2021 Highlander vs. Pilot Comparison

SUVs have become a family staple with the ample space families need. The Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot are two popular mid-size SUV choices. Based on the reviews of actual Highlander and Pilot owners, the 2021 Highlander received a higher KBB Consumer Rating. The gas model Highlander received a 4.2 and the Highlander Hybrid received a 5.0 rating while the Pilot got a 3.3 rating.

For a better standard of interior features, the Highlander offers Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, while the Pilot does not offer any of these as a standard feature. They are available on the Pilot as an extra-cost add-on.

You can also count on a better gas mileage rating with the Highlander Hybrid FWD models which have an EPA-estimated 36/35/36 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating. In contrast, a hybrid powertrain is not available on Pilot. The 2WD Pilot base grade has an EPA-estimated 20/27/23 (city/highway/combined).

The Highlander FWD base trim starts out at $34,810 while the Pilot base trim is $32,250. When we look at the performance, interior, and reliability of each SUV, you'll be able to see which offers more bang for your buck.

Publish Date: 12/07/2020

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Performance

Optimal performance means that you can comfortably explore the depths of adventure without exploring the depths of your wallet.

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Performance

  • The Highlander base trim outdoes the Pilot in horsepower with 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. torque. The Pilot only has 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. torque.
  • The fuel economy numbers of both vehicles are pretty close, but the Highlander still comes out ahead.
  • Drivers wanting to stretch out their visits to the pump will be happy to see that Highlander has four hybrid engine options. All FWD hybrid models have an impressive EPA-estimated mileage rating of 36/35/36 (city/highway/combined).
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Interior

Media options and ample room make any ride fun, from running errands to full-on road trips.

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Interior

  • Highlander drivers get an 8-inch touchscreen standard. The Pilot only has a 5-inch basic display on the base trim.
  • The Highlander also comes standard with Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. These features aren't available on the Pilot base trim. You'll need the EX trim or higher.
  • Drivers wanting more cargo room will be happy with the Highlander's ample cargo volume.
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Reliability

Reliability is important. Your car could have all the right features, but if it can’t live up to a reputation for reliability, is it worth it?

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Reliability

  • All Highlander trims come standard with ToyotaCare, a scheduled-maintenance plan that lasts 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. Honda Care comes at an extra cost depending on the plan you buy.
  • Honda does offer Roadside Assistance for 3-years/36,000-miles. Toyota drivers have standard 24-hour Roadside Assistance for 2 years and unlimited mileage .
  • The Highlander Hybrid has a KBB Consumer Rating of 5.0 which is better than the 2021 Pilot's Consumer Rating of 3.3.
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Conclusion: Highlander vs. Pilot

Both of these vehicles prove to be great contenders for your choice of a new mid-size SUV. Which one has the reliability, media features, and performance you want? Let's recap.

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Conclusion: Highlander vs. Pilot

  • All new Toyotas come with the ToyotaCare plan while Honda's maintenance program costs extra.
  • The Highlander base trim comes with many standard media features, like Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa. The base trim Pilot doesn't.
  • For better mileage estimates, drivers will want to explore the Highlander's many hybrid trims with impressive MPG ratings.
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