In today’s vehicle market, choosing which vehicle is right for you can seem like an insurmountable task, especially when choosing between similar vehicles, like two sedans or two SUVs. At first look, the 2019 Toyota Highlander seems almost identical to the 2019 Honda Pilot. They’re both SUVs with third-row seating, convertible seats that allow for both cargo space and passenger capacity, multi-angle rear cameras, and a variety of package options. So how are you supposed to tell which is the better choice?
Here at Freedom Toyota of Hamburg, we’re happy to assist you in choosing what vehicle is right for you and your family, and it’s clear to us which is the better option: the Toyota Highlander. While the two vehicles are extremely similar, when it comes to bang for your buck, the Highlander is the clear choice, with better performance, safety, and tech, not to mention better pricing.
From the get-go, it’s clear that the 2019 Highlander is the smarter financial decision of the two SUVs. With a starting MSRP of $31,330, the 2019 Highlander starts at less than the 2019 Pilot, which has a starting MSRP of $31,450. Although a less than $200 difference doesn’t seem like much, as you get into the more premium trim levels, that difference increases dramatically. The most premium trim level of the Highlander, the Limited, has a starting MSRP of $42,430, whereas the most premium trim level of the Pilot, the Elite, has a starting MSRP of $48,020. That $200 difference becomes an almost $6,000 difference. For most people, the most cost-effective choice is the best choice and the Highlander is clearly the less expensive of the two.
The lower price of the Highlander doesn’t mean that you’re getting any less though. Although the Highlander and Pilot have many of the same technology, safety and performance features, the Highlander ends up a step above the Pilot in all categories.
The base trim level of the Highlander comes with rear climate control, halogen headlights, heated exterior mirrors, outside temperature gauge, CD and MP3 player, and voice activated controls, none of which are available on the base trim level of the Pilot. In fact, the halogen headlights and CD and MP3 player aren’t available on any trim level of the Pilot.
As far as safety goes, both Toyota and Honda offer a suite of safety features to keep you and your passengers safe on the roads around Indiana. With Honda, you get Honda Sensing which comes with Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, and Traffic Sign Recognition. Unfortunately, the only models that Honda Sensing comes standard on are the premium trim levels, although it is available as an option on all but the most basic trim level. With Toyota, you get Toyota Safety Sense which comes with a Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Assist, and Lane Tracing Assist. Unlike Honda Sensing, TSS comes standard on all trim levels of the Highlander, and on the more premium trim levels, there are more optional safety features, such as Blind Spot Monitor and Pedestrian Detection. In addition, the Highlander comes with front knee airbags, which are not available on any trim level of the Pilot.
When it comes to performance, the Highlander is once again the clear winner. On the base model, with the 3.5L engine, the Highlander has a horsepower of 295@6600, gets a combined 23 MPG, has an 8-speed variable transmission, and can tow up to 5,000 lbs. In comparison, the Pilot puts out 280@6000 horsepower, gets a combined MPG of 22, has a 6-speed variable transmission and can only tow up to 3,500 lbs at the maximum. That’s a lot less gear that you can take with you when you want to take the whole family camping, and you can’t make any extra cargo space by putting down the seats.
If you spend a lot of time commuting to Pittsburgh and back though, and fuel efficiency is what’s most important to you, it can seem like the Highlander and the Pilot are pretty evenly matched, especially when it comes to highway driving, they both have an EPA rating of 27 MPG for highway. However, Toyota once again edges out the competition by offering a hybrid version of three different trim levels of the Highlander. Honda has no hybrid version of the Pilot, in fact, Honda has no hybrid SUVs at all. If you want a hybrid Honda vehicle, you have to get the Insight, Accord Hybrid, or the Clarity, all of which are sedans.
No matter what is most important to you when shopping for a new SUV, Toyota’s 2019 Highlander is the vehicle to choose. When it comes to performance, tech, and safety, it is the clear winner when stacked against the 2019 Honda Pilot. Come down to Freedom Toyota of Hamburg today to test drive one today, and see why drivers all over Pennsylvania are choosing the Highlander as their new family SUV!