To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All Wheel Drive is standard on the MDX. But it costs extra on the Pilot.
Both the MDX and the Pilot have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.
For its top level performance in frontal, side and rear impact tests, and its standard Vehicle Stability Assist, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the MDX as a “Top Pick for 2007,” a rating only granted to 39 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Pilot was not a 2007 Top Pick.
The MDX comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The Pilot’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The MDX comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years 50,000 miles. Acura will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Honda doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Pilot.
Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the MDX 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Honda covers the Pilot. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Pilot ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The MDX’s 3.7 SOHC V6 produces 50 more horsepower (300 vs. 250) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 253) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.
For better traction, the MDX has larger tires than the Pilot (255/55R18 vs. 245/65R17).
The MDX’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pilot’s standard 65 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the MDX has standard 18 inch wheels. Only 17 inch wheels are available on the Pilot.
The MDX offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Pilot’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For better maneuverability, the MDX’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Pilot’s (37.6 feet vs. 38.6 feet).
For greater off-road capability the MDX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Pilot (8.15 vs. 8 inches), allowing the MDX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The MDX has .4 inches more front hip room, .1 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear legroom and 2.2 inches more rear hip room than the Pilot.
When two different drivers share the MDX, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Pilot doesn’t offer a memory system.
The MDX’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Pilot doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The MDX’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Pilot’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
When the MDX is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Pilot’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The MDX has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Pilot LX doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.
The MDX’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Pilot LX doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.
The MDX’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The Pilot’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.