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2022 Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander

2022 Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander

2022 Pilot vs Highlander - How Do They Stack Up? Which is Better?

The 2022 Honda Pilot and 2022 Toyota Highlander are both mid-size SUVs that offer three rows of seats. They can each seat up to seven or eight people. They both have a five-door body-style and similar overall sizes, with the Honda being slightly larger. The Pilot measures in at 197-inches long, 79-inches wide and 71-inches tall. The Highlander is also 197-inches long, but is 76-inches wide and 68-inches tall.

The Honda Pilot offers up to 83.9 cubic-feet of storage space when the rear seats are folded down. The Highlander has a maximum cargo volume of 84.3 cubic-feet. On the inside, the Pilot provides 152.9 cubic-feet of passenger space, while the Highlander has 141.3 cubic-feet of space for the passengers to stretch out in. Both come packed with a lot of nice convenience and safety features.

Honda and Toyota are both Japanese automakers that are known for their high-quality vehicles. Their vehicles have a reputation for being long-lasting and reliable. It's only natural that their cars, trucks and SUVs get compared with one another here in the North American market. The Pilot and Highlander are really two of the finest examples of a mid-size SUV in this crowded class of vehicles.

Here's a closer look at what each of these SUVs has to offer. We will compare the Pilot and Highlander in three different important categories. Hopefully, this will help prospective buyers to see which SUV provides the most value, and which is simply the best overall.

The Powertrain

Few things are as important as the powertrain when trying to assess how good a vehicle is. The powertrain, after all, is what pushes your vehicle forward and dictates just how well it will perform. The powertrain includes the engine, transmission, drive-train, axles and differential. We will also take a look at the brake systems, suspension and other notable mechanical features of these vehicles.

The 2022 Honda Pilot only has one available engine. It's a 3.5-liter V-6 with 24 valves, direct fuel-injection and a direct-ignition system. This engine gets Honda's proprietary Eco Assist™ System for better fuel efficiency. It also offers a Remote-Start feature, Hill-Start Assist and an Immobilizer that can shut the vehicle down if it's been stolen. This engine produces 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.

Every Honda Pilot comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission. There are paddle shifters so the driver can manually shift through the gears if needed. Most trim levels are offered on both Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) and All-Wheel Drive (AWD) variations. Honda's Intelligent Traction Management feature provides selectable driving modes for different situations such as snow, sand or mud.

The Pilot has power-assisted, ventilated disc brakes for the front wheels and solid disc brakes for the rear wheels. It features Electric Power-Assisted, Rack-and-Pinion Steering. This vehicle has a MacPherson Strut Suspension up front and a Multi-Link Suspension in the rear. There's also a stabilizer bar in both front and back.

The Pilot comes with 18-inch or 20-inch alloy wheels, depending on the specific model. These are always outfitted with a set of all-season tires. The Pilot has a combined fuel-economy rating of 23 mils-per-gallon for models with FWD and 22 miles-per-gallon on models with AWD.

The 2022 Toyota Highlander has two different powertrains, including a hybrid option. Like the Honda Pilot, a stock Highlander comes equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. This engine has 24 valves, double overhead cams, Variable Valve Timing and Start/Stop Technology. It produces 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. This engine gets an 8-speed, electronically controlled, automatic-transmission system.

The Toyota Highlander is available in FWD and AWD versions. It has a combined fuel-economy rating of 24 miles-per-gallon, which drops slightly for models with AWD. Hybrid models can get up to 36 miles-per-gallon. The hybrid setup combines a 2.5-liter engine with four cylinders and two additional electric motors for an output of 243 horsepower. Hybrid models get a CVT, or continuously-variable transmission.

Once again, like the Pilot, the Highlander has an Independent MacPherson Strut Suspension with a stabilizer bar in the front. In the back, things are different as the Highlander has a Trailing-Wishbone Suspension. A special sport-tuned suspension system is available as an option on certain trim levels. The Highlander also has ventilated disc brakes in the front, solid disc brakes in the back and Electric Power-Assisted, Rack-and-Pinion Steering.

Higher trim levels of the Highlander come with a technology that Toyota calls Drive Mode Select, or DMS for short. This includes special driving modes for normal driving, fuel-efficient driving or for snow. A separate Multi-Terrain Select system provides switchable driving modes for mud, sand, rocks and dirt. Once again echoing the Honda Pilot, the Toyota Highlander has 18-inch or 20-inch alloy wheels and all-season tires for most trim levels.


The Honda Pilot's base engine with its 280 horsepower should be plenty fast enough for most buyers. The Pilot easily handles a full load of people and cargo. A Pilot outfitted with the base engine can even tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. The Toyota Highlander has slightly more horsepower, about the same amount of torque and the exact same maximum towing capacity. It's a little quicker, but not by a significant amount.

The Highlander's hybrid model has less horsepower, but what it lacks in power it more than makes up for in efficiency. For anyone who prioritizes fuel-economy, then the Highlander Hybrid is your pick. Both vehicles handle well and offer tight, accurate steering. The transmission systems for both vehicles do their jobs well, and the suspension systems provide a smooth and comfortable ride.

Steering and handling is a bit more precise when driving the Highlander. The ride quality is a little bit better in the Pilot. Both vehicles have relatively quiet cabins, thanks to some solid sound-proofing from both automakers. The seats are comfortable and supportive for both SUVs. The Honda Pilot offers a 10-way power driver's seat at the higher trim levels, while the Toyota Highlander offers a 10-way power driver's seat with lumbar support.

Both automaker's offer leather-trimmed seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Both provide optional heating for the front seats as well. It's a close call when trying to decide which SUV offers the best driving experience. It's practically a tie when considering interior comfort and ride quality. The Toyota, however, wins out due to its higher horsepower rating, better fuel efficiency and tighter steering.


There's probably no more important category than safety features when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle. Both the 2022 Honda Pilot and the 2022 Toyota Highlander have a good amount of standard safety features. They both have a number of passive and active safety features, as well as some high-tech driver-assist aids to keep everyone protected.

The Honda Pilot uses an ACE™ body structure to channel collision energy away from the driver and passengers. There's also an advanced airbag system with Front and SmartVent® Front Side Airbags. A Side-Curtain Airbag adds protection for all three seat rows. It also has a sensor that knows when the vehicle has rolled over, so it can deploy the curtain airbag accordingly.

Some of the other passive features include Rear Child Safety Locks, the LATCH system for securing child safety seats and 3-Point Seat Belts with an Automatic Tensioning System. Some of the active safety features include Vehicle Stability Assist™, a Multi-Angle Rear Camera, Electronic Brake Distribution and an Anti-Lock Braking System.

The Pilot also offers a Tire-Pressure Monitor to negate accidents due to a flat or a blowout. Daytime Running Lamps make the Pilot more visible to oncoming traffic. Brake Assist kicks in when you need a little extra stopping power during emergency maneuvers. There's also a Traction-Control System that makes for a safer drive over different pavement or terrain conditions.

When it comes to high-tech safety features, there's a Blind-Spot Information System that can even monitor rear cross-traffic. Automatic High-Beams make sure that the driver can always see what's ahead. Forward Collision Warning let's the driver know if there's an impending front crash. The Road-Departure Mitigation and Lane-Keeping Assist features make sure the driver stays safely in their own lane or roadway.

The Toyota Highlander provides eight airbags in every model. This includes Front Airbags and Side-Impact Airbags.The driver gets a Knee Airbag and there's a Seat-Cushion Airbag for the front passenger. The Highlander has Rear Child Safety Locks and Windows as well as the LATCH system. There are also 3-Point Seat Belts with pretensioners and limiters.

Seat-Belt Reminders detect where there are passengers and give an alarm if anyone stays unbuckled in all three rows. Like the Pilot, the Highlander has Tire-Pressure Monitor and a Rear-View Camera. It also has a similar Blind-Spot Alert system with Rear Cross-Traffic Monitoring. The Highlander has a handy Front and Rear Parking-Assist that even brakes automatically to keep the driver from bumping into another vehicle.

Toyota offers a Safety Connect System that alerts Emergency Assistance if there's a crash. It also can connect the driver with Roadside Assistance and has a vehicle locator, in case the Highlander gets stolen. Toyota's Star Safety System™ includes the aforementioned ABS brakes, Brake Assist, Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control.

Which Has the Best Value?

The Honda Pilot comes in seven different trim levels. The base trim starts out at $38,080. This goes up a bit for an AWD model. It can go up even more once options and special packages are added on. The most expensive models are the Elite, which start at $50,370, and the special Black Edition that starts at $51,870.

The Touring trim level at $44,870 is the best value of the bunch. It has the perfect balance of convenience and safety features versus the cost. The slightly less expensive TrailSport model is also a solid choice for those who want to take their Honda Pilot out for some off-road fun.

Toyota's Highlander starts out at $35,855 for the L trim level. The most expensive standard model is the Platinum trim, starting at $48,010. The top-tier hybrid model is the Platinum Hybrid. This model has an MSRP of $49,510. The Highlander is lower in price at almost every comparable trim level.

Not only is the Toyota cheaper, it also offers more horsepower and better overall performance. Even a fully-loaded hybrid model is less than the Honda Pilot's top trim level. The Toyota generally offers more features too. It's easily the better value here, no matter which trim level you're aiming for.

Which is Better?

Honda and Toyota are both fantastic companies that make some of the best vehicles available. The 2022 Honda Pilot and 2022 Toyota Highlander are two of the best SUVs in their class. While Honda often wins in comparisons with Toyota, that's not the case this time. The latest Toyota Highlander is the superior mid-size, three-row SUV.

The Toyota Highlander has more power, better acceleration and superior performance. Both vehicles are equally comfortable on the inside. Both offer comparable ride qualities. The Toyota handles better and is more enjoyable to drive. It offers slightly more cargo space too. The main difference here, however, is in the price of these two vehicles. Toyota simply offers more for less money.

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2021 Honda Pilot VS Toyota Highlander
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