The Toyota Highlander helped define a new class of mid-sized SUVs after its debut in 2001. After the success of the Highlander, Honda debuted the Honda Pilot on the same platform in 2003. We put the Highlander vs. Pilot head to head and focus on key advantages in areas like performance, safety, and fuel economy.
Published date: 1/17/2019
Here we compare the advanced safety suites offered by the Highlander vs. Pilot. Highlander has Toyota Safety Sense® P (TSS-P) and the Pilot has Honda Sensing®.
For the Highlander, Toyota Safety Sense® P (TSS-P) includes four advanced active safety features. The first is Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD). The second, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA) is similar to Honda Sensing®‘s Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)®.
The third feature, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) is similar to Honda Sensing®‘s Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow. The last TSS-P feature is Automatic High Beams (AHB) . 2019 Honda Pilots also come with Auto High-Beam Headlights as a driver assistance technology feature.
The 2019 Highlander and 2019 Pilot’s passive safety features are nearly identical. The one exception is Toyota’s Smart Stop (Brake Override) Technology® (SST), for which there is no comparable feature on the 2019 Honda Pilot.
Both the 2019 Pilot and 2019 Highlander received 5-star NHTSA Overall Crash Test Ratings.
Both of these mid-sized SUVs bring you plenty of passenger space and updated safety features. But, what about performance? Both vehicles offer 3.5L V6 engines, but the similarities stop there.
Every 2019 Highlander has a sleek exterior, and every 2019 Highlander with available 3.5L V6 direct-injection engine has 295 horsepower. The 2019 Honda Pilot comes standard with a 3.5L V6 engine, but only produces 280 horsepower.
The 2019 Highlander offers more available power and greater efficiency. For example, there is no hybrid engine option for the 2019 Honda Pilot while the 2019 Highlander has three hybrid-engine grades to choose from.
The 2019 Honda Pilot, no matter the grade, has an EPA-estimated 19 MPG city, 27 MPG highway, and 22 MPG combined. When you choose one of the available 2019 Highlander Hybrid grades, it will have 306 system net combined horsepower and an EPA-estimated 30 MPG city, 28 MPG highway, and 29 MPG overall.
The 2019 Highlander XLE, LE Plus, and LE V6 have better EPA-estimated city MPG and better horsepower than the 2019 Pilot Elite, EX-L, and LX. Clearly, the Highlander has more available options to turn every family outing into an efficient and exciting adventure.
The 2019 Highlander has 3 hybrid-engine and 5 gas-engine grades to choose from. Meanwhile, the 2019 Pilot also offers 5 different gas-engine grades, but offers no hybrid-engine Pilot in North America.
Every 2019 Highlander with available 3.5L direct-injection V6 engine has better EPA-estimated city MPG than the 2019 Pilot, no matter the grade you choose. The Highlander features an optimal balance of performance and efficiency. 2019 Highlander V6 gas-engine trims have 15 more horsepower than the 2019 Pilot LX, EX-L, and Elite.
The 2019 Honda Pilot’s one fuel economy advantage in this comparison is better EPA-estimated highway MPG than the 2019 Highlander LE with 4-cyl gas engine.
The 2019 Highlander Hybrid LE has an EPA-estimated 30 MPG city, 28 MPG highway, and 29 MPG combined, making it the most efficient vehicle in this comparison. The 2019 Highlander Hybrid LE has 306 system net combined horsepower, which is 26 more horsepower than the 2019 Pilot.
The Toyota Highlander started as one of the first mid-sized SUVs of its kind and continues to beat the Pilot in a number of categories. The 2019 Highlander offers more configurations than the 2019 Pilot, as there are 5 gas-engine and 3 hybrid-engine Highlanders to consider. The 2019 Pilot does have 5 gas-engine grades but offers no hybrid-engine grade in North America.
Any 2019 Highlander with available 3.5L direct-injection V6 engine gets better horsepower than the 2019 Pilot. If you opt for a 2019 Highlander Hybrid, the balance of performance and efficiency only improves. Every 2019 Highlander Hybrid has 306 system net combined horsepower and higher combined EPA-estimated MPG than the Honda Pilot.
Every 2019 Highlander LE comes standard with a 6.1-in. touch-screen while the Pilot LX has a 5-in. color LCD display. Also, the 2019 Highlander LE has 5 USB ports including 2 in the rear while the 2019 Pilot LX only has one USB port and the 2019 Pilot Elite has only 3. When it comes to safety features, the Highlander has one big passive safety feature advantage. The Honda Pilot has no feature comparable to Toyota’s Smart Stop Technology® (SST).