Video Hero Image

2020 Highlander vs. Pilot Comparison

Looking for a new car can be stressful, but Toyota makes it easier to compare important features without endlessly scrolling through sites. The best place to start your search between the 2020 Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot is the beginning.

In January 2001, the Highlander debuted in North America. After four generations of manufacturing and improvements, this mid-size crossover helps provide high quality on-road comfort.

Only a year later, the Honda Pilot arrived on the market in 2002 for the 2003 model year.

Today, these two vehicles compete for the top spot in the mid-size SUV category. When it comes to price, the Highlander base trim starts out at $34,600 while the Pilot base trim is $31,650. Although the ticket price is more, the 2020 Highlander received a higher KBB Consumer Rating with a 3.9 out of 5 stars compared to the Pilot’s 3.4 rating.

You simply get more with the base model Highlander L, including better standard interior features, like Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® compatibility. The Pilot does not offer either of these in their standard model.

Highlander has an EPA-estimated 21/29/24 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating. Comparatively, the Pilot LX base trim has an EPA-estimated 19/27/22 (city/highway/combined).

In this 2020 Highlander vs. Pilot head to head, we'll continue to explore the differences between the Toyota Highlander vs. Honda Pilot in the categories of reliability, interior, and performance.

Publish Date: 06/29/2020

2020 Highlander towing a boat


  • Verified car owners rated the 2019 Highlander more highly than the 2019 Pilot with a J.D. Power Overall Rating of 83 vs. 80 respectively.
  • Current customers also gave the Highlander 3.9 out of 5 stars compared to the 3.4 out of 5 stars the Pilot received for the KBB Consumer Reliability Rating.

When buying a new car, it's nice to know that you're getting your money's worth in terms of services and that current buyers are satisfied.

ToyotaCare and Ratings

The all-new Highlander comes standard with the ToyotaCare scheduled maintenance plan. ToyotaCare also comes with roadside assistance which lasts for 2 years and unlimited miles. Honda offers Honda Roadside Assistance for a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty, however, Honda Care comes at an additional cost to customers.

Beyond their standard features, both cars have been meticulously reviewed by credible sources and current owners of the car. Verified car owners gave the 2019 Highlander a J.D. Power Overall Rating of an 83 vs. the 2019 Pilot’s Overall Rating of an 80. Ratings for 2020 are not yet available.

When Toyota and Honda owners were asked to give feedback and rank each vehicle, the 2020 Toyota Highlander came out on top. Based on the KBB Consumer Reliability Rating, the Highlander received a 3.9 out of 5 stars while the Honda Pilot received a KBB Consumer Rating of 3.4 out of 5.

interior of 2020 Highlander


  • The Highlander offers a larger standard 8-inch touch-screen and more USB ports than the Pilot.
  • In terms of standard connectivity features, the Highlander includes Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility.
  • For that on-road comfort, the Toyota Highlander has more space behind the front and second rows than the Honda Pilot.

As the saying goes, it's what's on the inside that matters. See whether the Pilot or Highlander has more of what you want in terms of infotainment and space.

Multimedia and Connectivity

Take entertainment on the go with the Highlander's standard 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, four USB ports, and one USB media port. The Platinum trim comes with a larger standard 12.3-inch touch-screen display. By contrast, the Honda Pilot base trim (the LX) comes with a basic 5-inch display, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. To get an 8-inch touch-screen, you’d need to upgrade to the EX trim or higher.

Toyota drivers also get Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility standard with the 2020 Highlander. It also includes advanced voice recognition, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology, and a 3-month All Access trial for SiriusXM®. On the other hand, the Pilot base trim does not include Apple CarPlay® compatibility, SiriusXM® Radio, or Android Auto™ compatibility.

In terms of size, the Highlander takes the edge over the Pilot base trim with a cargo volume (cu. ft.) behind the front/second-row/third-row seats of 84.3/48.4/16.0. The Pilot base trim has 83.9/46.8/16.5 cargo volume. Both base trims seat up to eight passengers. However, Honda’s higher-end Elite trim and Black Edition trim only seat seven passengers.

2020 Highlander driving fast down a road


  • The 2020 Highlander has a standard 295 horsepower engine while the Honda Pilot only has 280 horsepower.
  • The Highlander base trim has better EPA-estimates with 21/29/24 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating, plus there are hybrid options available.

When finding a vehicle that works for you, whether you're commuting to work or venturing up a mountain, performance is an important category to consider.

More Horsepower and Better Gas Mileage

Taking a look under the hood of these SUVs, the Pilot’s engine has 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. torque while the Highlander has more power with 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. torque.

The Highlander has more power and better EPA gas mileage estimate ratings: a win-win situation. With an EPA-estimated 21/29/24 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating, the Highlander L takes the lead over the Pilot. The Pilot base trim has a slightly lower EPA-estimated 19/27/22 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating.

As an added bonus, the Highlander also comes with the option of a hybrid model for the Highlander LE, XLE, Limited, and Platinum trims. The FWD hybrids has an EPA-estimated 36/35/36 MPG rating. The 2020 Pilot does not offer a hybrid version.

For more control while driving, all 2020 Highlanders come standard with Trailer Sway Control (TSC) which helps the driver maintain control in adverse driving conditions. The Pilot does not have a similar feature.

Two 2020 Highlander's driving down a wet road

Conclusion: Highlander vs. Pilot

  • The Highlander received a higher J.D. Power Overall Rating than the Pilot with a score of 83 to 80 for 2019.
  • Consumers on also gave the Highlander a Reliability score of 3.9 out of 5 stars while the Pilot received only 3.4 out of 5 stars.
  • With the Highlander, you have both gas and hybrid trim options available.

It's easy to see that the Toyota brand is one you can rely on. In this comparison of the Highlander vs. Pilot, the Highlander comes out ahead in almost every category mentioned. As noted, the Highlander has higher KBB consumer ratings, roomier interior features, better multimedia options, and higher horsepower and gas mileage.

Choose the vehicle that customers rely on most. With a J.D. Power Overall Rating of an 83 for the 2019 model year, and a 2019 KBB Consumer Reliability Rating of 4.6, the Highlander impresses both customers and critics. The Pilot’s lower J.D. Power Overall Rating of an 80 and KBB Consumer Rating of 3.5 speak for itself.

Based on what each vehicle has to offer, the Highlander stands out as a higher performing SUV that has more standard features and hybrid trims available. You can't go wrong with a car that both consumers and experts view highly. Take the 2020 Highlander for a spin today to see for yourself what the hype is all about.