pilot is all that great looking on the inside.
  • To hear that nobody was looking at the Honda's at Detroit's Cobo Hall, is not a surprise. I grew up in the Detroit area. I know the Motown to Flint corridor mentality...."If it isn't Ford or GM, it isn't worth driving". Lets face it, Japanese labled vehicles are not on the priority list in Detroit.

    The Auto Show comes to Chicago in a few weeks. I guarantee there is alot more interest over here.
    Judging by this message forum, there is alot more interest in other parts of the country as well.
  • Does anyone know if the Pilot will have the ridiculous middle row, middle seat seatbelt that hangs from the roof? Will it also have the fold-flat seats that do not fold flat? How about stability control or side-curtains?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Detroit / Michigan is heavy on domestic car with good reason. Not surprised the Honda area wasn't busy. That said, the Pilot is not the most exciting vehicle around. I think the MDX is much better looking, as is the Trailblazer/Envoy and Pathfinder.

    I guess if you are a Honda fan you won't probably go wrong with the Pilot, but after looking at more pictures I am less enthusiastic about it.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    I didn't wait for the auto show. I started the list at my local honda dealer where i have bought hondas and mercedes (dual shop). My usual salesman, didn't even know of the pilot. when i first heard about it weeks ago, i knew it was going to be a hit. they don't list MDX as 8 passenger(?), and the shortcomings of the mdx,(waiting lists, acura dealer gyrations and angled rear glass that cuts down on load space, reg gas,) i figured what the hey.... so i called and started the list. asked for silver, ex with nav. now if it comes in red red like the accord coupe or civic my wife will get the red if not the silver. They used the mdx as a test, let them sell what they could worked out some of the bugs for the higher volume pilot. the newest mdx is noticably quieter than the first year. every thing i have read says "huge hit, redefine the class"....AND IT'S A HONDA.
    by changing the rear a bit, making it wider better access and more space, everywhere i have read that it might be shorter but more interior volume, a minivan purpose with a suv soul. as far as engine, hey my ML320 has around 222 and it has no problems even at 42-4400 lbs. and i can use reg gas. my wife likes all the pictures i have shown her , it will be her decision go or no go.
  • inkyinky Posts: 370
    It all started with the 99 Odyssey. A feature filled Honda with a low MSRP. My favorite Honda dealer then sold all Hondas for $316 over invoice and I ordered in Sep 98 for Dec 98 delivery.
    That dealer, Mark Roberts Honda, now wants $1,000 deposit for thrill of paying MSRP. And they used to brag about doing well on $316 over invoice. Hmmmn.
    Great deal, great van,--how did Honda do this? Now we see a clever platform/factory sharing venture that will reach maximum production capacity about 2 years too late. We see some shortcuts but not very noticable ones. Mostly that is. Questionable audio and hard plastics.
    Worst thing is we see the personality of our local dealers changing. Acura is now same way for the hot sellers. Had Honda anticipated this better and laid down some standards to dealers a lot of bad feelings would have been averted. I think Honda/Acura and its 1400 dealer network will reap the harvest of these practises 2 or 3 years from now.
    MSRP is almost fair for most of these vehicles, Pilot, MDX and Odyssey. However, the mistake was not going to a one price policy officially. One price policy would lead to better dealerships because you would go to the one that treats you better.
    So get in line for Pilot if you want one. Watch the dealer attitude. You will get no perks for paying MSRP. Dealership the same or worse. As for me no Pilot.
    Why in the name of sense, Honda does not narrow the cost to MSRP margin more is my question. They did narrow it slightly with the new 3% holdback. yes, you pay MSRP and dealer still gets 3% holdback on top of profit. If I were Honda, I would improve the product more, raise invoice to pay for improvements and keep MSRP the same. This way the dealer cannot laugh so hard on the way to the bank.
  • SpyponderSpyponder Posts: 128
    Regarding comments on Honda falling behind on styling, well, when has Honda ever been a leader in styling? When I buy a Honda, I'm looking for a reliable car that includes a standard set of most of the features I want for a reasonable price. I'm NOT looking for bleeding-edge, flash-in-the-pan styling that people will be cringing over in a few years (i.e. RAV4, or Isuzu Vehicross and Axxiom). Honda's understated styling is designed to look good now, as well as ten or more years from now when the car is finally retired.

    The Accord regained its place as the best selling car in America last year. What is innovative about the Accord's styling? Seems Honda has a pretty good handle on what people want in a car, IMO.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Yes but, a car can be attractive and not over the edge like Isuzu also. I think Pathfinder and Trailblazer show that you can have a really good truck and not give up on style. As for the Accord, I think it's much more attractive than Pilot and better looking than it gets credit for. Unfortunately, Honda likes to produce a lot of gray and black vehicles which probably doesn't help.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    almost always been very safe and very tasteful. I personally like like the way Honda and Acura products look. For the most part, the proportions are good, as is the (design) detailing. Hondas, until recently, were among the most European-looking of the Asian car companies.

    For what it's worth, my comments are based upon having over 30 years experience in the graphic design field.

  • I guess styling is in the eye of the beholder. However, I agree that the conservative way the Pilot looks will outlast other SUV designs in the long run. I like the way it looks, but opinions will differ.
  • tommy38tommy38 Posts: 32
    Look like we TO folks dont have a chance to see it soon
  • The US is the only country that Honda maintains 2 distinct product lines. ( Acura & Honda) Everywhere else in the world, Acura products are badged as lowly Hondas. In order for Honda to keep up the mystique of a separate luxury line, it strives to diffrentiate it's products as best it can. That is why it took so long for a V6 to appear in a Honda. Their V6 was, for many years earmarked ONLY for the Acura line. Putting a V6 in an Accord would blur the line bertween the 2 divisions. Competitive pressures finally forced Honda to do so. But if you recall- Acura did flounder for a while somewhat because of both boring products and the decreasing difference between it and the Honda division. Witness the MDX- finally a more innovative original product from Honda geared for the luxury market at near- luxury pricing. A huge success! Here comes the Pilot styling theory. Again, Honda does not want to jeopardize the MDX-Acura mystique, and the inevitable comparisons between the Pilot and the MDX- so they go overboard in the bland styling dept. just to avoid any cannabilization of sales from the MDX. The average non-car guy will not associate the Pilot with the MDX visually, therefore they will still aspire to the MDX even when buying the Pilot. You and I know they are mechanically vitually identical, but how many of "us" are there?
    To those out there who think I am bashing the Pilot, I am not. I'm sure it will be an excellent vehicle. And to those who prefer conservative styling versus pizzaz, I AGREE with you. Conservative, tasteful styling Does hold up better in the long run. Unfortunately the Pilot is NOT tastefully styled to begin with. It's front end is anycar or anySUV styled. The profile is virtually exactly 1997 CRV (by the way, did anyone ever think the original CRV is well styled?) and the rear of the Pilot is again any SUV from 1992 to 1998. My contention is that the PIlot could have been tastefully styled, but no one at Honda wanted to stick their neck out.
  • couimetcouimet Posts: 130
    Pilot looking boring? That's my take from the pictures.

    The USA isn't the only country where Honda and Acura are differentiated ...
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    I was waiting to see the new "passport" (Pilot) before making my decision to go with the Toyota Highlander or Used RX300. Picked up a 2001 RX300 with 15k miles for $31,500 instead. WOW, I love the RX for what it is, a smooth mid size luxury suv. HL was to plain and the Pilot is just ok. If I had to choose from the HL and the Pilot I would go with the Pilot, but the RX is way cool.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125


    I agree, but then styling didn't stop the CR-V from crushing sales of the more interesting looking RAV4.

  • As usual, Varmit comes through with 2 great photos proving what most of us have been saying....the Pilot is a 1997 CRV on steroids! Thanks, Varmit
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