dealership near me

Western Motors Los Banos logo
Western Motors Los Banos loadingGif

Toyota Highlander vs. Honda Pilot Which Is Right For You?

Toyota Highlander vs. Honda Pilot Which Is Right For You?

The Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot were reigning three-row best-selling SUVs and have helped form America's most successful market. Although the Highlander has been revamped for model year 2020, the 2019 outgoing Highlander already ranks third in our three-row SUV ratings. The 2019 Pilot does not rate as high, but is still a mid-size performance SUV that has just been refreshed in the mid-cycle.

If you're looking for one of these three-row SUVs, there's a lot of information to remember and the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander are typically cross-shopped. We can help potential buyers to find out which vehicle is the best option by showing the differences and similarities between these vehicles.



The 2019 Highlander wins from J.D Power an impressive 4.5 out of five expected performance score.  The 2019 Pilot's expected performance score is well below average with a score of 2.5 out of 5. Both of these vehicles come with a 3-year/36,000-mile vehicle warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Winner: Toyota Highlander


Cargo Space:

When the third row seats are in use, the choice between a mid-size SUV and a full-size SUV also ends in available cargo space. While the Pilot and Highlander have almost the same 84 cubic feet feet of space when the second and third rows are folded down, the 13.8 cubic feet of cargo space of the Highlander with all seats up is less than that of many competitor three-row SUVs.

Behind the third-row seats, the Pilot has more than 16 cubic feet of space, which is good enough to carry between six to eight shopping bags. The large cargo room of the Pilot has helped make it a finalist for our Best 3-Row Family SUV 2019

Winner: Honda Pilot


Interior Features:

Because of the normal and available features, the Pilot's interior outscores the Highlander's 8.1 to 7.4. All base-model infotainment systems are fairly basic, but the Pilot comes with more features for the modern family, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an HDMI port, and other features. Fortunately, for 2019, Honda brought back a volume knob. 

The engineering of the Highlander infotainment is basic, and it has a touch screen that is sensitive, although it may be a distant for some.

Winner: Honda Pilot



None of these family haulers will take your breath away when it comes to performance, which is going to be fine for most shoppers in this portion.

Just one engine comes from the Pilot: a 3.5-liter V6. Although it is not as strong as the V6s of some competitors, including the Highlanders, it can handle the passage of the highway without any trouble.

The 2.7-liter of the Highlander's four-cylinder leaves most critics seeking more power. The optional 306-horsepower V6 accelerates the SUV with ease, even as the family and all their gear are on board.


Winner: Toyota Highlander


Fuel Economy:

Surprisingly, when it comes to fuel economy, the V6 Highlander is outperforming the four-cylinder Highlander. The V6 engine model gets 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, the four cylinder gets 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg highway. The distinction is that the eight-speed transmission of the V6 is more powerful than the six-speed of the four-cylinder.

Given the nine-speed transmission, the Honda Pilot is not as powerful around the city as it gets 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. Expect all-wheel drive across the board to reduce fuel consumption by 1 mpg. All models most powerful all-wheel drive options were paired with 22 mpg.

Winner: Toyota Highlander



The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as the Top Safety Choice awards from the more stringent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), gave five stars on both the Pilot and Highlander. During safety tests, they all score highly, yet the pilot defeats the Highlander barely with a score of 9.4 to 9.2.  An increased IIHS headlight score.

Both the Pilot and Highlander come with specialized driver support features such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control as standard. Honda is providing LaneWatch on 2019 models, with projections of blind spot vision while turning right from the right side of the vehicle.

Winner: Honda Pilot


And The Winner Is…

Although there are plenty of good reasons to buy either of these three-row SUVs, the 2019 Toyota Highlander ranks third in mid-size SUV ratings relative to the 11th Pilot.

Reliability is a key factor in our ratings, and J.D Power's expected performance score is much better for the Highlander over the pilot.  Although the pilot outscores the Highlander in every other major scoring category–the overall opinion of quality, interior, safety, and such–the higher reliability rating of the Highlander gives it the victory. The Highlander also has a cleaner interior as well as a more powerful V6 engine, and a marginally better fuel economy.

Leave a comment

Contact Us

Western Motors Los Banos

1160 I St Los Banos, CA

Phone: (209) 850-7739 I St, Los Banos, CA 93635


Phone: (209) 850-7739

1160 I St Los Banos, CA
37.0574588 -120.841585