SAFETY

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Safety

The Highlander has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Pilot doesn't offer a whiplash protection system.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Highlander AWD's standard Downhill Assist Control allows you to creep down safely. The Pilot doesn't offer Downhill Assist Control.

The Highlander Platinum has a standard Bird's Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Pilot only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn't help with obstacles to the sides.

The Highlander's driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Pilot doesn't offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Highlander and the Pilot have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Toyota Highlander is safer than the Honda Pilot:

 

Highlander

Pilot

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

32%

35%

Neck Compression

55 lbs.

478 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

387/392 lbs.

478/436 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Toyota Highlander is safer than the Honda Pilot:

 

Into Pole

 

Highlander

Pilot

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

54

109

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.6 inches

Abdominal Force

88 G's

101 G's

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

111

233

Spine Acceleration

41 G's

42 G's

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

372

406

Spine Acceleration

43 G's

45 G's

Hip Force

829 lbs.

838 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

  WARRANTY

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Highlander for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn't pay scheduled maintenance for the Pilot.

There are over 18 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Highlander's warranty.

  RELIABILITY

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Reliability

The camshafts in the Highlander's engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Pilot's camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Pilot's cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it's being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Highlander's reliability 24 points higher than the Pilot.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Highlander second among midsize SUVs in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The Pilot isn't in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates' 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates' 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 7th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports' April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Honda is ranked 10th.

  ENGINE

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Engine

The Highlander's optional 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 15 more horsepower (295 vs. 280) and 1 lbs.-ft. more torque (263 vs. 262) than the Pilot's 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Highlander V6 is faster than the Honda Pilot:

 

Highlander

Pilot

Zero to 30 MPH

2.8 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

7.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.1 sec

5.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

91.5 MPH

  FUEL ECONOMY AND RANGE

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Fuel Economy

On the EPA test cycle the Highlander gets better fuel mileage than the Pilot:

 

Highlander

Pilot

 

2WD V6/Auto w/Start/Stop

21 city/27 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

V6/9-spd Auto

V6/Auto

20 city/27 hwy

19 city/27 hwy

V6/6-spd Auto

4WD V6/Auto w/Start/Stop

20 city/27 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

V6/9-spd Auto

V6/Auto

20 city/26 hwy

18 city/26 hwy

V6/6-spd Auto

LE V6/Auto

19 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

  BRAKES AND STOPPING

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Highlander's front brake rotors are larger than those on the Pilot:

 

Highlander

Pilot

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.6 inches

The Highlander stops much shorter than the Pilot:

 

Highlander

Pilot

Source

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

144 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

  SUSPENSION AND HANDLING

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Suspension and Handling

The Highlander's front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the Pilot's (56.1% to 43.9%). This gives the Highlander more stable handling and braking.

The Highlander XLE AWD handles at .81 G's, while the Pilot Elite 4WD pulls only .80 G's of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Highlander's turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Pilot's (38.7 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Highlander has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Pilot (8 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Highlander to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

  PASSENGER SPACE

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Passenger Space

The Highlander has .6 inches more front headroom, 3.3 inches more front legroom and 1 inch more third row hip room than the Pilot.

  CARGO CAPACITY

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Cargo Capacity

The Highlander's optional rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Pilot's rear cargo window doesn't open.

  ERGONOMICS

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Ergonomics

The Highlander Limited/Platinum's front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Pilot's rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Highlander has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Pilot has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite.

The Highlander's standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Pilot AWD EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite.

The Highlander's power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Pilot's power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

  ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Econimic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Highlander owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Highlander with a number "8" insurance rate while the Pilot is rated higher at a number "10" rate.

The Highlander will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Highlander will retain 52.71% to 56.65% of its original price after five years, while the Pilot only retains 48.36% to 52.39%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Highlander is less expensive to operate than the Pilot because typical repairs cost less on the Highlander than the Pilot, including $14 less for front brake pads, $15 less for a starter and $147 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Highlander will be $2735 to $4193 less than for the Honda Pilot.


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