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Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander



  • What a GREAT review!

    We are trying to decide between the highlander, pilot, veracruz, and cx-9. Leaning toward the pilot. This was so helpful! :)
  • Wow, thanks for lengthy and very detailed review!
  • please if considering pilot vs highlander we own both and returned the highlander to dealer who took it in as a trade in and would not return our money when we discovered a major defect on car. after very exhausting fight to try and get our money refunded we decided to just get another pilot which we were very happy with already we own a 2010 touring. toyota on june 1 2009, acknowledged that they knew about the defect but said there were not recalling it at that time. they explained that the cars are built in japan and the ship over to U.S. The problem was the front O2 sensor was made out of ceramic which would eventually overheat with all cars at some point and need to be replaced. the first sign of failure is when the traction control lights up on panel for no reason. eventually your car will not start and if you try a couple of times to start it at this point it will cars the ceramic O2 sensor to overheat and engine will ignite on fire. Yes ! fire! it was our first time driving the car out of the lot when we noticed the traction light on told the salesman about it and he turned to light off by pressing the button which is located right by your right knee. My wife just thought new car lots to get used to and perhaps she might have hit the button getting in. the very next day was when she was left stranded with engine on fire. Unbelievable right. well its true. the dealership fixed the O2 sensor and was ready to deliver car back to us. However, we did not feel safe in a brand new car we just saw engine in flames. Would you take the car back after spending 35,000 on a new car with a burnt engine. We were very dissatisfied General manager of the dealership, who would do no more for us. We complained to toyota directly and they sent someone to check the car and said it was safe to drive and offered nothing else but to take car back well after months of fighting with them we decided that if we were not going to get the respect we had earned as a paid in full cash customer of two cars with them. It took a lawyer to send them a letter demanding different highlander with the front 02 sensor changed. The problem they had was the car even though we had own it for only four hours was already registered and titled so it would no longer be a brand new car to them to be able to sell they claimed they had to resell it as used. My wife and two children were in the car when it caught in flames unbelievable! Well like i mention they did settled, when our lawyer was able to find every highlander in not just there lot but other local dealers lots with same traction light on and 13 other documented cases of similar cases. I could not believe it. Our whole family for years have always bought toyota cars for their reputation of being such reliable cars and the company being one that we always believe stood behind that. They closed our case took car as trade in and we got our pilot. Now we hear of the recalls but still nothing about the seriousness of engines catching on fire due to faulty component. Hope this helps someone when shopping for Highlanders something to look out for.
  • mcgongmcgong Posts: 5
    Rather than write out a long summary, I'll just highlight the main points why I chose the Pilot over the Highlander.

    I bought a 2010 4WD Touring with Navi/RES

    1. Split Folding 3rd Row

    2. Pilot seems way bigger inside than the Highlander

    3. Locking Differential on the 4WD

    4. You get a lot more for you Money (at least the Touring Model). If I wanted all the same stuff on the highlander, it would have cost more.

    5. Although subjective, I like the interior look of the Pilot better than the

    This is my first Honda too. I have owned only Lexus/Toyota cars prior to this. The highlander just didn't seem beefy enough to me like the Pilot did. Its too bad Toyota doesn't make an SUV the size of the Lexus LX. I'd be all over that.
  • rockszenrockszen Posts: 1
    Not able to decide on what would suit the family most of the two. Here are some of the factors which may lead to decision-

    - Family of 4 (inc l. 2 baby car seats) and would consider the Sienna as the last option for occasional family visits.
    - Wife found it easier to test-drive the HL (and the Sienna) compared to the Pilot (must be the truck chassis). She enjoyed being in the passenger seat of the Pilot though.
    - I enjoyed the different driving style.
    - The HL (and Sienna) has a significantly better mileage than Pilot. (long term gas cost?)
    - Limited utilization of 3 row seats.
    - Frequent road trips/ camping etc although dont expect much off-roading.
    - Current toyota owner (03 Corolla)
    - Current attractive pricing/ APR from Toyota

    We did test drive all 3 back to back. And found HL and Sienna (due to car frame) much easier to drive (may be glides). Pilot felt safer and a understandably a little overwhelming to drive for the wife (who only has been driving sedans until now). I bet wife will get use to the Pilot drive over a time frame though.

    I read multiple posts in the forum but somehow not able to derive to a conclusion. We did initially considered the Veracruz, but left it out based on the forum inputs even prior to the test drive cycle.

  • kevin125kevin125 Posts: 3
    edited September 2010
    I am on Highland side because it has much shorter stopping distance than Pilot. Lots of road tests that you can find online have proved this BIG safety issue from Pilot. Pilot needs 149 feet to stop from 60mph while Highlander only need 131 feet !!!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...BIG safety issue..."

    These days the vehicle with the greater stopping distance may actually be more safe than the one with shorter...

    A more aggressive ABS......allows you to more stearung control during severe braking.
  • I really cannot believe a car that needs 16% longer distance to stop is safer! Thats rediculous.
  • I remember reading numerous complaints on first gen Pilot brakes and would think it should be taken care off with second gen but looks like Honda lacks expertize on brake design for heavier vehicles.
  • "These days the vehicle with the greater stopping distance may actually be more safe than the one with shorter... "

    wwest, you're real fun to read
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 224
    I currently have a 2002 Odyssey with 327,000 kms. In 1993 my 1982 E150 Ford Van had it's timing chain break at just 276,000 kms and the cost to fix was horrible as it wreck the internal engine parts. I left it with the Ford dealer and bought a used 1992 Ford Taurus. I bought the 2002 Odyssey new.
    From what I have been reading on the Pilot vs the Highlander it will most likely be the Highlander for my next vehicle; although it does not have the pep of an Odyssey according to ConsumerReports.
  • autowriteautowrite Posts: 224
    I did not read far enough and saw the person who experienced a fire in his Highlander; so I will have to change my decision to a Honda Pilot; besides I see there is more standard equipment. So what if it's a little less peppy.
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