Honda Pilot vs. Toyota Highlander

2021 Toyota Highlander vs 2021 Honda Pilot - New Jersey Used Cars
2021 Toyota Highlander (left) vs 2021 Honda Pilot (right)

If you’re shopping for an SUV around Jersey City, consider dropping by NJ State Auto Used Cars. Our dealership has two hugely popular midsize SUVs that can meet the needs of most drivers: the 2021 Honda Pilot and the 2021 Toyota Highlander. These SUVs not only deliver reliable performance and good fuel economy, but they also come with a comfortable cabin and plenty of standard features. If you’re unsure whether the Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander is more suitable for you, check out this detailed comparison to make an informed decision:


Used Toyota highlander

The 2021 Honda Pilot has a slightly lower base price than the 2021 Toyota Highlander. Its entry-level model starts at $32,550, while the Highlander costs at least $35,085. However, if you opt for the highest trim level, the Toyota is more affordable, with a starting price tag of $48,690. The top-of-the-line Pilot will set you back $50,220 or more.


2016 honda pilot

In terms of power, the 2021 Toyota Highlander has a slight upper hand over its rival. It gets its power from a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission to deliver 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid version of this SUV uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors to generate 243 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque.

The Honda Pilot is also equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, but it produces only 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Then again, it uses a nine-speed automatic transmission, which contributes to smoother acceleration and better fuel efficiency. Both of these SUVs have a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Regardless of whether you choose the Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander, you’ll enjoy a comfortable and composed ride. These two SUVs do a great job of soaking up uneven surfaces and remaining stable at high speeds and around corners. Nonetheless, the Honda is a little more agile and easier to maneuver in confined spaces, thanks to its precise and well-weighted steering.

Fuel Economy

If you’re concerned about fuel costs, the Toyota Highlander may be a better option. With its gas-powered engine, the SUV has a fuel economy rating of 21/29 mpg (city/highway), which is above average in the segment. Choosing a hybrid model improves fuel efficiency to an impressive 35/34 mpg. In comparison, the Honda Pilot returns only 20/27 mpg.


Both the 2021 Honda Pilot and 2021 Toyota Highlander have seating for eight. They feature supportive and well-cushioned seats that can keep occupants comfortable on long journeys. However, if you routinely have a large number of adult passengers, it’s recommended that you get the Honda Pilot. This SUV offers adult-friendly legroom and headroom in all three rows, whereas the Toyota has a relatively tight third row.

Cargo Capacity

When it comes to cargo capacity, the Honda Pilot is the clear winner. It offers 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rearmost seats, 55.9 cubic feet with those seats folded, and 109.2 cubic feet with both the second and third rows down. It’s one of the few midsize SUVs that have enough floor space to store a 4X8 plywood sheet flat.

If you decide to buy the Toyota Highlander, you’ll have only 16 cubic feet of storage space behind the third row, 48.4 cubic feet behind the second row, and 84.3 cubic feet behind the front row. While these numbers are significantly lower than those of the Pilot, they’re actually quite good among midsize SUVs.

Infotainment Features

If you want your new SUV to provide great connectivity and entertainment, the 2021 Toyota Highlander is the obvious choice. It comes standard with the user-friendly Entune infotainment system, an 8-inch touch-screen display, a Wi-Fi hot spot, five USB ports, a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa. For a better in-vehicle experience, you can get optional features such as a 12.3-inch touch-screen display, wireless device charging, an 11-speaker JBL audio system, and navigation.

The 2021 Honda Pilot offers a shorter list of standard infotainment features, which include a 5-inch display, two USB ports, a seven-speaker sound system, and Bluetooth. However, it has many available features on its higher trims, such as an 8-inch touch-screen display, a 10-speaker audio system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a wireless device charger, a rear-seat entertainment system, navigation, satellite radio, HD radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and HondaLink.


The Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander both received impressive ratings from the two main crash-testing organizations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded these SUVs an overall score of five out of five stars, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave them the best overall rating of “good.”

Other than air bags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and other basic safety features, these two SUVs also have many driver-assistance features that can help lower your chances of getting into an accident. Every Pilot model comes with a rearview camera, forward-collision alert, automatic high-beams, collision mitigation braking, lane-departure alert, road-departure mitigation, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control. Available features include LED fog lights, blind-spot detection, front and rear parking sensors, and rear cross-traffic warning.

When it comes to safety features, the Highlander beats the Pilot hands down. Its generous list of standard driver-assistance systems includes a rearview camera, automatic high-beams, automatic emergency braking, traffic-sign recognition, forward-collision alert, lane-departure alert, lane-tracing assistance, lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, and a rear-seat reminder. You can improve your safety by getting optional features such as a head-up display, blind-spot detection, adaptive headlights, rear cross-traffic alert, a rearview mirror camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, front and rear parking sensors, and a surround-view parking camera system.

Whether you decide to buy the 2021 Honda Pilot or 2021 Toyota Highlander, you can rest assured you’ll get an awesome SUV that offers excellent value for your money. NJ State Auto Used Cars is one of the best places in Jersey City to shop for a new SUV because of our huge inventory, competitive prices, and outstanding customer service. Feel free to contact us if you have any inquiries or want to schedule a test drive.