Sharing the Lexus RX 300 platform, the Toyota Highlander was one of the first mid-sized SUVs of its kind when it debuted in North America in 2001. Possibly due to the Highlander’s instant success, Honda followed suit and released the Pilot in 2003 based on the same platform as the Honda Accord. Here we will compare some of the key features of these two SUVs.
Today, the base-grade 2019 Highlander LE has a lower starting MSRP of $31,330 than the base-grade 2019 Pilot LX’s starting MSRP of $31,450.
Safety features are another aspect where these two brands and vehicles are constantly competing. Toyota’s suite of advanced active safety features, Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P), comes standard on all 2019 Toyota Highlander trims. Not to be outdone, Honda’s own suite of active safety features, Honda Sensing®, includes all four features of TSS-P and also comes standard on all 2019 Honda Pilot trims.
Out of all of the active and passive safety systems that these two SUVs share in common, the only advantage goes to the 2019 Highlander for its Smart Stop Technology® (SST) which is a part of the Star Safety System. As of winter 2018, no comparable Honda feature could be found for Highlander’s SST.
Gas engine 2019 Highlanders and the Pilot have identical basic and powertrain limited warranties, but only the Highlander comes with ToyotaCare, a no-cost maintenance plan, included with the lease or purchase of any new Toyota vehicle and covers scheduled maintenance at no cost for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. ToyotaCare also includes free 24-hour roadside assistance for two years and unlimited miles. Honda does not offer a comparable no-cost maintenance plan for the Pilot, but Honda does offer a lifetime limited warranty for exhaust parts purchased from a Honda dealer for as long as you own the vehicle. There are added-cost maintenance plans available with varying terms depending on the Honda dealer.
It’s not just safety, price, and warranty where the Highlander has key advantages. Once you get into these vehicles, you’ll see that the 2019 Highlander (no matter the grade) comes with 5 USB ports (three in the front, two in the rear). The 2019 Pilot LX only has one USB port and the highest grade available, the 2019 Pilot Elite, only has 3 USB ports.