2011 Honda Pilot vs. Its Competition

2011 Honda Pilot 4WD 4-door Touring w/RES & Navi Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior 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 Pilot
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2011 Chevrolet Traverse FWD 4-door LS Angular Front Exterior View2011 Chevrolet Traverse
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2011 Ford Flex Titanium2011 Ford Flex
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2011 Kia Sorento 2WD 4-door V6 EX Angular Front Exterior View2011 Kia Sorento
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2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid2011 Toyota Highlander
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Quick Specs
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.
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.
A singular look, along with top-shelf turbo power and features, earns the 2011 Ford Flex our top score among utility vehicles.
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.
The very family-friendly Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid impress us with their space and versatility, but show no sign of enthusiasm.
MSRP From    
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 / 28 MPG Hwy
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 (Natl)
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door Sport Utility4 Door4 Door4 Door4 Door
Automatic w/ODAutomaticAutomaticManual w/ODAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Honda Pilot vs. 2011 Chevrolet Traverse2011 Honda Pilot vs. 2011 Ford Flex2011 Honda Pilot vs. 2011 Kia Sorento2011 Honda Pilot vs. 2011 Toyota Highlander