Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

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felzy5
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Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by felzy5 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:09 am

My wife needs a new ride and we test drove nearly every 3 row SUV except Kia and Hyundai (she doesn’t like way they look)

Hands down the best ride was the CX-9. We went there to cross off the list but ended up loving a Grand Touring model. They have 0% financing for up to 63 months. Lowest price I can get is $41k. They say they can’t compete with Honda incentives and we walked out.

Similarly equipped Honda Pilot Touring can be had for 36k plus tax/tag/fees and .9% financing for 60 months which is about 40k OTD. We felt like this felt the most boxy and big when driving.

Can’t find a Highlander limited for under $42k before tax and tags. We liked it but not as good as the CX-9.

Honda and Mazda both do no first payment for 90 days which is nice as my wife is out of work for 4 months due to expected birth of son. We are also building house and have a lot
of cash going out (appliances, kitchen upgrade, etc) hence we wanted to keep payment as close to 600 for 5 years.

Is there a clear top performer of these three? We have driven Honda and Acura most of our lives so peace of mind with the Honda is what I think of but have read not so good things about infotainment and transmission. There is limited feedback about Mazda’s in forums due to small Us footprint.

Thanks for any feedback or advice.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:29 am

Welcome. Your post is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (vehicle purchases and maintenance).
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

Wolfpack2463
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Wolfpack2463 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:33 am

How often will you need to use the 3rd row? If you will use it, then will there be adults or children sitting back there? The Highlander and CX-9's 3rd row is unusable for adults and only suited for smaller children, the Pilot can accommodate adults in the 3rd row.

Have you looked at the Subaru Ascent? We narrowed it down to the Ascent and Pilot when we were shopping, and ended up choosing the Pilot (Wife didn't like the interior colors/design of the Ascent as much).

Pomegranate
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Pomegranate » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:37 am

How long are you planning to keep it? Imho all of these (plus kia and hyundai) will serve 10yrs/150k. If you’d replace it earlier just choose one your wife likes the most :sharebeer

othermike27
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by othermike27 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:53 am

felzy5 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:09 am
...have read not so good things about infotainment and transmission.
Bought a 2019 Pilot Touring for wife 2 years ago; very pleased with it. If you are referring to the early issues with the Touring's 9-speed transmission made by ZF of Germany, rest easy. During a test drive I was able to get the transmission to exhibit the "problem" only by using the paddle-shifter to force a downshift too soon. Otherwise, no problems at all. In fact, we have completely forgotten about the bad press that the ZF-9 got.

Kagord
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Kagord » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:06 am

You mention ride, you may want to check out a 3-4 year old Lexus GX 460, and just compare the new mid range tier you are looking at to a higher class of car preowned, that may last as long as your needs. I'm a fan of buying 3-6 year old Lexus's. They usually have perfect maintenance history and well taken care of is par for the course.

The best engineers and staff workers at Toyota in Japan go to Lexus, just saying, there just isn't a more reliable engineered car in the world (tin foil hat on). There's just a small snafu they have with the folks that design the grill, but you can buy before that problem.

Topic Author
felzy5
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by felzy5 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:13 am

We wont use third row often. Just for kids in future. 2 year old and another baby due in September.

We plan to buy and keep for at least 7-10
years.

New home build nearing completion. Just made appliance purchase, still have to may for $10k kitchen upgrade and about $5k in other house upgrades, $20k for yard and driveway - would leave us with a solid emergency fund.

Lots of coals in the fire but all good stuff. Wife driving 07 acccord and wants an upgrade before new baby.

Thank you all for input.

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snackdog
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by snackdog » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:15 am

I just rented a 2020 CX9 ($24/day from Enterorise) and drove it cross country for two weeks. I was very impressed (my daily is an Xdrive50i). Extremely comfortable for all day highway cruising. Also practical for hauling filthy dogs around town and Home Depot trips. It was trashed when I returned it. Apple CarPlay, lane departure, radar cruise, etc work great and reduce driving stress. Cams great for tight city parking. Super comfy seating. Good climate control including strong AC seats. I would prefer second row bench seating. Didn’t use third row.

Housedoc
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Housedoc » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:17 am

We own a 2017 Highlander Limited. Love everything about it. Maybe a vehicle coming off lease would help your budget. All 3 are fine rides. Congrats on the baby.

Topic Author
felzy5
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by felzy5 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:20 am

We were ready to buy a 2019 Highlander when the 2020s started coming out but in all honesty, the interior felt like it was from 2009 when we took test drive. Very underimpressed. 2016 F150 felt newer.

mortfree
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by mortfree » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:48 am

If the 20 pilot (Redesigned) felt boxy I can only imagine what you would think of the pilots before the recent body style change.

With kids and home ownership trunk space is important.

I have a 14 pilot. My wife has a RAV. With the 3rd row folded on the pilot there is a lot of space for stuff.

Good luck.

smitcat
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by smitcat » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:54 am

felzy5 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:20 am
We were ready to buy a 2019 Highlander when the 2020s started coming out but in all honesty, the interior felt like it was from 2009 when we took test drive. Very underimpressed. 2016 F150 felt newer.
We are very happy with our CX5's - at the time we did not need the CX9 but both the performance, quality and ride have been great.
Able to get all the options we wanted with the grand touring and premium packages - they were each right around $32K with one a bit above and the other a bit below not quite a year ago.
Good luck with whatever you choose

dsmclone
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by dsmclone » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:41 am

Were they really offering a $9k discount on the Pilot?

Topic Author
felzy5
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by felzy5 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:55 am

Yes. Multiple Honda dealers discounting to 35,580 and 36k from $46k.

Extra incentives through 07/06.

dsmclone
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by dsmclone » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:16 am

felzy5 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:55 am
Yes. Multiple Honda dealers discounting to 35,580 and 36k from $46k.

Extra incentives through 07/06.
Our friends bought the Touring model last year. Their previous Pilot had 200k+ miles and was pretty much problem free. This new one (2019) is nice. Captains chairs are nice, it's quiet, infotainment is good, rides nice, proven engine, etc. At 36k, this seems like a great deal. I drove the CX-9 and I liked it but the Pilot would be easier to live with day-to-day. I love the way the CX-9 console wraps around you so that you feel like you're not sitting on top of the vehicle. On the other hand, if the RDX is running similar deals, I'd rather have the RDX than any of the others.

smackboy1
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by smackboy1 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:26 pm

How important are the AWD systems to your decision?

I researched 2 row SUV/crossovers for 2020 MY from all the major manufacturers including these 3. I'm a big fan of AWD cars so I did a lot of research into the AWD systems. We have snow and ice and we often don't wait for the roads to be completely clear before driving. We ended up buying Acura's RDX with SH-AWD. There wasn't much snow or ice last season, but SH-AWD drove really well. Acura's SH-AWD is the sister of Honda's i-VTM4. Both are surefooted in poor traction, but i-VTM4 is programmed to be less sporty. Having owned a couple of Toyota AWD in the past, I was not a fan of slip then grip systems.

This YT channel does a pretty good job breaking it down.

Honda/Acura

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXSK-B_Hi_Y

Mazda

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA1PWbcnqoM

Toyota

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWxzkY8_D3g
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Living Free
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Living Free » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:21 pm

It sounds like you don't immediately need the 3rd row and are somewhat cash strapped at this point?? So can you defer the purchase or buy something in the $20k range? A $600/month car payment for 5 years (!!) sounds terrible to me.

We have 2 young kids and at the end of 2019 were forced to purchase a replacement vehicle and went with a 2016 Mazda CX5 top trim with about 32k miles, for about $19-something. We've been very happy with it.

And since this is Bogleheads and I'm surprised nobody's said it yet, I'd recommend a minivan over an SUV if you really need a 3rd row, unless you're doing some serious towing (greater than 3500lbs, which is apparently what most minivans are rated for).

Bruce_m
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Bruce_m » Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:43 pm

I’d also suggest a look at the Subaru ascent, we chose it over the pilot based on space, standard towing capacity and dealer support.

Loved to pilot too. But the Ascent was a much better fit for us. Have owned it for almost two years.

adestefan
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by adestefan » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:22 pm

I also have an Ascent and it’s a fine vehicle. Much better than the Pilot. I really, really do not like the interior nor the handling of the Pilot. If I had to do it all over again I’d probably get the CX-9. The drive is much better in the Mazda over any of the competition.

kiwi123
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by kiwi123 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:56 pm

felzy5 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:09 am
Is there a clear top performer of these three? We have driven Honda and Acura most of our lives so peace of mind with the Honda is what I think of but have read not so good things about infotainment and transmission. There is limited feedback about Mazda’s in forums due to small Us footprint.
All 3 are regarded as "best in class" with slightly different pros and cons for each... simple answer is you wont make a mistake with either of these 3. The CX9 has the best driving and handling characteristics and very nice interior. Probably the best value for money.

The 2020 Pilot and CX9 models have been out for a few years with no major changes which should mean they've ironed out all the kinks and issues. The 2020 Highlander is an all-new design and typically first-year models have a few bugs or issues although Toyota generally has their act together so i would hold that against the Highlander.

If your wife likes the CX9 the most, and you've properly checked it out (e.g. are the 3rd row seats big enough), then pull the trigger when the time is right and enjoy the new ride!

kiwi123
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by kiwi123 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:04 pm

kiwi123 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:56 pm
felzy5 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:09 am
Is there a clear top performer of these three? We have driven Honda and Acura most of our lives so peace of mind with the Honda is what I think of but have read not so good things about infotainment and transmission. There is limited feedback about Mazda’s in forums due to small Us footprint.
All 3 are regarded as "best in class" with slightly different pros and cons for each... simple answer is you wont make a mistake with either of these 3. The CX9 has the best driving and handling characteristics and very nice interior. Probably the best value for money.

The 2020 Pilot and CX9 models have been out for a few years with no major changes which should mean they've ironed out all the kinks and issues. The 2020 Highlander is an all-new design and typically first-year models have a few bugs or issues although Toyota generally has their act together so i would hold that against the Highlander.

If your wife likes the CX9 the most, and you've properly checked it out (e.g. are the 3rd row seats big enough), then pull the trigger when the time is right and enjoy the new ride!
Also forgot to mention there is a really good review on Youtube by "Savage Geese" on the CX9. He's a full-time independent auto reviewer but fyi he has a slightly caustic style (that i enjoy but others might not). You also run the danger of going down the rabbit hole and over-thinking things once you see how many different reviews are out there... but he does an excellent job of reviewing the tech and transmission in detail. His reviews are about 20min long and well worth watching
CX9: https://youtu.be/B9BgsQ7wfBY

inbox788
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by inbox788 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:08 pm

Living Free wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:21 pm
It sounds like you don't immediately need the 3rd row and are somewhat cash strapped at this point?? So can you defer the purchase or buy something in the $20k range? A $600/month car payment for 5 years (!!) sounds terrible to me.

We have 2 young kids and at the end of 2019 were forced to purchase a replacement vehicle and went with a 2016 Mazda CX5 top trim with about 32k miles, for about $19-something. We've been very happy with it.

And since this is Bogleheads and I'm surprised nobody's said it yet, I'd recommend a minivan over an SUV if you really need a 3rd row, unless you're doing some serious towing (greater than 3500lbs, which is apparently what most minivans are rated for).
Agree with delay until needed, though 600x60=36,000, no?
With 2 kids, you don't really need the 3rd row unless you're transporting other adults. If that's the case, minivans provide the best comfort in the 3rd row. Many 3rd row seats are best for kids 4-10 (booster). Forgo the 3rd row if it's not absolutely needed or review a minivan -- they're uber practical and popular for a reason.
felzy5 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:55 am
Yes. Multiple Honda dealers discounting to 35,580 and 36k from $46k.

Extra incentives through 07/06.
That would be very tempting for a Touring. What are they selling the EX/EXL for these days? Price difference is usually over 10k, and I'm pretty sure entry/midrange are not going for $26k let alone below $30k.

sd323232
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by sd323232 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:09 pm

i would go with highlander, its a great vehicle, design is better than pilot

bogledogle
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by bogledogle » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:32 pm

All three are great cars if you are looking at reliability. But, I highly recommend trying out the Telluride and Palisade if you are looking for new features and technology. Maybe look at reviews on youtube before you eliminate them.

fundseeker
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by fundseeker » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:28 pm

felzy5 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:09 am
My wife needs a new ride and we test drove nearly every 3 row SUV except Kia and Hyundai (she doesn’t like way they look)
Honda and Mazda both do no first payment for 90 days which is nice as my wife is out of work for 4 months due to expected birth of son. We are also building house and have a lot of cash going out (appliances, kitchen upgrade, etc) hence we wanted to keep payment as close to 600 for 5 years.
Wow! Only a couple of Bogleheads have mentioned that this is really not a good idea? How about a car payment for only three years, or maybe no years? I know you say she needs a new car, but just having a baby is not really a need. Life insurance (term only of course) is a need when you have a baby.

Anyway, there are other options than taking on a $600/month payment for five years. Who needs the extra stress, especially in this period of uncertainty?

I'm stressed just reading new baby, new house, and now new car!!! Good luck!

inbox788
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by inbox788 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:59 am

fundseeker wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:28 pm
Anyway, there are other options than taking on a $600/month payment for five years. Who needs the extra stress, especially in this period of uncertainty?

I'm stressed just reading new baby, new house, and now new car!!! Good luck!
OP, thanks for doing everything you can to stimulate the economy.

fundseeker , don't worry, OP is building a new house, and wouldn't be doing that if retirement plan wasn't solid, right? I assumed that compared to that, kids or a new car are peanuts. The $600 cap is a liquidity issue and a solvency problem is a whole different animal.

FWIW, after watching some of those videos, it actually turned me off to all the choices, so I'm going to check out the hype behind the Telluride and Palisade. Are they discounting these yet or still marking up?

lgerla
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by lgerla » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:29 am

I've owned both the Pilot and the CX-9, the latter my current ride.

The Pilot will be much easier to get car seat/baby/toddler in and out of, so it wins in my book for young parent's time of life. Touring model not required.

Also great for transporting said children and their friends back and forth to sports, camps and college.

With kids grown, I own a CX-9 Grand Touring for me. Love the feel, look and ride.

Almost traded in my 2009 with 162k miles for a 2015 with 50k miles last week. Price was 15k. Reminds me, I might still do it.

I prefer the look of the pre-2016s without the aggressive hood and bumped up placement of the entertainment / nav system.

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mmmodem
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by mmmodem » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:31 am

Surprised the CX-9 costs more than the Pilot. Did you shop around? The CX-9 has considerably steeper depreciation than the Honda or the Toyota. If it were me, I'd get a 1 or 2 year old CX-9. If I wanted new, get the Pilot. I wouldn't touch the Highlander. It just came out. No deals to be had. I consider all three to be be the best in the segment so all three will fill your needs.

Kagord
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Kagord » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:35 am

mmmodem wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:31 am
Surprised the CX-9 costs more than the Pilot. Did you shop around? The CX-9 has considerably steeper depreciation than the Honda or the Toyota. If it were me, I'd get a 1 or 2 year old CX-9. If I wanted new, get the Pilot. I wouldn't touch the Highlander. It just came out. No deals to be had. I consider all three to be be the best in the segment so all three will fill your needs.
Mazda's in a weird place with pricing now and trim levels, they used to be a bargain, now they are pricing above. Travelling abroad, like down under and Europe (and even Latin countries), Mazda seems to be much more popular, I just get the feeling the US is not their target market or a focus for them, and niche.

pochax
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by pochax » Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:51 am

to the OP's question, we own a 2016 CX-9 GT trim (when the brand new model came out) and have been fine with it (still doing fine at 65k miles)- good car and $41k seems a fair price (maybe they can go lower if you are willing to pull the trigger). if the following are not deal-breakers for you and your wife, you can be at peace to purchase this vehicle:
- Engine is a Turbo 4-cylinder (power/torque is fine for regular driving but when comparing to 6-cylinders some find the engine noise annoying)
- infotainment is meh (i know they allow CarPlay and AndroidAuto integration but the base system is already seemingly outdated)
- no panoramic sunroof option
- some owners feel (my wife included) that AC is not strong so if you are in 100F climate (AZ, parts of FL and TX) be forewarned
- obviously, storage capacity not as good as Pilot and Highlander so if you like to pack lots of things, may want to choose another SUV
- Real world gas mileage probably worse than EPA numbers (i think we are averaging 21-22 mpg with 50/50 city/highway driving) but maybe they've made refinements on the engine on newer models

can't go wrong with any of the vehicles in your choice - like others i would add Ascent, Telluride, and Palisade to the shopping list for comparison sake.

Oreamnos
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Oreamnos » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:30 am

Kagord wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:06 am
There's just a small snafu they have with the folks that design the grill, but you can buy before that problem.

LOL. I laughed more at this than at anything else in quite some time.

mtwhmemn
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by mtwhmemn » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:38 pm

I didn't see if you required extra ground clearance or extra towing ability? Someone suggested a minivan and since you are already a Honda person like me I'll suggest an Odyssey. A minivan is easier to load in and out of since it is lower. It has way more room than most SUVs and will have a more car like ride since it isn't a truck. I like to think about most SUVs as trucks, because they are on truck like frames. I don't like to drive trucks unless it is Uhaul when absolutely necessary. I like to drive cars. My Odyssey is not on a truck frame and doesn't drive like a truck. Sure, it is huge, but it is economical and has a really good normally aspirated V6 engine. My wife has a mid-size sedan, a TLX, and we usually take my van when we go away for a weekend because when the 3rd row is folded down in the van it is very easy to pack whatever you want. It is huge! I have a couple rear wheel drive sports cars too so when I want to sit low and toss a car around I have an option. But, the Odyssey (mine is the last generation) is actually fun for a van. The engine growls when you hit it and handling is very, very good once you get used to it. It is fantastic in the snow too. All that weight over the front wheels pull great in the snow. So, bottom line is if you don't need extra ground clearance or extra towing ability the Odyssey is way more bang for your buck than an SUV in my opinion. Real men drive minivans, ha!

inbox788
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by inbox788 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:13 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:38 pm
It has way more room than most SUVs and will have a more car like ride since it isn't a truck. I like to think about most SUVs as trucks, because they are on truck like frames.
Most SUVs today are unibody, and even some trucks like the Ridgeline, Cybertruck and Santa Cruz.

https://www.motor1.com/features/249996/ ... rossovers/
https://www.goodcarbadcar.net/body-on-f ... h-america/
https://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/201 ... arket.html

I think unibody SUVs (crossovers) as a group have a ride (handling/maneuverability) that is more carlike than trucklike. Are there comparisons or a measurement for this, other than test driving and some reviews?

mtwhmemn
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by mtwhmemn » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:39 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:13 pm
mtwhmemn wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:38 pm
It has way more room than most SUVs and will have a more car like ride since it isn't a truck. I like to think about most SUVs as trucks, because they are on truck like frames.
Most SUVs today are unibody, and even some trucks like the Ridgeline, Cybertruck and Santa Cruz.

https://www.motor1.com/features/249996/ ... rossovers/
https://www.goodcarbadcar.net/body-on-f ... h-america/
https://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/201 ... arket.html
OK, I guess that could be good or bad depending on if you want a real truck/farm vehicle or a car-like vehicle.

SUVs are sort of just raised station wagons. You can call them station wagons and there really isn't an argument they are not just station wagons. Negatives include high center of gravity, so handling characteristic requiring electronic aides. Less space for cargo than minivan. Fuel economy is usually better in minivan than SUV/station wagon/truck vehicle. The thing is this isn't a discussion on rational thinking. It is a style discussion. It is a trend discussion. I found this with a quick google search, "A Honda Odyssey, for instance, has a staggering 144 cubic feet of storage room compared to something like the Chevy Suburban which has just under 40 cubic feet." I don't know if those number are correct, but try loading things in a Suburban, then try loading things in a minivan. As the OP said this vehicle will be used for kids so strollers and all that stuff. Van wins, but it may not be trendy enough for one's image. I choose practicality over trendy.

inbox788
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by inbox788 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:51 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:39 pm
I found this with a quick google search, "A Honda Odyssey, for instance, has a staggering 144 cubic feet of storage room compared to something like the Chevy Suburban which has just under 40 cubic feet." I don't know if those number are correct, but try loading things in a Suburban, then try loading things in a minivan. As the OP said this vehicle will be used for kids so strollers and all that stuff. Van wins, but it may not be trendy enough for one's image. I choose practicality over trendy.
The difference is large, but not that large when you compare the same configuration.

2020 Odyssey is has a similar footprint as the 2020 Tahoe, but max cargo is 145 vs 95 (cubic feet). The 2021 Tahoe is 7" longer and ups it to 123, which is actually more than the longer 2020 Suburban. It takes the 2021 Suburban (22" longer than Odyssey/Tahoe) to match the Odyssey cargo capacity.

https://www.truedelta.com/Honda-Odyssey ... son,113-61
https://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en ... urban.html

The 2021 Tahoe also improves on 3rd row leg room, which should make those passengers happier (Adult seating in the 3rd row would be more important to me than the extra cargo space, but I didn't get the impression OP needed extra cargo or passenger capacity and maybe should consider 2 row SUVs like the RDX or Santa Fe).

https://www.reddit.com/r/whatcarshouldI ... x_advance/

NJdad6
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by NJdad6 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:13 pm

I agree that you should look at the Kia and Hyundai. Rated higher than the 3 you mentioned. Both very nice but I prefer the looks of the Kia. Your wife might be impressed when she gets to test drive one. However they are in high demand so may not be readily available or a low cost option.

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felzy5
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by felzy5 » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:08 am

So many posts before I could respond. It’s been a hectic few days.

Thank you all for your valued input. I have been reading these forums for a few years now about finance, life insurance, appliance picks (just ordered these for new house) and now vehicles.

We narrowed it between the Pilot and CX-9. 2020 Highlander was most expensive. It felt like a nice, solid ride. We originally passed on a leftover 2019 HL due to the very dated interior. Took our neighbor’s Telluride for a cruise and really liked it but felt too big for wife.

Came home with the CX-9 Grand Touring last night and my wife is in love. Her previous whip was a 2017 X1 (lease) and she attests that this new vehicle drives, feels and handles like her previous one. We have a 2 year old and baby coming at end of August / beginning of September. Two kids is our limit (or so we think) for now. The options on the Grand Touring trim are awesome. It feels like you are in a car and not in a 6 seat SUV like it actually is.

We brought our infant seat (Chico Keyfit 30) everywhere when doing test drives to check spacing and practicality. Results as follows:

Ascent - with infant seat in second row captain’s chair behind right passénger, it was too tight for my 5’5’ wife to sit up front and this vehicle was ruled out after she enjoyed the test drive (we then started doing the car seat check first to not get hopes up)

Pilot - most leg room for front passenger and driver with child seats installed behind in Captains chairs. It just felt like a big boxy vehicle and arm rests for driver and front passenger felt cheesy. Interior less refined feel than CX-9 and Highlander.

CX-9 - slightly less front passenger/driver leg room then Pilot but more than Highlander and Ascent.

Highlander - less front passenger / driver leg room than the CX9 but more than Ascent.

I was originally looking to get a used SUV $20-30k range. She is not ready for a minivan although I am already rocking a dad bod so am
good to go to wheel one. She really isn’t a fan of the looks of 2018 and older Pilots so didn’t check those. 2019 and older Highlanders too dated on interior. We are previous Honda/Acura owners and were settling towards a used RDX, which drives super smooth and has largest second row of any two row suv we looked at. Wife wanted front / rear parking sensors, blind spot, etc and you have to pony up for an 2018 or newer advance trim package to get those things with the BSM. One thing I am not fan of with Honda/Acura - IMO, have been late to the game of making many of these features standard on multiple trim levels. 3 year old RDX Advances were 27-30k everywhere we looked.

She also loved the look of late model Explorers in Sport and Limited trims. Problem with those - with infant seat installed behind driver on second row bench, 5’5” wife had problems fitting behind the wheel. Very limited Captain chair options in 2019 and older models. It was too tight with the second row bench. Ford techs I know advised to stay away from 2020s as first year of new body style and dealing with sporadic issues.

We have defined benefit pension, 401k and do backdoor Roth, deferred comp, 529 all set up and adding funds as necessary every year. 20 year terms for life insurance. We also carry disability insurance.

We crunched our numbers and are able to make the payment - this is our only car payment - while continuing to fund our future and maintain a current needs.

With the zero percent interest for 5 years on the car, we plan to pay down mortgage ASAP and refinance when construction loan converts to a conventional and when timing is right. Very fortunate for no other debt other than new car loan and mortgage. Locked in at 3.62 but hoping rates continue to drop. We move in at beginning of August (fingers crossed it happens before new baby) as work was delayed two months because of COVID.

We worked hard to pay off med school loans for wife in under four years and want to continue working hard for the future of our family. Lots of things going on for us right now but all fun and exciting stuff.

The advice on these forums is awesome and it is sincerely appreciated.

If anyone is shopping for new, the deals for a new Pilot Touring were the most aggressive - I received many prices of $35,580-$36k for a
OTD of around $40k with .9% / 60 months. Honda’s current incentives expire 07/06.

Thank you all again for input!

inbox788
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by inbox788 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:39 am

Congrats on the new car. Enjoy!
felzy5 wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:08 am
Ascent - with infant seat in second row captain’s chair behind right passénger, it was too tight for my 5’5’ wife to sit up front and this vehicle was ruled out after she enjoyed the test drive (we then started doing the car seat check first to not get hopes up)
I'm surprised it's that tight. The seat slides forward and reclines a bit. I assume you tried to make any adjustments, sliding and reclining the 2nd row captain seats all the way back, leaving little room for 3rd row, and still had to slide the front passenger seat forward just to get your car seat to work. [Thankfully, those days are over for me, but 3rd row isn't useful to me if full sized adults aren't comfortable there]
https://youtu.be/KnpE0XsYb-I?t=200
https://youtu.be/KnpE0XsYb-I?t=468
3 year old RDX Advances were 27-30k everywhere we looked.
Folks like to keep their RDX, so not that many available used compared to X3 or Q5 that get returned after 3 year lease.
If anyone is shopping for new, the deals for a new Pilot Touring were the most aggressive - I received many prices of $35,580-$36k for a
OTD of around $40k with .9% / 60 months. Honda’s current incentives expire 07/06.
I've eliminated 3rd row as a requirement, but it's a small benefit, and the Pilot is borderline useful for small adults. The MDX was high on my list until I realized the 3rd row was fairly useless and just carrying 100 pounds of extra dead weight 99.9% of the time, so the RDX was preferred. If that's almost 10k off the $46k MSRP on the 2020 AWD Pilot, it's tempting me to take a look instead of the CRV (not to mention fuel oil dilution issues scared me off), and even though I don't immediately need another car (other than 4wd being useful for occasional winter trips, which I probably should just rent a 4wd vehicle anyways).

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tennisplyr
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:52 am

Congrats...my wife got a CX5 a year ago and loves it.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

_Soundwave_
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by _Soundwave_ » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:29 am

felzy5 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:13 am
We wont use third row often. Just for kids in future. 2 year old and another baby due in September.

We plan to buy and keep for at least 7-10
years.

New home build nearing completion. Just made appliance purchase, still have to may for $10k kitchen upgrade and about $5k in other house upgrades, $20k for yard and driveway - would leave us with a solid emergency fund.

Lots of coals in the fire but all good stuff. Wife driving 07 acccord and wants an upgrade before new baby.

Thank you all for input.
Subaru Ascent with the captain chairs Option in the 2nd row. Makes getting into the 3rd row a snap (even for an adult - and the space between the chairs means your legs have somewhere to go. It’s probably the best non-minivan setup going.

Nearly ideal for two kids with occasional friends.

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Nate79
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Nate79 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:51 am

We love our 2019 Ascent, captains chairs in the 2nd row make getting in and out easy and very comfortable for long trips. We have a car seat behind the passenger seat in the second row and we have no issue for tall people sitting in the front seat.

Drives great, lots of power with the new turbo engine, and AWD is awesome.

Helo80
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Helo80 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:54 am

_Soundwave_ wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:29 am
felzy5 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:13 am
We wont use third row often. Just for kids in future. 2 year old and another baby due in September.

We plan to buy and keep for at least 7-10
years.

New home build nearing completion. Just made appliance purchase, still have to may for $10k kitchen upgrade and about $5k in other house upgrades, $20k for yard and driveway - would leave us with a solid emergency fund.

Lots of coals in the fire but all good stuff. Wife driving 07 acccord and wants an upgrade before new baby.

Thank you all for input.
Subaru Ascent with the captain chairs Option in the 2nd row. Makes getting into the 3rd row a snap (even for an adult - and the space between the chairs means your legs have somewhere to go. It’s probably the best non-minivan setup going.

Nearly ideal for two kids with occasional friends.
OP already about a different car.

" Ascent - with infant seat in second row captain’s chair behind right passénger, it was too tight for my 5’5’ wife to sit up front and this vehicle was ruled out after she enjoyed the test drive (we then started doing the car seat check first to not get hopes up)"

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Nate79
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Location: Delaware

Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Nate79 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:39 am

Helo80 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:54 am
_Soundwave_ wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:29 am
felzy5 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:13 am
We wont use third row often. Just for kids in future. 2 year old and another baby due in September.

We plan to buy and keep for at least 7-10
years.

New home build nearing completion. Just made appliance purchase, still have to may for $10k kitchen upgrade and about $5k in other house upgrades, $20k for yard and driveway - would leave us with a solid emergency fund.

Lots of coals in the fire but all good stuff. Wife driving 07 acccord and wants an upgrade before new baby.

Thank you all for input.
Subaru Ascent with the captain chairs Option in the 2nd row. Makes getting into the 3rd row a snap (even for an adult - and the space between the chairs means your legs have somewhere to go. It’s probably the best non-minivan setup going.

Nearly ideal for two kids with occasional friends.
OP already about a different car.

" Ascent - with infant seat in second row captain’s chair behind right passénger, it was too tight for my 5’5’ wife to sit up front and this vehicle was ruled out after she enjoyed the test drive (we then started doing the car seat check first to not get hopes up)"
Which is weird because we (like many people) have a car seat in our Ascent behind the passenger seat without issue from when we bought the SUV. There is zero issues with enough room for a front passenger and a car seat behind which makes me wonder if the seats, especially theb2nd row one was not adjusted properly.
Last edited by Nate79 on Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

teCh0010
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:20 am

Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by teCh0010 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:20 pm

We bought an 07 pilot new, then replaced it with a 17 pilot new. 17 is an EX-L with Sensing (sensing is now standard). The prices you are getting on touring is less than we paid for an EXL, when we bought in 3/2017 an EXL AWD with sensing was super hard to find. Within 500 miles of me there were 8 in the system.

I've been really happy with the pilot. Third row is useful size, and with the third row down there is a massive amount of cargo space. We carry luggage for a four day weekend at the lake, and still have room for our 90 pound lab to turn around, lie down, etc. It has plenty of get up to merge on the highway, etc and I do feel pretty good about the tried and true 3.5L V6 in such a big vehicle vs trying to push it with a turbo 4.

Car play works great, android auto less so. Honda blamed the rapidly changing android standards. I switched to iPhone so it ended up not being a big deal.

Zero major problems over the last 13 years of Pilot ownership. The 07 had one issue, the AC went out, but that was due to road debris hitting the condenser coil.

Edit : My 2017 came with factory Bridgestone tires and there was quite a bit of road noise. We swapped them for continental cross contact LX25 tires and it was a MAJOR difference in how quiet the cabin was.

Helo80
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by Helo80 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:25 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:39 am

Which is weird because we (like many people) have a car seat in our Ascent behind the passenger seat without issue from when we bought the SUV. There is zero issues with enough room for a front passenger and a car seat behind which makes me wonder if the seats, especially theb2nd row one was not adjusted properly.

Somebody here was commenting a few months ago that the 4Runner did not provide ample head room for the or their wife (both were like between 5'4" and 5'8", IIRC) and that was literally a first.

chicagoan23
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by chicagoan23 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:10 pm

Good choice on the CX-9. My 2019 is performing well. Get your wife used to the adaptive cruise control....closest I’ve ever come to robot driving. I love it, especially in heavy traffic.

And don’t listen to anyone who is stressed about a car payment when you have 60 months at zero percent. The car companies will often give a better deal on price for zero percent financing than they do for a cash purchase. That was my experience with Toyota. Having that extra liquidity is very valuable.
"The Basic Choices for Investors and the One We Strongly Prefer" | | https://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2011ltr.pdf

teCh0010
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:20 am

Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by teCh0010 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:10 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:25 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:39 am

Which is weird because we (like many people) have a car seat in our Ascent behind the passenger seat without issue from when we bought the SUV. There is zero issues with enough room for a front passenger and a car seat behind which makes me wonder if the seats, especially theb2nd row one was not adjusted properly.

Somebody here was commenting a few months ago that the 4Runner did not provide ample head room for the or their wife (both were like between 5'4" and 5'8", IIRC) and that was literally a first.
My BIL is 6'5" and played on the O line at an SEC school. Drives a 4 runner.

DesertGator
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by DesertGator » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:23 pm

Yikes, don't use this approach to buying a new car. Buy a report from fightingchance.com, and use their process to have dealers compete for your business (without visiting the dealership). Might be too late since you've done test drives already...

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/get-a ... 2017-09-21

sambb
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by sambb » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:28 pm

does the cx9 have the blind spot monitor in the head up display in the 2019 model?

smitcat
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Re: Pilot, Highlander or CX-9

Post by smitcat » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:19 pm

sambb wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:28 pm
does the cx9 have the blind spot monitor in the head up display in the 2019 model?
Cannot speak for the CX9 but the CX5 with GT and premium package does have the blind spot monitor in HUD on our 2019.

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