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Made the right decision

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 6/15/2016 Mike

We considered the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Subaru Outback, the later being considered largely because of it's mileage. I think we would have been happy with any of the three but we LOVE the Pilot. I read all the reviews on here and elsewhere panning the touch screen entertainment system and complaining about the 9 speed transmission and while I think I understand the reasons I don't agree. We have found the touchscreen to be responsive and easy to use, after you get used to it. It's not extremely intuitive but unless you're just renting the car for a day or two, read the manual. Once you become familiar with it, it's responsive and easy to use. It does have a glossy screen and fingerprints can readily be seen which is a little annoying to my wife. I would say we chose the Pilot over the Highlander for 3 reasons; the AWD system is superior, there's more space in the 3rd row seats and it gets better gas mileage. Mileage was part of the reason we only considered the 9 speed but I really stressed over going with that transmission given all the negative comments. I will say this, it does hunt for gears but it seems that should be expected, I mean it has 9 speeds, all of which are probably passed through before you get to 60 mph. I don't mean its particularly noticeable accelerating to highway speed, quite the contrary, it's smooth as silk accelerating. When it's somewhat noticeable is when it is shifting down at lower speeds, more so going down hill. I don't consider it to be a big issue and I'm satisfied with our choice of the 9 speed. As for my hoped for mileage advantage, so far we are satisfied there. We recently went through the better part of a tank of gas on two trips, mostly highway miles. Over 369.3 miles we averaged 27.02 mpg and no, I'm not relying on the trip computer, said computer claimed 25.5 mpg. Honestly I expected something more like 24 mpg. As for the two trips measured; the first was 120 miles from an altitude of 3,500 ft to around 1,200 ft (trip computer listed 29.5 mpg for that leg) and the second was a round trip for the remainder of the miles. While our average speed for most of the trips was in the 70-75 mph range a good 10 miles was in stop and go traffic (one hour). We kept the vehicle in ECON mode for most of these miles and I do think that makes a significant difference. I don't expect this kind of mileage on all our trips but I do think the 26 mpg hwy rating is fair. I'll let you know what I find in city and combined driving sometime later.Things I'm not crazy about are the Collision Mitigation system which as others have said is a little touchy, especially if you are a somewhat aggressive driver. For my wife it's probably perfect but for me it's too sensitive, especially if I'm in heavy traffic. On the other hand it does have an on/off switch. Same with the lane keep assist system which at times misreads heavy tar lines as road paint (not frequently but sometimes). Also, if you forget you have the system on and go to switch lanes without signaling the system will fight you a little.....as I said, it has an on/off switch too. Overall I like both systems but they can be improved. Finally, the auto-engine-stop system works fine but if you're somewhat aggressive pulling into traffic from a stop you need turn it off or be aware it's on because there is a slight lag if you're quick off the brake to the gas. This system had an on/off switch but unlike the other systems mentioned it must be turned off each time you start the car. Again, this will never be a problem for a cautious driver and it's not very intrusive when it's working but for me, I have to be very aware. All in all, this is a VERY fine piece of machinery that has really impressed us. So far, my wife and I are extremely happy with our choice. We love the car and would recommend it to anyone considering a suv/cross-over AWD.

Average Rating : 5

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