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Anyone else tempted to switch from the MDX to the new Pilot? I’m really impressed by what Honda has done. Almost every one of the features I really like from the MDX(the removable middle seat, the panoramic sunroof, 360 camera, heads up display, the Advance’s rear hatch that automatically closes as you walk away is on it and it has a substantially better third row (vents, an extra place, more leg room, and a 60/40 split) with a much bigger cargo area. All on the same platform with the same transmission as the MDX plus a newer version of the V6 that make almost as much power. I don’t think I’d have bought an MDX were this generation Pilot released. Especially now that I’m using the third row a lot more than we ever expected. No doubt the Bose system in the Elite is a downgrade from the ELS Studio 3D, the styling isn’t quite as nice, going from the larger screen to the smaller one would be a downgrade, and the materials in the MDX are nicer but its looking to me that the benefits for our family would outweigh what we’d lose and almost every feature we love would stay. Cachet means little to me though my local Honda dealer isn't as good as the local Acura dealer so that would be a downgrade.
I was mentally locking in on an MDX around this time last year, then the greedy dealers/crappy market had me not in a rush, and then other life things got in the way. For the past 3-4 months I have then decided to wait to see the new Pilot. As of this morning I am now heavily leaning Pilot. I do want to see pricing and the real size differences, but for me 1) Larger Interior, 2) Cleaner Dash (just a touchscreen and no trackpad thingy, and NO STUPID GIANT DRIVE MODE DIAL WITH NEON LIGHTS ALL OVER IT RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING hahaha) and 3) presumably lower price has me quite interested. I still like the MDX exterior look better, but Honda has gotten the Pilot to a point where I like that look too and would be excited to own that car and drive it for 8-10 years.
 

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nope, love my Type S...9 inch screen, reflector LED headlights, partial digital cluster, 2 way lumbar, and the list goes on of all the "downgrades" on the 23 Pilot
What do the Acura Jewel Eyes offer vs a Honda LED headlight? The Acura is a number of small LEDs each with their own projector lens? What is the Honda LED design then and how does it differ? Thanks in advance
 

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I will say that I prefer the touchpad over a touchscreen. I like having it and the volume dial right where my hand naturally rests and it doesn't get covered in finger prints. Sadly the same can't be said about Acura's choice of using piano black plastic everywhere. That quickly gets covered in finger prints, dust, and even scratches.

And overall I do love the MDX. It has been a great car. This new Pilot just looks like an incredibly compelling package. Much more so than a Telluride or Highlander.
Yes I agree. I was thinking there was going to be some major "hitch" in the new Pilot package that would cause me to hem and haw and want to spend more to get the smaller MDX, but at this point I don't see it. More details to come of course so I am still optimistic but need to learn more.

I agree with your statement bolded above and unfortunately it makes me scared for Honda dealers asking for $10K market adjustments and other crap like I heard with Telluride and Palisade.....I am not going to play that BS game though. Good news is the Acura guys have been texting me for at least 6-8 weeks talking about "no market adjustment" so at least the air has been deflated from the MDX side it seems. Some high interest rates and maybe some economic slowdown should hopefully keep these Honda salesmen in check, I hope!
 

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The copium is flowing hard in this thread.

"What if I can get the same car for $20k less money?"

I've got some land in Florida to sell you guys... Cheap!
It's not the same car but will be pretty close, but it also won't be "$20K" less. I assume the price difference will be $10K or less for similar features, and the MDX will have a few more bells and whistles. So it will come down to people's views of "Sportier and a Little Smaller and More Expensive" vs "Little Larger, Little More Utility, Good Looking But Not as Sporty, and Save a Little Money"
 

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How is the road/wind noise in the MDX vs Pilot now? I'm a bit behind as I buy older vehicles. I had always had Pilots until this recent upgrade. Noise was my main reason for going with the MDX vs the Pilot.
We won't know for a bit until the Pilots are actually being produced and people can drive them and make a determination. Hopefully soon
 

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I have a 2017 Pilot EX-L and unless you have kids and need the space, I don't think anybody in their right mind would choose the Pilot over the MDX if they could afford the MDX.
I mean yes and no....you've got a variety of unlesses and ifs active in your sentence. To me it really depends on the price difference and useable size difference. I really like the exterior of the MDX but the new Pilot is also handsome enough for me. I think some people could phrase it the other way too...."unless you really feel like paying an extra $10,000 for a little extra sporty look and a few extra doodads here and there, I don't think anyone in their right mind would choose to pay that much more for an MDX when they can get a very very similar vehicle for a better value with the Pilot"

I realize I am on the MDX board so there will be inherent biases :)

I haven't made any decision yet....depends on pricing and functional difference.
 

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For me it's all about the SH AWD. None of the Honda brand has that anymore. I read somewhere years ago, can't find it now, the 2006 Ridgeline, which my husband had, had SH AWD and it drove so smooth. You couldn't make it spin in the snow either. I'm switching to MDX now because I'm sick of the harsh ride.
They actually do, it's just called iVTM-4 in the Hondas and SH-AWD in the Acuras. Mechanically very similar system. Apparently the software is tuned a little differently so the Acura has "sportier characteristics" but to say that Honda doesn't offer a great AWD system isn't accurate since they basically put SH-AWD on the Hondas with a different name
 

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My sister-in-law has a 2012 MDX and everything about it is better than my wife's 2017 Pilot. Even my wife agrees and commented that it drives better, brakes better, handles better, much quieter and an actual audio system unlike the crappy system that they put in the Pilot where the subwoofer is not even usable. Again, all of these better features make it more expensive, that's why I said if you can afford the MDX, there are no reasons to buy the Pilot.
I'm not claiming the Pilot is better. I would expect the MDX to be a little better. I think one needs to compare 2023 MDX to 2023 Pilot though so we are talking about same platform. I look forward to the release of the Pilot so I can go drive and inspect both of them on the same day. Pricing will also be a factor to me. If a similarly-trimmed Pilot is only $5-6K less than an MDX and the MDX has noticeable quality and performance differences then agree a no-brainer. If it is $12K cheaper and the differences are just about the styling and some doodads then makes it harder for me. It will probably be somewhere between on both metrics. If the Honda dealers are so proud of their new Pilots that they are trying to charge Telluride-like $10K market adjustments then yeah, nobody sane would buy a Pilot for the same price as an MDX.
 

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Yea I doubt the difference between a comparable equipped Pilot vs MDX is $5-6K less. If that's the case, there would not be much reason to buy the MDX over the Pilot. Like the two posters above me have stated, the difference is substantial or else why would people buy the MDX over the Pilot? The MDX is not just a little better but much better than the Pilot in everyway. I say this not because I hate the Pilot, I don't but if I had the money, I would choose the MDX. My main complaints about the Pilot is the noise (road, tires, cabin and suspension noises) and the ride. other than that, it's fine for what it is.
Guys, I'm glad you are all so confident that the MDX is "substantially" "better in every way" but NONE OF YOU HAVE SAT IN OR DRIVEN THE NEW PILOT that is built on the same platform as the MDX. And ceo2be, I don't get what you are saying....are you saying that the price difference between a Pilot and MDX is going to be significantly less than $5-6K? Like they will basically be similarly priced? I don't think that will be the case but we'll see. I usually think of Acuras as upgraded Hondas that cost $10K more, but maybe I will be wrong.

The funny thing about your statement above on the things you don't like about Pilot --- just scanning this forum, there are posts complaining about ROAD NOISE, TIRES, and SUSPENSION NOISES in the MDX haha.
 

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The auto makers know about the phenomenon in this thread, and as such they hold back tons of "upgrades" from the lower brand vehicle. First in the interior finishes and sound insulation in the body. Second in the ride quality and suspension. Third in the styling (which is entirely subjective)

I've spent quite a bit of time in a newer Tiguan and a newer q5 and the q5 is head and shoulders above, not for any real reason than brand handicapping.

A huge point for me is dealer experience, luxury brands do it so much better from what I have seen. One of the reasons I would never consider a Genesis. I don't have the time to deal with the subpar service at a econ brand.
Hey to each his own but I personally place minimal $$$ value on "dealer experience"
I try to DIY as much as I can, and paying tens of thousands more for my car so I can have "access to" a fancier dealer waiting room with a nicer coffee machine for the few times I might need service....that becomes a very expensive cup of coffee. If you're saying that luxury brands are actually honest with you in the service department and fix things properly and don't upsell and don't BS you and push you into buying their "suggested supplemental service items" etc then I could see the logic. My own experience when I owned a BMW was that their dealers were just like Honda dealers
 

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I guess if you don't make more than $130 an hour working on the car yourself is worth your time.

I drop the car off, either work there or grab a loaner and go about my day. Can't afford to change my own oil or change the brakes even though I have all the tools. Too much wasted time.
No shame in someone deciding to work on their vehicle or choosing not to work on their vehicle of course. I realize that I and others on here who like to do some maintenance on their cars are the exception rather than the rule, and for most of us I think it is some combo of 1) a hobby (survey says, top answer!) 2) cost savings 3) trust ourselves more than the grease monkey rushing to do the job on our vehicles and 4) convenience (I can do an oil change on a nice Saturday in my driveway, rather than going and sitting in the dealer showroom waiting for 90 mins and thumbing through old issues of Road and Track).

You must be a busy guy and also have a job where you make a lot of money and get paid by the hour? Curious what job that is. I always enjoy hearing that statement "I make too much per hour to do X Y Z". For most of us on a salary or salary/bonus, I get the same paycheck whether I spend 1 hour on a Saturday morning changing my oil or not. By that logic I assume you also don't watch TV, or spend time grilling brats on a Thursday evening at 6:30pm, or waste time going to see a movie on a Sunday afternoon, since all of those time-wasters are costing you dearly given that every hour you are awake and actively "working", you are racking up the Benjamins. Heck, I don't know how you can even sleep more than a few hours a night since if you woke up and started working, you would be making way more money than you are if you are resting :) Now maybe the reality is your job just requires a lot of work and thus you lead a busy life and so you don't choose to spend your free time working on a car, but that doesn't really equate to the "so and so has to earn less than $X per hour in order to spend time on a given task"
 

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To enjoy doing an oil change is a funny thing... what I am saying is that is not worth my time.

My friends wife is dying of brain cancer any day now, and 2 days ago his brother died of a heart attack. Even if it was free I wouldn't waste what little time I have on this earth doing simple tasks that any random person could do just as well. I make the unique contributions I can to my professional life and spend the one of a kind time with family and friends.
I mean, when you are retired then sure doing anything and everything you can on your own time is money in the bank. But if you have other things that are more important you are much better off doing those things instead.
MDXStang and I basically said the same thing, except he is retired and I'm still working

Yes of course to your statements above, the point is people choose how to spend their time and one person's view of a waste of time may be another person's hobby and vice versa. Sorry to hear about the sickness in your circle of family and friends - life throws a lot of challenges at all of us.

I will say that your statements continue to raise my eyebrow...."to enjoy doing an oil change is a funny thing" and "I wouldn't waste time doing simple tasks that any random person could do just as well" Obviously your prerogative on how you want to spend your money and time, and obviously working on cars is something where you don't have an interest (even though you said you have all the tools which is interesting). My wife is busy with work yet enjoys cooking...she enjoys looking at recipes and getting all the ingredients and chopping things and cooking. I dread spending an hour or more doing all that just to eat it. If I lived alone I would do more takeout or cook simple things. "Any random person" can cook our meals, cut our grass, do our laundry, fix our cars, vacuum our carpets, even occupy our kids' time if we want to pay them to do so. I would guess for many of the wrenchers on these forums it isn't only a financial decision. That said, I have done jobs myself like changing a VSA modulator or a starter or control arms and the list goes on, and I save real money doing those jobs myself. The VSA was going to be a $1400 job and I did it myself for the cost of a $200 part I found used.

Back to the Pilot vs MDX Comparison Though!
 

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Cooking requires skill, creativity, precision, mastery. And other people get to enjoy that, the reward is a good meal with others. It is a worthy pursuit and something that is worth spending time on.

Oil changes and brake jobs, tearing apart the front end of the car to replace something... all meaningless procedural drivel. Most of the time it will take you the DIY twice as long to do an involved job at home as someone with a lift who does it every day.

I've done nearly every job a home diy mechanic can do, multiple times over. My conclusion is that it's a waste of time!
Ah, I know I don't know you but your way of proclaiming your opinions as Truth and Fact makes me wince when I read. So apparently cooking is a noble and worthwhile creative pursuit but wrenching a car is a waste of time. Mmmkay. For me, there is satisfaction in learning about why the problem exists, learning about the fix, and then the pleasure of seeing my work completed and the problem is fixed. The fact that I also saved hundreds (or in the case of the VSA modulator, over $1000) for a few hours of my time does add to the pleasure but I'm not doing these out of financial need. Like others have said, another benefit is that you learn about your vehicle and you may notice other issues. Knowledge is Power! Better understanding how things work and are fixed also makes it more likely you will have a BS detector when you do need to deal with a stealership on something. And so what if it took me longer to change rotors and pads than the guy at the dealer? Especially the first time I'm sure it did, but now I have done the job many times. Even if I am never as fast as the guy rushing the job at the dealer, who cares? I guess you keep circling back to this fixation on efficiency vs hourly cost, again intimating that if I can pay $150 per hour of dealer labor and if I calculate my annual compensation on a per-hour basis as anything more than $150 per hour, then I am somehow destroying economic efficiency by DIYing. Again the fallacy in that logic for most everyone is we make that "per hour" money no matter what, so really we are almost doubling up because while I am working on that car fix on Saturday with a coffee in hand, I'm still accruing money every hour that I'm still on the payroll of my primary job too.
 

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Wait, so I just actually looked at the new pilot web page for the first time. Are you guys seriously thinking this car comes close to the MDX?

LMAO!

I don't know where you got the idea that this car is similar to the mdx, it won't even use the same parts like some of you say, honda sells enough pilots they see no economic advantage in sharing parts outside the engine block. It's positioned as a 4 runner competitor...
Okay wise one, you can educate us on all the ways in which the MDX is vastly superior and no parts are shared and every part in the MDX is specially engineered for ultimate performance. I mean yes Acuras are really just Hondas and there are lots of examples of the Acura part number being the same as a Honda part number, maybe with an A on the end, but I look forward to more here. You are reacting to the body shape and styling and it strikes you as looking like a 4-Runner so therefore you just know that MDX uses all different parts even though it is written many places that Pilot is built on the same platform. I'm starting to feel like some trolling happening here :)
 

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I mean, there's only one troll and it's the guy who thinks that any [insert economy brand here] can even come close to its [corresponding luxury brand] counterpart.

There's not a single brand where this fallacy holds true.

I don't even like acuras, as a brand I highly prefer audis. I was gonna buy an SQ7 but couldn't handle the thought of my small children abusing the car.
No problem - nobody was saying the Pilot is better than MDX - the original question was if the Pilot is similar, and gives more interior space, and has the same (or better?) engine, and costs less money, would someone think about getting it vs MDX.

It's becoming clear that you are sold on image...image of the brand....image of the nice coffee machine at the higher end dealer....image that therefore the Acura product couldn't possibly just be a Honda with some nicer earrings and more makeup.....

I don't know Audi vs VW enough, and my uninformed feeling is that there is more of a difference in Audis vs corresponding VWs in terms of actually different engines, etc. I think the actual differences in Acura and Honda are perhaps not as much
 

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Hello Hogan773,

Firstly, I'm not claiming either vehicle is 'better'. However, I think the differences will be more than just styling and doodads. Many people have commented that the driving experience is very different between the two vehicles. Some people have noted how the MDX handles more like a car rather than SUV. On the other hand, how Pilots drive more like a SUV.

You have repeatedly noted we needed to wait to drive the new Pilot because the vehicles are built on the same platform. I’m sorry, but I’m not quite sure how you hope the shared platform will affect the driving characteristics of the Pilot. It's true that we haven't actually driven the new Pilot yet, but I think it's safe to say that sharing the same (or similar) platform does not necessarily mean sharing the same driving characteristics.

The Pilot and MDX have traditionally shared platforms; that notion is not new. That said, every MDX generation has been more performance-based compared to its cousin Pilot. For example, this video shows a comparison of the last generation between the two. While the drag race times were very similar, both drivers commented that MDX was more fun to drive. See also TLX vs Accord and Integra vs Civic, etc. They have shared or similar platforms, but different driving experiences.

While the vehicles might share or have similar platforms (even shared parts sometimes), Acura has traditionally tuned its counterparts for more performance. As noted in that earlier video, both vehicles essentially had the same engine but the output was fairly different. In addition, as you noted in one of your other posts, the SH-AWD and iVTM-4 systems are mechanically very similar but they are tuned differently. Here's a video showing some differences in the same 2019 model year. Yes, the new Pilot will likely get the latest version of the iVTM-4 as the 2022 MDX did with its latest version of SH-AWD, but there will likely still be similar tuning differences between those systems.

As well, that shared platform will have different front suspensions. The MacPherson Strut front suspension in the Pilot would also affect the driving dynamics compared to the front double-wishbone in the MDX. ..

I don’t want this post to come across as how all of the little differences make the MDX a ‘better’ vehicle. Rather, that those differences will likely result in a different driving experience.

It is fair to say that final judgment should be reserved until after we get a chance to drive the new Pilot. However, if you’re hoping the driving characteristics will be the same as the MDX, I think you’ll be disappointed. That’s not to say that the Pilot won’t be still fun to drive in its own right, though. It’ll just be different. Whether that difference in driving experience will be enough to dissuade potential customers from the Pilot will depend on the customer. We all have different wants/needs, and priorities. The new Pilot is an impressive vehicle.

When you do get at chance to test both vehicles, I would be interested in your thoughts on both of them.

Cheers
VERY WELL SAID and I totally agree. They should be different somehow, otherwise any rational person would just buy the Pilot vs the MDX! Would make sense that the MDX should come off as more "sporty"....agree on the different front suspension....basically same engine though (putting aside Type S) so speed and acceleration may not be too different....definitely looking forward to seeing both of them in person to test 1) driving characteristics and 2) are the likely extra few inches of space in the Pilot actually noticeable or not vs MDX, passenger-wise and cargo-wise.
 

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Keep us posted please. I'm curious where you land once you drive the new Pilot and have actual costs, etc. It will be interesting.

My wife has a CRV. She loves that thing. My X is at the detailers right now getting PPF. I pick it up tomorrow PM. So, we've been sharing the CRV the last couple days. I have to say, for what it is, it's a nice vehicle. No issues. It rides and drives very well. A little loud, yes, but, otherwise, a confident feeling vehicle.

I put my sunglasses in the storage compartment of the CRV and upon opening it, there is a panoramic mirror so you can use to check out whomever is riding in the back. Nice touch for families. Also, the plastic for the door and overall mechanism is like twice or more as thick and solid feeling than the sunglass compartment on the '23 X. The one on the X feels like it belongs in a Chrysler K car.

Just saying that value is almost always important even if price is no object. Yes, panache matters too but, a solid reliable vehicle that covers all practical needs can be totally satisfying. I was loosely in the market when I saw the styling of the gen 4 X and immediately fell in lust. That, combined with the solid reliability of 16 years with the '06 X and there was no question what I was going to buy.

Make your choice for you and enjoy!
When you are saying X do you mean MDX I assume?

In 2004 when we had a baby I looked at both Pilot and MDX and decided to go Pilot just because I liked the more utilitarian feel of the interior and dashboard. Felt like wouldn't care as much about having a bunch of little kids and all their mess in the car for the coming years. Now that the kids are older I could handle either one.
 

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This would be my biggest take away from this entire thread - wants vs real world needs and being realistic about both.
....
So back to your original point of this thread, yes I will be going Pilot even though I don’t yet own a 4th gen MDX. The 3rd gen will stay as my wife’s daily and a backup for kid duty. But it is only perfect for us because of our needs. I’d rather give up what I’m giving up and get the functionality of the Pilot with a bit of luxury (we are getting the Elite) while also saving 20k over the Type S advanced.
Interesting....curious that you have already decided Elite trim.....is that just because you are "trading down" mentally from the more expensive Type S that you were considering and so you want to get the highest trim line available on the Pilot to get as close as possible to MDX luxury feel?
 

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........
To address the specifics for the reason on the Elite, we really wanted the few options that were only offered on the Elite - full digital dash, ventilated front seats and heated 2nd row seats.
Makes sense! I keep laughing because when I read your posts I think you are some time traveler who has come back from 2023 since you keep referring to things in the past tense, as if you already bought a 2023 Pilot Elite :) If you are a time traveler, please tell us if there are any major issues you've had in your first year of ownership on this new Pilot :)
 

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Haha, I guess in re-reading those, it could seem like it. Poor word choice I guess, I just have been looking at these so much lately, it feels like I own one already. Unfortunately, I have yet to get one. I did talk with my local dealer and they already have one on order for dealer stock. It’s due in sometime in January but it’s black on black. They were placing more orders this week for dealer stock so I am currently in the process of putting my order in.

Fingers crossed that I don’t deal with the first year gremlins.
Cool! No prices yet I assume

I was hoping to see and touch one by December to make a decision Pilot vs MDX....maybe more waiting ugh....
 
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