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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We are at a tough decision point trying to decide between the Pilot Elite and the MDX. The sticking point is cargo space of the MDX and the usability of the 3rd row of the MDX. We would love any feedback to help us make this decision as we need to make this decision this weekend!

We have 1 teenager, and also 1 in college, so no hauling babies and carseats. We do go to the beach once a year and pack everything and the kitchen sink. Our other car is a Acura TSX, so this car would be our primary mover. We are coming from an Odyssey and are used to lots of space. However, I am so ready to get a "grown up" car since this is the vehicle I will have when I turn 50 and for the next 10 years! lol!

Regarding the 3rd row seats. We will hardly use them, but need them since at times we need to haul the grandparents. That means myself (5'6") and my daughter (5'3") would move to the 3rd row. Most trips are short and no more than 30-45 mins.
Also, can a standard (52qt) cooler fit behind the 3rd row?

Lastly, we want to be able to haul kayaks on the top. Is this doable with some sort of roof top system. This is a concern of ours since we saw quite a bit of posts about it.
 

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I drove both. I ended up with a CPO '16, but it is a pretty close call between the MDX and the Pilot. Both are really nice. I found the Pilot seats very uncomfortable, but if you liked your Odyssey seats you will feel right at home in the Pilot. If you are going for an Elite Pilot or similar trim, the Infotainment on the Pilot kills the MDX. Honestly, though, unless you really want AWD, there is not a lot of reason to pick a Pilot over an Odyssey. I get what you are saying, though.
 

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Interior wise, you'll find that the MDX is a bit more comfortable. It also has a sportier feel to it and is therefore a lot more fun to drive. Also, as you mentioned, it is a bit roomier. The infotainment system is better on the Pilot ironically as it has android and apple carplay. We have an Odyssey as well as an MDX. You really cannot compare the two. The Odyssey is VERY spacious and is ideal for moving and long trips. I don't understand what you mean by "grown up" car. I've driven both the Pilot and the Odyssey and I honestly prefer driving the minivan. If you can get past the stigma of driving one, nothing can beat it. The 3rd row seats on the MDX are tight and only ideal for small children and for shorter periods of time. If you have them up, the cargo space goes from spacious to cramped. I'm not sure if you will be able to fit a cooler (probably a small one). You can get cross bars installed or buy one with them preinstalled and you should have no trouble hauling kayaks.

Value wise if you compare the base model 2017 MDX and the Elite Pilot, I think you get a better value from the MDX especially since they made their Acurawatch system standard. If the infotainment system is important to you, then go for the Pilot. I may be biased though since I drive an MDX :wink: Also, I'm a huge fan of the new MDX grill.
 

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Tough choice. But if back in 2013 the new Pilot was out, I would have gone with the Pilot Elite vs a base MDX (same price range). It's more practical. There weren't much choices back in 2013.

MDX handles sportier if you get the SHAWD. And that I think is the major advantage the MDX has over the Pilot. And probably, a little bit in the interior quality.

Interior in the MDX is fine, not on par with Lexus but it's pretty comfy on long drives. I bet the Pilot is comfy too and roomier especially behind the 3rd row.

Basically, the gap between a Honda and an Acura is so close (honestly, Honda has Acura beat in most aspects), it really doesn't make sense going with Acura anymore.

If I was in your situation, I would go with an AWD Pilot Elite or Touring. Way more bang for the buck.




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Just went through the same. Was ready to move out of our Ody and into an SUV. We test drove the Pilot, MDX, and Infiniti QX60. We have 2 boys, 15 & 11. 15 year old is 5'10" and 190lbs. During test drives, we took turns riding in all 3 rows. Key wants/needs for me: comfort, quiet, smooth ride. Based on our needs/wants, we unanimously decided on the QX60. Have had it for 2 months now and we are very happy with it.

Good luck!


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Discussion Starter #7
After a really tough process of looking at both the Pilot Elite vs the Acura MDX, we decided on the MDX. We are coming from a mini van with only 1 teenager living at home, so we were ready to move from an Odyssey after 10 years. It will be an adjustment, but we felt the Elite drove and felt a little more like the minivan and needed a change. Both though were wonderful and very nice though, so it was hard to make the decision. I'm a bit concerned about cargo space on the MDX and adjusting after having a van, so we will certainly be looking into getting a roof top carrier for our trips.

So excited to be a MDXer!! Now on to learning all of the features and how to use them! lol!
 

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After a really tough process of looking at both the Pilot Elite vs the Acura MDX, we decided on the MDX. We are coming from a mini van with only 1 teenager living at home, so we were ready to move from an Odyssey after 10 years. It will be an adjustment, but we felt the Elite drove and felt a little more like the minivan and needed a change. Both though were wonderful and very nice though, so it was hard to make the decision. I'm a bit concerned about cargo space on the MDX and adjusting after having a van, so we will certainly be looking into getting a roof top carrier for our trips.

So excited to be a MDXer!! Now on to learning all of the features and how to use them! lol!
Congrats! What model did you choose? Pic?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We went with the 2017 MDX Tech and love it so far! Our poor Odyssey was 10 years old with 175,000 miles, so this is totally new to us! We went with Modern Steel exterior with gray interior. Was so so torn on interior, but I like he contrasting color and just wasn't loving the darkness of the black. I have a lot of adjusting to do coming from the minivan! Lol! Need to add roof rails and cross bars for travel yet.
 

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We went with the 2017 MDX Tech and love it so far! Our poor Odyssey was 10 years old with 175,000 miles, so this is totally new to us! We went with Modern Steel exterior with gray interior. Was so so torn on interior, but I like he contrasting color and just wasn't loving the darkness of the black. I have a lot of adjusting to do coming from the minivan! Lol! Need to add roof rails and cross bars for travel yet.
LOL! I just noticed my sweet and loyal, but old and dirty, Odyssey sitting next to my new MDX! lol! Couldn't bare to trade her in yet, so the old girl came home with us! Unfortunately, she needs some work so we need to decide if we want to put money into her or just sell her as is.
 

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Good thing you don't have factory roof rails. MDX has one of the worst roof rails and cross bars locations/positions. By not having factory rails you're open to some great aftermarket option. Please do your research before going OEM.
 

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Going through the same thing right now. Replacing a minivan and looking at Pilot, MDX, and Volvo XC90. As between the Acura and the Pilot (Elite), despite seeming to have the same or similar engine, transmission, and AWD system, does the Acura have anything else that makes it a better alternative to the Pilot in terms of parts under the hood and frame? Are the systems mentioned above really spec'd out the same. Frequently items have the same specs but have different acceptance tolerances and materials. We know the Pilot has more usable space and the Acura definitely has better interior features, but the Acura definitely seemed to drive better even when not in sport mode. The Pilot seemed a bit noisier and drove more like the minivan. Lots of space in the third row though. The difference was enough that it seemed like it should be attributable to something non-subjective. This was back to back test drives of some length over varying streets (no off-road) and after also driving a few other cars earlier in the day.
 

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Pilot is taller and more softly sprung than MDX. Both have the same torque vectoring rear differential, but I think the software may be tuned for somewhat more aggressive performance in the MDX. Engine in MDX has slightly higher output because it's tuned for premium fuel, but both Pilot and MDX have plenty of power. Exhaust is a bit buzzy in Pilot if you rev her. Overall noise level is very similar, maybe slight advantage to MDX.

Interior is roomier in Pilot, especially cargo area and 3rd-row seat. Driving ergonomics are a bit better in MDX. Infotainment is better in Pilot, especially Nav. I think it comes down to how you will use the vehicle. We have both, but the Pilot does almost all of the road-trip duty. Pilot is pretty much a minivan without sliding doors, for better or worse. It's very practical, but not the sportiest handling vehicle around. It can definitely do the job, even spirited canyon carving if you know how to get the SH-AWD engaged, it just doesn't feel as confident as MDX when pushed hard. I think your test-driving impressions are pretty much on-the-money.

Have you considered the sport hybrid? I think that's now the drivetrain to get if you don't need to tow. No such option for Pilot.
 
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