Back in 2004 I purchased a car I thought would last forever.
Its looks weren’t anything special, but its capabilities and features were exactly what I needed.
The car was a 2004 Honda Pilot, and it lasted all of 6 months. That’s not because anything failed on the car, it’s because it caught on fire and burned to the ground.
Now that the Pilot has been around for over 10 years, it is being revamped for the 2016 model year, but even with all the changes, I think I’d prefer to own my old ’04.
My biggest problem with the new, recently unveiled Pilot is that it’s basically a Honda Odyssey minivan without the sliding doors. The Pilot was never rugged in SUV terms, but it was at least an SUV.
Car and Driver says,
The new Pilot will share its engine and underpinnings with a new version of Honda’s people mover due next year, as both eight-passenger vehicles share their basic architecture with the Acura MDX that was launched in 2013. Honda is being unnecessarily coy about the new Pilot’s specifications, but we do know that it rides on a 110.9-inch wheelbase, 1.7 inches longer than before, and that overall length has been stretched by 3.5 inches to 194.9. That extra space between the bumpers seems to have all gone into the third row and the cargo hold, surely a welcome development for the Pilot’s target market of minivan deniers.
The 2004 Pilot had a 3.5-liter V6 and came standard with AWD, even in its lowest LX trim level. For 2016 the Pilot will come with a 3.5-liter V6 and come standard with front-wheel drive. On the positive side, the newest edition will come with Variable Cylinder Management, which switches between 6- and 3-cylinder modes, in addition to all the modern safety and technology bits people expect in their cars.
At the time, my top-of-the-line Pilot EX-L came in at just over $30,000. Pricing hasn’t been released on the newest Pilot, but prices could easily surpass $40,000.
I prefer the looks of the boxy 2004 model to the van-like 2016 and would choose to buy used if shopping for a Pilot.
Which Honda Pilot do you prefer, the first generation or the latest 2016 model?