Honda Pilot Years To Avoid

Honda Pilot Years To Avoid – Which Are The Worst Years?

Are you on the market for a used Honda Pilot and you are looking for the Honda Pilot years to avoid? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic where we will dive into all three generations of this model.

Performing the proper research before you decide to spend a ton of money on a car is always a good thing. It is not like back in the good old days when used cars were dirt cheap. Nowadays even used cars cost a whole fortune to obtain.

This is why you need to step up your game and learn more about the problems that your future car has. Only by doing this, you will avoid ending up with a basket case full of problems that will turn into a nightmare to repair. And repairs don’t come cheap. Some repairs can even cost thousands of dollars. So, you need to study the model that you intend to buy. But you shouldn’t worry because we are going to help you out.

First, we will cover what is the Honda Pilot and why this model is so popular. Then, we will cover all three generations of the Pilot. We will discuss their specs, their problems, best years, and also the Honda Pilot years to avoid. So, you don’t want to miss that. If you want to learn more about the Honda Pilot and its problems, follow along.

What Is The Honda Pilot

Now before we dive into the Honda Pilot years to avoid, let’s discuss more about what is the Honda Pilot in general. I bet that there are a ton of people reading this article who might now know what this model is all about. So, this chapter is for them. If you like, you can jump to one of the next chapters where we discuss each generation separately.

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Nevertheless, the Honda Pilot a mid-size SUV and Honda’s largest offering on the market, the Pilot is a three-row SUV sold in the US since 2002. This model was solely developed for the US market. So, you cannot find a Pilot elsewhere around the world.

As we mentioned, this model is in production since 2002 and since then it was produced in three generations in total. And during all these long years, the Pilot has evolved into one of the best SUVs on the market.

What is good with the Pilot is that it is really spacious. It can easily seat up to 7 passengers. This makes it perfect for large families who need this practicality and the use of this space.

The model is only assembled in Lincoln, Alabama. Older models of the Pilot lineup were manufactured in the Alliston, Ontario factory in Canada till 2007.

Another interesting fact about the Pilot is that this model shares its platform with the Acura MDX. So, if you want to get yourself an Acura MDX, you know that under the skin is basically Honda Pilot. But what are the Honda Pilot years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a bit.

Why The Honda Pilot Is So Popular

Now let’s see what makes the Honda Pilot so popular and one of the best options for a lot of people here in the US. Let’s elaborate more on this topic before we dive into the Honda Pilot years to avoid. So, what makes this the go-to model when it comes to purchasing a large SUV? Let’s elaborate.

Well, the first thing probably is the practicality. The Honda Pilot is a seven-seater SUV. This means that this model is perfect for people who need space to accommodate more people in their car. This is why this model is probably one of the best-selling vehicles in this segment.

The model currently sells about 120,000 units each year. Which is really respectable considering its size and that there are not a lot of people who need a vehicle that is this large.

Honda Pilot Years To Avoid

The second selling point of the Pilot is probably the Honda quality. As you are probably aware, Japanese vehicles tend to sell much better than American vehicles. So, why is this so?

Well, this might be because Japanese carmakers are investing more in quality control and are not letting anything by chance. So, having big defects in Japanese brands like Honda or Toyota is difficult to happen. Especially on newer cars that are pretty much bulletproof when it comes to defects.

And the last pro that makes the Pilot the go-to model is the competitive price. Japanese as well as Korean models are on the top of every best SUV ranking. The prices are really affordable considering how much of a car you get for the money. But what are the Honda Pilot years to avoid? More on that next.

Honda Pilot Generations

Now before we cover more about the Honda Pilot years to avoid. Let’s first discuss the different generations of this model.

We will briefly cover the specs for each of the generations. Then, we will move on to the problems that each generation has and the Honda Pilot years to avoid. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

1st Generation Honda Pilot 2002 – 2008

Now let’s dive into the first generation of the Honda Pilot before we start covering the Honda Pilot years to avoid.

The first generation of the Pilot was introduced in 2002 for the 2003 model year and was in production till 2008 when it was replaced with the second generation of this model.

This generation shared the same platform with the Honda Odyssey and the Acura MDX. This model was assembled in Ontario, Canada, as well as in Lincoln, Alabama.

This SUV has a wheelbase of 106 inches and an overall length of 188 inches. The model weighs about 4321lbs. The ground clearance of this model is 7.3 inches. But what about the Honda Pilot years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a bit.

Engines & Transmissions

The Honda Pilot from this generation uses only one engine. This is the 3.5L V6 engine. This engine produces about 255hp and 250lb-ft of torque.

The transmission used in this application is the 5-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel Economy

When it comes to fuel economy, we can say that fuel economy is not the strong side of this model. This model is producing 15 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway, and 17 mpg combined. But what about the Honda Pilot years to avoid? More about that we will cover in a bit.

Honda Pilot Problems

Now before we learn more about the Honda Pilot years to avoid. Let’s discuss a bit about the Honda Pilot problems.

The 2003 year of the Pilot is most problematic. More precisely the ignition switch failed on this model a lot and had to be replaced. The second most problem is transmission failure. This 5-speed transmission tends to fail a lot on the 2003 model.

On the 2004 model, there were no transmission failures. But also there were some problems reported. Namely transmission shudder, slipping gears, and noises.

In 2005, again transmission problems were reported because trans fluid leaked into the radiator and you had to replace the radiator.

Another problem with this 3.5L V6 is the issue of excessive oil consumption. This engine tends to drink a ton of oil. But what are the Honda Pilot years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Honda Pilot Reliability

Now let’s see about the Honda Pilot reliability. How reliable is this generation of the model? Overall, this model is reliable. The biggest problem is the ignition switch in the first model year as well as the problem with transmission failures in the first two years of production.

Except for that, this model is reliable. Just beware that it likes to drink oil and if you get one this old, you should carry a quart or two always in order to top it off.

Best Year For Honda Pilot

When it comes to the best year of the Honda Pilot. We would recommend you to go for a later model year. More precisely 2006 onward.

Going for a later year model will save you a ton of nerves and money. So, the newer the car, the better.

Honda Pilot Years To Avoid

When it comes to the Honda Pilot years to avoid, we would advise you to avoid the first three years of this model. Which are the years from 2003 to 2005. There are issues with the transmission and it can fail. And replacing a transmission can be a really expensive thing to fix. Now let’s move on to the next generation of the Honda Pilot.

2nd Generation Honda Pilot 2009 – 2015

Now since we covered the first generation, before we dive into the Honda Pilot years to avoid, let’s discuss more about the second generation of the Pilot.

The second generation of the Pilot was introduced in 2008 for the 2009 model year and was in production till 2015 when it was replaced with the present generation.

This model was still based on the same platform as the Acura MDX and the Honda Odyssey. So, they share a lot with each other.

This model grew in size a bit when compared to the previous generation. The wheelbase of this generation is 109.2 inches and the overall length is 191.4 inches for the models after 2012. The width is 78.5 inches and the height is about 71 inches.

The ground clearance is nothing crazy, about 8 inches in total. The weight of this generation of the Pilot is 4,550lbs. But what about the Honda Pilot years to avoid? We will get to that in a moment.

Engines & Transmissions

In terms of engines and transmissions, this generation hasn’t changed a lot. It kept the same 3.5L V6 engine that produced about 250hp and 253lb-ft of torque.

In terms of transmissions, there was only one transmission available. And this is the 5-speed automatic transmission. But what about the Honda Pilot years to avoid? More on that, we will cover it in a bit.

Fuel Economy

The fuel economy stayed the same on the new Honda Pilot. The RPA ratings for the all-wheel-drive version were 16 mpg in the city, and 22 mpg on the highway, with 18 mpg combined fuel economy. Overall, not too shabby for this behemoth of a car.

Honda Pilot Problems

Now let’s cover the problems before we dive into the Honda Pilot years to avoid. And frankly, there are a few issues that are worth mentioning.

Namely, the oil consumption problems have worsened in this generation. There were reports that the 3.5L engine loves to drink oil. But in this generation, these problems exacerbated quite a bit. So, for the 2009 model year, the most complaints are on this specific engine problem. And this problem keeps being reported till 2015.

But as the years go by, the reports decrease. So, we can say that 2009 to 2012 are the most problematic when it comes to oil consumption.

Also, in this model, a lot of problems with the paint are reported. The paint job on this model is not particularly good. So, it loves to chip away. When it comes to purchasing one of these models. We would advise you to see for paint damage and if there is paint peeled off, you could lowball the price a bit.

Other major problems were not reported except for some problems with the panels on early models from 2009 and 2010. So, beware of these issues. But what about the Honda Pilot years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Honda Pilot Reliability

Now let’s discuss reliability. How reliable is this Honda model in comparison to its predecessor? Well, it is far more reliable than the first generation of the Pilot.

In fact, there are almost no reports on this particular model when it comes to the transmission. So, you will be fine. The main issue in this model is oil consumption. But if you top off the oil regularly, you will be fine in most situations.

Best Year For Honda Pilot

So, what is the best year for this generation? The best year with the least problems reported is 2015. And I would strongly recommend you to go after a later year model instead of an early model year. Mainly because these models have fewer issues overall.

Honda Pilot Years To Avoid

When it comes to the Honda Pilot years to avoid, I’d say to avoid 2009 to 2012. These years are the most notorious when it comes to oil consumption as well as other problems with interior panels and other minor defects. After 2012 the model has been further bulletproofed and improved.

3rd Generation Honda Pilot 2016 – Present

Now before we start digging into the Honda Pilot years to avoid, let’s take a look at the present model of the Honda Pilot.

Honda Pilot Years To Avoid

This model was introduced in 2015 and 2016 was the first model year. This vehicle still shares the platform with the Honda Odyssey, Acura MDX as well as the new Honda Passport.

The model that is in production right now is a great improvement in comparison to the previous generation. Both in style as well as in size. So, the wheelbase of this model is 111 inches and the overall length is 194.5 inches. It is 78.6 inches wide and 69.8 inches tall. The Honda Pilot’s weight is 4,317lbs for the AWD model. The ground clearance of this model is 7.3 inches.

Engines & Transmissions

The engines and transmissions used on this model were refreshed in comparison to the previous generations. The engine used in this generation was a new 3.5L V6. This new engine is far more powerful. Producing 280hp and 262lb-ft of torque.

There were also new transmissions. A 6-speed automatic and a 9-speed automatic significantly improved the fuel economy of this vehicle. But what about the Honda Pilot years to avoid? More on them we will cover in a bit.

Fuel Economy

The fuel economy of this model improved as we mentioned. This AWD model gets 18 mpg in the city, and 26 mpg on the highway. The combined fuel economy is 21 mpg. Which is quite good considering the size of this model.

The FWD has an even better fuel economy of 22 mpg combined. So, it is up to you to determine which is the right one for you. But what about the Honda Pilot years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a moment.

Honda Pilot Problems

Now before we dive into the Honda Pilot years to avoid, let’s take a look at the problems that this model has. And frankly, it has a few issues.

2016 model of the Honda Pilot has a number of complaints according to carcomplaints.com considering its transmission. Most of the reports were on problems with the transmission jerking or lurching forward. Some of these complaints were concerning this transmission failing completely.

Other problems included some issues with recurring trouble codes that persistently appeared even when cleared. So, the check engine light appears on these vehicles quite often.

Also, the auto idle stop of the engine was reported to be failing quite often. In addition to this, there were fuel injector issues reported as well.

On the 2019 model, there were a ton of reports about the infotainment system freezing out. So, be really aware of this issue in this model year.

Honda Pilot Reliability

When it comes to the overall reliability of this model, we can say that it is quite good. There are no major mechanical problems reported.

Even though the first model year can be a little bit finicky. So, be really aware of the transmission problems on these models.

Best Year For Honda Pilot

When it comes to the best year, I would say to get one after 2019. 2020 and onward are perfect models with no major issues whatsoever. 2017 and 2018 are also really good model years with no major problems reported.

Honda Pilot Years To Avoid

When it comes to the Honda Pilot years to avoid. We would advise you to avoid the 2016 model year because of the transmission problems. And also avoid the 2019 model year because of the infotainment problems.

The other production years are somewhat good with no major problems. But if you are asking me, the newer the car, the better and the less chance for problems.

Conclusion

In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the Honda Pilot. First, we learned what this model is all about and what are its main features. Then we learned why the Pilot is so popular model and gets so many sales annually.

Then we have covered all three generations of the Pilot. We learned their specs, engines and transmissions, fuel economy, as well as problems that are present on the Pilot. We learned the best years and also the Honda Pilot years to avoid.

F.A.Q

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Where Is The Honda Pilot Made

The Honda Pilot is only made in Lincoln, Alabama. This model is dedicated to the US market and is produced domestically. Until 2009, the model was also produced in Ontario, Canada.

How Much Does A Honda Pilot Cost

The starting MSRP for the Honda Pilot is $39,500. But as soon as you add options, you will soon reach $50,000. But if you are not looking for perfection, for about $46,000 you can have a well-equipped Honda Pilot model.

Honda Pilot How Many Seats

The Honda Pilot is a 7-seater SUV. If you need more passenger space, you can option one with up to 8 seats. Depending on your needs.

Is The Honda Pilot A Good Car

Overall, the Pilot is a really good and reliable vehicle. Just make sure that you avoid the first one or two years of each model. These are the most problematic years of production of any car and carry the most problems.

How Many Miles Can A Honda Pilot Last

These Pilots can easily last for 300,000 miles. Or if you maintain them really well, they can even last much more than this. The engine loves to drink oil on higher mileage. So, you need to be aware of this problem.

Do Honda Pilots Have Transmission Problems

Yes, they have transmission problems. Most notably the first and the third generation of the Pilot. We would strongly advise you to avoid the first year of production of both of these cars, only because of these problems that can be really expensive to fix.

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