"This is the first Honda vehicle we've ever owned. Owned 3 VW's before that and had a lot of problems with all 3 of them (even though they were a blast to drive, when everything worked). During the first 5 years, the only unscheduled maintenance we needed was $180 for new front suspension links. They actually began rattling at about 3 years old. Just replaced the brake pads and rotors at 41,000 miles (5 1/2 years) - mostly city driving.
The only other thing I've done is have to tighten the rear hatch latch attachment bolts (10 min. job I did myself). So overall, a VERY reliable vehicle.
As far as comfort, we've taken it on two long-distance trips and we averaged 22mpg on one trip (70 mph and used A/C) and 24 mpg on the other trip (60-65 mph with no A/C). City driving renders about 16 mph (I think the heated seats use up about 1/2 mpg!).
The only additional equipment we have is the auto day/night dimming rearview mirror, which is one of our favorite features - it works like magic.
One of the only complaints we have is the freeway driving noise is a little higher than it's competitors (Explorer, Highlander, etc.) and the engine idle noise seems a little higher than necessary (you only hear this if outside the car, or windows are down).
The 3rd row seat is very easy to use. We regularly take 6 people (soccer team carpooling) and there is plenty of room. The little compartment which stows the 3rd row headrests is quite clever (when the 3rd row is stowed and not in use).
The spare tire is good-sized and relatively easy to get to in order to put air in it a couple times per year.
The Pilot has one of the best turning radii in its class. In fact, it turns sharper than the VW cars that we've owned! And the steering is very good on the highway, as far as keeping centered in one's lane.
The Maintenance Minder annunciator system works very well, so we never miss oil/filter changes and other miscellaneous recommended maintenance.
The only "annoying" part to the vehicle is that whenever you turn on the environmental system, it automatically turns on the A/C compressor with it. Most of the time when the compressor is not needed (winter, spring, and fall), you have to make a 2nd button push to disengage the compressor (to save fuel and wear/tear on compressor). If the humidity/moisture is higher (during winter snowstorms, or rain events) the 3rd row side windows have a tendency to fog up quicker than would be expected. And in this case, a liberal use of the a/c compressor will do the trick.
Overall, no vehicle is perfect. But, the 2006 Honda Pilot EX-L is as close to a perfect vehicle in my book. Highly recommend it for those who need or desire an SUV. We will likely keep it for 15 years."
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