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Toyota Highlander vs. Honda Pilot: Family SUV Insights

The Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot are two popular choices for families in need of a spacious and reliable SUV. Both vehicles offer a range of features and capabilities that make them suitable for family use. However, there are several key differences between the two that may influence a buyer’s decision. In this article, we will compare the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot in terms of their performance, interior space, safety features, technology, and overall value. By examining these factors, we hope to provide valuable insights to help families make an informed decision when choosing between these two SUVs.

Performance

When it comes to performance, both the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot offer powerful engines and smooth rides. The Highlander comes with a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 295 horsepower, while the Pilot is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 280 horsepower. While the Highlander has a slight edge in terms of horsepower, the Pilot compensates with its responsive handling and precise steering.

One area where the Highlander stands out is fuel efficiency. With its available hybrid powertrain, the Highlander achieves an impressive EPA-estimated 36 mpg combined, making it one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs in its class. On the other hand, the Pilot has a slightly lower fuel efficiency, with an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined for its base model.

In terms of towing capacity, the Highlander has a slight advantage over the Pilot. The Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped, while the Pilot has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. This makes the Highlander a better choice for families who frequently tow trailers or boats.

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Interior Space

Both the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot offer spacious interiors that can comfortably accommodate up to eight passengers. However, there are some differences in terms of cargo space and overall comfort.

The Highlander provides ample cargo space, with 16 cubic feet behind the third row, 48.4 cubic feet behind the second row, and a maximum of 84.3 cubic feet with all rear seats folded down. The Pilot, on the other hand, offers slightly more cargo space, with 16.5 cubic feet behind the third row, 46.8 cubic feet behind the second row, and a maximum of 83.9 cubic feet with all rear seats folded down.

When it comes to passenger comfort, both SUVs offer comfortable seating and a range of available features. The Highlander offers available second-row captain’s chairs, which provide a more luxurious seating experience for passengers. The Pilot, on the other hand, offers a wider third-row seat, making it more comfortable for adults to sit in the back.

Safety Features

Both the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot prioritize safety and come equipped with a range of advanced safety features. However, there are some differences in terms of available safety technologies.

The Highlander comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes features such as pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. The Pilot, on the other hand, comes standard with Honda Sensing, which includes similar features such as collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assist system.

One notable difference is that the Highlander offers a standard rearview camera, while the Pilot offers a multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines. This can be helpful when maneuvering in tight spaces or parking.

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Technology

Both the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot offer a range of technology features to enhance the driving experience. However, there are some differences in terms of available infotainment systems and connectivity options.

The Highlander comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integration. It also offers available features such as a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a JBL premium audio system, and a rear-seat entertainment system with a 10.2-inch display.

The Pilot, on the other hand, comes standard with a 5-inch color LCD screen, which can be upgraded to an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, but does not offer Amazon Alexa integration. The Pilot also offers available features such as a rear-seat entertainment system with a 10.2-inch display and a premium audio system.

Overall Value

When it comes to overall value, both the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot offer a range of features and capabilities that make them attractive choices for families. However, there are some differences in terms of pricing and ownership costs.

The Highlander has a starting price of around $34,810, while the Pilot starts at around $32,550. While the Highlander has a slightly higher starting price, it offers a range of standard features that are only available as options on the Pilot. This can make the Highlander a better value for families who prioritize advanced safety features and technology.

In terms of ownership costs, the Highlander has a slightly higher predicted reliability rating than the Pilot, according to J.D. Power. This can result in lower maintenance and repair costs over time. Additionally, the Highlander has a higher resale value, which can make it a better long-term investment.

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Summary

In conclusion, both the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot are excellent choices for families in need of a spacious and reliable SUV. The Highlander offers a more powerful engine, better fuel efficiency, and a higher towing capacity. The Pilot, on the other hand, offers slightly more cargo space and a wider third-row seat. Both SUVs prioritize safety and offer a range of advanced safety features. In terms of technology, the Highlander offers a larger touchscreen infotainment system and more connectivity options. When it comes to overall value, the Highlander offers a range of standard features and has a higher predicted reliability rating, making it a better long-term investment. Ultimately, the choice between the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot will depend on individual preferences and priorities.

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