Most rivals can’t quite match this talent. Strong resale values With the soft and supple leather upholstery that comes standard in the EX-L trim and higher, this chair offers 4-way power adjustment. This occurred because the Pilot's brake pedal was exceedingly soft and traveled a great distance before truly slowing the SUV. The non-fleet base-grade Ford Explorer XLT is the only rear-wheel-drive SUV in this test, so snowbelt buyers would be advised to add $2,000 for all-wheel drive, upping the base price to $39,770 and its as-tested to $49,715. We expected its driveline to be more refined and less present, but in the end, it just didn't feel very Toyota of Toyota. Below, we highlight the main differences between each trim level. Does the Honda Pilot have a nice interior? The all-new Explorer starts with a distinct advantage: Its wheelbase measures about 7 or 8 inches longer, and its wheels are spaced 1.6 to 3.6 inches wider than on the other two. Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management AWD (i-VTM4) is a torque-vectoring system, able to put up to 70 percent of the engine’s power to a single rear wheel. Modern Steel Metallic Available on select Ford vehicles is a series of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) features employing advanced radar and camera technology. It makes 280 horsepower and includes Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology. Combined with its sensitive, short-travel brake pedal, driving the Explorer smoothly was a difficult task. 262 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm Yes, Honda Sensing is helpful in terms of collision avoidance. Compared to many competitors, the Honda Pilot offers a compelling value equation. Not bad. “HOW MUCH FARTHER?” APP Then boost seems to fall off halfway through the rev range and then comes back on at full song a little bit later." Although rapidly aging in the face of newer and more compelling rivals, the 2020 Honda Pilot remains a formidable competitor in the midsize 3-row crossover-SUV class. Once you’ve decided the time is right to get a new vehicle, search local dealership inventory on KBB.com to see what’s in stock near you. In the 2020 Pilot, you’re going to want to stick to trails often traveled. He or she can access the cargo area and place your packages securely inside of your SUV. You can choose a wide view, a narrow view, and a top-down view of what’s behind the Pilot. Through HondaLink, the Touring also offers speed and boundary alerts for when your teenagers borrow the family SUV, along with a stolen-vehicle locator service. Passive entry with walk-away automatic locking feature It's quite roomy, with the second most legroom of our trio and the greatest headroom. Seabaugh added: "Given its sky-high (for the segment) price point, the creaky plastics, exposed wires, exposed metal reflect disappointing design and quality control.". Steel Sapphire Metallic Voice activation is available, but it doesn’t respond to natural voice commands. Upgrade to the EX trim, and the price rises to $35,525. Seabaugh summarized our top-trim example: "Up front you have a commanding view of the road, with comfortable [heated/ventilated leather] bucket seats, [a wireless charging pad], a massive storage cubby, and plenty of cupholders, shelves, and pockets for all of your items strewn throughout the cabin.". Seating for up to eight Sometimes a minivan won’t cut it as the vehicle for a large family. And the third row—the very reason for a 3-row SUV—is very difficult to access, has no USB ports, and is strictly sized for children. Standard in EX trim, the one up from base. Most extra-cost upgrades are installed by Honda dealerships, and they’re mainly related to cosmetics and utility. Although the 2020 Pilot quite rightly prioritizes comfort over cornering ability, there’s still a feeling of fluid composure. This version of the Pilot also has a programmable universal remote control for entry gates, garage doors and more. Auto-dimming rearview mirror Although the Pilot has a nicely raised driving position and excellent outward vision, it’s always good to have some supplementary awareness. Still, the Explorer's low door opening bonked a head or three getting in back there. Which 2020 Honda Pilot Model is Right for Me? Good luck keeping it clean. Most important, every Pilot includes Honda Sensing. Ford Mustang Models With Pilot Sport Cup 2 Tires Are Only Produced Eight Months Out Of The Year: Exclusive. In combination with wider tires, the Pilot handles remarkably well for a box on wheels. The Pilot Touring also offers a Wi-Fi hotspot through a separate data plan arranged through AT&T. Easy-going ride quality Two of the three top-selling 3-row SUVs—the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander—are all-new for 2020. Those of us of a certain age have exhaust-tinged memories of riding—without seat belts—in the rearmost seat of an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. #3. In a side-impact collision, the Pilot’s SmartVent front side-impact airbags can tell if the driver or the front passenger is positioned within the airbag’s deployment path. Choose the EX-L trim, and a factory option package ($2,000) adds the navigation system and rear-seat entertainment system that come standard with the Pilot Touring. Pricing for the Pilot LX starts at $32,645, including the destination charge of $1,095. How did each manufacturer choose to tune its SUV's steering and suspension systems? The Elite’s window sticker reads $49,215, while the Black Edition earns the distinction of being the first Honda Pilot in history to crest the $50,000 mark ($50,715). If you’re shopping for a midsize, 3-row SUV, you already know that you have many choices in the segment. In any case, the Pilot is far from the best-looking SUV in its segment. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard with this engine, a tried-and-true solution that delivers adequate gas mileage. It feels the most developed, and naturally so, which is not an easy thing to tune into an electrified system. Up to 70 percent of engine power can flow to the rear wheels, and i-VTM4 can put all of it to the left or right rear wheel as is necessary. Add the SUV’s enviable resale values, and a Pilot makes plenty of sense. The second is for its far more comprehensive infotainment system. Thanks to its standard 20-inch wheels, the Pilot Touring adds a semblance of style to its minivan-meets-shoebox exterior design. Does the Honda Pilot get good gas mileage? Leather-wrapped seats, steering wheel & shift knob The Honda Pilot Black Edition mimics the loaded, top-tier Elite trim ($49,240) that already includes every available option, and merely adds a triple-black appearance package for an additional $1,500. As Rechtin said, "The rear door-cut, placement of the grab handle, and the location of where you can put your feet makes getting out of the third row more of a tumble-and-fall exercise than anything graceful.". It got 19.6 mpg, falling short of expectations. Is the Honda Pilot comfortable? Even the hard-plastic panels are textured and finished in such a way that they won’t offend. #6. 10 ACC lets you set a cruising speed and distance from the … Tilt/telescopic steering wheel It's out of character, and that was off-putting. Part of this overall listlessness also might be traced to our trio's only 10-speed automatic—another Ford component we have also previously praised in other applications. So, while adults can fit in the Pilot’s 3rd-row seat, it’s best suited for children. Do something right the first time, and it tends to be its own reward down the road. A 4-way power-adjustable front-passenger’s seat is also standard with EX-L trim, but since it lacks a height adjuster this promising upgrade is instead disappointing. HondaLink subscription services are standard with Touring models, though after the free trial period expires you’ll need to pay extra to access features like automatic collision notification, emergency calling, enhanced roadside assistance, and a Find My Car feature. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) calls the Pilot a “Top Safety Pick.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2020 Pilot its maximum 5-star overall score. Edmunds also has Ford Expedition pricing, MPG, specs, pictures, safety features, consumer reviews and more. Boring design resembling a minivan, inside & out, Restricted access to HondaLink subscription services, Lacks a front-passenger’s seat-height adjuster, Self-explanatory Black Edition trim debuts, based on the Pilot Elite. All Pilots except for the base LX trim include one-touch, power-operated 2nd-row seats that tilt and slide for easy loading of the 3rd-row seat. It also supports streaming apps, and viewers enjoy heated 2nd-row seats during cold weather. The 2020 Honda Pilot provides roomy versatility and plenty of power … Inside, the Elite trim features perforated leather upholstery along with a heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated front seats. Side-window shades are standard starting with the EX-L trim, keeping the sun out of a baby’s eyes. Although the Pilot has a nicely raised driving position and excellent outward vision, it’s always good to have some supplementary awareness. It is mounted somewhat low, but inside there is more room than you’ll know what to do with. 115-volt outlet First is the passive-entry system that includes a walk-away automatic locking function. Its lane centering system was innocuous and effective. That’s because the Pilot’s thin windshield pillars, invisible hood, front captain’s chairs with inboard armrests, and huge low center console all mimic the look and feel of a minivan. Heated steering wheel The current Pilot was initially presented in 2016 yet got a light refresh in and out for 2019. Like most of its midsize SUV competitors, the Honda Pilot is not fun to drive. In fact, once you get the infotainment system and the driver information displays set up the way you want them, this SUV is fairly easy to use on a daily basis. It’s capable of hauling people and stuff while remaining civilized and returning relatively decent fuel economy. When the others went big, the Highlander went small. Seabaugh said, "The engine is prone to lag off the line (though I really appreciate its torque), so to compensate the throttle response is too quick." Unfortunately, in the process, the Pilot wound up looking more like a minivan than an SUV. With front-wheel drive, it offers Normal and Snow driving modes. Which might explain why the trendy Black Edition is available now. Amazon has partnered with Honda to provide in-car package delivery through HondaLink. This is the collective term that covers emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control. It’s capable of hauling people and stuff while remaining civilized and returning relatively decent fuel economy. Inside, the Touring adds acoustic front-side window glass for an even quieter ride. Some are restricted to higher-trim levels, though. In Touring, Elite and Black Edition trims, the Pilot’s rear-seat entertainment system includes a “How much farther?” app that shows your offspring how much time is left before you reach the destination programmed into the navigation system. The Explorer's driveline and chassis were outclassed by a comparatively ancient Honda. So does a reasonably unchanged Honda Pilot stand a chance against a brand new Ford … Second-row sun shades for side windows Introducing a suite of features to help keep you in command, from … In fact, if you don’t get the i-VTM4 AWD system, it drives just like a minivan. The passenger side is less padded than the driver's, by the way. Blind-spot monitoring The Ford Escape for 2020 offers a wide range of available technologies to help keep you aware of your surroundings and ever-changing traffic conditions. The technology simply isn’t as refined as what you can find on competing models, displaying unexpected and inconsistent behavior depending on the situation. This is the collective term that covers emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control. The driving-assistance part of the equation needs work. Crystal Black Pearl But, unlike the 6-speed unit, the 9-speed does use a collection of buttons and switches for changing gears, and that could irritate some people. The 2020 Toyota Highlander has yet to be tested by either the government (NHTSA) or IIHS. Good luck keeping it clean. The “L” stands for leather. Listed below, you’ll find the Pilot’s primary competitors and their price ranges. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, LED fog lights, body-color exterior trim, machined-finish wheels, Passive entry with walk-away automatic locking feature, Triple-zone automatic climate control with humidity sensor, 10-way-power driver’s seat including lumbar support, Touch-screen infotainment system with 8-inch touch-screen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, HD Radio, HondaLink connected services & text-messaging support, Cabin Control smartphone app allows multiple passengers to control music, temperature and other in-vehicle settings, Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Power tailgate Base 4dr 4x2. Is the Honda Pilot’s cargo area useful? Perfect for families on long road trips, the Pilot’s Social Playlist feature uses the SUV’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and up to seven connected devices to share music to a playlist controlled by the front-seat occupants. Inside, the Pilot EX includes triple-zone automatic climate control with a humidity sensor and air filter, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat including lumbar support, and heated front seats. Capless fuel filling is standard on every Pilot, and the LX trim includes air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, push-button engine starting, and power windows, mirrors and locks. In this Explorer, however, it felt slower to shift between gears and less decisive to hold one than did the eight- and nine-speeds of the Toyota and Honda, respectively. 262 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm Cabin stowage areas Platinum White Pearl It's been retuned. For starters, Honda’s torque-vectoring Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4) all-wheel-drive system is standard instead of optional, and the Pilot Touring includes rain-sensing wipers, power-folding and automatic-dimming side mirrors, and a panoramic glass sunroof. Honda Sensing With this trim, the seats, the steering wheel and the shift knob are wrapped in the stuff. SOCIAL PLAYLIST Perfect for families on long road trips, the Pilot’s Social Playlist feature uses the SUV’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and up to seven connected devices to share music to a playlist controlled by the front-seat occupants. The goal of ACE is to make Hondas safer in collisions with a wide range of other types of vehicles, successfully absorbing and distributing crash energy in a way that ensures occupant safety. Another factor that makes the new Pilot a good buy is that it will retain an appreciable chunk of its value when it’s time to sell. 3.5-liter V6 engine and 6-speed automatic Lunar Silver Metallic One benefit of the Honda Pilot’s minivan-style front seats and dashboard is a giant center console between the seats. In combination with its comfortable front seats and standard adaptive cruise control, the 2020 Pilot Elite would make for an excellent road-tripping SUV. With an active subscription, owners of these top-end Pilots enjoy automatic collision notification, enhanced roadside assistance, vehicle-speed and boundary alerts, a car-finding feature, and a stolen-vehicle locator, among other services. Despite this, the Highlander offers well-weighted and precise steering and a pleasant leather-wrapped steering wheel. Is the Honda Pilot’s cargo area useful? One reason for this change was to improve aerodynamics. Black Forest Pearl Honda also adds Black Edition logos inside and out, just in case someone is mistaking the black-on-black-on-black SUV for something else. It includes adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist systems. View pictures, specs, and pricing & schedule a test drive today. Showing its age, however, the Pilot has no USB port in the back, and lowering/raising the third row requires leaning into the cargo bay (possibly soiling your clothes) to reach for a release strap. We found all these tendencies were more pronounced right after a cold start. The Honda Pilot wins with its real-world advanced safety systems, almost-always stellar driveline, superior chassis, and industry-leading packaging. For a driver, the Honda Pilot is quite comfortable. Capless fuel filler #10. The test vehicles had the Elite trim, and our driving routes included mountain, country, suburban and freeway driving. As a practical matter, this is irrelevant, and even beneficial since a minivan is the most useful type of vehicle you can buy. The changes — a revised grille, reworked bumpers, new lighting and bolder wheels — helped. There's also a sizable underfloor bin back there. 262 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm More than ride, handling, or performance, the interior of a 3-row SUV is likely most important to shoppers. Your information will be collected and used in accordance with our  Privacy Policy. #10. While we think knobs would be better for adjusting the climate-control system’s temperature, and though the infotainment system lacks a tuning knob, a Honda Pilot doesn’t require a degree in civil engineering to figure out. Speaking of towing, Honda hooked a heavy trailer to the SUV and off we went. Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go The available Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go feature utilizes sensors to safely adjust the speed of your 2020 Ford … Features editor Christian Seabaugh summed it up by saying, "You'd think given the investment spent on a new RWD platform, it would offer a better ride and handling balance, but the Explorer is crashy on bumps and vague through bends. First Place: Honda Pilot—Clever is as clever does, and even a four-year-old, top-trim Honda can teach the completely redesigned SUVs something about packaging. In Touring, Elite and Black Edition trims, the Pilot’s rear-seat entertainment system includes a “How much farther?” app that shows your offspring how much time is left before you reach the destination programmed into the navigation system. Also, because the brakes heat up fast and start to fade and vibrate, you won’t be inspired to take the long and winding way home. If you haven't added up the golf scores yourself, where the lowest number wins, here's how it played out: Honda Pilot (4), Toyota Highlander (9), and Ford Explorer (11). Honda is quickly falling behind when it comes to its infotainment systems. Good thing both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard with the EX trim and higher. Honda's third-gen Pilot has been around since 2016 but remains very competitive. For the best handling, be sure to get AWD and a trim level with 20-inch wheels. Essentially, it works like Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, and can put up to 70 percent of the engine’s power to a single rear wheel when necessary. The Pilot EX-L goes for $38,955, while the Touring is priced at $43,715. In addition to a larger 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system display, the Pilot EX includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, HD Radio, and text-messaging support. Instead, you must follow specific command pathways in order to achieve success. Wireless smartphone charging and an upgraded Cabin Talk system round out the reasons to choose the Pilot Elite. In an increasingly crowded and distracted world, we can all use more confidence on the road. The most efficient version is the Pilot Touring with front-wheel drive. Overview Editor-in-chief Mark Rechtin noted, "Cruise control changes speeds if the posted speed limit changes, which can result in a sudden slamming of the brake—startling to the car behind you." How does the Honda Pilot handle? Believe it or not, the Elite offers significant upgrades over the Touring trim. Upgrade a 2020 Pilot to Touring, Elite or Black Edition trim, and it comes with HondaLink subscription services. Even the hard-plastic panels are textured and finished in such a way that they won’t offend. The 2020 Ford Explorer also has available Ford Co-Pilot360 active safety features, which include auto high-beam headlamps, a lane-keeping system, and intelligent adaptive cruise control. As mentioned, the Pilot S resale values are top-notch. You can buy the Pilot LX and, aside from smartphone integration and a blind-spot monitoring system, feel like you have everything you really need in a family-sized SUV. There's a good-sized bin under the reversable carpeted/hard plastic cover. The 2020 Hyundai Palisade and 2020 Kia Telluride are new entries in the segment, offering exceptional design and value in a similarly sized package. Choose the EX-L trim, and a factory option package ($2,000) adds the navigation system and rear-seat entertainment system that come standard with the Pilot Touring. There are not just secondary motions, but tertiary ones before it settles completely. How does the Honda Pilot ride on the highway? Opting for the base XLT trim plus the 202A option ($5,140) nets six vinyl-covered (rubbery) seats and an unconvincingly leather-wrapped steering wheel. Like the Explorer, you can enter the third row from between the second-row captain's chairs or by folding the captain's chairs with a press of a single button. Automatic engine stop/start technology #7. Amazon has partnered with Honda to provide in-car package delivery through HondaLink. This trim swaps out the Touring’s standard 2nd-row bench seat for individual captain’s chairs, both heated. GIANT FRONT CENTER CONSOLE Rear-seat entertainment system Fuel tank size: 19.5 gal. Front and rear parking sensors help to keep the bumpers scuff-free, and the power rear liftgate adds a hands-free function. In turn, this encourages a driver to shut them off rather than use them, which defeats the purpose. Most of the time, you’re going to want to keep the Pilot’s 3rd-row seat folded down because the SUV provides just 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space when you’re using it. We'd call it fixed. There's a fluidity to it, and it feels hydraulic-based. HONDA SENSING As such, it helps improve traction, on-pavement handling, and off-roading performance. Two of the bestselling three-row SUVs, the 2020 Honda Pilot and 2020 Ford Explorer, go about their family business a bit differently. KBB Best Buy Award winner Cabin Talk is also standard on the Pilot Touring, allowing the driver to communicate with people wearing the entertainment system’s headphones in a normal and natural tone of voice. There are no alternatives, but this 280-horsepower motor is ideal. #8. You can buy the Pilot LX and, aside from smartphone integration and a blind-spot monitoring system, feel like you have everything you really need in a family-sized SUV. 1st Place: Honda Pilot—It goes down the road and around corners like a much smaller SUV, giving its driver confidence. We've driven/tested plenty of Pilots, and this appears to be anomalous. After a while, we just stopped using them. The towing demonstration was in a flatter part of the local geography, so we couldn’t sample the brakes on a downhill stretch of mountain road. What comes in the 2020 Honda Pilot Elite? Are the Honda Pilot’s controls easy to use? From an ego point of view, it could be a problem. Acoustic windshield glass for quieter interior EPA fuel economy (city/highway/combined): 20/27/23 mpg (FWD); 19/26/22 mpg (AWD) Heated & ventilated front seats Power … In combination with its comfortable front seats and standard adaptive cruise control, the 2020 Pilot Elite would make for an excellent road-tripping SUV. 2020 Ford Explorer XLT (RWD) 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition AWD: DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT : Front-engine, RWD: Front-engine, AWD: ENGINE TYPE : Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head: 60-deg V-6, … Among these three, the Highlander has the most compact dimensions, and as such, it has the least head/leg/shoulder room up front and especially in the third row. Take one Pilot Elite, paint it Crystal Black Pearl, bolt on unique black-painted 20-inch wheels, and swap out the chrome exterior detailing for gloss-black trim, and you have the new-for-2020 Pilot Black Edition. These versions of the SUV also have an Idle Stop system, which automatically turns the engine off and then restarts it when the Pilot is sitting still in traffic or at intersections. Sometimes a minivan won’t cut it as the vehicle for a large family. AMAZON KEY IN-CAR DELIVERY Our recommendation to bargain hunters is the Pilot EX, which includes all of the infotainment and safety equipment you’re likely to want. The second-row seats adjust fore and aft, and there are two USB ports, HVAC controls, and ceiling-mounted vents that Yekikian felt would grow tiresome with air blowing on his forehead. Both of the inboard armrests for the front seats get in the way when buckling the seatbelts, so you’re forced to move them up and then back down. How does the Honda Pilot perform off-road? It powers the front wheels unless you choose the Intelligent Variable Torque Management all-wheel-drive system (i-VTM4). Honda really needs to install better brakes on the Pilot, which is designed to carry up to eight people or tow as much as 5,000 pounds. Otherwise, this trim is available with the same dealer-installed accessories as the LX and EX trim levels. It also has a basic HondaLink connected-services plan good for remote-engine starting, contacting roadside assistance, making service appointments, learning about recalls, accessing a digital owner’s manual, and more. On each of these Pilots, the i-VTM4 AWD system costs an extra $2,000. Unfortunately, it lacks height adjustment, and while the seat isn’t mounted close to the floor, this omission is nevertheless a cause for pause. Experience the modern-family SUV in the 2021 Honda Pilot. EPA fuel economy (city/highway/combined): 19/27/22 mpg (FWD), 18/26/21 mpg (AWD) The more advanced Co-Pilot360 Assist+ system is optional on most 2020 … These two crossovers are very similar in size with the Ford being just two inches longer than the Honda. Does the Honda Pilot have a nice interior? Although the 2020 Pilot quite rightly prioritizes comfort over cornering ability, there’s still a feeling of fluid composure. Finally, its interior presentation and storage solutions were solid, but there were a few ergonomic and functional missteps for such a new vehicle. Intelligent all-wheel-drive system The least efficient versions are the LX, EX and EX-L with AWD. Rear cross-traffic alert monitors for traffic approaching from the sides when the driver is reversing from blind parking spaces or driveways. Our 25-mile comparison loop, at the end of which we take copious notes before rotating into the next SUV, starts on a smooth and gently bending coastal road. This is a torque-vectoring AWD system that continually transfers power between the front and rear axles, and between the wheels on either side of the SUV. The idea is that it eliminates those whining “How much farther?” questions from the back seat. Having just installed a volume knob for 2019 (previously, the display screen was flat without physical controls), Honda missed a perfect opportunity to also add a tuning knob that could double as a way to zoom the navigation map when it’s showing on the screen. #2. It's clear that new automobile buyers WANT SUVs and in this write-up, we will be comparing two of the most prominent models, the '20 Ford Explorer and the '20 Honda Pilot. By clicking Sign Up, you agree to the  Terms of Use. Before buying a new Honda Pilot, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. It is standard in every 2020 Pilot. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard with LX, EX and EX-L trims. The Touring trim adds heated rear seats, and both the Elite and Black Edition include a heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats.