So we got a 2009 Honda Pilot

So we got a 2009 Honda Pilot

This is one vehicle I wasn’t exactly looking forward to driving, but asked for one anyway due to popular demand. Our tester had been through many hands before finally reaching us, so it is a bit disheveled, but properly broken in. First impressions are as poor as when seen in photos, but we discovered its many practical aspects as we cruised around Dubai.

The pug-faced front is made to shine more with oddles of chrome, some of which were installed by the local dealer and looks a bit loose around the bumper already.

The back is more forgivable, with dual exhausts and a real metal skidplate, additionally dressed up by the dealer with more glued-on bumper chrome.

The cabin is largely made out of hard plastics, some of which are solid but ill-fitting — surprising for a Honda, but expected in an American-built car such as this. Our first positive reaction came from finding so many useful storage areas, including that shelf above the glovebox, the covered area in the center console, and the cubby under the armrest.

The covered part hid cupholders and the most amazing spring-action coin holder, that stores coins of different sizes like bullets in a gun magazine.

As if that wasn’t enough, another original feature is a sunglasses holder that doubles as a wide-angle mirror to give a clear view of every seating position, to watch over the kids (if we had any).

But wait, there’s more! The screen for the optional rear-view camera is hidden in the central rear-view mirror itself, appearing only when in reverse gear. Like the chrome bumper strips, this might be an aftermarket add-on by the dealer.

This top-of-the-range Pilot also features roll-up sun-screens on the rear side windows, like those found in more expensive cars. Our tester also already came with V-Kool tint.

In a rarity among midsize SUVs, the Pilot now has a full a/c system in the back, complete with vents, temperature and fan controls. In a bit of oversight, the driver cannot turn off the rear fan when there are no passengers in the back, so it took us a while to figure out why there was a propeller-aircraft noise coming from the back when we first picked up the car.

Rear legroom is simply enormous, much more so than the old model. It easily has more room than the Grand Cherokee, the Tahoe or the Pathfinder, while possibly surpassing the new Land Cruiser.

It took us a while, but we figured out how to access the third row. Average-sized people will have their knees scraping the second-row seatback, but it is manageable. People approaching 6-feet need not apply.

The rear luggage area fits a large suitcase with the third row in use. With the last row folded flat, there is almost enough space to lie down. What you see in the photo are nicely-packed-away pieces of plastic underbody cladding, broken off by a previous journalist’s off-road excursion. You’ll probably never read about it.

The Pilot may look like a dork, and designed for dorks, but it proved to be a rather interesting collection of practical engineering. Designed for the most boring people on the planet, the Pilot lacks certain features that make it look bad against the competition. There is no low-range gearing, no navigation, no Bluetooth and no keyless start. Everything else to be expected is included, but it drives unexpectedly flabby, with a softly-suspended chassis and uninvolving controls. At least the V6 engine is perfectly refined, and seriously economical for the weight it pulls. But more about that later, in the full review.

What do you think?



  1. nice car…but the front view needs to be changed

  2. Why the hell did they have stick chrome on the bumpers? makes it looks worse FYI Trading Enterprises! I like the centre console feature but everything else either sucks or is normal features on SUVs this size.

  3. very nice, i love the profile and the rear end, but the grille needs some serious re-designing. Interesting interior features though, shame about the hard plastics…

  4. real smooth car.trying to imitate box-shaped cars,like hummer,pathfinder problem if its less expensive.

  5. I second what BJD had to say about the chrome. I don’t see why they need chrome to differentiate the top of the range model.
    Also, how can they charge so much for a car that’s build poorly?? I guess the dealer can get away with it seeing as it’s a Honda and people will over look this aspect.

  6. I completely agree about the chrome, just looks tachy..I like the rear end, looks much better than the older MRV.
    When they advertise regarding the reverse camera, are they talking bout this thing??Isnt the screen for the reverse camera a lil too small??

  7. not really very small. Its an OK size for the driver to see.

  8. what the hell is up with the chrome!! other than that it is loaded! hows the price when compared to the competition?

  9. From using a 7″ screen,It still looks small for me, i guess i was expecting to find a much bigger one on the centre stack like on most vehicles.

  10. why dont honda just copy the x5 and make this look like that, like how they copied the 5 series and made into the new accord.. weird looking car .. nissan patrol anyday

  11. looks descent sized in my eyes. maybe its cuz I see these configs very often now.

  12. I’d rather go in for the Kia Mohave – it’s built better and offers a lot more for less…

  13. morever, the Mohave has better off-road gear…And RayD, beware of the Honda fanboy warriors team – heard they’re gon’ drop a grenade into ur car whn u r in it, all coz u said tis! 😆 😆 😆

  14. well, everyone knows that the new LC is the best SUV. see what happens when you go offroading 😆

    you should get fast help to move your 200K Dhs from dirts.

    please, dont laugh 😥

  15. LOL Vivek!! Yes, the Mohave is a better off-roader. Infact,it’s close to being an all rounder.
    I’m not worried about the so-called ‘fanboys’. I’ll run circles around them. LOL! I will admit Honda’s are good cars and that’s why they sell but I wouldn’t go about, unlike some or most people in this country,stating it’s the ultimate brand of vehicle.

  16. I’ll second that..!!

  17. yup. I agree. Mohave is a better choice

  18. Yo assassin wut happened there?? were you reducing ur PSI there in the first pic?? How’d you end up getting out of

  19. The LC isn’t the ‘best’ 4×4. There are others – i’d rather put my money on a Nissan Patrol/Mitsubishi Pajero/Jeep.

  20. heyy assassin..was it ur ride????

  21. ^^^
    this is his ride 🙄

    and assassin….i went with my friends in the past weekend to albadayer…this place rocks…this is my 4th time to go there…we were 20 persons with 7 cars…2 patrols. 2 LCs. 2 Fj’s and a range rover…of course this is my first time to ride a patrol…and i was with a guy which seems that he lost his mind…you know those videos with a patrols doing dounts on sand and cutoff’s…the ride was very interesting…the new LC was very good. but still feels heavy and low….imagine we saw a toyota corolla inside the desert 😯 😯

  22. spyke, this place is 100m far from home, i was driving too slow on that area and i didnt push the accelerator, the car stoped and then all weels were spinning with no traction with the road. i tried to reduce the PSI there in the first pic but that didnt help. i got out of it by towing from my brother’s tunned-Sierra which is a very great offroader.
    RayD,i dont know why would you prefer to buy a classic patrol which has made since 1998 with same old techs to a brand new LC which started in 2008 with new techs. and you cant compare LC and Patrol with pajero or jeep, there are not in same class. can you?
    vivek, that was my ride, but that guy in the photo is not me, i’m a kid in the second photo 😆 .
    thatsit(mohamad), was the LCs V6 or V8?

  23. what was the point of tht youtube link ?

  24. Assassin doesnt the LC come with a rear diff lock?? or is it optional on the top of the range with the crawl control??
    Yeh you cant probably comapre the technology of the two vehicles but the vehicle its self is a beast..I’d probably wait for the next generation patrol to compare the technology.I’ve heard rumours on other forums thats its gonna have a monster V8 not sure of the displacement but for sure they’re building one that will compete with the 5.7 in the LC. The V8 they have in the titan/armada gots load of torque but people been saying that its gonna be more powerful in terms of horsepower.
    The only vehicle i like from toyota the LC’s have always been good..

  25. normal sierra is doing 100 in 9 secs and our tuned-sierra is doing it in 7 seconds.
    and also to make you guys hear its engine’s sound.

  26. im suck in using the rear diff-lock and the low range gear. you know, the car was moving about a meter forward and stuck, and then backward about one meter and stuck again. but when I used the low-range gear, the car moved down 😯 .
    my LC got the rear diff-lock switch which is an optional in GXR terms, and crawl control is an optional in VXR terms. so, there is no LC has these 2 systems together.
    the new 2010 nissan Patrol will be 5.6L, more than 400hp and 7-speed a/t as thatsit(mohamad) told us before!! but i’m sure that toyota dealer here will start selling 5.7 LC in the same time of launching the new patrol.

    spyke, since you own a pathfinder, could you tell me how to use the low range gear when you stuck in sand?? things go worse with me when i use it. and also the where is the automatic gear should be? in “1” or “2” or just in D mode??

  27. You mean you did all this without using the transfer case?? to be honest ive still not had to use 4L,in sand i just keep it in 4HI, but For greater traction and best use of torque, just to test the system out, i used low range in ‘1’st, but then after that just put it back in ‘D’ i dont have a rear diff lock and the ABLS (Nissans version of LSD) have got me through situations fine, as long as you’ve got momentum its fine.
    The rear diff lock can also be used in conjunction with low range.
    Mash what do you think??

  28. did you lock the differentials?

  29. Mash just one question? How do you manage to get the same parking every freaking time??? Do you like have a watch to let you know immediately when the parking is free?

  30. Author

    When stuck, you’re supposed to turn the steering left and right to get sand under the tyres. And then feather the throttle while in low-range. Revving hard might get you stuck worse than before. OF course, all this won’t work every time.
    As for the parking space, it clears out in the mornings.

  31. i locked the LSD and the rear diff-lock. in the LC, the rear diff-lock can not be locked unless you switched on the low range gear.

    mash, is the gear should be in ‘1’st or in ‘2’ when feathering the throttle while in low-range?

  32. You guys shouldn’t be driving in the desert if you don’t know what gear or system should be used 😆 As for the Pajero,i’d use it over any Patrol/LC/Jeep – it has one of the best 4×4 systems out there. A poor mindset here is the only thing limiting it from proving it’s off-road capabilities. Haven’t you guys heard,the Pajero has been winning some of the world’s toughest rallies for decades now. So far,I haven’t heard any LCs winning international rallies 😛

  33. RayD, i dont know why you still compare pajero with LC, they are not in same class. 😆
    everyone knows that Pajero is better off roader than LC, and FJ for sure is better than Pajero, and then Wrangler will definitely beat the FJ in case of offroading, and then banshee will put Wrangler ability to shame. You guys still compare like kids.

  34. and after all tat when the banshee gets stuck sumwhere in the dunes, i’ll put the banshee to shame by walking off the dunes 😆 😆 😆

  35. Assassin – if you are referring to a size class/category then yes, as the LC is a larger vehicle. However,if you are referring to off-road capability and overall ability then the Pajero is ‘up there’ with the best + the Pajero is cheaper to purchase and maintain 😛
    Vivek – 😆

  36. RayD, is the pajero cheaper suv in its size class?? i dont think so, Mohave is cheaper and having better off-road capability.

  37. I hate the way this car looks….urgh!!!
    …on offroading….never had much problem handling sand with the prado till now though I don’t go dune bashing….
    though we did have an incident in Salalah where the car was sliding downhill due to the slippery mud/grass….that was scary….and I’m sure none of the cars mentioned above could handle it either…seriously!!! 😯

  38. Assassin – I didn’t consider the Mohave when I put in my comments as we were mainly discussing the Jap brands. If you see my earlier posts, you will note that I’m favour of the Mohave as it is a very good 4×4 and is worth every penny…

  39. design wise, well, i really dont think the culprits are the same design engineers who designed the civic. they must probably be on a long vacation while Honda hired some design engineers from Toyota on a part-time basis to design this one!

  40. I’m not sure if mohave is cheaper than pajero cuz mohave is a semi luxury SUV and is refined but pajero is not a luxury, refined car. I’ll confirm it later in the day when I find out.

  41. Mash is right. I managed to get my Pathfinder stuck, the more i pressed the accelerator the deeper it dug in sand to get grip. Another offroad enthusiast in Landcrusier stopped by, moved the direction of steering in jigjag pattern and Pathfinder was out in secs. He didn’t even hard throttle, hardly 1500 rpm, just just gentle push and zig -zap pattern, the vehicle was out. ITS NOT THE VEHICLE, ITS THE DRIVER. i won’t blame any vehicle, what can vehicle do, if we don’t know offroading techniques, why blame vehicle models. With experience everyone learns. 🙄

  42. with experience, assassin now learned -> always take his brother and brother’s Sierra while venturing off road 😆 😆 😆 😆

  43. Very true Royer, most of the time its the inexperienced drivers. The same thing happened to two identical pathys in hatta, i just stopped by to see them off roading. One white the other black, the white one attempted this dune only to reach half way he didnt get stuck but lost momentum, the second black one reahced all the way to the top and continued to climb an even bigger one. i didnt venture into that area but observed from the side. Pratise makes perfect..

  44. People say Range Rover is no. one, another few say Hummer is invincible, pajero’s win rally everyyear, there’s a huge dedicated crowd who swear by their prado’s and pathfinder’s. These days you can see plenty of FJ’s and Xterra’s, Ford Explorer has be no 1 family in US for so many years. This days everyone graduates to 4×4 by buying a Fortuner. All the desert safari guys use Landcrusiers, each 4wd has its own advantage or disadvantage, a good driver can take a 1.3 liter Suzuki jimmny or 1.5 Diahatsu Terrios on the tallest of dunes. You need to know the basics. You only own 4×4 for few years and comment on its performance, imagine how many 4×4’s Toyotas, Rovers, Nissans and Mitshubishi text, they have been doin this for years….for those who followed latest Desert Challange Rally … it was a modified BMW X5 which won the offroad series..

  45. yeah. so I was right. pajero is cheaper than mohave but only the base V6 [3.8]. top of range mohave V6 is cheaper than Pajero. The 4.6 V8 arriving next year will make it more expensive than pajero.

  46. BTW, Royer, didnt the Pathfinder Owner’s munual tell how to handle those situations? Manuals are really useful. I always read as much as I can when I get a new car.

  47. BJD – are you sure about the pricing? From what I’ve found out,a full option Mohave is about 135k(3.8ltr V6) while a Pajero is under 130K(3.8ltr V6)

  48. maybe I’m wrong, but I was mainly talking about the start price.

  49. 4wd – I really liked the way u put it all up man!!..especially tat “graduating with the Fortuner” part..hehehe..nice one! 😆 ..and oh yes, there are a lot of “Prado-sensitive” people out here..X-terra is the latest madness among my colleagues..the Ford Explorers have managed to impress the crowd in UAE too..been seeing quite a lot of ’em on roads these days!..

  50. I agree with some of the things 4WD said. At the end of it all if you don’t know the basics even the best 4x4s will get stuck.
    Yes,the Xterra is the latest craze and it’s a shame this vehicle was only introduced here 10 or 12 months ago – the Xterra has been selling in other parts of the world for years now. As for the Explorer,I wouldn’t go for it. The only reason they’re selling is ’cause the dealer is offering free service,insurance etc.+ most of them are being sold as either fleet vehicles or given to company managers.

  51. 4wd, you see plenty of Xterra?? in which country? because here in uae you can see 3 or 4 xterras crossing the streets in a year.

  52. i found a new way to get you out when you stuck.
    but that will cause scratches on rims.

  53. I love the xterra, my next vehicle probably, the familys second vehicle,our trusty ol santa fe will have to be retired soon seen many years of service and some good hard runs. My familys gone Nissan crazy i guess, my dad and i share both vehicles and we both dont wanna drive a manual anymore simply because theres too much traffic. But the xterra is a simple basic 4wd much like the santafe, especially with that brush guard the dealer fixea looks real tough.

    Anyways today on my way back home,it gave me another reason to hate toyotas!!! This guy on the fast lane wasnt bugging and probably doing bout 80!!My dad was driving this time since the whole family went out,this guy started making hand gestures which pissed me of real bad!!! Twas a camry 48** sumthing number plate.He probably though he owns the road!!Since ma mom was also in the vehicle we didnt wanna follow him although he was still making gestures. Sorry nothin against the toyotas but i gotta admit ive always had problems with people who drive them!! Sorry guys just venting out some frustration!!!

  54. Sorry RayD..disagreeing with you in the case of Explorers. It is one of the best handling SUV’s out there in the market. Manage to get one, simulate a kind of emergency manouever that ppl try to do only with a car and not an SUV, and you will know what I am talking about!!..Morever, it is one of the best on-road cruisers too..An engine power of just 210 hp is a joke, as Mash had mentioned in his review, but apart from that and probably a weaker (than Toyota) resale value, you wouldn’t have anything else to blame about it! And yea, the power is adequate unless you are one of those SUV street racers who would want to eat up a Prado, Pathy, Xterras and even Patrols in frequent street or drag race challenges! Unlike many of it’s competitors, itz not overpriced! Off road performance is good too! It cannot conquer dunes like an FJ, but it can sure be somewhere close! And as far as i know, most of the Explorers are bought by private buyers these days unlike a few years ago; and not by any companies or as fleet vehicles (There is a friend of mine working at Al Tayer). What more; it is one of the Recommended vehicles by Mash..and tat says it all 🙂

  55. How come Al Tayer doesnt bring the V8 here since the v6 is clearly lagging in power?? Im sure the Explorer is a good all round vehicle, but we know people who own explorers that complain about high maintenance costs,like premature break wear and couple o others.

  56. well..not sure about that!..however, my friend’s 2006 Explorer still runs has 80+K on odo and my friend has no problems at all!!..and about the stigma of high maintenance costs – I think it is the mentality of the owners rather..I know a friend of mine who owned a Mondeo 2006..he paid an average of 400 dhs for every service (10K km is the service interval here)..and once he had to change the brake pads for which, al tayer charged him 900 dhs inclusive of labour charges..He curses the Mondeo, curses Ford, curses Al Tayer and blames himself for buying a Ford..He sold the ford and bought himself a 2nd hand 2005 Altima for a good deal!..he now pays the same 400 dhs on an average for every service which falls at every 5K km intervals..and whn he had to replace the Altima’s brake pads, it costed him 1200 dhs!!..And best part of all, he says it is still cheap!!!!!! 😐 Though in reality he spends more for the Altima, deep in his mind, he b’lieves that Jap cars are cheap to maintain and tat thot rules over everything else!..the same goes to a vast majority of people here..Anyway, regarding the reliability part..I never faced any problems with my Mondeo ever inspite of driving it soo harsh durin it’s early years..Forget the Mondeos since Explorer is the subject..i know 3 friends and a relative of mine who owns Explorers..None has ever had any complaints with their vehicles, ever!

  57. however, the unavailability of a V8 Explorer is something Al Tayer has to look into; if they wish to further give the sales figures of Explorers, a boost..or atleast, Ford could enhance the engine power of the V6 to match that of it’s competitors!

  58. ohh well, just what ive heard..I like the mondeo always have, its a very comfortable car to be in..

  59. Assassin after your comment, i observed the no. of xterras on road, i saw 2 on thursday evening and 7 on Friday full day out, 9 in 2 days, thats quite a lot compared to what you say. Though i own a very old pajero, but that doesn’t mean i will down other 4wds, you must a reach man leaving in posh street full of porshes, bms and mercs, may be thats why you can’t see cheaper but realibale 4wds. 😆

  60. Vivek – thanks for sharing your personal experiences with the Explorer. It’s not that I had a ‘bad’ impression or experience with the vehicle but i didn’t have a good one either. Yes, Mashfique has recommended it,which does say something good about the car. As for the Altima or any other Jap car,yes we do,sometimes,pay more on maintenance than a similar European or American car. Like you pointed out,it’s all about mentality – it’s actually very stupid! I sometimes feel sorry for such people. Vivek,another matter of interest(as you own a Mazda) is that the Mazda CX7 will be launching in the coming months. The car is currently undergoing local testing(Mashfique please note) 🙂
    spyke – my friend I feel for you. I experience weird drivers everyday too. I have also noticed that people driving Toyotas & Hondas think they own the roads. Again it’s all about mentality – it may have something to do with the fact that they think they own superior cars so poeple should automatically get out of their way or something. I give 2 sh**s about it;if someone tries to make my life misreable I ensure I do the same to them but I do not break the traffic rules. Another way to tackle them is to drive a Hummer;no one will dare come in your way 😆

  61. Hi Boris, Neither did i read the manual nor did i read the Offroad UAE Map book, when i came back home, that was the first time i read about offroading, tips and tricks. Actually me and wife were interested in maps so we ignored other text written in book, in the vehicle manual also, exactly the same steps where written. I want to do a small course from EDI or Belhasa, and then join one of offroading events, normally Al Roastamani, All Futtaim group organize rally event in which many families and professionals participate, with experience i will learn slowly-slowly. 🙄

  62. 4wd, well that my be in dubai. But in sharjah where i live. It is too rare to see Xterra in the steets of sharjah. You will notice that when you come to sharjah show.

  63. Guys 2009, xterra has new grill, roof lights from Nissan itself, and one special offroad edition. (Blestion Shock absorbers, Electronic Rear Differential Lock, it borrows some of electronic wizardry (Hill Assist) from more sophosticated brother Pathfinder). This xTerra is almost as expensive as a base Pathfinder. The front grill looks more nice now. 😯

  64. hey spyke & RayD..had a bad experience with an Accord guy just yesterday night!!..I was on shk zayed road driving at 90 kph on the last lane; and there was an Accord guy (2008, full options), on the second last lane at a speed of abt 60-70 kph! i was approaching him, he makes an attempt to jump in front of me..i flashed at him once; but he continued; so i honked, jus a short honk to wake him up! tat, he moved; and the moment i passed, the moron comes right behind me, bumper to bumper, flashes at me and honks at me; and thn takes the yellow lane, comes beside me, showed me the finger, and thn cut me off!!..however, to my luck the road was sort of empty with hardly abt 3-4 cars around; so i caught up..and at a speed of 140, cut him off! i continued till abt 180 in the fast lane, while the chap was apparently trying hard to catch up..and when finally i started seeing more number of cars, I slowed down..However this time, the chap simply slowed down alongwith me, maintained a good distance until I moved off and gave him way; and he passed by without anymore gestures or rage out of superiority complex! I really don’t know what it with these Accord and Altima guys..Anyway, RayD, I liked your suggestion…Hummer is the solution to all this! 😆

    And RayD; do u think the CX-7 will be revealed here in the auto show? I saw the car in Mazda’s US website. Looks like a scaled down CX-9..

  65. And assassin, the no.of Xterra’s in Sharjah are quite less..but it definitely is coming up. On the way to office and back, I do see some Xterras..What I feel is, Nissan should upgrade the Xterra’s interiors..the one that is thre right now is too basic & cheap-looking..but atleast, it is not over-priced!..

  66. Well guys,it goes to show drivers of Toyotas,Hondas & Nissans have a superiority complex,only to be given the boot by some of us driving other brands of cars 😛
    Vivek – 180 on SZR?? Didn’t you get caught by any of the cameras?? That guy you took on is probably wondering why he bought an Accord and will now trade it in for a Mazda6 😆 As for the CX-7,i’m not sure if it will be displayed at the Auto Show. If you want to have a look first hand,just visit the Galadari service center in Dxb;there’s a grey one parked there 😉 It’s sort of a scaled down version of the CX-9 – lights are different and so is the interior to some extent. I even saw the new shape MX5 at the service center once. As for the Xterra,the ‘new shape’ has come with a revised interior(dashboard) similar in overall design to the Pathfinder. As for the price,when i checked in Jan. a full option model was going for 105k and now it’s going for 114k – a sizeable increase don’t you think? 😯

  67. i used to have bad experiences when i drive my old civic even i was driving carefully. but now, things changed, nobody wants to make a problem with me when i drive LC. you know, it has that great position in this region.
    that’s why I preferred to buy LC, since i hate to have any bad things happening from other crazy drivers when i go out with my hole family

  68. * Whole family.

  69. RayD – I travel on SZR everyday, so I know the cameras 🙂 .luckily, I got this guy soon after passing MOE, towards sharjah; from there,there is good distance before you come across the next radar..however, they have just set up a new one just now..saw it only today!!..and yea, that guy wud not have ever imagined that he would get that kind of a blow!! poor chap!..anyway, he is a l’il wise..did not waste his time once he came to know that he cannot catch up :P..

    Xterra for 114???? 😯 that is too much for an Xterra!..I would go for the base Pathy instead..Or would even consider a fortuner..

  70. Vivek – i think that new camera was placed a while ago – these cameras apparently don’t flash 😳 I suggest you get on the RTA website and check for fines!

  71. yup..thre is a new camera thre!..did see that 🙂 and tat is why the race ended too early 😉 was sort of a surprise though; however, I noticed the new pole from a little far, so I had enough time to bring the speed down to 120 🙂 ..and by the way, the new cameras do flash..I have seen the one right after 3rd interchange flash in yellow, and that was during the night!! In another instance, and tis time during the day, I’ve seen the same camera not flash at a Murano cruising at 160+kph; however, I did notice a bright red LED light on it that blinked while the vehicle flew past it!

  72. Heya i feel the pain Vivek, the thing is i was’nt driving the last time, if twas me i wouldve just stomped on the gas after passing him, but ma dad being the good driver didnt.wut to do..

    Full option 114K damn,thats alot..But yeh i read in couple of the US mags that the Xterras now gettin leather seats, appaarently people wanted
    a bit of leather as well.
    From what ive seen, the front bumper, rear bumper and the interior has been redesigned, instead of the rotary dials you now get button operated AC controls. It looks a little better now. You also get lights on the roofs for the off road ediion like Royer said. The off road editions have always been available in the US again i dont know if it’ll be available here or how the vehicle will be configured.

  73. One more thing, the CX7 was designed to be a sporty CUV, it has the same 2.3 turbo charged engine in the Mazda speed 3 i belive. Sure u guys already knew this but just for your info.Wonder why it took mazda so long to bring it here. It looks very much like a mini cx9.

  74. The 2.3ltr turbo does duty in the Mazda Speed6 as well. I’m waiting to see if they will launch a new Mazda Speed6. Apparently this engine produces 260hp+ 😀 The CX-7 looks like a mini CX-9 but it has a different set of lights + interior is different as well. I tried to find out whether they would bring the RX-8 here but they do not intend to. Apparently the rotary engine will not be able to run in this weather. Then again,they are constantly developing new tech so hopefully we may see the RX-8 in the coming years.

  75. Ive seen couple of RX-8s, imports may be..

  76. mazda speed 6 is a 4wd too…if they bring it here, thn the Evo will face some more competition!

  77. You sure about it being 4wd? i always though it was Fwd. Good performing cars though.

  78. yup mazda speed 6 is a 4wd 🙂

  79. Hey Mash quick question..Since you drove both the MRV and the Pilot, do they have any automatic rear locking diffs?? any LSD?? or is it just the manual switch operated centre diff lock that sends power to the rear wheels?? if for any reason you want to go off road..

  80. Author

    It has a fake diff lock. I forgot the specifics, but their system simulates a locked diff. I might have mentioned in the review.

  81. I am planning to buy a 4wd in next 3 months. I would like to know which one woud suit me best given the below:
    1. Driving conditions: mostly on road with family (of 3 only), but would like to go for off roading (not dune bashing, but camping etc.) in weekends…
    2. Looks: would like to have a tough looking vehicle (not a car like cross over):
    3. Would own for 3 years or so and will go for a new one probably.
    4. price range 100K-110K AED
    5. Interior should not be cheap looking as it puts us off completely.

    SHould i consider Xterra, Explorer, or something else…

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