I had been eyeing a GMC Acadia for a while but because we were concerned about safety with a toddler in the back I consulted Consumer Reports. That led us to consider the Honda Pilot, the Toyota Highlander, and the Saturn Outlook. I had pretty much decided on the Toyota but I wanted a power lift gate which only came with a sport package including a sun roof. Due to prior bad experience we were strictly opposed to a sun roof. So, I went with the Pilot. Right from the bat let me say that the 2008 Pilots don't have power lift gates either but the door is not so heavy as the Toyota's and has some hydraulics so I'm not concerned about my ability to shut the Pilot's lift gate.
I've always respected Hondas but never looked closely at them. I was surprised to learn that they do not mix and match their features like other car companies do. The VP is the basic model and does not include a power seat. If you want a power driver seat you must go with the EX or higher. If you want a navigation system or the entertainment system you get the EX-L but you can't have both systems in one. You can't get leather on a VP or EX. I found this a little strange but workable. Once you decide on a model then it's only the color you have to worry about as opposed to finding the power with system with color etc. and only finding power with color or system with color and so on.
I'd had leather in my last few cars and was ready to go back to the simple life so I went with the EX. I'm glad I got the power seat because being able to raise the seat up vertically did make a difference in how I drive the car compared to the VP.
One feature I really like is the driver's console. It has a sliding cover so that it essentially creates a hidden compartment. I could gush on forever about things I like.
SO let me tell you the few things I really find annoying:
The gas tank is ridiculously small. I know I drive a lot but every car I've ever owned has gone at least a week on gas. If I get 5 days on one tank that's a lot for the Pilot. I got this car to be more fuel efficient than my last one and while it may get more MPG it doesn't feel like it when I'm at the pump much more often.
I also find the trip counter ridiculous. I have my own business so I use the trip counter a lot. In my old car I either ran the Personal or the Business counter depending on what I was doing. In the Pilot I started off on Trip A for Personal. Once I made a business trip I switched to Trip B. To my surprise, Trip B had been running simultaneously. So I zeroed it out and started going. I found that Trip A was still running too. So I have to write down each trip instead of getting one electronic total per tank of gas.
Cup holders. The EX bills itself with two extra cup holders. These are located on the fold down portion of the middle of the second row. Well, I have a car seat there so I don't get to use them. And when my toddler wants to hand me his cup, and me and my passenger are already using the front seat cup holders, I have nowhere to put the toddler cup because the backseat ones are way over on the door (or behind the car seat). I would like to have cup holders on the floor of the back seat like I did in my old vehicle.
And finally, I tried to go to the Honda website to send in feedback about their stupid trip counter but there is no system to do that - only via phone.
Regardless of the annoyances, I enjoy driving the Pilot and would like to get 10 years out of the vehicle. I did read that the 2009 version will have a power lift gate and a 0.6 gallon increase in the size of the tank.
Amount Paid (US$):
2008Model and Options:
EX comes with power drivers seat