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Honda Pilot 2003 through 2005



  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    In terms of styling the Civic is a smaller version of an Accord (has been said many times by reviewers, I personally can spot the differences). And the RSX resembles the Civic coupe (again many differences but still to the untrained eye...). There are other examples in the Honda/Acura lineup.

    If you don't like the styling that's one thing but to fault a company for having a similar look among their vehicles doesn't seem fair.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    Here are the comments I will hear...

    I love the headlights!

    Yuck! Look at those headlights!

    I love the way the seats fold !

    You would have thought that Honda could have designed the seats better!

    Oooh..what a pretty color interior!

    Oh, that's a horrible color!

    It's a perfect size!

    It's too small/too big!

    I think it's very quiet on the road.

    Listen to that road noise!

    Oh, I like where they put the shifter!

    What a stupid place to put the shifter!


    And...there will be a huge demand!
  • If you think Honda dealers are bad now, you clearly were not around during the 80's when there were restriction on the numbers of cars that could be imported from Japan. Artifically limited supply, strong demand, prices soared above MSRP. Since that time, Japanese manufacturers like Honda haved moved much of their production to the US for US cars. Imagine, no factories here 25 years ago, and now 7 or 8 North American factories that produce over 1,000,000 cars and trucks a year here.

    The Honda (and Toyota) method is to incrementally improve both their cars and their production methods. They emphasize flexibility and speed in being able to meet changing consumer demand. In the 1980's they could not produce enough Accords, so prices were at MSRP or above. Now, there are plenty of Accords, and you can get them at close to invoice. Expect Honda to meet the demand for Ody's MDX's and Pilots. Because of the way cars are sold in this country, the dealer is the one to profit when demand vastly exceeds supply. Honda's interest lies in selling as many cars profitably as possible, while maintaining a healty dealer network.
  • SpyponderSpyponder Posts: 128
    Great post Isell.

    When you look at a Honda, you think "practical". This holds true whether you are talking about their cars, minivans, or, yes, SUV's.

    You don't think "fast", or "flashy", or "funky", or "stylish", or "innovative".

    For those of you who are criticizing the Pilot's styling, what were you expecting? It's a Honda! Most folks don't buy them for their looks.

    At first glance, I like the styling. It's what I expect (and want) from a Honda. Maybe when I see one in the flesh I'll change my mind, but I doubt it.
  • mark189mark189 Posts: 107
    Yes the Pilot is conservative, and some may find it bland. However, it is not competing with your dream design, it is competing with real vehicles that all have their own drawbacks.

    It's competition will be the Highlander (which is smaller and ugly) and the big three (which focus on styling, but lag or ignore safety and reliability).

    With seating for eight, those looking at the Expedition or Yukon may even consider the Pilot.

    This will be a huge winner at MSRP, just like the Odyssey and MDX are.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Isell - Reading through these boards has proven beyond a doubt that people generally agree on everything regarding automotive design. Where have you been? =)

    I'll wait until I see it in person, but so far I like what I see. Every Ford truck looks like the Ford truck parked next to it. Ditto with Chevy and Dodge. Why not Honda?
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    throughout the line-up is common practice with all manufacturers now. Eg. Look at MB from the C to S class. The new Audi A4 & the A6, BMW, The whole Volvo line-up, etc, etc.

    However, why would Honda make the Pilot look like the PREVIOUS generation CR-V??
  • Thank you for clarifying my point. You don't see Audi and others styling their vehicles with styling themes from 5 yrs ago.............
  • The styling on Audis and MB is pretty there any Honda that is actually styled well? Maybe the Accord?.......
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    When will production start if available "summer"?

    Class leader in many areas what are in it's class
    (i'm trying to compare with a "known" size, should i tell my wife that it's bigger inside than a Explorer, ML320, Trailblazer, Highlander...MDX, RX300, Expedition, Ody minivan ? what then)

    Ordering information--when will we get that and option lists and configuration.

    Colors--standard Ody, MDX or Honda colors.

    Safety-the flying of FYI from my honda dealer talks of 5star front and side crash safty, but it hasn't been test crashed, how does the ody and Mdx handle this , what about off-set crashes?

    Style--my wife likes the way the new CRV looks so that's off the plate. she is impressed with the features as per official honda newsletter to dealers.

    Waiting list--i'm first:)
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    IMO, the best styling job in the Honda/Acura line-up is the front end of the S2000, and the tail lights of the new CR-V. That's it!
  • Pilot production will begin in July 2002 and dealers should start to receive them in August...... IMO
  • This article is the first I've seen that differentiates between between Canada and the U.S. for availability date and options.

    A while back someone asked if it would be available in Canada at all, the article would indicate that it will be, although a bit later in the summer than the U.S. release date. The article is not clear if "starting in June" means manufacturing or delivery to U.S. dealers. Given Canadian release is "later this summer" I would expect it to be in U.S. dealers earlier than August.

    Also interesting that the Canadian Pilot will not have the navigation system or rear DVD entertainment system as options. I suppose they are just trying to differentiate with the MDX in Canada. I don't think MDX demand is quite as red hot in Canada, although it's still strong.

  • I've seen the Pilot referred to as having "classic SUV styling" in some of the Honda press releases. Given it's resemblance to the previous generation CRV, and its rather generic SUV form, perhaps we could dub it "retro SUV styling". I'm OK with the conservative styling, although the MDX is still more appealing to me. Ultimately my view will be swayed I'm sure when I get to see one in the flesh.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Make the headlamps oval shaped. Does it still look like the previous gen CR-V?

    I understand and agree that it does share some styling with the previous gen CR-V, but I've read comments comparing other parts to the JGC, Highlander, and even Suzuki. I think ya'll are making too much of the CR-V resemblance.
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    The overall shape and profile still suggest previous generation V. I can't see any resemblance to JGC, Suzuki, or HL (which is even plainer-looking),IMO

    BTW, I showed pics of the Pilot to my wife. She looked at it for about 10 seconds and said "looks like a minivan". I think with the Pilot, Honda has succeeded on one count -- it's made the MDX look like an SUV in comparison.(IMO)
  • h1vch1vc Posts: 295
    honda's press release. They say production starts spring this year. I think base for a 4x4 lx should be around $28,000, a little more than the current passport.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    What was the styling benchmark for the 1G CR-V? The Explorer. IMO of course (even though Honda said so). More fodder for the masses.

    I would never buy a butt ugly vehicle (IMO the Pilot does not qualify) but performance, reliability and safety carry more weight than styling in my purchasing decision. IMO.
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    Me too. If the Pilot was smaller (narrower), lighter, made the 3rd seat an option, revised the console to house the shifter and a handbrake, then I would have put my name on the waiting list already regardless of the styling.
  • I'm in the market for an SUV this spring/summer (hopefully sooner than later). My wife talked me out of a family sedan...says we need more room. So, I put my name on a list for the Pilot. However I'm also interested in the MDX. I can live with, and understand the current pricing on the MDX. (local dealer says 3 months, $1000 refundable sec. dep, MSRP, choose color and style). I also understand the Pilot will initially command top $$.

    Does anyone feel that the MDX's sell price will actually come down later this year, especially when the less expensive Honda sibling brought into full production?.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I don't think the price will change, but later in the year maybe December (that is when the '02's hit the streets) the MDX will probably get a more powerful engine. Is it worth waiting for that? Will the gas mileage go down? I think the Pilots will sell a few thousand over MSRP, so if you can get an MDX for $37,500 MSRP with touring, the Pilot will probably be $34,000 ($29,500 MSRP) for a comparable model, but the wait much longer. Of course my Honda numbers are guesses, but I am using the MDX vs Odyssey numbers as a baseline.

    I think the differences will be similar too. The Odyssey has a very slightly dumbed down 3.5 engine, only slightly, no seat memory, no 6 disk option? Just a theory about the pilot.

    I am currently waiting for an MDX to come in. If there is a more powerful 3.8 available that gets better mileage in December, for the same price, well, that will bite for me.
  • Also check out the MDX forum as there has been on-and-off discussion on this topic since the Pilot was announced.
  • We're NOT making too much of the old CRV resemblance. Remember, I SAW the thing in real life, and it's a CRV alright! Apparently Honda stylists are trying to make a retro vehicle of their own, unfortunately, they don't have any older Hondas to copy or bring back that are worth repeating............
  • SpyponderSpyponder Posts: 128
    Well, you're in the fortunate position of being able to claim something that most here can't refute, not having seen the Pilot up close.

    But what is your point, anyway? That the Pilot looks a lot like the CR-V, one of the best-selling small SUV's of the last five years? Yeah, the Pilot must be destined for failure! hehe
  • I've already stated that I'm really disappointed with the Pilot's design. It's too square and boxy, maybe because Honda wants to brag about large volume interior. One thing for sure; the wheels are much too small in the pictures I've seen. This is a personal preference (I think MDX fails here as well), but the tires are too tall. With larger rims and lower sidewalls on the tires ( plus 2 ), I'm sure the vehicle would handle more crisply (admittedly at the expense of ride quality). You can never have a vehicle handle too well, especially one approaching 2 tons. My guess is a larger tire footprint would probably help with braking as well. I guess I'll have to keep on the lookout for a used MDX (yeah, right...that'll happen).
  • The center console and the center stack needs to be cleaned up in the Pilot. The first year Highlander had a crummy center console. It now looks pretty good.

    Honda can't have the Pilot look too good because they need a big enough difference for people to justify buying the MDX.
  • If you take the time to read my previous posts you would find that I think the Pilot will be a huge success despite it's looks.........I'm just disappointed in Honda, and I feel they missed a great opportunity to field a truly unique vehicle. Imagine with me now........A Odyssey sized interior encased in a sharp-looking SUV exterior- nobody else has one and Honda could have done it, but they chose the boring path. Everybody has or will have a similar sized 7-8 passenger SUV with an unusable 3rd seat. The list includes Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer, Yukon, Trailblazer, The new Rx-300, Suzuki XL-7, yada yada yada....
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Shellymeister - It's not that I completely disagree with you. It does bear a resemblance to the original CR-V. But they ain't twins. I've seen this happen many times. One person makes a reasonable observation and then the entire forum blows it out of proportion.

    I remember when the MDX was first released (I'm sure Wmquan remembers this too). A fella named Drew posted two side by side pics of the MDX and the Rodeo from the back end. Every character line is the same. Exactly the same. It didn't matter that the proportions were completely different, people where posting that they wouldn't buy some pimped up Rodeo clone because of it.

    I look at the Pilot and I understand that the headlights make it look like a CR-V. But I see a greater resemblance to the Highlander which shares the same eyes.

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Varmit's right, I'd wait until seeing the actual vehicle before getting too worked up. Another color may help too. I do see some resemblance to the CR-V, but I thought the rear was very Highlander-ish.

    The MDX also looks better in person than in pictures. There are some subtler curves that just don't show up well in pictures, especially those sized for delivery over the Internet.

    I remember a couple of folks being very disappointed when Honda/Acura showed the MDX. They thought that the MDX concept showed a more aggressive sports-car-turned-SUV, and felt the actual MDX looked more like a "slab-sided family-mobile." I think the MDX looks good, and the Pilot has a more conservative, typical Honda-ish appearance.

    Purely subjective, but I think the best-looking SUV is the (highly impractical but fun) X5, with second place maybe going to the new Volvo XC90 (though I'm sure some people won't like its look).
  • So Honda is just entering a market, and they bring a vehicle that hits the target dead center, and now we criticize them for a boring vehicle. Yet at the same time, everyone on here says the SUV will sell for well above MSRP and be wildly popular.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    And this is exactly why I find some of these postings so amusing!

    No car will please everyone but I know the Pilot will have people knocking down our doors.

    The phone calls are already flooding in and it's frustrating since we have such limited information at this point.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    The disappointed Honda fan wants them to do something unique and sharp. Well to many the Pilot will seem sharp so that is a subjective term. As for unique, there certainly are other 7-8 seat SUVs out there, but only two will be Honda products. The disappointed person also says boring. Again fairly subjective but Honda doesn't say boring, they say don't alienate the core consumer and maybe bring in a few more by offering something new (for the line, not new to the industry). Sometimes people forget that Honda is relatively small as automakers go. They do what they do to make money and stay in business. Straying from their objective may help but also may hurt. How many risks does your company take?
  • SpyponderSpyponder Posts: 128
    I hear what you're saying. But look at what you're asking for: a capacious (I love that word), Odyssey-sized interior, with a sharp-looking exterior.

    The Pilot is so roomy inside BECAUSE it is boxy. Like the Odyssey. They took the MDX and straightened out some of the "curves" (not that the MDX has that many) in order to gain interior space. Given the boxy interior, the only way they could add "curves" to the exterior would be to add cladding, extra sheet-metal, and the like. I for one am glad they didn't go that route.

    So you and others are disappointed that Honda hasn't taken more risks with the styling. But the majority of the Honda-buying public is going to find the practical nature of the Pilot, where function takes precedence over form, to be highly desirable.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    I have to disagree with you, Spy (largely because I disagree with everyone). Styling is more than curves. They could use hard lines and angles to create a unique look that is still a basic box.

    I do agree with Carguy62 (see I'm not just being difficult). I expect that Honda considers moving into the mid-sized SUV arena something of a risk on it's own. The few times that Honda has taken risks with styling it hasn't been recieved with the greatest enthusiasm (look a Preulde in the eyes for an example). Also, the MDX is supposed to be the stylish and trendy SUV for the image sensitive public. Why build an another one?
  • budinctbudinct Posts: 19
    I can't wait.
  • mark189mark189 Posts: 107
    The assumption has been that you can't have a 3rd seat fold down (as in the Odyssey) because of the all wheel drive components. However, the 2003 Expedition has this feature. It's only 5" longer than the Odyssey, and I can't believe that's the problem. That would improve storage dramatically, as anybody who has an Odyssey could tell you.

    Also, why not have a longer overhang? Offroad capability? That'll please the 5% that actually go offroad, and some that want to pretend that they'll go offroad, but crimp space for most buyers. Doesn't make sense to me.

    Those are too big improvements that were missed.
  • I remember seeing a post where the writer mentioned that Honda does not take orders from its dealers. Well, that is not completely true...

    Many dealers I talked to will not give their customers a chance to order the color or accessories that they want. Their attitude is - "Take what I give you...and consider yourself lucky." Well, I found one dealer here in Minnesota that is actually taking orders for the July allocation. In addition, they seem to have a few May and June production vehicles available for sale to the first person who is willing to lay down a deposit. They are selling at MSRP and have been great to deal with. It is nice to see that there are still a few good ones out there - I know who I will buy from!

    The timing on MSRP info is a bummer, but I guess it is nice to know I shouldn't expect to see official pricing for a while. Now I will not have to look for it everyday... :-)

    Thanks for the inside scoop on the Pilot - keep the info coming...
  • SpyponderSpyponder Posts: 128
    I agree that styling is more than curves (something the Santa Fe designers could take to heart :) ). But it seems to me that if you add angular styling cues, you're either decreasing interior space (like in the MDX), or increasing exterior size somewhere. Does that make sense? I don't know, maybe I ought to go over to the Fremont NUMMI plant and pick someone's brain.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    If the third row folded backward into a well in the floor, it would be lower than it is now. Where would the second row fold? You wouldn't have a flat load floor. Maybe you could do something like the RAV4 and make the second row removeable, but that's a big pain in the buttockamus.

    I dunno if a longer overhang would be possible. It would add weight. This might be a problem for braking, fuel efficiency, acceleration, less payload, and the length would make parking more difficult. The extra materials would cost a bit. I dunno what effect it might have on emergency handling. On the plus side, it would mean a huge space for cargo and the vehicle could be sold as a direct competitor to the big Ford, Chevy, and Toyota.
  • varmitvarmit Posts: 1,125
    Spy - I was thinking of sharp character lines and flat surfaces more than changes to the overall shape.
  • ranaldranald Posts: 147
    If you look at the Pilot interior shots, you'll see that the 3rd row seat folds flat. It's even split-folding, so you can have different combinations of 3rd row seating and extra storage.

    Couldn't make much sense of the rest of your post.

    If the Pilot is anything like the MDX (and it should be) it'll have "light duty" offroad capability, which is about all the vast majority of potential buyers will ever need.
  • SpyponderSpyponder Posts: 128
    From the Edmund's auto show review of the Pilot:
    "Designers looked to hard-case luggage for inspiration when styling the exterior and used the stuffable versatility of a backpack to fashion the cabin."

    Maybe they should call it the Honda Samsonite!
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    mark wanted to know why the Pilot's 3rd seat doesn't fold a la Honda Odyssey (disappears into a well, not just fold down). He understands that they can't do it because of the awd components, but questions it since the new Expedition can fold its 3rd row seats a la Honda Odyssey and still have hardware components underneath.
  • jjmanjjman Posts: 77
    has anyone actually seen the Expedition's folding seat?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    shellymeister2 : Actually Trailblazer and Envoy will have EXT versions coming in a few months that will provide a very useable 3rd row.

    tiresqueal : You might get a used MDX when they start coming off 2 year leases. you will have to get friendly with a local Acura sales man though.
  • mark189mark189 Posts: 107
    The rest of the post had to do with the length of the rear overhang. The Honda rep. stated that it was kept minimal in order to preserve off road capability.

    My point was that I think that's a mistake. It seems that car execs. are still focusing on the original SUV customer that cared about off road capability. I think there's a lot more potential customers trading in cars and vans, and they are more interested in on road handling, and interior space. This should be especially true for buyers interested in a Honda.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I've been in the graphic design field for over 30 years. One of the first things you learn when making a presentation to a client is NOT to discuss whether it looks pretty. Always steer the discussion as to why this design "functions better" for the problem at hand. Keep the discussion business-oriented...

    Having said that, and while I (and others) have commented on whether they like the looks of the Pilot; once you've conveyed those opinions, there's not much sense in continuing the discussion. Chances are you're not going to convince others of your position—unless you can state "practical reasons" to support your position. If it "functions better" because of the way it looks, then you are on solid ground. If, on the other hand, your design discussion is centered on whether it looks "pretty," you're fighting a losing battle. There are far too many deep-seated psychological reasons why people like or dislike certain things, and that I'm not qualified to explore.

  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    Hey it will have common styling cues from CRV, so what, with all this "bad talk" of the styling (which is subjective) it will be a truly unique vehicle unlike previous posts of "missed opportunity". How many 8 pass. suv, V6, quality, with dissapearing 3rd row seats are there? Honda is dead on, "redefine the segment". Styling, Smyling. ODY< MDX< PILOT.....will and have had waiting times that the other manufacturers just drool many MDX, ODY go for MSRP (inflaated with add on accesories)or minimal discount. HOnda GOLD MINE keep on rolling. ANd HONDA QUALITY TO BOOT. when they say class leader in all the areas people want including ULEV, mileage room, etc. boy am I glad i'm on a list at MSRP (just checked). The moaners and groaners, doom and gloom sayers move over to a minivan, durango, "somewhere else" forum and don't clog up the waiting lists OK!!!. The market will talk and talk plenty. Even if honda did 80% of what they say they say alot and people will respond. I just want more info, pictures, color charts, option lists etc.

    These forums of newly designed vehicles fall into one the following stages. I've seen it will my LS430, Highlander etc. We are in stage one. Some of you are in Stage denial. Styling critics of my ls430 i live on the inside, day in day out quality. love it love it. same for honda. They have a better loyalty quotient then mercedes ever had, high resale, value quality HEY IT'S A HONDA. So spare me the 'gore', data..please more.

    STAGE 1: New intro, very few have seen it. Discussion on styling, look alikes, speculative nature.

    STAGE 2: Car mags drive it...rave reviews...people can't wait till they can "see" one. Discussion boards move to mag articles and pictures.

    STAGE 3: Car at dealers, people can see, drive,'s all ready a huge success with long lists. Discussion boards, any discounts,how do i get on the list 250 miles from home, talk of dealers messing with the customer, add ons to increase price or just add $$$$ to list. Discussion turns to price features comparo

    STAGE 4: Some get it and extol the virtues, people share where when how and why they by, personal driving experience now shared on forum.

    STAGE 5: More people have it, more want it. Discussion of minor flaws and "what should have been done" slight improvements, accolades.

    STAGE 6: Mature forum, tidbits, posts/per day fall off to typical.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    I really doubt that it can actually carry 8 people, though. I think even kids will find that to be a little tight (on the assumption that the 3rd seat in the Pilot is the exact same one on the MDX).
  • mark189mark189 Posts: 107
    After criticizing the lack of storage, I want to point out one of the good things about the Pilot.

    The 3rd row seating looks only a little bit smaller than the 2nd row, and I assume the 2nd row is the same size or a little wider than the 2nd row on the MDX.

    If those assumptions are correct, seating kids there should not be a problem. I own an MDX and drive 3 teenagers every day in a car pool to school with no complaints.

    Also, the 60/40 split should be a great asset and one that's not available other SUV's (to my knowledge). That will let you seat 7 and fold the 8th for some extra storage, or seat 6 with a good deal of extra storage.

    Of course it won't seat 8 adults, but I find it hard to believe there are many drivers that need to seat 8 adults. So if you're realistic about your needs, you should be very happy with this feature, and this vehicle.
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