2022 Honda Pilot vs CR-V
Browsing the market for a new SUV is indeed a lot of fun, but it can also present quite a few challenges. There are simply so many SUVs out there, and there are certainly a lot of reviews to sift through. But there is a really good chance that someone you know has recommended you get a Honda. The 2022 Honda Pilot and 2022 Honda CR-V are two of Honda's top performers, representing two different SUV styles that come packed with standard technological gadgets, safety features, and creature comforts. And, on the outside, they have a reserved but stylish vibe.
Now that the LX and EX trim levels are gone, the 2022 Honda Pilot leaves you with only the EX-L, Special Edition (SE), Touring, Elite, and Black Edition as options. Inside of each of these trim levels, you will get a versatile design packed to the brim with comfort and storage spaces for small items galore. What's more, the Honda Pilot is able to put out a better fuel economy than most of its rivals in the third-row SUV segment. Also, the Pilot's ride quality remains smooth and well-mannered no matter what kind of road surface you drive it over.
There are some issues though. For one, the Pilot's third-row access is so narrow that adults will struggle to make their way to that row. Forward collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control are extremely sensitive; they have a habit of letting out false alarms. And, what will deter those on a budget, the starting MSRP is higher than a lot of what you'll find on the Pilot's rivals.
When it comes to the smaller 2022 Honda CR-V, this vehicle delivers rapid acceleration without compromising its high fuel efficiency via the base engine. This SUV's driving performance showcases a decent amount of ruggedness given how well adapted it is for handling. The ride quality is also quite smooth. Plus, the CR-V's interior design is carefully created with space in mind. The cabin is expansive, there are plenty of small item storage areas, and the cargo area comes with an ultimately versatile setup. The line-topping Touring trim level has standard all-wheel drive (AWD), which is new for the model year.
Unfortunately, the CR-V could really use a separate tuning knob, which would make it a heck of a lot easier to use the finicky touchscreen infotainment display. There is also the fact that the CR-V's max towing capacity of 1,500- pounds slates far below the industry's average.
Which of these two Honda SUVs will best meet your needs? It is time to examine them side-by-side to find out.
Size and Styling
The 2022 Honda Pilot is a mid-size third-row SUV. This means it can seat up to eight people inside of its cabin. Its aggressively styled hood scoops down into the front bumper, which is encased by standard LED headlights. The Pilot also comes with a sunroof, power liftgate, and heated side mirrors. The SE trim adds 20-inch wheels, roof rails, a hands-free power liftgate, and special black-painted exterior styling cues. The Touring tacks on sound-reducing windows all around, and the Elite adds auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors as well as automatic windshield wipers. There is also an upgraded panoramic sunroof equipped.
The 2022 Honda CR-V is quite obviously smaller than the Pilot, so you can probably distinguish them by size alone. Its hood doesn't have the same cascading lines down the center, and you have to upgrade to the EX trim level to get the 18-inch wheels, sunroof, and tinted rear windows. The power lift-gate comes starting on the EX-L, and the line-topping Touring trim adds on LED headlights and roof rails.
First up is the 2022 Honda Pilot, which is powered by a standard 3.5-liter V6 that generates 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard on the EX-L, SE and Touring trim levels, which leave all-wheel drive (AWD) as an option. The Elite and Black Edition models give you AWD as a standard feature instead with no option for FWD.
The Pilot is fairly agile and quick, zipping from 0-60 mph in a mere 7.0 seconds - a quicker-than-average time for a midsize third-row SUV. The Pilot's brakes operate smoothly and with an emphasis on consistency. The Pilot is fully capable of handling winding mountain roads without fuss and even comes off as rather spirited. Steering is precise but doesn't give you enough road feel. The AWD system operates well enough on slippery road surfaces, but without hill descent control or sufficient ground clearance, off-roading in the Pilot is best kept to a minimum.
The EPA estimates that the 2022 Pilot with AWD will get 22 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. For its segment, this hits right in the middle of the pack. EPA estimates might actually be a touch conservative, as real-world tests have been able to get up to 25 mpg combined. You should expect to at least hit that 22 mpg benchmark, no problem.
Now, let's switch over to the 2022 Honda CR-V. This SUV receives its power from a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This turbo four-cylinder is able to get 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (a CVT, for short). FWD comes standard while AWD is an option on any trim level aside from the Touring, which it now comes as standard equipment. Anyone who wants to look into hybrid SUVs might be interested in the CR-V Hybrid that is now available from Honda and enhances fuel efficiency in spades.
The CR-V's turbo-four is quick to get off of a stop, cruising from 0 to 60 mph in right around 8.2 seconds. On paper, this does not sound all that enthralling, but it quite a good time for a vehicle in this segment. Honda knows how to make a refined CVT that has no issue with upshifting or downshifting, and CVTs are by nature more fuel efficient than basic automatic transmissions. The CR-V's handling feels planted and more spirited than you might expect for a small crossover. To enhance the performance, the CR-V's steering is incredibly responsive and well weighted.
As for its EPA estimates, the 2022 CR-V with FWD is said to get 30 mpg in combined driving while the AWD models should ideally pull 29 mpg combined. While this places the CR-V close to the top of its segment, how you drive the CR-V will influence its fuel economy. If you are gentle on the accelerator, you might be able to get to 29-30 mpg without hassle. But those who are sportier in their driving styles likely won't reach those projected rates.
Comfort, Options and Performance
Let's talk about the 2022 Honda Pilot and how well it embodies Honda's dedication to efficiency, practicality, durability, and comfort. The first two rows offer more than enough space. The third row is okay for occasional use by adults, but it is really geared more toward kids and isn't the most spacious in this segment. Besides, trying to access the third row is a struggle for adults since the passageway is really narrow. Taller drivers might want more adjustability from the Pilot's steering wheel, but everyone else should fit behind the wheel just fine since the seat is easy to adjust. Also, the driver's seat has an upright position that provides the driver with a commanding outward view around the entire vehicle.
Body motions are well controlled by the Pilot, and the ride comfort is not taken away from excessive stiffness in the tuning. The suspension and tires can smooth out all manner of imperfections in the road surface. The front seats give occupants a lot of support on the backs and bottoms of the seats. The second-row seats have sliding and reclining functions and are honestly just as cozy as the front seats. Even the third row isn't that flat and uncomfortable.
Not too tech-savvy? That's not a big deal here since the Honda Pilot's touchscreen infotainment system is one of the more straightforward and easy-to-use models out there right now. There is an available integrated navigation system that will quickly respond to any input you provide it. If you opt for it, the 10-speaker sound system puts out some high-quality, concert-like sound that fills the entire cabin. The Touring and Elite trims come with standard WIFI hotspot connectivity, plus you can connect to the in-vehicle WIFI using the Honda CabinControl app. This app lets you control a slew of specific features, including as the Pilot's musical playlists and the temperature in the rear of the cabin.
The Honda Pilot is undoubtedly constructed with maximum utility in mind - something at which Honda has really come to excel. When the third row of seats are left in place, the Pilot gives you a reasonable 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space, which hits a maximum cargo volume of 83.8 cubes when you - quite easily - fold both rows of back seats down. This number is a little less than what we see from top segment leaders, but what they don't have is Honda's unique under-floor storage compartment that makes organizing the cargo area simple and effective. A configurable small-item storage space in the center console helps with stashing valuables, which is also something you don't see in a lot of competitors.
Although the rear tether points are somewhat difficult to find since they are to be found on the bottom of the second row of seats, installing child safety seats is otherwise pretty simple. You can access the third row to install seats using the one-button slide function. On the AWD-equipped Pilot, you get a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, which is right about average for a mid-size third-row SUV with an upgraded engine. There is only 3,500 pounds of towing on the FWD-equipped Pilot.
Despite the smidgeon of wind and tire noise that comes into its cabin at higher rates of speed, the 2022 Honda CR-V is a crossover SUV that packs in a cozy ride quality. The suspension dispatches bumps large and small along the road, even when you get the Touring trim with its 19-inch tires. You get day-long comfort from the front seats with their well-sculpted support structures. Also, the reclining rear seatback elevates comfort for those sitting in the back. The CR-V's automatic climate control system is the one issue here, as it does not always maintain the temperatures you set it at.
Wide door sills and a low stepover height make getting into the CR-V's cabin a total cinch. After you get in, you will be able to quickly and easily adjust the steering wheel and driver's seat to find yourself a comfortable driving position. The cabin truly feels bigger than it is, which places it near the top of the pack in terms of a spacious interior design. The CR-V's physical controls that are placed along the dashboard are easy to use, but the controls that get buried in the touchscreen's menus are harder to utilize. Sunlight washes out the display on the digital temperature gauge, making the data on it hard to read at times.
The average driver should have no problem getting used to Honda's in-vehicle technology. Smartphone app integration (which is done via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) is standard on all trim levels save for the base LX. The CR-V's higher trim levels equip an extra two USB ports in the second row that are only meant for charging devices. The voice controls require fine-tuning to better recognize natural speech patterns. Drivers who opt for navigation should appreciate how the screen generates crisp, highly pixelated graphics.
When you leave the back seats upright, you get 9.2 cubic feet of cargo space to work with, which feels pretty good. Cargo space maxes out at 75.8 cubic feet when you fold the rear seats down, - and they do fold flat for better utility. There are plenty of small item storage spaces situated thoughtfully throughout the cabin. The center console's bin (which is quite deep) and configurable sliding tray are cleverly crafted and lend even more versatility.
The vehicle's LATCH system for child safety seats makes it easier to install car seats in the back than what you get in its rivals; you will even have enough space for a couple of clunky rear-facing car seats. At just 1,500 pounds in max towing, you won't be able to do much in the way of towing heavy equipment. Most vehicles in this segment can do 3,500 pounds.
In order to meet rising consumer demands for them, Honda equips all of its vehicles with the Honda Sensing suite of standard driver aids. As drivers, we all care about our safety and that of others, so having something like this on your vehicle should give you some peace of mind.
The 2022 Honda Pilot, therefore, is equipped with the Honda Sensing suite. This bundles together forward collision mitigation, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and a lane keeping system. The Touring gains some parking sensors. You should be aware that adaptive cruise control only works down to 20 mph, which won't come in use for you during stop-and-go traffic. Also, lane keep becomes intrusive and even obnoxious whenever you are driving along a winding roadway.
Likewise, the CR-V gets the Honda Sensing bundle on it. The features included as standard on it are forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and lane keeping assist. You also get a multi-angle rear-view camera; dynamic guidelines are added to it on higher trim levels. A blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert come on the EX-L and all trims above it.
Which Model to Choose?
Choosing between the 2022 Honda Pilot and CR-V is going to come down to size preference and fuel economy. The CR-V is absolutely better when it comes to saving on fuel, and there is a hybrid variant that one-ups the gas-only version. You should still feel like you get plenty of space inside of the CR-V. You just don't have a third row of seats to carry a few extra passengers. If you don't need those seats, then the CR-V will probably suit you well.