2019 Honda Pilot vs Competitors




The 2019 Honda Pilot is making a great case as the best pick in the midsized SUV segment. Now in its third generation, it got a minor update to its style this model year, as well as standard advanced safety features on all trims and some welcome new connectivity features. Consumers love its spacious interior, smooth and forgiving ride, great fuel economy, and standout versatility. Although the Pilot has so many great qualities, it does face a class of worthwhile competition, such as the Toyota Highlander, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, and Dodge Durango. Now that we know the competition, let’s see why so many people choose the ’19 Pilot over its rivals.

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Performance and Fuel Economy

All Honda Pilots are powered by a 3.5-liter V6, which is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission on most trims and a nine-speed transmission on the Touring and Elite Trims. This powerful yet efficient engine delivers 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, blowing away the Toyota Highlander’s base engine—a four-cylinder that only makes 185 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. The Pilot also has one of the strongest towing capacities in the class; an AWD Pilot is capable of pulling up to 5,000 lb., which is 3,500 lb. more than the Highlander and Traverse. Unlike the Durango, all Pilot models are available with all-wheel drive; the Durango does not offer AWD on its base trim.

When it comes to fuel economy, the base model Pilot crushes similar competing models. The Pilot gets an EPA-rated 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, for a combined city/highway 22 mpg. And to keep you from having to fill up as often, the Pilot also has a larger fuel tank than the Highlander, Explorer, and Traverse.

Passenger and Cargo Space

The name Pilot is synonymous with spaciousness. This roomy and comfortable SUV has 152.9 cubic ft. of passenger volume, which is more than the Highlander and Explorer. It also features the most third-row headroom, front- and second-row hip room, and third-row shoulder room in the class. Its 83.9 cubic ft. of maximum cargo volume also beats out the Highlander and Explorer. This makes the Pilot a great road-trip vehicle, since there is so much passenger and storage space, as well as a great infotainment system to keep everyone occupied.


Since the Pilot is a family-friendly vehicle, it makes sense that it is known as one of the safest vehicles in its class. It received a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for outstanding scores in government-issued collision tests, which means more peace of mind for driver and passengers alike. The Traverse also received a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating, but the Pilot is the only midsized SUV to also receive a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Thanks, too, to its intelligently engineered body and standard package of advanced driver-assist technology—known as Honda Sensing—it is easy to see why the Pilot received such high praise for safety.