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Old 08-13-2012, 07:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New 2012 Honda Pilot Touring vs 2009 MDX Base

All,

My son-in-law is a salesman for the local Honda dealership. I had recently purchase a 2009 MDX Base model and was wondering how these two cars compared. I know an unfair comparison between a brand new 2012 Pilot Touring loaded with all the goodies and my 40K miles 2009 MDX.

Whoever said these cars are similar must have not driven them because I felt like I was in a glorified minivan. Its a nice "family" car but it aint no MDX. I understand they are built on the same platform but the end result its a different car all together. The brakes are horrific compared to the MDX. I thought I was going to hit a couple of cars in the process. Handling is also night and day.

My son-in-law ask me what I thought and that they were running some amazing deals on the end of the year and he could offer me a great trade in.

My response: son if you asked me to do a straight up trade for my car and this Honda I wouldn't do the deal. The only way I would do the deal it to take the 2012 Pilot straight to my Acura dealer and trade in for a 2011 MDX.

The ONLY thing that I like about the Honda was the Navigation / GPS because I don't have that option. Other than that I am amazed that people think that the Pilot is cheaper MDX. IMHO, it is not even close.

Peace.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by revrob View Post
All,

My son-in-law is a salesman for the local Honda dealership. I had recently purchase a 2009 MDX Base model and was wondering how these two cars compared. I know an unfair comparison between a brand new 2012 Pilot Touring loaded with all the goodies and my 40K miles 2009 MDX.

Whoever said these cars are similar must have not driven them because I felt like I was in a glorified minivan. Its a nice "family" car but it aint no MDX. I understand they are built on the same platform but the end result its a different car all together. The brakes are horrific compared to the MDX. I thought I was going to hit a couple of cars in the process. Handling is also night and day.

My son-in-law ask me what I thought and that they were running some amazing deals on the end of the year and he could offer me a great trade in.

My response: son if you asked me to do a straight up trade for my car and this Honda I wouldn't do the deal. The only way I would do the deal it to take the 2012 Pilot straight to my Acura dealer and trade in for a 2011 MDX.

The ONLY thing that I like about the Honda was the Navigation / GPS because I don't have that option. Other than that I am amazed that people think that the Pilot is cheaper MDX. IMHO, it is not even close.

Peace.
The first gen (01-06) MDX was a fancy first gen (03-08) Pilot. The second gen redesigns brought very different vehicles that are night and day apart.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The X is by far the better vehicle today. Lacking the VCM the Pilot has makes the X better choice.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank for the responses. Unfortunately there is still a segment of newer Pilot owners who feel that their vehicle is on even footing with the MDX. And some said there was no difference except in price. That was the reason I wanted to test drive the Pilot. I guess sometime we all want to justify our purchases however after taking the Pilot out for a test drive I know that I absolutely made the right choice.

Peace.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank for the responses. Unfortunately there is still a segment of newer Pilot owners who feel that their vehicle is on even footing with the MDX. And some said there was no difference except in price. That was the reason I wanted to test drive the Pilot. I guess sometime we all want to justify our purchases however after taking the Pilot out for a test drive I know that I absolutely made the right choice.

Peace.
I kind of having the same dilemma after I bought my used 07 elite package MDX, I felt like I made the wrong choice of not buying an 10 Pilot touring for another couple of thousand $, but after hearing all the cons of the Honda I think I made the right choice. The only thing I miss about the pilot is the extra space.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Most people believe they made the right choice whether they bought a
Hyundai or a Rolls Royce. The X is nice, but the Pilot is best for some for various reasons.

I do find it hard to believe the brakes on the Pilot are not adequate for the vehicle. When I was working I had engineer's reports done on many vehicles involved in one car accidents. The results were almost always the same ... loose nut behind the wheel.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I didn't mean to imply the brakes were inadequate for the Pilot my point was that they are a lot less efficient than the MDX. I feel the MDX braking system could stop on a dime and probably the best brake system I have had on any car, I believe they are exceptional.

Also the Pilot was brand new so I doubt there was something wrong with the brakes. Of course these are my opinions.

As far as being happy about a car purchase, my last car a 2010 Ford Explorer was one of the cars I was not happy with and had it for less than a year. I traded it in for a 2009 MDX and could not be happier. Some people buy cars because they function well not necessarily because they are happy with their purchase. YMMV.

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Old 08-14-2012, 11:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Your minivan comment makes sense as I remember reading a response that Honda had to those asking why the Odyssey didn't offer AWD. Honda touts the Pilot as the 8-passenger AWD alternative for those who need the space of a minivan and also AWD capability.

It is an interesting comparison as I bought my MDX right as the brand new Pilots were coming out in 2008. It was very tempting to get the old 2008 Pilot which they were giving away ($6-7k+ off sticker) at the time and I liked the way they looked. I didn't care for the new Pilots looks which was a good thing as Honda dealers at the time were still trying to get sticker price for them.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Honda may tout the Pilot as a minivan but it lacks the length or space of the latter. They'd have to make it a foot longer to compete on that front.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I haven't used the earlier versions of the Pilot or the MDX extensively, but I did test drive the 2012 Pilot EX-L and the 2012 MDX. Here are MY opinions (the MY is in uppercase for a reason):

a. Feature wise, the Pilot EX-L (and above) are very close to the MDX.
b. The Pilot offers utility while the MDX touts luxury and comfort.
c. The Pilot does have extra headroom in the last row compared to the MDX
d. The Pilot comes with a trailer hitch built in - also for the higher trims, you get a few small goodies like the sunshade (but you lose the tinted windows)
e. On the other hand, the Pilot's comfort features are no match for the MDX. The ride on the MDX is far enhanced and the handling is miles ahead - it feels like driving an Accord (I should know, that's my other car).
f. The ELS sound system on the MDX is superb.
g. I found the MDX to be better built, tolerances were tighter and based on several friends' experiences, it will have fewer problems in the long run
h. The Pilot is about 10% cheaper than the corresponding MDX.

Take your pick.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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You are missing one of the golden rules here, never buy a car from a friend/family or someone you mind loosing as a friend
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I owned a '08 MDX and '11 Pilot at the same time. Pretty much ditto what has been said here. The Pilot was nice for the extra cargo and no-worries Jeep-like utility, but the honeymoon was short lived. By comparison: cheap interior, sluggish performance, oddly poorer MPG, hard to see over the hood, uncomfortable seats, and a very annoying VCM system that creates a sonic boom when engaging. The latter issues were discovered after ownership. Fortunately Pilots hold their resale so well I wasn't stuck with it.

I would take a 3 yr old MDX over a NEW Pilot... oh wait, I did.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I know this is an old thread, but I've had a similar experience with one of my close friends buying a brand spanking new 2012 Honda Pilot and her husband is trying to justify that it was a better purchase over my used 2008 MDX, so I'm just speaking out of my mind.

I paid $29k for my MDX with 45k Miles, she paid $36k for her 2012 4WD EX-L.

Long story short, it made me feel somewhat bad and like I made a mistake and should have gotten a brand new Pilot. But after some get togethers she let me drive their Pilot.

My mind was BLOWN...

Not blown in the sense that it made me feel my purchase wasn't good. But blown in the sense that I couldn't have made a better decision that I went with my MDX.

The Honda Pilot was soooo BORING to drive, the interior design was boring, the engine felt like a boring non-revving 6 cyclinder pick-up truck, the handling was mushy and had no steering feel, the brake feel wasn't as snappy, and the interior was surrounded by cheap looking plastics.

The redeeming qualities I would give the Honda Pilot is of course the practicality of it. Honda reliability, tons of interior space, smooth ride so long trips for young and older family members will enjoy, and good re-sale.

But the MDX is by far the better driver's SUV who enjoys the journey more than the destination.

Please no offense to any Pilot owners out there, but do not try and justify the Pilot and MDX as being on par with each other. Maybe they used to be the same with the 1st generation MDXs. But now they are two completely different SUVs meant for very different people. The MDX new or used is the premium vehicle compared to the Pilot.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I agree that the MDX can be more fun to drive. But like it or not, your experience was enhanced by the fact that you wanted it to be better.

Fortunately, we can all choose what is best for us and understand that it's not best for the next guy. A friend of mine always buys used. He currently has an Odessy that he plans to change next year. I asked him if he wanted to buy my X as I'm going to a Jeep. He's riden in the X a number of times, even on multi hour trips, and enjoys the ride. But he will be getting another Odessy, a new one this time, because he likes the room for cargo with the seats down and the easy access through the sliding door. It's not that he has a big family, it's just him and his wife.

Go figure
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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We narrowed it down to the Pilot Touring or MDX Tech....at least on paper. Test drives narrowed it down very quickly to the MDX. To me the Pilot drove very sloppy, power was marginal, engine noise very loud, interior was very low rent plastic. I let my wife make the decision regardless (free marriage tip there) but before test driving I was really hoping the Pilot would win because I'm writing the check. She also disliked the drive of the Pilot and love the MDX. We were stretching it to go from a van to an SUV anyway, so the extra room of the Pilot would have been nice but if we hadn't bought the MDX it would have been something besides the Pilot either way. We were that disappointed after seeing it in person and driving them. In the end the MDX only worked out to be about $4,000 more and similarly equipped with the exception of rear DVD which we really didn't want anyway but Honda forces you to buy if you want NAV. To me, the MDX is a better bargain.
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