I'm Replacing My Pilot With An EV! What Car Should I Buy?

Image: Honda
Image: Honda

John is on his third Honda Pilot and wants to change it up to an EV SUV. It needs to fit two medium sized dogs, have AWD and get at least 300 miles of range. With a budget up to $70,000, what car should he buy?

(Welcome back to What Car Should You Buy? Where we give real people real advice about buying cars. Do you want us to help you find a car? Submit your story on our form.)

Here is the scenario:

I’m looking for an EV full size SUV to replace 2021 Honda Pilot Special Edition.

In summary I want an EV, full size (similar to the Pilot) SUV (to fit 2 medium sized dog crates), 4WD, prefer 300 mile range, and really want to get the 7,500 tax break; would consider vehicle with lower tax credit. Budget is $60-70k.

Quick Facts:

Budget: Up to $70,000


Location: Madison, WI

Daily Driver: Yes

Wants: Similar size to the Pilot, 300 miles of range, AWD

Doesn’t want: Something too small

Expert 1: Tom McParland - Deprecation Discounts Are Better Than Tax Credits

Photo: Andy Kalmowitz/Jalopnik
Photo: Andy Kalmowitz/Jalopnik

John, you are entering the EV market at the right time, as there are a lot more options compared to just a few years ago, and you can really take advantage of some excellent deals. While I understand your desire to get the federal tax credit and put $7,500 in your pocket, what if I told you there was a way to save even more money and not have to worry about any paperwork to the IRS?

The pre-owned EV market offers some great opportunities to take advantage of someone else’s depreciation for almost brand-new cars. For example, here is a Certified Pre-Owned 2024 Cadillac Lyric Sport, which is the top trim offered for this model. It has a range of 307 miles, AWD, and has measurements within a few inches of your Pilot. These are pretty impressive machines, that offer a great balance of comfort and features. This Lyric is packed with tech with an original MSRP of around $67,000. It can be yours for just under $49,000; that’s a savings of $18,000, and you still get plenty of warranty coverage.

Expert 2: Bradley Brownell - Haulin’ The Mail

Photo: Autotrader
Photo: Autotrader

Hands down, the best electric car on the market is the Porsche Taycan. Depreciation is your friend with these, as the pre-facelift examples are now dropping like a stone. This gorgeous maroon Taycan 4 Cross Turismo is the dog-hauling EV that puts the sport in sport utility. With lifted suspension, a delightful shape, and exquisite driving dynamics, this Taycan is your all-electric way into the Porsche family. Welcome, my friend.

This is the least expensive one I could find with a quick search, but you might be able to find one for less. It’s slightly outside your budget at $74,000, but you might be able to talk them down slightly. It only has 21,000 miles on it, and it’s a 2022, so you’ll get to enjoy the pleasure of Taycan ownership for quite a while. Don’t get soft on me, now. Live a life of sporty luxury.

Expert 3: Collin Woodard - Live The Three-Row Life

Photo: Kia
Photo: Kia

While my colleagues have made some solid suggestions, John, you said you wanted something similar in size to your Honda Pilot, so both the Lyriq and the Taycan are probably going to feel too small. If you really want a three-row crossover that’s also electric, though, I can get you almost everything you’re looking for as long as you’re willing to give up all-wheel drive. And let’s be honest, do you really need all-wheel drive? Really?

The car you’re asking for is the Kia EV9. It won’t qualify for the $7,500 tax credit, and you should probably seriously consider leasing instead of buying, but the EV9 Light Long Range starts at $59,200 and actually has three rows. Think of it like an electric rear-wheel-drive Telluride that has 304 miles of range.

You can, of course, get the EV9 with all-wheel drive, but that’s going to cost more and impact your range. The Wind and Land trims are in your price range, and all-wheel drive gives you 379 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, which should make for a more enjoyable driving experience. Unfortunately, they only have 280 miles of range, so you’re going to have to decide whether 300 miles of range is more important than all-wheel drive. Still, if you want a big, spacious EV, you’re going to have a hard time beating the Kia EV9.

Expert 4: Amber DaSilva - Why Settle For Less?

Photo: Amber DaSilva / Jalopnik
Photo: Amber DaSilva / Jalopnik

John, I want to commend you on your choice here. Going electric isn’t just the right moral choice, it’s a fun move to make — once you start one-pedal driving, you’ll never want to go back. For your daily driver, though, going electric shouldn’t mean sacrificing a single thing. You deserve luxury, comfort, performance, and a vehicle that truly seems like it’s been thought out down to the smallest nuts and bolts. You deserve a Rivian R1S.

The R1S stands among my favorite vehicles I’ve ever driven, which is big coming from someone who generally shies away from big trucks (and who’s driven both generations of NSX). I love something that feels well-engineered, and the R1S feels like a team coming together to solve every issue they’ve ever had with a car. Of course, you’d expect nothing less for the cost of a new Rivian, but the R1S has been on the market for some time now — used models are ever so slowly getting into your price range.

Technically, the nearest R1S to Madison that’s within your budget is this great orange-red Launch Edition in Plano, TX. I think the road trip back would be a blast, but I can understand the counterpoint — that’s a long way to go to buy a car sight unseen. So, instead, I’m going to recommend getting your bargaining hat on and talking down this green Launch Edition right over in Naperville. It’s out of your range by less than $1,000, and there must be a way to bring the dealer down. If you can knock that $977 off the asking price, you’ll have the greatest daily driver of your life.

For the latest news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.