Car Questions

Clear all

Looking at a 2016 or 2017 Honda Pilot... right buy?


Topic starter

Our family just got bigger after my father died, my mother moved in with my wife, son, and I... and my brother's family of 3 is often with us.  That is to say, we're wanting a 3 row suv.  We really are only looking at the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Acura MDX.  I've test driven all three (car seats and all), and realistically the pilot suits our family's needs best.  I really love the drive of the highlander, but not so comfortable on the back row, and it's not great for a car seat on row 3 either.  The Pilot appears more family friendly overall, and we've largely landed on the decision to go team Pilot.  I do not care for the build of pre 2016, so we're looking at a '16 or '17.  I know the 9 speed transmission on the upper trims is strongly disliked, but not looking that high anyway.  I'm perfectly fine with a base LX as mechanically it's the same as the EX or EX-L at a better price on the used market.  

So those are my thoughts.  Mistake?  Some cite transmission problems with the Pilot's new gen, but looks like it's more with the 9 speed.  Am I wrong on that?  Would this be a mistake of a purchase?  Besides Honda or Toyota, are we possibly ignoring a better option?

Perhaps those in the know could give me the pros and cons of each?

Topic Tags
4 Answers

2016 is one of the wort model years of Pilot and has lots of issues. Stick to 2017 if you want a Pilot. 

Regarding other options, have you considered Toyota Sequoia? 


Is the 2016 generally fine if you go for a lower trim six speed transmission?

It could be better but the issue is not only AT. The electrical issues and engine problems are notorious for that model year. I would not recommend that model year.

What are some of the specific electrical and engine issues?


The 4 you listed would be my top choices. 

Although I love the look of the previous generation Pilot, I can see how it is off putting. 

One other consideration would be the Mazda CX-9. 

Love the Mazda, I own a Cx-5, but with the Highlander not having the space we were looking for, I believe the Mazda is even more cramped.

Oh whoa! The CX-5 is one of my favorite designed SUV’s in its class, inside and out. So much thought out into the design.

You mentioned four choices, what would those be for you?


The Honda Pilot touring has the ZF 9 speed. It's a good transmission but Honda threw in crappy software where it lead to the point where the tranny would jerk and behave weirdly or just flat out fail, its the same kind of problem with FCA with this transmission in some of their cars. Go for the 2017 Pilot since it will have fewer problems, otherwise, I would stick to the 2017 model if ur buying the Pilot, it's also the same deal with the MDX since they are basically the same car underneath. Highlander is a great midsize SUV and lots of great model years to choose from overall, although never buy a used Highlander hybrid that's high mileage because those things become endless money pits as the hybrid tech starts breaking. CX-9 is a great option too, but not as much space as some of its rivals. 


This gen pilots without the ZF 9-speed are good. 10 and 6 speed transmissions are doing well. 

Overall good car.