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Hello! n00b here doing research.

I recently sold a '14 Pilot with 42k on it for more than I paid 2 years ago (yay!). I loved that rig and am looking for a slightly older, higher mile version of it or similar (boo). Mostly I'm towing a 2,000# fishing boat a few times a week during peak salmon seasons, otherwise averaging about 5k miles/year total around town and weekend getaways on twisty mountain passes. My old butt has become used to warmed leather seats. I'm happy to admit that. I like nice things, but I'm also budget conscious.

Option 1 - In my search I came across an '09 MDX with 107k on the ticker for well under KBB. It's loaded with tech and ent packages, single owner, service records, etc. I know it needs the 105k service, which is one very good reason for the price. I have a reliable independent shop to do the work.

Option 2 is a '11 Pilot EX-L, also loaded with 123k. It will also need a thorough servicing, including timing belt. I verified with Honda that the VIN is not within range of the dreaded oil consumption issues.

Option 3 was a mid-life crisis of an Xterra Pro-4x that I thankfully walked away from this weekend. I'm over that now and still married, thank goodness.

My question is really one of reliability and cost of ownership. I had a mini for many years that became a running joke (an oil change routinely cost me $1500 in other service requirements). For folks with '09's and 2nd gens in general, how has maintenance been north of 100k miles? I seem to be reading mostly favorable posts, but fear I may be missing something given the wealth of info available.

Thank you for your time, and advice.
 

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My wife had a 2014 Pilot and I really liked that generation. I liked the 2nd gen Pilot exterior styling much more than the current generation. Reliability is rock solid on the gen2 pilot, too.

The 2nd gen MDX is obviously a nicer vehicle. However, I don't think they make good used car purchases. The J37 has proven to be less than stellar; so much so, Acura ditched it and the MDX is back on the J35 -- a phenomenal engine -- for gen3.

If you are okay with the 2nd gen Pilot interior (not as nice as MDX) then I'd stick with the Pilot.
 

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Take the 2G MDX.. Those years Pilots are not even on the same galaxy in performance, build quality, etc.

Also the J37 was ditched to meet CAFE Standards of Emissions... Nothing to do with the engine itself, Better yet the 09 does not have burning oil issues like the +2010 models.
 

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I would go for the 09 MDX if you like to drive. The MDX drives like a much smaller SUV and I enjoy pushing the sh-awd any chance I get. The added bonus will be more hp/tq, very comfy seats, higher tow rating at 5000lbs, best awd system on the market, and similar reliability you are use to with the Honda.
 

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Agreed with mrgold, it drives like my old accord more so than a big suv. I like it! I'm with you on the seat warmers, with the cold weather I'm having it's super nice to have! All I've done up in the higher miles is a pressure sensor, and I'm getting my doors repainted as I type this for the rust under the handles.

Would I buy another? nope, I'm 17 and I don't like paying for premium fuel, over $1.20 a litre in canada, but it's what I got to live with. The choice is yours!
 

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Have you driven them? We were very serious about buying a Pilot in 2012 as they seemed perfect on paper, but there was a HUGE difference inside and behind the wheel. Obviously you know how the Pilot drives and are ok with that, but if you like nice things, the MDX is a pretty big upgrade. Acura really isn't an expensive brand to own and I don't think you're more likely to spend considerably more on maintenance/repairs with the MDX than the Pilot.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have you driven them? We were very serious about buying a Pilot in 2012 as they seemed perfect on paper, but there was a HUGE difference inside and behind the wheel. Obviously you know how the Pilot drives and are ok with that, but if you like nice things, the MDX is a pretty big upgrade. Acura really isn't an expensive brand to own and I don't think you're more likely to spend considerably more on maintenance/repairs with the MDX than the Pilot.
I had a 2014 Pilot for 2 years that I absolutely loved and only sold it because someone offered me what I paid for it after I drove it for 2 years. The '11 is essentially the same inside except the backup camera is on the mirror rather than the display panel. Yes, the motor is a bit different, but the driving experience feels the same to me. I've not yet driven this particular MDX (I plan to tomorrow), but I have demo'd them in the past and was blown away. I just never considered owning one until this one crossed my path.

I'm stepping down from a $30k rig to something more in the $15-$18k range. The MDX I'm looking at is $9500, but it needs the BIG service, so that leaves me some leeway to set something aside for repairs if I need them.
 

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Our '07 X has 140k+ miles on it. Off the hop of my head the only things I've had to mess with in the last 2 years are replacing a transmission pressure switch, fussing with the driver's side air mix motor (twice), replacing the driver's side sub-harness, and replacing the sway bar end links and bushings. We have the sport and I probably should replace the shocks, but I'm not getting any errors and they don't leak so I'm rolling with it. And finally, the driver's side seat heater only works on high. That's on top of the timing belt service and other regular maintenance items.
 

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For me the driving dynamics, SH-AWD for both traction and cornering, luxury feel, upgraded interior appointments, more edgy styling, more than justifies it being the top dog by a wide margin IMO.
 
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