The 2003 Honda Pilot : Reviews From The Preowned Marketplace

The 2003 Honda PIlot, like the Acura MDX is powered by an aluminium alloy 3.5 litre 240 hp SOHC, 24-valve VTEC V6 engine. The 2003 Honda Pilot 's powerplant was then paired with a five speed automatic transmission. The blend of power and comfort in the 2003 Pilot is near perfect, with seating for eight, although the third row is mostly ideal for only children or small adults.

2003 Honda Pilot

My test vehicle was a 2003 Pilot finished in Alpine White and had 112000 kms on the odometer. The Pilot allowed for a nimble and refined ride thanks in part to the struts up front with a coil-spring and multilink arrangement at the rear which was designed to allow a flat load floor. It also had the MDX’s wide track — 66.3 in (1684 mm) at the front and 66.5 in (1689 mm) at the rear. We were able to pile in both people and cargo with a boat towed behind on our weekend away with our 2003 Honda Pilot. The Pilot has a 4,500 lb (2,041 kg) boat/3,500 lb (1,588 kg) trailer towing capability.

Fuel economy was sub par when the vehicle was under heavy load but improved significantly once the cargo was removed and the boat was tied to the dock. The Pilot is listed as achieving 15 mpg-US (16 L/100 km; 18 mpg-imp) city and 20 mpg-US (12 L/100 km; 24 mpg-imp) highway. Power in our '03 Pilot was significant even while climbing some rolling hill highway and having our excessive load. The 2003 Honda Pilot was eager to move out and pass our slower counterparts with a mild push of the accelerator and driving up the RPM's. Once we were around the slower traffic we settled back into the calm and luxurious mode the Pilot offered.

While using the 2003 Pilot's four-wheel drive system or VTM-4 to launch our boat we were impressed by how easily it handled the loose sand surface. The VTM-4 system delivers power to all four wheels under acceleration and when wheel slippage is detected. The VTM-4 system has a dashboard switch that locks both rear half-shafts to get the driver unstuck, but it operates in just first, second, and reverse gears, and unlocks at 18 mph (29 km/h). Otherwise, the system operates primarily in front-wheel drive and keeps torque to the rear wheels if spin is detected up front.

Safety was also second to none in the 2003 SUV category. The 2003 Honda Pilot 's safety is enhanced thanks to the VTM-4 system, ABS-equipped four-wheel disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel independent suspension and 282° of outward visibility. The foundation for the Pilot is a highly rigid unibody with reinforcing structures and energy absorbing crush zones. The Pilot's structure is designed to deform progressively in front, side and rear end collisions. The 2003 Honda Pilot is also equipped with second generation, dual stage dual threshold front and side air bags (SRS).

Overall we were thoroughly impressed with this pre-owned 2003 Honda Pilot and would quickly agree to using it's capabilities again and again. The ride was smooth and refined but still allowed us to use it as a workhorse. Safety and reliability are well above the average vehicles in this category and cost of ownership is better than average with parts being readily available and servicing being done with relative ease.

2003 Honda Pilot Common Problems

  • The rear pads on some models can make a clunk noise when you are first braking from the brake pad shims restricting pad slide. Replacing the shims will correct this issue.
  • Breakdown of the differential fluid can cause a noise in the rear end. Replacing the fluid will correct
  • Oil leaks from a porous engine block casting has ben noticed on some vehicles. Many of the leaks can be repaired but some blocks may need to be replaced
  • The EGR valve on some models have been known to fail, making the check engine light come on.
  • A faulty Idle Air Control valve can sometimes cause the engine to palpitate and the Check Engine Light to turn on. Replacing the valve will correct the issue.
  • The stabilizer links can sometimes have a clunk. Replacment is the only corrective measure
  • The rear blower for the heat and air conditioning sometimes will fail from a faulty power transistor. Replacment is he only corrective measure
  • A harshness in engine and transmission operation can be caused by a broken front engine mount. Replacing the engine mount should correct the problem

  • Open the 2003 Honda Pilot Recall Page