Why You See a Photo of My Jeep - 2016 Honda Pilot Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited December 2015 in Honda
imageWhy You See a Photo of My Jeep - 2016 Honda Pilot Long-Term Road Test

I had every intention of taking our 2016 Honda Pilot on a dirt road tour of the Mojave Desert until I started looking at some clearance specifications.

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  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Member Posts: 863
    Of course. People have a problem with them still being called Sport Utility Vehicles, but lets face it - these are stylized minivans and that's what we want. We have a Pilot and chose it (as opposed to an Odyssey) because we wanted some harder lines and actual doors. We do not apologize for not taking it "mudding" nor does the vehicle apologize for not being able to do so. I don't know why someone would take a $30k-$50k vehicle to some place like that. Pickup a $5k off road vehicle and call it a day.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Looks like the back way out of my neighborhood (the "good" road is graded a little bit better). My Grand Caravan enjoys cruising the back way now and then, but slows to a crawl through the arroyos. :)

  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    Not everyone has the space to have 2 vehicles. If you live in an apartment in the city you may not even have one parking space, much less two. So if you are someone who likes to off-road now and then, but also wants a modern vehicle with a warranty, you spend $35k-$40k on a really nice new Wrangler Rubicon and not $5k on a tired used one (which will likely be a stripper and not necessarily off-road ready)
  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365

    Can I ask you an honest question: why did you want "actual doors"? To my eyes the minivan's single greatest feature is its sliding doors. Loading and unloading kids becomes completely painless. No worry about door dings, plenty of room to comport yourself, and when the kids get old enough it is a door they can use safely on their own. I only have two kids, but my wife and I are finally admitting that her E350 wagon has some shortcomings for kid duty. She loves the car, but we can't help but think how much easier everything would be with a minivan. Crossover aren't even in the discussion because they have all the shortcomings of a wagon in an entirely less pleasant-to-drive package.
  • cjasiscjasis Member Posts: 274
    @mercedesfan - EXACTLY! No offense to kirkhilles1, because to each his own but... you're kidding yourself or delusional if you think an SUV or cross-over is a better solution to haul kids than a minivan UNLESS you're actually going off road or you're going to tow something heavy. In which case, an old school, body on frame SUV is probably a better choice anyway.

    Our Odyssey is so much easier for kid duty than anything else I've ever driven, including one of our other cars, an Audi A6 avant (wagon in Audi speak). The sliding doors are a HUGE benefit for so many reasons. The increase cargo capacity makes a difference every time I go surfing or take my son to the park (which is just about every weekend).

    If you can get over the stigma (and I'm in the camp that couldn't care less what others think about what I drive or how I spend my money) that the minivan is the obvious choice.
  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599
    Before they developed the Lambda platform, for a few years GM was selling minivans that were slightly dressed up to look like SUVs. The Uplander, Relay, Terazza and Montana were awful cars. Mostly because they were based on the worst minivans in the class and the company spent about 15 minutes converting them to the faux-SUV bodystyle. But in some ways, these cars were what the modern 3 row CUV is becoming. Never thought I'd say it but the Uplander was ahead of its time.
  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Member Posts: 863
    Don't misunderstand my comment. I'm not insulting the Odyssey (or other minivans) in ANY way. Its more of a styling/perception thing. My wife did NOT want a Minivan and as a guy, I didn't either. My point was that a modern SUV isn't like the original Truck-based SUVs and is more like a Minivan and should be treated as such. You wouldn't take your Minivan off roading.
  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365
    My wife was the same way, but she is starting to change her mind. As a lawyer she has enough stress at work that getting frustrated by her car is growing tiresome. Plus, a good friend of hers recently got an Odyssey and after riding in it a bunch she realizes that minivans are basically just giant wagons anyway. Totally agree with you that crossovers are becoming minivans, though. It will be funny to see if the generation of kids being raised in crossovers eventually perceives them as uncool.
  • carguydarylcarguydaryl Member Posts: 27
    I'm actually surprised in our 2011 Pilot and its off-road ability. When you lock the VTM-4 system at low speeds it does very well (we have more all-terrain suited tires on ours). I've hung up the running boards a couple of times, but that's about it. Really the Pilot lacks the next step of a low range which exponentially increases what you can do off-road. With our previous 2006 Xterra off-road, I could get into and out of all kinds of trouble, but I've been pleasantly surprised with Pilot in that even though I can't go rock crawling and through real technical stuff, we have been able to keep up with all our family off-road adventures here in Northern Nevada/Tahoe with it just fine. I miss that Xterra and the freedom you had off-road, but once our family of 4 became 5, it didn't cut it anymore.

    I didn't realize the the new Pilot lost so much clearance in the re-design. Its a shame because I think the AWD system is actually better than the previous gen Pilot. The SUV-ness of our version of Pilot is what I like about it. My wife gets all the things that makes it easier and smoother to drive and its still has a decent AWD/4WD system and some ruggedness to still work for camping and most of our adventures off the pavement.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    I am actually surprised that one of the manufacturers hasn't just put dual sliders on an SUV. I don't see any reason that an SUV has to have conventional hinged doors.
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Member Posts: 671
    How would the recently departed Chevy Colorado truck have fared? It had the off road package but low clearance.
  • surfwagon56surfwagon56 Member Posts: 12
    When looking in 2013 to replace our '08 Pathfinder 4x4 we looked at the new model PF, it was very disappointing. Pathetic ground clearance, tiny tires, no low-range locking 4WD, melted looks, CVT. It was a lot more plush inside, more roomy and better MPGs, but my wife said no after less than 5 minutes into the dealership. Found a brand new 2011 PF 4x4 that had been on a dealer lot for two years and bought that instead. We take trips each year from our home in So Cal to Utah, and we actually use the locking 4WD. Yes it's primitive, archaic, boxy, and inefficient, but it's been to dealer zero times for unscheduled maintenance and we love it.

    I'm guessing the new Pilot would fit into the same category of disappointment. Other than the LR4, there are really no 3-row, off-road capable midsize SUVs left (I consider the Durango full sized and the 4Runner's third row is tine).
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    Ford has lowered the ride height of the new F-150. Look at a 2015 parked next to a 2014 and you can see the difference along with the lower air dam.
  • bassracerxbassracerx Member Posts: 188

    I am actually surprised that one of the manufacturers hasn't just put dual sliders on an SUV. I don't see any reason that an SUV has to have conventional hinged doors.

    mostly styling. that part of the roofline has to stay flat it cant kink like current crossovers do. and then also the track for them is very noticeable when the doors are closed.

    still worth it tho.
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