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Keep vehicle w/lower mileage or more dependable higher mileage vehicle?

My wife and I are about to welcome kid #4 so we’re biting the bullet and getting a minivan. Currently, we have a 2005 F-150 with 90k miles on it and a 2009 Honda Pilot with 153k miles on it. All things being equal, I think the Pilot is the more reliable vehicle, but the 60k mileage difference may wash that out. Judging simply on reliability, which one would you keep?

I would go with the newer Honda, assuming all the maintenance is up to date. The F-150 is a great truck but is older.


Agree with @SteveCBT Keep the Pilot.

The Pilot is at a mileage where anything that goes wrong is maintenance. Reliability loses its meaning at that point. I’d keep the F150 assuming it can do what you want your second vehicle to do.

check if Pilot is not on the years when Honda had transmission issues, as it may be getting to the point of quite an expensive “maintenance” item

If a 4x8 sheet of drywall or plywood fit in the van I would dump the truck, unless you need to trailer things occasionally.

The only opinion that matters here is which vehicle the wife would want to drive if she did not have access to the van.

I believe 2005 was the second year for Ford to offer the 3 valve 5.4 liter V8 in the F150. They were pretty notorious for having cam phaser issues… Some of those motors will still run a long time, clattering away like a diesel at idle. Some don’t. Given that age affects auto components as well as mileage, I’d probably lean towards the Honda being more reliable. It’s really a crap shoot, though.

Considering an evaluation for problems like Scrapyard noted, I’d keep the truck. If you are buying a new mini van anyway, why do you need two vans, and why is reliability such a concern with a new vehicle. I’d rather have some diversity of vehicles rather than both similar.

I missed the buying the minivan part. I’d have to agree on keeping the truck rather than the pilot. The truck will come in handy at some point. Of course gas mileage will suck - so if a long commute is involved - I guess I’m back to keeping the Pilot.

There is not enough difference in the fuel usage to even be a factor . Base model of each - F150 16 to 20 - Pilot 17 to 23 .

Which engine is in the F150? Some of the 5.4L’s had problems as noted. The 4.6L was pretty gutless but didn’t seem to really have enough power to break anything besides sometimes launching spark plugs in certain years.

It is a 5.4L. Thanks everyone for the input. This discussion continues to be helpful.

You might check out this site.

Neither one scores very well. You honestly might be better off with the F150 though… Cam phasers are somewhat labor intensive so costly to replace.

Base model F150 is a V6, 2wd, regular cab. Not many people buy those. My truck for example, is a 2005 GMC Sierra, 4wd, extended cab, small (4.8 liter) V8. It consistently gets 15-16 mpg. So if the truck isn’t optioned like a fleet purchase, the base model EPA estimates won’t necessarily apply.

Yes. This is a 5.4L 4x4 so the gas mileage is not stellar. I have already experienced the window issues on several occasions.

If you need or want a truck, I’d say keep the Ford. If it’s a daily driver and you generally have no use for a truck, I think I’d keep the Honda for the better mileage. Honda’s are perceived more reliable, and the 5.4’s did have issues that year with cam phasers (Google “5.4 cam phaser problems”). That being said, my brother in law put 300k miles on a 5.4 liter F150 of around the same year. Original motor and transmission, rear differential replaced under warranty. I’d keep the one I wanted or just generally liked better. It’s fairly impossible to say which one will cost more to maintain.