Toyota Highlander vs Honda Pilot

2021 Toyota Highlander vs Honda Pilot

Spacious, performance-ready, and loaded with family-friendly tech, the 2021 Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot both provide a lot to love for drivers throughout the Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Carlisle, Pennsylvania, areas.

To help you determine which model better suits your individual needs, the team at Faulkner Toyota Harrisburg has created this 2021 Toyota Highlander vs. Honda Pilot comparison.

Toyota Highlander vs Pilot: Performance and Efficiency

2021 Toyota Highlander vs Honda PilotOffering two engine choices, the 2021 Highlander can be customized to fit your individual driving style. The majority of its trim levels feature an efficient and sporty 3.5L V6 engine churning out 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, its Hybrid trims come equipped with a 2.5L Atkinson Cycle engine that delivers a combined net 243 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque.

This power is managed via a Direct-Shift 8-speed Electronically Controlled automatic Transmission alongside Multi-Terrain Select and drive modes, allowing you to effortlessly take on the day no matter what the conditions outside. You can even add an available Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system to improve the Highlander’s responsiveness and stability.

With all that, the Highlander packs a powerful punch, providing a family SUV capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.

By comparison, the Honda Pilot offers drivers a single 3.5L V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower. Each trim level also comes standard with an Eco Assist™ System for increased efficiency along with an available Intelligent Variable Torque Management ®AWD System.

Fuel Economy

Whether you’re cruising between after-school activities or hitting the open road for some weekend adventuring, you’ll need an SUV that can go the distance.




EPA-Estimated MPG

2021 Toyota Highlander

21 city/29 highway MPG*

2021 Honda Pilot

20 city/27 highway MPG

The Highlander easily takes the cake when it comes to providing a smoother and more efficient ride, especially in its front-wheel drive (FWD) configuration.

Toyota Highlander vs Honda Pilot: Hybrid Performance

2021 Toyota Highlander vs Honda PilotBetween the 2021 Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot, the debate over hybrid performance is a short one. While the Highlander boasts four hybrid trim level options, the Pilot doesn’t offer any.

If you do opt for one of the hybrid Highlander trims, you can look forward to impeccable efficiency without sacrificing an ounce of power. In addition to its 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors producing net 243 horsepower, you’ll take notice of several additional Hybrid performance features.

That all starts with the Highlander Hybrid’s EPA-estimated 36 city/35 highway MPG.* Since you’ll be making far fewer stops to refuel, you’ll also get to take advantage of other unique hybrid systems, like the Highlander Hybrid’s five selectable drive modes:

  • Normal Mode: Best for everyday driving
  • ECO Mode: For the most efficient drive
  • Sport Mode: If you’re looking for more acceleration
  • EV Mode: For electric-only driving at low speeds for short distances
  • Trail Mode: Providing more traction even on AWD models

Just like the gas engine Highlanders, the Highlander Hybrid provides the option for either a FWD or AWD drivetrain. Finally, it also features intelligent Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive. Designed for all-weather conditions, this system provides instantly improved traction.

Toyota Highlander vs Pilot: Interior Space and Comfort

Expertly designed to fit your busy life, each SUV boasts an expansive cabin with comfortable seating for up to eight passengers among three rows of seating. Providing ample headroom and legroom throughout, each model is perfect for a growing family or a driver with a lot of stuff to move.

Step inside the Highlander to find a long list of features designed to take the edge off any morning commute or long road trip, including: reclining rear seats, 3-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated front-row seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and more!

Meanwhile, the Pilot features similar amenities, such as multi-functional center console storage and a power tailgate. However, drivers will need to upgrade to a higher trim to access most of these features.

Modern Technology

2021 Toyota Highlander vs Honda PilotNeed directions to that new coffee shop across town? Want to listen to your favorite playlist on your ride home from the office? Hoping for a little peace and quiet on your trip to grandma’s house? Thanks to the 2021 Highlander’s suite of innovative technologies, you can enjoy these features and more:

  • Bluetooth® hands-free phone capability and music streaming
  • SiriusXM® Satellite Radio
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto
  • Dynamic Navigation system
  • Wi-Fi® connectivity with 5 USB ports

With Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto, you can easily integrate your smartphone to stream your music, podcasts, messages, navigation, and more directly to the Highlander’s 8-inch touchscreen display.

Thanks to the Highlander’s built-in Wi-Fi® hotspot capabilities, the whole family will easily stay connected. No matter where you’re headed and no matter how far you’re traveling, everyone can charge up their devices with five available USB ports.

Likewise, the Pilot features its own touchscreen display with HondaLink® technology and available mobile hotspot capability on its highest trim levels.

Toyota Highlander vs Pilot: Standard Safety & Driver Assistance

With the family along for the ride, there’s nothing more important than the safety of you and your passengers. Luckily, both SUVs are well equipped with impressive lists of standard safety systems alongside intelligent driver-assistance systems.

Along with standard safety features like a Tire Pressure Monitor and advanced airbag systems, both models are highlighted by their individual driver-assist systems. For the Highlander, it’s Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.5+ and it’s Honda Sensing® in the Pilot.

With these systems, you’ll find plenty of overlapping features designed to lend a hand when you’re behind the wheel. Some of their shared features include a Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, and Automatic High Beams.

Unique to the Highlander, however, is the Road Sign Assist system that uses an intelligent camera to detect oncoming road signs. It will prove particularly useful on those nighttime drives. Unfortunately, there’s nothing quite like it in the Pilot.

Vehicle security is another area in which the Highlander easily outshines the Pilot. This is in large part thanks to the standard Safety Connect® system. To give you one last assist, this system provides everything from Emergency Assistance and Roadside Assistance to Automatic Collision Notification and Stolen Vehicle Locator.

2021 Toyota Highlander vs Honda Pilot: Which Should You Choose?

While it’s obvious that each SUV offers a wealth of incredible amenities, the 2021 Highlander is the clear winner at the end of the day.

At Faulkner Toyota Harrisburg, our team is dedicated to helping Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Carlisle, Pennsylvania, drivers find the SUV of their dreams. If you’re ready to take a closer look, stop by our convenient location or go online to schedule a test drive today!



* EPA-estimated 21 city/29 hwy/24 combined mpg for 2021 Highlander; 20 city/27 hwy/23 combined for 2021 Highlander AWD; 36 city/35 hwy/36 combined mpg for 2021 Highlander Hybrid. Use for comparison purposes only. Your milage will vary for many reasons, including your vehicle’s condition and how/where you drive. See