We take a quick look at how the new Toyota Highlander compares to a leader in its segment, the Honda Pilot.
This latest generation 2020 Toyota Highlander just unveiled at the 2019 New York Auto Show has a big job to do – it needs to continue to convince SUV lovers, and minivan haters, that it remains one of the best options in the three-row large midsize SUV segment.
The Highlander arrived two years ahead of one its fiercest rivals, the Honda Pilot however despite the Toyota’s head-start, the Honda quickly matched it punch for punch. The battle continues but now, the Highlander is all-new. Is the Honda Pilot doomed? How do they compare? Let’s take a closer look.
Which Is More Spacious?
Consumers buy these vehicles if for only one reason: Space. Lots and lots of it. For bikes, hockey or camping gear, or to carry the extended family to a favorite BBQ joint, these are the best-suited non-minivan vehicles for the job.
Both SUVs can be configured as 7- or 8 seaters with a third row that folds away flat opening up a huge boot. When it is down, the Highlander doles out 1,150 litres while the Pilot delivers 1,583 litres.
With the 3rd in place, the Honda provides 524 litres of boot space compared to the Toyota’s 456 litres. In the event that the 2nd is to be folded away, the Honda Pilot handily crushes the Toyota Highlander 3,072 litres to 2,076 litres.
While the 2019 Honda Pilot is far more cavernous than the 2020 Toyota Highlander, the latter is still quite large.
Which Is More Efficient?
There is no comparing what the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid can manage. Its 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder engine and twin electric motors manages an estimated 34 combined MPG rating or the equivalent of only 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres.
As for the V6 versions, the gap is far from large. With the 295-horsepower 3.5-litre V6, the Toyota Highlander delivers a manufacturer-estimated 10.7 L/100 km combined fuel consumption.
The Honda Pilot also relies on a 3.5-litre V6 which produces 280-horsepower. Without the auto start/stop function, it consumes 13.0/9.3/11.3 L/100 km (City/Highway/Combined) while with the technology, the numbers are 12.4/9.3/11.0 respectively.
In the real world, both will return nearly identical averages.
What About Style?
No one will ever refer to a 3-row SUV as a piece of automotive art. For some, handsome applies and this is the new 2020 Toyota Highlander’s case. Depending on personal tastes of course, the same could be said for the VW Atlas and the Dodge Durango. The Mazda CX-9 may very well be the most visually appealing.
As for the Honda Pilot, it lacks solid angles that would grace it with a more truck-like presence. Blame it on the Honda Odyssey however the new Honda Pilot is an attractive offering.
The new Highlander is nothing more than an evolution of the previous SUV with said desirable angles and road presence inspired by, of all things, the new RAV4. We love the fact that there’s a visual link between the Highlanders as this will keep interest and resale values high – this is avoiding change for the sake of change, a detrimental practice currently in use at Hyundai.
Both SUVs offer cabins that are supremely family-friendly with plenty of useful and clever storage.