Used car review - 2018 Honda Pilot EX-L AWD

Messages
591
Location
Atlanta, GA
So I had a chance to get ~120 miles of seat time behind the wheel of my mom's '18 Honda Pilot EX-L AWD this weekend which consisted of ~115 miles on country roads with 60 MPH speed limits that passed through multiple small towns with speed limits that dropped from 60-30 then back up to 60, the remaining ~5 in slow city driving with a stop light here and there. Would like to preface this by saying my mom is not a fan of her 3rd generation, she had a 1st gen and 2nd gen and just blindly bought a 3rd gen based on how happy she was with the first 2. She said it drives much differently than her last two - her words were "it feels more like a truck", so I guess less carlike? Also she mentioned it has been exhibiting some electrical issues already with ~38k miles on the clock where all 4 windows will crack themselves ~1/4" overnight and the sunroof will vent about the same amount, she said they open the same exact amount every time it happens. Also her navigation headunit will freeze up entirely and require her to stop somewhere, shut the car down and start it back up for it to reboot itself. Powertrain: I have to say the 3.5 makes some nice noises, this one has the direct injected mill so it has that trademark Honda DI rattle. It is a bit soft down low in the powerband so you gotta get it revving, even in her sedate driving shift points are 3500-4000. Under my slightly more aggressive foot 5k was pretty typical. There was one nice uphill on ramp that let me lay heavy into the throttle to about 6.5k and there were no objectionable noises and it honestly had a nice growl to it. The VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) was not really noticeable, never felt it deactivate but there were a few times when it activated there was the most minor shudder that 95% of consumers would not notice. The 6 speed auto has the typical Honda firm upshifts. Ride and Drive: Very car like so I don't know where my moms "truck" comment came from, if the prior gens were better than this I honestly don't know what to say. The ride and handling on this was superb. Road noise was well muted, wind noise was a little more noticeable from around the pillars than I expected. Parking lot maneuvers are a breeze, this thing drives way smaller than it actually is and has very good visibility all around. Fuel Economy: Hits EPA targets no issue, she had ~680 miles on one of the trip computers when I hopped in and it was reading 24.6 MPG. I ended at 798 miles on the same trip computer (did not want to mess with it if she had some rhyme or reason to when she resets) and ended at 25.1 MPG, I imagine the 26 MPG HWY figure would be easy to achieve. Eco mode neuters the throttle drastically so I used it on long cruising stretches and shut it off when I needed acceleration (passing, accelerating out of the 30 MPH areas, etc) - when I talked to my mom after the trip she mentioned she used it for a full tank on one of their Texas to Minnesota runs and it made zero difference in the trip MPG so she just leaves it off all the time. Overall I would say I see why these things sell like hotcakes. Except for the electrical issues that she reports I honestly could not find anything to fault in her car. It is screwed together exceptionally well (zero squeaks or rattles), the powertrain is an absolute gem, it drives like a car, seats 8 or carries a crap ton of stuff, and gets pretty good fuel economy to boot. If I were in the market the Pilot would be a very strong contender. Anyways figure I would review the current gen Pilot for anyone looking.
 
Messages
12,148
Location
Colorado Springs
I was looking at it last year when I was on a market for family car. I am 6.2, and I found that it has same problem like previous generation of Pilot (My in laws have it and I drive it a lot when we visit them), and that is that my right knee is in awkward position rubbing central console, and my left foot is in some contracted position that becomes painful after some time. Another issue is that 6 speed does not have possibility of manual shifting (for me that is a must as I drive a lot in the mountains and use lower gears to slow down). 9 speed was iffy, and not sure whether they resolved an issue. Speedometer is digital, which I do not see point in a family car. And now thing that I just find absolutely ridiculous: Audio is ONLY touchscreen, not even a knob for volume or on/off. I know they changed that for 2019. That camera in right mirror. It is the MOST dangerous thing anyone came up with. When turning right, camera goes on and projects video on screen, immediately taking attention from everything else. I found it actually an accomplishment when it comes to the stupidity. I think for 2019 they also went away with it. As for the engine, I know that on paper and testing it is very fast. But in real world, I found it underwhelming. Actually I found this V6 in Sienna having more "butt" hp than that V6 in new Pilot. I know in reality that Pilot would obliterate my Sienna, but I found it somehow distant as for power experience.
 
Messages
23,743
Location
CA
I agree with your remarks. I have driven the current generation Pilot in both the 6-spd and the 9-spd form, and both are excellent. I would prefer the 6-spd though. Strangely enough, the current Ridgeline rides and handles slightly better than the Pilot IMO. In fact, I am seriously considering one for myself.
 
Messages
13,836
Location
Kendall, FL
I agree as well. I had a chance to drive a '17 with the 9spd and loved it. The Pilot hits all the Mark's my wife and I are looking for. She still isnt ready to let go of the SFS yet, but once she is, we've narrowed the field down to the Telluride, Pilot and Atlas...in that order. No turbo wanted.
 
Messages
509
Location
VA
Originally Posted by edyvw
I was looking at it last year when I was on a market for family car. I am 6.2, and I found that it has same problem like previous generation of Pilot (My in laws have it and I drive it a lot when we visit them), and that is that my right knee is in awkward position rubbing central console, and my left foot is in some contracted position that becomes painful after some time. Another issue is that 6 speed does not have possibility of manual shifting (for me that is a must as I drive a lot in the mountains and use lower gears to slow down). 9 speed was iffy, and not sure whether they resolved an issue. Speedometer is digital, which I do not see point in a family car. And now thing that I just find absolutely ridiculous: Audio is ONLY touchscreen, not even a knob for volume or on/off. I know they changed that for 2019. That camera in right mirror. It is the MOST dangerous thing anyone came up with. When turning right, camera goes on and projects video on screen, immediately taking attention from everything else. I found it actually an accomplishment when it comes to the stupidity. I think for 2019 they also went away with it. As for the engine, I know that on paper and testing it is very fast. But in real world, I found it underwhelming. Actually I found this V6 in Sienna having more "butt" hp than that V6 in new Pilot. I know in reality that Pilot would obliterate my Sienna, but I found it somehow distant as for power experience.
Wife and I recently purchased a 2019 Pilot AWD EX-L. You are correct in regards to the radio volume knob and the camera screen. Our 2019 does have a volume knob and the camera screen is in the head unit. We drove a Passport with the 9 speed and the 6 speed Pilot. Wife preferred the Pilot, so we went with it. I honestly could not tell much difference during the test drive. We recently took it to Florida and it made the drive pretty easy. Running I-95 we averaged just a tad over 26 mpg. I can live with that. My only gripe is the Lane Departure Warning system. I get the potential benefit(s) but to me it activates a little prematurely sometimes. Fortunately it can be turned off manually. Ours was one of the ones that had to be recalled to have the timing belt inspected. Had ours done about two weeks before the Florida trip and dealer said our belt was fine. We are both happy with it.
 
Messages
6,573
Location
New England
I really like the Pilot/MDX however the death of my current rusty(poor body work) 2007 MDX with 190k in next few years is going to be the timing belt/plugs/etc replacement I will skip.
 
Messages
4,162
Location
Texas
Originally Posted by pezzy669
So I had a chance to get ~120 miles of seat time behind the wheel of my mom's '18 Honda Pilot EX-L AWD this weekend which consisted of ~115 miles on country roads with 60 MPH speed limits that passed through multiple small towns with speed limits that dropped from 60-30 then back up to 60, the remaining ~5 in slow city driving with a stop light here and there. Would like to preface this by saying my mom is not a fan of her 3rd generation, she had a 1st gen and 2nd gen and just blindly bought a 3rd gen based on how happy she was with the first 2. She said it drives much differently than her last two - her words were "it feels more like a truck", so I guess less carlike? Also she mentioned it has been exhibiting some electrical issues already with ~38k miles on the clock where all 4 windows will crack themselves ~1/4" overnight and the sunroof will vent about the same amount, she said they open the same exact amount every time it happens. Also her navigation headunit will freeze up entirely and require her to stop somewhere, shut the car down and start it back up for it to reboot itself. Powertrain: I have to say the 3.5 makes some nice noises, this one has the direct injected mill so it has that trademark Honda DI rattle. It is a bit soft down low in the powerband so you gotta get it revving, even in her sedate driving shift points are 3500-4000. Under my slightly more aggressive foot 5k was pretty typical. There was one nice uphill on ramp that let me lay heavy into the throttle to about 6.5k and there were no objectionable noises and it honestly had a nice growl to it. The VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) was not really noticeable, never felt it deactivate but there were a few times when it activated there was the most minor shudder that 95% of consumers would not notice. The 6 speed auto has the typical Honda firm upshifts. Ride and Drive: Very car like so I don't know where my moms "truck" comment came from, if the prior gens were better than this I honestly don't know what to say. The ride and handling on this was superb. Road noise was well muted, wind noise was a little more noticeable from around the pillars than I expected. Parking lot maneuvers are a breeze, this thing drives way smaller than it actually is and has very good visibility all around. Fuel Economy: Hits EPA targets no issue, she had ~680 miles on one of the trip computers when I hopped in and it was reading 24.6 MPG. I ended at 798 miles on the same trip computer (did not want to mess with it if she had some rhyme or reason to when she resets) and ended at 25.1 MPG, I imagine the 26 MPG HWY figure would be easy to achieve. Eco mode neuters the throttle drastically so I used it on long cruising stretches and shut it off when I needed acceleration (passing, accelerating out of the 30 MPH areas, etc) - when I talked to my mom after the trip she mentioned she used it for a full tank on one of their Texas to Minnesota runs and it made zero difference in the trip MPG so she just leaves it off all the time. Overall I would say I see why these things sell like hotcakes. Except for the electrical issues that she reports I honestly could not find anything to fault in her car. It is screwed together exceptionally well (zero squeaks or rattles), the powertrain is an absolute gem, it drives like a car, seats 8 or carries a crap ton of stuff, and gets pretty good fuel economy to boot. If I were in the market the Pilot would be a very strong contender. Anyways figure I would review the current gen Pilot for anyone looking.
60 MPH highway speeds ? Our highway speeds are 70 - 75 MPH . 80 MPH in a few places / interstates . Sounds like you really like her Pilot . Maybe you and your Mom should swap vehicles ?
 

Bud

Messages
2,860
Location
Texas
Originally Posted by WyrTwister
Originally Posted by pezzy669
So I had a chance to get ~120 miles of seat time behind the wheel of my mom's '18 Honda Pilot EX-L AWD this weekend which consisted of ~115 miles on country roads with 60 MPH speed limits that passed through multiple small towns with speed limits that dropped from 60-30 then back up to 60, the remaining ~5 in slow city driving with a stop light here and there. Would like to preface this by saying my mom is not a fan of her 3rd generation, she had a 1st gen and 2nd gen and just blindly bought a 3rd gen based on how happy she was with the first 2. She said it drives much differently than her last two - her words were "it feels more like a truck", so I guess less carlike? Also she mentioned it has been exhibiting some electrical issues already with ~38k miles on the clock where all 4 windows will crack themselves ~1/4" overnight and the sunroof will vent about the same amount, she said they open the same exact amount every time it happens. Also her navigation headunit will freeze up entirely and require her to stop somewhere, shut the car down and start it back up for it to reboot itself. Powertrain: I have to say the 3.5 makes some nice noises, this one has the direct injected mill so it has that trademark Honda DI rattle. It is a bit soft down low in the powerband so you gotta get it revving, even in her sedate driving shift points are 3500-4000. Under my slightly more aggressive foot 5k was pretty typical. There was one nice uphill on ramp that let me lay heavy into the throttle to about 6.5k and there were no objectionable noises and it honestly had a nice growl to it. The VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) was not really noticeable, never felt it deactivate but there were a few times when it activated there was the most minor shudder that 95% of consumers would not notice. The 6 speed auto has the typical Honda firm upshifts. Ride and Drive: Very car like so I don't know where my moms "truck" comment came from, if the prior gens were better than this I honestly don't know what to say. The ride and handling on this was superb. Road noise was well muted, wind noise was a little more noticeable from around the pillars than I expected. Parking lot maneuvers are a breeze, this thing drives way smaller than it actually is and has very good visibility all around. Fuel Economy: Hits EPA targets no issue, she had ~680 miles on one of the trip computers when I hopped in and it was reading 24.6 MPG. I ended at 798 miles on the same trip computer (did not want to mess with it if she had some rhyme or reason to when she resets) and ended at 25.1 MPG, I imagine the 26 MPG HWY figure would be easy to achieve. Eco mode neuters the throttle drastically so I used it on long cruising stretches and shut it off when I needed acceleration (passing, accelerating out of the 30 MPH areas, etc) - when I talked to my mom after the trip she mentioned she used it for a full tank on one of their Texas to Minnesota runs and it made zero difference in the trip MPG so she just leaves it off all the time. Overall I would say I see why these things sell like hotcakes. Except for the electrical issues that she reports I honestly could not find anything to fault in her car. It is screwed together exceptionally well (zero squeaks or rattles), the powertrain is an absolute gem, it drives like a car, seats 8 or carries a crap ton of stuff, and gets pretty good fuel economy to boot. If I were in the market the Pilot would be a very strong contender. Anyways figure I would review the current gen Pilot for anyone looking.
60 MPH highway speeds ? Our highway speeds are 70 - 75 MPH . 80 MPH in a few places / interstates . Sounds like you really like her Pilot . Maybe you and your Mom should swap vehicles ?
Speed limit signs are a waste of money in Texas. No one pays any attention to them.
 

pezzy669

Thread starter
Messages
591
Location
Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted by WyrTwister
60 MPH highway speeds ? Our highway speeds are 70 - 75 MPH . 80 MPH in a few places / interstates . Sounds like you really like her Pilot . Maybe you and your Mom should swap vehicles ?
Sorry I guess I might be mixing up freeway and highway. These were State routes in the sense there is one lane in each direction with no median. So maybe a state route? LOL
 
Messages
3,367
Location
North TX
Quote
60 MPH highway speeds ? Our highway speeds are 70 - 75 MPH . 80 MPH in a few places / interstates
He's not talking I 10 with an 80 mph limit here here................
Quote
which consisted of ~115 miles on country roads with 60 MPH speed limits that passed through multiple small towns with speed limits that dropped from 60-30 then back up to 60, the remaining ~5 in slow city driving with a stop light here and there.
 
Messages
17,015
Location
...
"60 MPH highway speeds ? Our highway speeds are 70 - 75 MPH . 80 MPH in a few places / interstates ." Not everyone lives in Texas. Every area has its own speed limits and conditions. In my neck of the woods, if you can go faster than 30mph on the interstate then you are doing pretty good.
 
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