2011 Honda Pilot vs. Its Competition

2011 Honda Pilot 4WD 4-door Touring w/RES & Navi Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

Looks can be deceiving; the 2011 Honda Pilot looks like a traditional SUV, but it's more like a tall wagon or minivan in purpose.

Toyota's Highlander is one of its most direct rivals; like the Pilot, the Highlander has a more traditional, squared-off profile, but the Highlander is less overt and ridiculous styling-wise—and less likely to offend.

The Highlander has a nice, soft ride, but it's not nearly as responsive of a performer on the road.

The Ford Flex is another solid rival, with excellent interior comfort and distinctive, boxy styling that's more urban-hip than rugged; equipped with the available EcoBoost V-6, the Flex performs better than the Pilot.

Then there's the Chevrolet Traverse, introduced for 2009; the Traverse is larger than the Flex, with a higher seating position closer to that of traditional SUVs, yet it handles and performs well and has a very well-appointed interior.

The new 2011 Kia Sorento feels nearly as large as the Honda Pilot but offers a base four-cylinder engine, like the Highlander.

2011 Honda Pilot 4WD 4-door Touring w/RES & Navi Angular Front Exterior View2011 Honda PilotBrowse Used Listings2011 Chevrolet Traverse FWD 4-door LS Angular Front Exterior View2011 Chevrolet TraverseBrowse Used Listings2011 Ford Flex Titanium2011 Ford FlexBrowse Used Listings2011 Kia Sorento 2WD 4-door V6 EX Angular Front Exterior View2011 Kia SorentoBrowse Used Listings2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid2011 Toyota HighlanderBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.0
If you can get past the garish grille and overwrought look, the 2011 Honda Pilot is a fine family vehicle, with minivan-like interior space and decent performance.
8.0
The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse isn’t fun to drive, but it’s one of the best large crossover wagons for transporting the family comfortably and safely.
9.2
A singular look, along with top-shelf turbo power and features, earns the 2011 Ford Flex our top score among utility vehicles.
8.0
The 2011 Kia Sorento takes a right turn in its transition from off-roader to all-weather wagon: It’s sized right, timed right, and packaged right.
7.8
The very family-friendly Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid impress us with their space and versatility, but show no sign of enthusiasm.
MSRP From    
$28,320$29,370$29,355$21,195$28,090
Gas Mileage    
16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility VehicleFWD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle
Style Name    
2WD 4-Door LXFWD 4-Door LS4-Door SE FWD2WD 4-Door I4 BaseFWD 4-Door L4 Base (GS)
Drivetrain    
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
88757
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
4 Door Sport Utility4 Door4 Door4 Door4 Door
Transmission    
Automatic w/ODAutomaticAutomaticManual w/ODAutomatic