Honda Pilot vs. Toyota Highlander


Are you shopping for a family SUV? Some of your priorities are probably safety, reliability, and comfort. While a lot of options on the market tick these boxes, it can be difficult to figure out which one is the best option for your family. How do you know what model is the best with so many options out there?

The Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander are two of the most popular options available. Coming from trusted brands, these SUVs are known for their safety and reliability, which is what you want from a family SUV. They both offer three rows of seating for eight passengers, plus similar technology features that make for a comfortable riding experience. 

However, there are some notable differences between these two SUVs. We'll go over some of the main features of each model, plus how they compare to each other in important categories, like price, fuel efficiency, and design, among others.

Honda Pilot (2023)

The current model year Honda Pilot offers the latest model in five available trims–Sport, EX-L, TrailSport, Touring, and Elite. The most basic trim available is the Sport, and its starting price is $39,150. As you move up in trims, the most expensive one available will set you back $52,030.

Some of the high-quality features aimed at comfort across all trims include heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a push-button start. Along with technology aimed at comfort, the cabin is designed for comfort as well. With plenty of space across three rows and space-saving features, the design is versatile and comfortable.

The Pilot carries all of the latest Honda safety technology features, like forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and a blind spot information system with cross-traffic monitoring.

Toyota Highlander (2023)

The Toyota Highlander is available in a wide array of trims, including six gas and five electrified options. The gas options are L, LE, XLE, XSE, Limited, and Platinum. The electrified options are the Hybrid LE, Hybrid XLE, Bronze Edition, Hybrid Limited, and Hybrid Platinum. The starting price for the most basic trim available is $36,420. The most expensive trim, the Platinum, is offered at $49,275.

The Toyota Highlander has plenty of convenient features, like power locks and windows, multiple cupholders throughout the cabin, and multiple USB ports. It also has entertainment features, like a seven-inch touchscreen display center and Apple Carplay and Android Auto capabilities.

The Highlander also has many safety technology features that come standard in all trims. Some of the features include a backup camera, the Toyota Safety Sense System (lane departure warning, road sign assist, etc.), and rear passenger seat belt reminder. 

How Do They Compare?

Though they are similar SUVs that both prioritize safety, convenience, and comfort, there are some differences between the Honda Pilot vs. Toyota Highlander. We'll discuss some of the pros and cons of each SUV, so you can make the best choice for your family.

The Toyota Highlander Is More Affordable Than the Honda Pilot

Overall, the price will be higher for a Honda Pilot vs. Toyota Highlander. The base trim for the Highlander is a couple of thousand dollars less than the Pilot. As you move along towards the higher-end trims, the price of a Pilot remains slightly more expensive than the Highlander. If you are looking for the most affordable option, the basic trim of the Highlander will suit your needs the best. 

The Honda Pilot Has Roomier Seating Than the Toyota Highlander

If you value comfort and space, then you'll want the Honda Pilot vs. Toyota Highlander. There is plenty of space for all passengers throughout the cabin, even in the third row. In the Highlander, the space is a bit cramped in the third row. Because of the cramped space in the third row of the Highlander, the space is really only comfortable for children. 

So if you want an SUV that will be able to grow with your family, or you plan on driving adults around, the Honda Pilot will be better suited for your needs.

The Toyota Highlander Offers Hybrid Options

One of the main benefits of choosing a Highlander is the hybrid options. With such great fuel efficiency, you'll be able to save money at the pumps. Unfortunately, Honda doesn't offer any hybrid options for this model at the moment. 

The Honda Pilot Has Removable Middle Row Seats

If you're looking for a versatile design with great space-saving solutions, then you'll prefer the Honda Pilot vs. Toyota Highlander. A great space-saving solution in the Pilot is the removable middle-row seats. With this feature, car owners are able to store the seats underneath the cargo area to allow for much more space in the cabin. 

In comparison, the Highlander doesn't offer this feature at all. However, like the Pilot, the Highlander's two back rows can be folded down for when you need large cargo space.

The Honda Pilot Has More Horsepower Than the Toyota Highlander

Though both vehicles have similar driving capabilities, the Honda Pilot has more horsepower than the Toyota Highlander. So, if you want a high-powered engine with fast acceleration, the Pilot will perform better in this area.

Picking out an SUV can be hard, as they are so expensive and share similar features. You want the best for your family, and that includes picking out the vehicle with the safest features, convenient technology, and high levels of comfort. Luckily, it's hard to go wrong with either the Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot. The Highlander has the most affordable options and includes fuel-efficient hybrid options. However, if you are looking for the option with the most space and comfort, then you'll probably want to consider the Pilot.