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Acura MDX v. Honda Pilot

shafranshafran Member Posts: 3
Looking to get rid of my 1997 Volkswagon Jetta and upgrade to an SUV. Have done a bunch of research and feel the Pilot or MDX are the best options. Criteria is:
* $25k or less
* 40,000 miles or less
* 2004 or newer

What's the best option? Do I get more bang for my buck by going with the Pilot or is it worth to buy a MDX with more miles?


  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    Depends on how you'll use it and how you drive.

    I went with an MDX, but only because I prefer the tighter suspension.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Member Posts: 710
    Just checked KBB on the private party value of my '04 MDX Touring w/ 45,000: Excellent $27385, Good $ 25815. That seems to be right on the edge of your criteria. Pilot w/ same should be much cheaper, however varmint is right, MDX is sportier (suspension,engine,tires) or.....for 3 grand more (maybe less depending on when '08s come out) '07 Pilot LX 4WD new.
  • shafranshafran Member Posts: 3
    The MDX is definitely much more fun to drive than the Pilot. My main concern has to do with price vs. Miles/year. Do I pay a little more for the MDX and get older model with more miles or get a newer pilot with less miles. Overall reliability ratings for both seem are high and with Honda I don't think you can go wrong.
  • shafranshafran Member Posts: 3
    I found a 2003 MDX Touring (No navigation or DVD), 27,000 miles listed for $25k. 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty expired in Jan 07. 6-year/70,000-mile limited powertrain warranty is still in effect.

    Does anyone have this year and model? Any problems so far?
  • tpulaktpulak Member Posts: 44
    I have a 2004 MDX, but my friends, have a 2003, and 2002 mdx respectively. Both of my friends had serious transmission problems resulting in replacement at around 40,000 miles!! :sick: All the MDX's from 2004 to 2006(first generation) are improved :shades: that the 2001-2003 period(same generation) Don't get 2003 MDX or earlier!!
  • tpulaktpulak Member Posts: 44
    I found a 2005 MDX Touring with a little less that 36,000 miles, that costs$ 24,599. Its loaded with everything except NAV, and DVD. Also, If you don't care about a salvage title, I found a 2005 Acura MDX, that was a recovered theft, which had no damage at all, and had only 17,100 miles, cost $23,900 , and This one is entirely loaded, with even a NAV, and DVD.Personally, this one looks better, with side rails, and a spoiler. Its up to you. The Pilot (used) actually costs just about $2,000 more compared to the MDX. The MDX is worth it.
  • love2driveinctlove2driveinct Member Posts: 80
    We currently have both of these vehicles, so if I can help anyone with specific questions about them, ask away...

    Specifically, we have a 2005 Pilot EX-L w/RES
    and a 2006 MDX Touring w/Nav & RES

  • idnewidnew Member Posts: 1
    We are looking at both of these vehicles, but the Honda uses regular gas and the mdx uses premium. Do you use premium or mid-grade in your Acura?
  • love2driveinctlove2driveinct Member Posts: 80
    I put 87 in it, actually :P . My husband did some research on premium gas & came to the conclusion that it just wasn't necessary, so we don't use it in the Acura. There was no evidence that it's better for your engine, get better mpg, etc. Of course, if gas prices weren't so high right now, maybe we'd use it anyway...
  • lease_billlease_bill Member Posts: 11
    It's true that earlier MDXs had transmission problems.

    A friend of mine bought 2003 brand new and three months later transmission had to be replaced.
  • dfwhondadfwhonda Member Posts: 45
    I'm thinking of buying either a used 06 MDX w/Nav or a new 08 Pilot w/Nav. From initial searches, I'm finding that version of the Pilot to be slightly cheaper (just under $30k) than a certified 06 MDX w/Nav (and sometimes RES) in the Chicago area (most with just over 30k miles are priced around $33k to $34k).

    My question: Whether in anyone's opinion the "upgraded" 4 wheel drive system of the MDX and better "luxury" appointments make it worth taking the general used car risk (which I'm hoping to negate somewhat by purchasing certified) instead of just purchasing a brand new car (and the upgraded crash test ratings for head restraints)?

    I'd also be interested to hear whether the Nav systems in both cars are relatively identical, or whether the Acura Nav is superior to the Honda Nav.

    I owned a 01 MDX (base model) and had no problems with it (but sold it at 40k), and the 06 MDX seems to drive a little less like a SUV than an 05 Pilot I tested (I've yet to actually test drive an 08 Pilot).

    Thanks in advance for any responses.
  • dfwhondadfwhonda Member Posts: 45
    Sorry, just realized that I was confusing the SH-AWD on the new model MDX with the VTM-4 on the old model MDX (and the 08 Pilot).

    So I guess my choice basically boils down to whether the Acura Nav system is superior to the Honda Nav system, and if not, whether a two-year old MDX is better than a brand new Pilot (prices being almost the same).

    I'd appreciate any thoughts anyone would like to share.
  • love2driveinctlove2driveinct Member Posts: 80
    Hmmm... keeping in mind that I am not expert in this field, and can only offer day-to-day "real world" perspective, this is what I would say:

    * I don't know how the Nav systems compare since our Pilot does not have it, but we test-drove an 05 Accord w/Nav and an 06 Ody w/Nav and the systems were very similar to the MDX. The only thing the Pilot Nav may not have is voice recognition/commands, you'd have to check on that.

    * We lease our vehicles, so we have gotten to used to the nice, "tight" steering that you get from day one and that lasts until turn-in at 36-45K miles. But I will say that right now I am closing in on 30K on the MDX and the vehicle feels just like it did the day I got it. :)

    * The MDX offers a lot of little things that you don't get in the Pilot -- bluetooth, back-up camera, memory seats, ambient lighting -- as well as a more refined car-like interior and less road noise. I think it's just a matter of what is most important to you.

    * One thing my husband told me just yesterday was that although he enjoys driving the MDX (it's our family vehicle -- I drive on weekdays & he drives when we're all together), there is one thing he REALLY likes better about the Pilot -- the front console. Having the gear selector on the steering column frees up a ton of space, so there is quite a bit of storage in that section. Plenty of room for his iPod, wallet, blackberry, a sandwich, whatever. The MDX has a place for two drinks, as well as various annoying nooks and crannies that attract crumbs, and nowhere to rest other things easily. Just something to keep in mind if you spend a lot of time in your vehicle commuting, etc...

  • crvjoecrvjoe Member Posts: 24
    I have just purchased a 2008 EX-L with navigation. It does have voice recognition. It also has a rear camera that comes on the nav screen when you are in reverse. I looked at both cars and I did not see any difference in the nav systems other than the Bluetooth connection for a phone that the Pilot lacks.

    The main selling point for me was that the Pilot runs on regular while the MDX has to use preminum.

    Hope this helps
  • dfwhondadfwhonda Member Posts: 45
    Thanks for the input on the Pilot vs. used MDX. I'll probably make my decision in a couple of weeks.

    The premium fuel requirement of the MDX is certainly a negative from my perspective, but I may overlook it to get some of the little things that the MDX provides that the Honda Pilot does not (although I also wish the MDX had the Variable Cylinder Management that the 08 FWD Pilots have).

    If anyone else has any other thoughts, I would still appreciate them.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Member Posts: 161
    I think some of us are stuck in our youthful days when premium gas was 20% more expensive than regular. Do your own math but I bet the 25-cent extra for premium adds up to -atmost- $4 per tankful.....even filling up once-a-week "only" requires $200/year It is real money but - is it seriously a deal breaker for the MDX as some have said on this forum? :D

    I needed a vehicle in 2001 so I bought the MDX but I would have probably bought the Pilot....had it been available. Personal preference. The NAV system in my 2001 (made for Acura by Alpine) has paid for itself over the years.
  • love2driveinctlove2driveinct Member Posts: 80
    And who says that you have to use Premium, anyway?? We put only 87 in our MDX. We have experimented under various driving conditions, temperatures, etc, and the vehicle drives the same & gets the same mileage whether we put 87, 89, or 91 in it. Is there something I'm missing here?
  • dfwhondadfwhonda Member Posts: 45
    That's a good point. I generally try to follow instructions for type of gas, but I do recall that I would not put premium gas in my 2001 MDX if the cost was more than $2 per gallon. I know...pretty random.

    I have a lead on a nice 2006 MDX in TX, and since this car isn't for me but for my wife, I think she will probably end up choosing the MDX for the luxuries it offers over the Pilot (as well as for the styling, which is still much better imho than the blocky Pilot).
  • scottm123scottm123 Member Posts: 1,501
    I have an 06 MDX Touring (Nav/RES) as well.
    I did a lot of testing with the car and found that with 93 octane, we got approx 5-6 MPG better than when running 87 Octane.
    I tested this on my commute to work, which is the same route, same traffic.. everyday. The commute is about 70% Highway, 30% city
    I ran with 93 for a few months and with 87 for a few months. I tested this in the late Spring to be sure that winter fuel blends didn't get in the way.

    I suppose it depends on your commute and style of driving, but after doing the tests and calculating MPG by fuel in/miles out, we found that the MDX does better on the higher octane fuel.
    Yes, you spend more at the pump, but with the miles out being higher, you're actually saving money.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Member Posts: 161
    That makes a lot of sense. The PCM of the MDX will use the input from the vehicle's sensors (knock sensor, etc.) to adjust the timing of the vehicle to compensate for different fuel blends - therefore using regular gas doesn't actually "harm" the engine.

    Perhaps using the lower octane does, as Scott has proven, prevent the engine from operating at it most efficient point, even at lower points on the power curve. Hence, owners manual's that recommend premium verses those that require premium. There are some compression ratios that require 93 Octane to prevent engine damage.
  • chrism124chrism124 Member Posts: 134
    mecheng1, you are correct, the PCM/ECU will adjust the timing based on the type of fuel being used. While regular gas will work in most cars where premium is recommended, the offset is a decrease in gas mileage and horsepower (HP).

    Personally speaking, if I can afford to buy or lease a new MDX, with an average price of $42k, paying the extra $210 per year for premium fuel shouldn’t be an issue. The extra cost would be less once the better gas mileage, with premium fuel, is factored.

    Just my .02.

  • love2driveinctlove2driveinct Member Posts: 80
    Hmmm... doesn't sound like my "testing" was very scientific, lol... :P

    But I think the point of all this, is that with only a couple hundred dollars a year difference, it needn't be a major deciding factor in which vehicle to get.
  • dms9dms9 Member Posts: 137
    If gas prices are going to sway your decision, go out and get a rewards card, like a shell Mastercard, or whatever. I get 5% off on all gas at shell, I don't use the card for anything else, I just use it as a gas card. Do the math. I put Super in 07 MDX at $3.13, take off the 0.156 a gal with the discount and I am paying less than 3 bucks a gal for super, in Rockville MD (where gas is expensive). I would love it if my MDX ran on regular, but it really isn't that much more a year. Please don't spend $40K plus on the MDX and put regular in it. They get 300 hp out of it by boosting the compression. Put regular in it and it will probably knock or give you trouble down the road. Now if you are only leasing . . .
  • dfwhondadfwhonda Member Posts: 45
    Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. I ended up purchasing a 2008 Pilot due to the dealer incentives Honda is throwing around. I got a EX-L w/NAV for under $28k + TTL, which was about $2k cheaper than I could get a 2006 MDX w/NAV with 22k miles (that was also located 3 hours away).

    The price difference convinced me to live with the following Pilot shortcomings vs the 2006 MDX (some of which have already been mentioned above):

    1) No power adjustable passenger front seat; no memory seating for driver's seat (which doesn't matter much to me because both my wife and I keep the seat as far back as it will go)
    2) Fan speed for second row of car linked to front zone (MDX has independent fan speed control; Pilot only has independent temp. control)
    3) No hands-free cell phone capability (not even offered as a Honda accessory, but as an after-market accessory by the dealer for an excessive price)

    I'm sure there are others, but those are the ones that I noticed right away during our test drive.
  • chandra0102chandra0102 Member Posts: 8
    As far as the driving mix and the octane level of the gas used is concerned does it make a difference if an MDX is driven mostly on highways for long trips or used mostly in city driving? In other words is the difference in the vehicles performance more pronounced using 87 vs. 91 octane depending upon the type of driving - city or mostly highway?
  • rtchambersrtchambers Member Posts: 1
    i am looking at an 07 Acura MDX, and was dissapointed to find out that it took Premium gas, because i currently have an 03 lexus RX 300 and it is supposed to take premium, and that is the reason i want to get rid of it. I tried 87 in it once but the engine knocked. So i was wondering if you have had any trouble with knocking in yours?
  • benandeleanorbenandeleanor Member Posts: 5
    We test drove both the 2009 Pilot and the 2008 MDX this weekend and really can't decide which to purchase. We went into the test drives thinking we would definitely be buying the MDX. The MDX interior does feel/appear a bit plusher (we test drove the Touring version of the Pilot as that is what we would be purchasing and that was nice) but the new 2009 Pilot feels much roomier than the MDX, particularly in the third row.

    Any advice on how to choose would be greatly appreciated. I'm particularly curious whether others who have compared the 2009 Touring version of the Pilot to the MDX also have felt like the difference is not as vast as it once was between the Pilot and the MDX.
  • nutz4carsnutz4cars Member Posts: 1
    I agree that the gap between the 2009 Pilot and 2008 MDX is pretty small. We test drove a 2009 Pilot EX-L w/RES and 2008 MDX w/Tech back-to-back. All things being equal, we feel that the MDX is still the better vehicle... HOWEVER .. a strong argument could be made that the Pilot is the better choice for a family with 2 or more young children (we have 4-yr old and 2-yr old daughters). We feel that the storage in the Pilot is vastly superior along with easier accesss to the 3rd row. Not being an audiophile, we thought the audio system in the Pilot (512 watt version) sounded as good as the ELS system in the MDX. Being able to run on reg unleaded is also a big plus for the Pilot.

    Of course, all that being said, the MDX is still our first choice due to the superior handling characteristics and extra power (we live in Colorado and the high altitude saps engine power like nobody's business). Hope this helps.
  • comet123comet123 Member Posts: 9
    Hi -. No advice, just observations. I am making the same comparisons and am surprised how similar the 09 Touring, AWD compares to the 08 MDX w. Navigation. Pilot is about $4,000 -$5,000 less money. Length & Width are almost identical. Navigation system looked identical. the Pilot has the power lift gate, rear camera, sensors. Others are saying it is quieter than previous model, I read it has the same Windows (quieter as MDX?). Pilot's 3rd row seat has more room. I don't like the fact you can only access the MDX's 3rd row seat from 1 side. One other the Pilot, the 2nd row of seats adjusts the 3rd row even more room....perhaps not a big deal?

    Pilot gets about 10% better MPG, and does not have to use the Premium gas - which here is about 15 cents per gallon...

    However, am still disappointed in the looks of 09 Pilot. I was hoping for something more stylish? Less Boxy...sort of the way Honda re-designed the CRV. I did test drive the Pilot and it was great.

    I think if the MDX was a bit smaller and got better Mileage than the Pilot...I would still probably go w. it..I love the interior of the MDX, the "cockpit" feel. ...I also am not 100% sure I like the looks of the MDX either.

    I don't appreciate driving enough to judge the MDX feel vs. the Pilot. Seems like the experts rave about how great it drives compared to other SUVs.
  • hodog16hodog16 Member Posts: 53
    Just wanted to give some input as somebody who bought a 2008 MDX Tech + PTG and who test drove a 2009 Pilot EX-L AWD with RES.

    Some observations:

    1. Honda and Acura's navigations should be identical, so no difference there.
    2. The Pilot's 3rd row is definitely more user-friendly, and a knock on the MDX is the fact that you can only access the 3rd row on the right side. Also the 2nd row does not adjust positions. These were points to consider but not ultimately important ones in my decision as I hardly use my 3rd row (in fact they are usually folded down), but it is there if I need to take a 6th person somewhere. The backseats for the MDX are very comfortable if you are carrying 4 adults.
    3. It's subjective of course, but I think the MDX looks a million times better than the Pilot from any angle, especially the front and rear.
    4. For those with children, MDX has 3 LATCH connectors all in the 2nd row (probably can only use 2 at a time) whereas the Pilot has 4 LATCH connectors, I believe 2 in each rear row. I would have preferred the 4 LATCH's but personally for me it was not a huge deal as my family won't warrant that many LATCH's for a few years anyway and by then it will be time to replace my wife's car.
    5. I get 19-20 MPG on the MDX mixed driving and 23 MPG on the highway. I imagine the Pilot won't get much better, maybe by 1 MPG. Premium gas is 10-15 cents more expensive per gallon than regular, but as an annual estimation it's probably just $200 more per year in gas, which shouldn't be a big deal if you're shopping for an SUV in the $38,000+ range anyway.
    6. Last I checked, the Pilot was going for MSRP or maybe $500-1,000 off MSRP (not sure if this has changed as the Pilot has been out for a little bit longer now). The MDX now has a $2,500 dealer incentive if you purchase or $1,500 if you take Honda's special financing. This should narrow the gap considerably as you can bargain off invoice for the MDX but have to bargain off MSRP for the Pilot.

    When I bought my MDX Tech in mid-June, a Touring Pilot would have cost me MSRP ($40k+) before tax, titles, and fees. I bought my MDX Tech for almost $2,000 below that before the extra fees. If anything I maybe gave up RES, rear bumper sensors (MDX Tech comes with a camera) and a USB iPod connection (rumor is this will be in the 2009 MDX's), but got HID lights, a better interior, and let's face it an Acura instead of a Honda. The MDX is only in its 2nd model year as well so it's not an old design.

    Anyway, just wanted to give my (probably biased) observations. Good luck with your decisions! Can't go wrong either way but I do love my MDX!
  • comet123comet123 Member Posts: 9
    I don't see much activity on this comparing the MDX to the Pilot. I have driven both....and both seem great.

    Am leaning towards MDX..just because I already own a Honda van and don't have the need for the 3rd seat. If it was our only large vehicle and I needed extra room, definitely Pilot.
  • worthminingworthmining Member Posts: 5
    Never compared MDX vs Pilot, but we did have a hardtime to make call betwee MDX against Highhlander, and we bought MDX, driving it feels great. Although to cut the MDX price close to a fully loaded Highlander, we gave up quite a few gadget on MDX, but I'm glad about the decision after owning the car for a few days.
  • citivascitivas Member Posts: 144
    I started focusing on the Highlander, new Pilot and CX-9 (I also checked out the Arcadia, etc. but eliminated them). I wanted to like the Highlander but it has too many flaws for someone who wants a luxury trim and really needs the third row for trips (no split fold-down seat, no memory seats, no iPod integration, nav can't be controlled when driving, RES completely kills rear view, etc.). I didn't love the look or the drive on the new Pilot. I ended up checking out the MDZ closely as a result, especially with prices so low. But the MDX really loses on seating. The third row is useless for adults (I had to bend my neck sideways to sit there and my knees jammed into the second row) and even the middle seat in the second row was useless for me. We would use this for long car trips with adults sometimes in these seat positions. I also didn't like the worse fuel economy and premium fuel requirement.
  • citivascitivas Member Posts: 144
    Ended up getting the Pilot for what it's worth. I test drove it, the MDX, the Highlander and the CX-9 at least several times each. The dirve is nicer on the MDX (and CX-9) but fine on the Pilot. And its baffling to me (and, they admitted, the Acura sales guys) that even the '09 Pilot still doesn't have iPod integration. The Pilot is using the exact same nav system but with more features. It really is a great tech car. And the seating is equal to if not best in class (the GMC line being the only competition). If the third row is an after-though, a "nice-to-have" for the rare occasions, the MDX is probably the better choice. But if it is an important factor in the buying decision, the Pilot is a better choice by far. Also, around here the Honda dealers are being more aggressive on pricing (proportionately) than the Acura dealers...
  • pilotsearcherpilotsearcher Member Posts: 15
    Hello all-

    I am leaning towards purchasing a used (2006-2005) MDX but also considering the Pilot. What do you think the financial incentives will be post-labor day?

    Any 0% for 36 month financing, or extending 0.9% for more than 36 months?

    And anything I should be evaluating between the pilot and mdx other than cost?

  • 10sfan10sfan Member Posts: 136
    Last I heard, the low interest financing on the Dealers inventory of used models is available if they are Certified by the dealer, which add $1,800. to the cost. I have a 2005 that is great but AHF want $3,000 over Market value to purchase so I extended the lease for a few months. Looking for a deal on a 2005 or 2006 MDX.
    Assume with every manufacture ending their big sale 9/2/08 and with vehicles, SUV's especially not moving, better financing deals may be forthcoming to move the 2008s.
    Will wait to see what happens in the next 60 days or so.
  • citivascitivas Member Posts: 144
    I'd be guessing on the financing so I'll leave that for someone better suited... In terms of evaluating other than cost, off-hand:

    * How important is seating capacity to you? The Pilot seats 8 pretty comfortably. The Acura seats 4 very comfortably and 3 not at all comfortably (as in not practical for most adults unless you want to bend your neck sideway the whole time). It's also easier to access the third row seating in the Pilot and there is more leg room (which is adjustable).

    * The Pilot has more cargo capacity.

    * In theory the Acura should have a better residual value but it doesn’t at the moment. Perhaps the ’09 will.

    * The Acura drives nicer, no question: More responsive, zippier, better suspension, etc.

    * The interior of the Acura is much better appointed. Many people have correctly complained about the obvious plastic finishes on even the high-end Pilot – they don’t even attempt fake wood.

    * Acura will have 1 year more warranty and probably more white glove treatment at the dealer when serving. When I had a Lexus they wasted the car after every visit and offered me a loaner. Not so much with Toyota, for example…

    * The Pilot has a little better MPG. It has variable cylinder management (i.e. it can save fuel by shutting some off when not taxing the engine). And the Pilot doesn’t require premium fuel like the Acura.

    * The Pilot has iPod integration into the nav screen controls and voice control. There is a rumor the ’09 MDX will but the dealers I spoke to said no and it definitely isn’t in the ’08.

    * The Acura has an option for real-time traffic re-routing in major markets. It requires a monthly subscription. Other than the iPod and traffic differences, the navs and audio systems in both vehicles is identical (at least when comparing to the Touring Pilot).

    * The Touring Pilot has a numerous standard features that are always options in the Acura, such as the tow package and hitch. So make sure to factor that into your cost comparison if they are important to you.

    * The exterior stylings are very different. Chances are if you are leaning toward an Acura you will not like the exterior of the Pilot. It was designed to appeal to people who liked the classic SUV boxiness. I personally don’t care for it but the other features won me over. That said, I am indifferent to the exterior of the MDX – its fine, but it doesn’t wow me either. I prefer the exterior of the CX-9 or the XC90 myself.

    In my experience with competitive bidding there is about a $5-6K difference in price between the 4WD Pilot Touring and an ’08 MDX w/ Tech and Ent (though before the optional towing, etc.). It makes the MDX tempting. If seating had not been a priority for me I would have strongly considered it. If seating and cargo capacity is a priority, it is a total no-brainer decision for the Pilot.
  • citivascitivas Member Posts: 144
    To clarify my residual value comment, I meant proportionately. It doesn't hold a percentage of its value better, at least in the lease terms being offered right now. Obviously it holds a higher absolutely dollar value as it started higher...
  • amamtaniamamtani Member Posts: 2
    I have just started shopping for a SUV. Along with the obvious criteria of handling, safety and price, I also care about the third row seat. Specifically, I want a SUV that can seat 7 adults, but do not want to buy one of the oversized SUVs (like Escalade or Navigator).

    Can the folks on this forum please offer their insights to help me decide between the three models?

    I have driven the MDX and really like it. I did not drive the X5 as it seemed like the 3rd row seats were extremely tight - even more so than the MDX (is that true or just my imagination?).

    I also like the Lexus GX470, but don't know enough about it yet. I plan to drive test it soon. I also drove the Audi Q7 but, to be honest, didn't find it to be worth the price.

    Thanks in advance.
  • dapnkapdapnkap Member Posts: 3
    Here are my options:
    2006 MDX Touring w/NAV and RES, 35K miles $20,895
    2006 MDX Touring w/NAV and RES, 28K miles $23,887
    2006 Pilot EX-L w/RES, 26K miles $20,711
    2008 Pilot SE w/RES, 19K miles $23,980

  • jason330ijason330i Member Posts: 35
    you get alot more with the acura. but 4wd + premium gas and general cost of ownership will be higher.

    i had to make the same choice and went with the honda, but it was tough cause i really liked HID lights, memory seats, and having nav and res together.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Member Posts: 710
    '06 MDX does not have HID's, rather "projector" headlights, they switched to HID's w/ the '07 MY. There is a lot of controversy over whether you can use regular in a "premium only" vehicle. I used premium in my '04 MDX for most of it's life, I recently started using 87 oct because it was $1.50/gal. Didn't notice much difference mileage or performance wise.
    As far as cost of ownership, many Acura owners have maintenence done at the Honda shop where its generally cheaper, however most honda shops will not do warranty work.
  • jason330ijason330i Member Posts: 35
    wow, all this time i assumed the mdx had true HID headlights. isn't it suppose to be a luxury brand? and doesn't the older model TL's have HID?

    still miss the memory seats though.
  • enforcerenforcer Member Posts: 40
    We bought an MDX 3 months ago and could not be more pleased.

    We looked at the Pilot v. MDX v. Highlander. The Toyota salespeople were incredibly lame and the car looked cheap inside, plus the discounts were pretty mediocre (almost as pricey as MDX which had huge rebates) so the Highlander was soon eliminated.

    We also drove the Pilot but it just wasn't as nice. For $3k more we got a much much nicer car - better interior, nicer lines, better features - there really is no comparison. If you don't have the extra $3-5 grand then I guess you have to go with the cheaper model. But if you are buying new and financing with .9 or 2.9% this is really an easy choice.

    Also check out April 2009 consumer reports - the MDX gets a much higher rating than the Pilot - in fact the MDX is highest in its class. And the whole Acura experience is so much better.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Member Posts: 710
    '07 thru '09 MDX's have HID's as well as '04 thru '09 TL's.
  • x5killerx5killer Member Posts: 368
    the pilot just got redesigned in 08 right or was it 09. the new redesign is decent but it it is stilla little big and boxy.

    some ppl say the pilot is the same as the mdx for less money but all they really share is the chassis. the pilot is maybe a little bigger so maybe you get some more room but the MDX is one of the larger mid size suvs as it is and your getting a good bit more luxury sportier fun to drive with it so to me its a case where its totally worth the little extra in price. Its not like it sthe same car with an acura badge on it for more money.

    you do get more. the pilot to me is just too big and boxy and drives like a truck. The MDX is the perfect combo of the sportier car like mid size suvs but still feels more truck like then say the RX or other simiiar mid size suvs. for me its the perfect larger side for mid size suvs but not too large like the pilot or others. sporty enough but also truck like enough and not so car like as some of the mid size suvs based on a car platform. mine as well get a sedan then while to me the mdx is one of the perfect combos in the size and sporty drive dept. there are others that will feel a little lighter and sportier to drive but others like the pilot that will be less sporty so again for me the MDX is the perfect combination best of both worlds.
  • raj_eraj_e Member Posts: 5
    Hi dapnkap,
    I am in the market for either Pilot/MDX (2006). Can I know which city you are in? In Virgnia/DC metro, there are hardly any private party MDXs available and all the dealers are asking for lot more than you quoted.

    2006 MDX Touring w/NAV and RES, 35K miles $20,895 is heck of a deal, the least that I got $25K.
  • lmm203lmm203 Member Posts: 2
    Hey all,

    Resurrecting this thread to ask if anyone has recently picked between a 2008 MDX and a 2009 Pilot. We like both and are trying to figure out if the '08 MDX is worth the additional 4K (33K list for MDX, 29K for Pilot, Boston area). Both have 3 LATCH in the back seat (important for eventual 3rd kid) and dual climate control, which were really the only must-haves for us.

  • citivascitivas Member Posts: 144
    How did you end up with your decision?

    I'm coming up on my three year lease end with the '09 Pilot in late July and am back researching the 3-row crossover SUV options again. The Acura is high on my list because I liked it the first time (3 year ago) but couldn't get over a few issues versus the Pilot (and it had nothing to do with price -- I wouldn't have ended up with the Acura even if it cost less than the Pilot). I plan to go in for a test drive soon, but I am concerned that some of the major benefits of the Acura vs. the Pilot still haven't been addressed. It's definitely not as simple as "you get more with the Acura but it costs more" -- I find it's a real trade-off of features between the two.

    What I didn’t like about the Acura v. the Honda:

    -- In ’09 the tech package was better in the Pilot. It had the UPS-iPod control where the Acura only had a dumb AUX port. This at least was fixed in ’10 apparently.

    -- The seating capacity is SO much better in the Pilot. It seats 8, all comfortably. I have had grandparents on long trips in the third row. By comparison I say the Acura had 4 comfortable seats and 3 marginal seats with the 2 in the third row being pathetic (I couldn’t sit up straight without tilting my head) and the middle seat of the second row being incredibly uncomfortable too. And I have been surprised how often we have used all 8 seats – I would say we do at least once a week.

    -- More and better storage capacity options with the Pilot. Because the third row is a 60/40 split, I can have someone sitting in the back and still have 60 percent full rear storage. This comes in handy almost every day.

    -- Despite all this extra capacity is actually gets better gas mileage than the MDX and does it on standard, not premium fuel. I pay less and get more when it comes to fuel.

    I love the nav system in both vehicles – they are identical but for striping out the real0time traffic from the Honda, which was a bummer though I have yet to use one I can really rely on. Of course I greatly prefer the drive of the Acura and the look and interior quality. But this is ultimately a family utility vehicle (yes, our other car is already a mini-van so we have no bias against them).

    So I guess the question is, other than the iPod improvement have they addressed any of my other issues with the MDZ versus the Pilot?

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