Considering a Honda Pilot

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by BelchFire, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

    1,250
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    Mar 29, 2012
    SE Georgia
    DW is considering a Honda Pilot. We always tow with my Silverado which has more than adequate capacity as well as cargo space. However, I would like to think we would have the additional option to tow with a Pilot if we go that way. The capacity is fine if we get a factory towing package. Who among you tows with a Pilot? How is the power? How is the cargo space? Other comments? What should I know before the purchase?
     
  2. Jughed

    Jughed Member

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    3
    Aug 14, 2015
    We have a pick up and a Pilot... The Pilot is a great all around car, people mover, grocery getter - and it tows OK. The interior is nice and has close to the same amount of room as a Tahoe, but the cargo is limited with the 3rd row up. 3rd row down it has plenty of storage space... it will fit 3 car seats in the 2nd row - so even a family of 5 can use it and have storage space for camping trips.

    Stepping up from a lessor TV into a Pilot and you will think it's well suited for the task of towing. Stepping down from a pick up and you will instantly see the shortcomings.
    -It has plenty of power, but needs to rev in order to use the power. Ours in tow haul mode runs at 3,300-3,500 RMP at highway speeds, on flat ground... it will rev up way higher on climbs.
    -Short wheel base = more of the trailer moving the vehicle around.
    -Fuel mileage when towing is only 1-2 mpg better than my gas 2500 pick up. And overall fuel mileage is 20MPG, may see 21 on the freeway - they are thirsty.

    I personally don't like towing at highway speeds with it - that is just my opinion. But it will do the job of towing a PUP just fine... and we use it as our second TV and tend to stay on back roads vs the freeway.

    Ours is a 2010 with 133k. Its had limited issues over regular maintenance- wheel bearing & struts went early... all the gadgets and gizmo's still work... but the timing belt replacement is $$$ $800+/-, and changing the plugs is difficult. Overall its been a decent car.
     
  3. exploreco

    exploreco Active Member

    1,513
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    Jun 20, 2013
    Central, IL
    My previous vehicle was a Pilot. 2007 1st gen awd 3500# limit. Not sure what weight your working with or what year Pilot you are considering. 2009 up awd have higher limits than mine had. With that said I loved my Pilot. Towed our first pop up great. Then we upgraded to a bigger, heavier pop up. Even with airbags and helper springs the rear saged so much. I scaled it and was at the top of my limits. So, yes the Pilot can do it, and the newer the better. I also did annual transmission fluid drain and fills at the end of the season. Cheap insurance. I do love my truck and it tows the camper so much better, but I do miss my Pilot.
     
  4. RollTide30

    RollTide30 Member

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    Jan 30, 2017
    West Georgia
    My wife misses our 2007 Pilot, but I am happier towing with our F150 and its max tow package. I don't even feel the pup back there with the truck. The Pilot was a different story.
     
  5. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

    How about trying out a new Ford Explorer... with tow package that would tow up to 5k lbs. I almost could not feel that I am towing going up short hills and certainly felt nothing on flat roads. I tow around 20 mpg if I go easy on gas. I love the backup camera but the newer Explorers are way much better than my 2014 TV.
     
  6. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

    1,250
    39
    Mar 29, 2012
    SE Georgia
    This is a great write-up and is exactly the kind of feedback I was looking to read. All of you guys, for that matter; thank you!

    Jughed, when you said 20PMG, maybe 21; is that normal day-to-day mileage or is that towing?

    Since we drive a lot for work, I'm sure we'll buy new or only "gently" used (maybe 20-30,000 miles max). We drive a lot and we can put 100,000 on a vehicle quickly. She's driving a Traverse now and I'll be glad to be rid of it. You think Honda's proud of their timing belt? GM charged me $1800 for a "chronic" problem (out of warranty). And the Traverse only gets 20 mpg commuting; sheesh. At 135,000 now, I'll keep it a while longer just because the resale value is so low. I'm also going to keep my pickup, but since DS#1 is going to be driving soon, I think Mama's getting a new ride and Jr gets to learn in my Silverado beast until he gets the hang of it.

    As you guys noted, I'll probably still be towing primarily with the P/U, but it would be nice if her next vehicle is tow-capable as a second option; nothing primary.
     
  7. exploreco

    exploreco Active Member

    1,513
    14
    Jun 20, 2013
    Central, IL
    Our story sounds identical. 2007 Pilot, traded for 2010 F150 with max tow. If it was just going to the local county park where we didn't need to take much, probably could have continued to make the Pilot work. But we were taking longer trips, more stuff, and the truck just handles it so well and gives us room to go to the dark side if we want.
     
  8. Jughed

    Jughed Member

    250
    3
    Aug 14, 2015
    20-21 mpg is the best we see on the freeway during normal driving. The typical mixed driving average is 18-19. Not sure why its so thirsty, but those are common numbers from other Pilot owners

    We buy just about everything gently used - got our Pilot at 1 year old with 29k & it was cherry. When we were looking, it was easier to find nice Pilots than Tahoe/Yukon or even minivans.
     
  9. chuckearnhardt

    chuckearnhardt Member

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    Jul 7, 2015
    We took a 6700 mile road trip this past summer, towing with a 2014 Pilot. We bought it gently used as you described (it had 25k miles), and we thought it did very well for the majority of the trip. The only issue we really had was with the brakes coming down some of the Colorado passes, they did get fairly hot on some of the descents. Otherwise, we thought it was a fine tow vehicle with plenty of room for our family of 4 and our belongings.
     
    BelchFire likes this.
  10. karalaok

    karalaok New Member

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    0
    Aug 5, 2013
    Northern VA
    I towed my 3300 lb Clipper dry with 2011 Pilot rated for 4500lb previously. I usually max out 4500lb easily but the Pilot did a good job for the most part. It struggled a bit when going up hill.
     

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