Tag Archives: suvs

2004 Honda Pilot EX-L Review (My Car)

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Most people ask me that if I have all this knowledge about cars, I must be driving something interesting and a car that only car enthusiasts would drive. Well, the truth of the matter is that I drive a Honda Pilot. That’s right, a 2004 Honda Pilot EX-L in Sage Bush Metallic. Yep, it’s an automatic SUV, which makes me out to be a hypocrite, especially since I preach manual transmissions, and since I say that SUVs are my least favorite type of cars. Let me tell you about the story behind this car, who by the way I named Neela (after the girl in Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift who drives a Mazda RX-8). At the time, we had a 1995 Honda Odyssey LX and a 2002 Toyota Camry. While it was a great car, the Odyssey was getting old, and a family member really needed a car, so we gave the car to her. It had 140,000 miles, and my family and I never really considered it a minivan due to the lack of sliding doors which helped my mom avoid the “soccer-mom” mentality. Anyways, this was in 2004, when SUVs were becoming the norm for family cars, and as you guessed, my parents jumped on the bandwagon. My family loves Hondas, but we wanted to go upmarket, so we looked at the Acura MDX (Acura is Honda’s luxury division). My mom loved the MDX, but my father, the cost conscious buyer, was keen on the MDX’s sibling, the Honda Pilot. It had launched a year ago, and we had many friends with Pilots, and everybody loved theirs. We went to the Honda dealership, and we looked at the Pilot.  Naturally, being a young kid, I was bored by all the technical talk, so my sister and I played around in the showroom cars. We test drove a red Pilot with a tan interior, and we were all amazed at how roomy and comfortable it was. We went to the Honda dealership a lot more after that. Then one night, my family went to the dealer without telling me and left me at home with the babysitter. The next day, we went to the dealership, and my sister (who loved to brag and tease me) told me, “Ha-Ha, Mom and Dad took me to the dealer, and not you, and I got to pick out the color! They like me better than you.” I pretended not to believe her, so I asked her, “Oh yeah? Where is our car? Huh? Huh?” And she pointed outside, and there was our Pilot. It was a Friday morning on May 28, 2004. It was a sunny afternoon, and our Pilot was so shiny it sparkled. That weekend, we embarked on a family trip in our brand new car to Ohio. We stopped at a farm, where we got to ride horses. My horse’s name was Diablo, and I remember this because at the time, my favorite Lamborghini was the Diablo. Before we knew it, we were driving this car everywhere. This car has been all over the country. We drove the Pilot many times to Canada, and Mexico two times, and it has been to both coasts of the country. Before I knew it, high school came. When I got my permit, I was supposed to drive our 2002 Toyota Camry, but as being a typical car guy, I said, “heck no!” I wanted a Ford Mustang so badly for my first car, and I was dismayed to find out my first car would be handed down to me. At first, I felt sad, because out of my friends, I had the boring car (my friends had a 2011 Ford Mustang, 2012 Dodge Challenger, Chargers, you name it). But after three years of driving this car, I cannot wish for a better first car. Since this blog just turned a year old, I thought it would be cool to do a review of my own car. I have been thinking about doing this for a long time, and I have been pressured to do so. Ever since I started this blog, I have had impromptu photo shoots of Neela. If I’m driving, and I see a location that I like, I’ll pull over for some pictures. I have accumulated quite a lot of pictures over time, and it is interesting to see how the car has changed in the past year. I actually posted a photo shoot of Neela and another Honda Pilot way back in Decemeber. I just never had the opportunity to do an actual review because I was always writing a review of another car. Now, the perfect opportunity presented itself. Just know that this review will be really long, because this isn’t a review of a random car. I’ve known this car for 10 years, which is a lot to summarize in a typical review, so brace yourself. Hope you guys enjoy it!

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1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Review

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In the eighties, Toyota wanted to replicate the success of its Land Cruiser SUV but in a smaller and more affordable package. Cue the 4Runner which debuted in mid-1984 as a 1985 model. Instead of developing an entirely new model like the Land Cruiser, Toyota used the Hilux chassis to create the 4Runner (sold as the Hilux Surf in other countries).  The first generation was nothing more than a pickup truck with a roof over the bed. The purpose of the 4Runner was to provide the versatility and the go anywhere ability of the Hilux truck while giving the comfort and utility expected of an SUV. I reviewed a third generation, a 1997 4Runner which was the first generation to be built as a separate model, not sharing any body parts or frames with the Hilux. I liked it very much, but I never really thought of reviewing the original 4Runner at all. I asked my friend if I could review his old Volvo 242 or something like that. It was a really cool old Volvo in burgundy and with a manual transmission. However, when I contacted him, he sold it and got this 4Runner. How could I say no to reviewing the original 4Runner with only two doors and a manual transmission?

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