Highlander vs. Pilot

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Alexa9
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Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:46 pm

Looking for a long lasting large SUV after having bad experiences with American and German makes. Narrowed it down to the Highlander and the Pilot. Looking for opinions. Also, might lease one of each and purchase the one we like more after 3 years. Specifically looking at Pilot EX-L and Highlander XLE trims. Thanks!

Utvolfan1
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by Utvolfan1 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:58 pm

I have a 2015 Highlander. It has been excellent and unstoppable. No maintenance except for the regularly scheduled stuff. My plan is to buy another when the next generation comes out.

retiredjg
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by retiredjg » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:05 pm

I have a Highlander, purchased at 3 years old a little bit ago. Love it. Have had many Toyotas, mostly used, and have never been disappointed. Have had one Honda many years ago and loved it too. Probably hard to go wrong with those choices.

renue74
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by renue74 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:22 pm

I have a 2005 Honda Pilot EX. (So not too terribly helpful for newer Pilots) Power everything, leather seats, etc. I bought it used from the 1st owner about 3 years ago with 50k miles on it.

I'm pretty hard on cars and not a "car person." I haul tons of stuff in the back. (I have rental houses and do a lot of repair work)

I love the Pilot. Never any issues. I got the timing belt changed at 110K miles ($750) and I make sure to get oil changes. Only other thing is the alternator went out back last October...but day to day it's wonderful.

The gas mileage sucks. Plain and simple. I get about 18 to 21 mpg. City, highway, etc.

The leather has begun to crack and doesn't look as good as when I got it. But, now I have 140K miles on it.

bartl007
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by bartl007 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:41 pm

We just purchased a 2017 Highlander XLE AWD after test driving both vehicles you're considering. The infotainment systems are quite different and the 3rd row seating is more spacious in the pilot but we liked the slight reliability edge that Toyota offered (IMO) as we're planning on keeping this vehicle for 10-15 years. We paid 37k OTD using the email method mentioned ad nauseum on this site. We bought our floor mats off eBay. A few links below may be helpful.

http://www.dashboard-light.com/rankings.html

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/333-3 ... 258?page=1

3feetpete
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by 3feetpete » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:28 am

I have a 2007 Pilot with 195k on it. It's been a very good car. The only thing that went wrong so far is the alternator went out at 160k. It is a bit noisy although I understand later models are better. Gas mileage only 18 to 20 mpg.

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jharkin
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by jharkin » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:40 am

We just bought a new 2017 Pilot EX-L for my wife to replace her 2008 Pilot. Really like the car. I think if your undecided you need to go test drive both and see which one you like better.

We ended up buying the pilot not so much on specs but mostly because we liked our 08 and like the feel and ride of the new one better than the Toyota. Its a subjective thing but we also just didn't like the styling of the Toyota..... that front end... ugh...
(Note that I have nothing against Toyota, our other vehicle is a Tacoma.)

As far as reliability, yes the Toyota will have the edge, but coming from German cars either one of these will be in another league from what you are used to....


Pilot:
Generally rated a bit higher in reviews.
All trims have a V6
Slightly larger vehicle, more interior space
More car like ride than the Highlander, feels more minivan than suv-like
Has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
(-) completely touch screen infotainment interface is a pain
(-) Active safety package is an add on
(-) lots of complaints about the 9 speed transmission in the Touring and Elite Trims

Highlander:
Probably has a slight reliability edge
Base models have a 4 cylinder engine, better gas mileage but less power
Hybrid model available
Active safety system standard
Infotainment system is easier to use with real knobs
(-) no Apple or Android
(-) harsher ride than Honda
(-) slightly less interior space

NoVa Lurker
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by NoVa Lurker » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:45 am

This is probably not helpful, but we were trying to decide between Highlander vs Pilot two years ago. We ended up getting an Odyssey, and we have been so, so happy with the decision.

My wife was extremely anti-minivan at first, and with two kids we arguably didn't "need" a minivan, but she test drove it and was very surprised that she liked the handling of the minivan better. With the kids, it's great to have the minivan for so many reasons.

Apart from the Odyssey, we were leaning Highlander at the time, but we were looking at 2015 models.

livesoft
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by livesoft » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:54 am

My neighbor has a Pilot and a Highlander and likes them both. I predict it will come down to where your left elbow rests in each vehicle.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:00 am

Alexa9 wrote:Narrowed it down to the Highlander and the Pilot.
So I guess you could say "in the end, there can be only one"! :D

Sorry. Highlander reference.

I'll show myself out...
Stay on target...

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IFRider
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by IFRider » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:11 am

renue74 wrote:I have a 2005 Honda Pilot EX. (So not too terribly helpful for newer Pilots) Power everything, leather seats, etc. I bought it used from the 1st owner about 3 years ago with 50k miles on it.

I'm pretty hard on cars and not a "car person." I haul tons of stuff in the back. (I have rental houses and do a lot of repair work)

I love the Pilot. Never any issues. I got the timing belt changed at 110K miles ($750) and I make sure to get oil changes. Only other thing is the alternator went out back last October...but day to day it's wonderful.

The gas mileage sucks. Plain and simple. I get about 18 to 21 mpg. City, highway, etc.

The leather has begun to crack and doesn't look as good as when I got it. But, now I have 140K miles on it.
Almost my exact situation (except for the alternator failure). 125k on mine and I'm not necessarily hard on cars, although I do use it to
tow an enclosed trailer with my Harley or Home Depot stuff occasionally.

It's interesting you find the gas mileage sucks, I think it's awesome, but then I traded a Ford Explorer with a V8 for my pilot.

+1 on the oil changes (it's so easy on this car), and I do the transmission and VTM also.

Love my Pilot and have no plans of ever letting it go.

keystone
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by keystone » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:16 am

We bought a 2017 Highlander XLE and love it. We made up our mind last year that we wanted a Highlander over the Pilot based on our test drive and my belief that the Highlander will prove to be more reliable over time. We waited until 2017 because Toyota added the Safety Sense package as standard equipment.

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lthenderson
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by lthenderson » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:23 am

Alexa9 wrote:Also, might lease one of each and purchase the one we like more after 3 years.
A much cheaper and faster route would be to just rent each one for a week or two before making the decision. A week with each should be more than enough time to put the thing through the paces to see which one for you.

Like someone else above, I ended up with the Honda Odyssey and liked it much better than either of the SUV's you mentioned above.

Isabelle77
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by Isabelle77 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:12 am

We have a 2013 Pilot with 75K miles on it. We bought it when it was new and haven't had a single issue, its been great

bf0123
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by bf0123 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:55 am

Love my 2004 Pilot! It has 205k miles on it, running very smooth still. I find it be a very comfortable car, which is not easy at my size (6'3", 200lbs). My wife also finds it very comfortable--lots of leg room for both of us. I hope to get another 100k out of it, then will look for another used Pilot as next vehicle.

texasdiver
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by texasdiver » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:08 pm

We have a 2014 Highlander Limited. It has turned out to be a fabulous car so far (about 40,000 miles). The only mechanical issues have been that the entertainment system was a bit glitchy when bluetooth streaming off the phone so we had to pay Toyota to get it flashed with a newer software version.

When we bought it the Highlander had just came out with the new current model but the Pilot was in the 5th year (or something) of their older model so we didn't really shop for Pilots. Today with the new current Pilot model we'd do a more careful comparison.

Highlander has turned out to be a fabulous snow and ice car when snow tires are installed. We had 4 blizzak tires installed over the past winter and it was a great snow and ski car.

My wife is the main driver and she loves it. No complaints.

willybiggs
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by willybiggs » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:06 pm

We are at the exact same decision point that you are. Currently have a 2013 Accord and I drive our 16 year old Mazda minivan that will be the replaced vehicle. I'm leaning toward the Pilot for looks and space, however plan to test drive each model for feel and driveability. I seriously doubt we could go wrong with either choice. Pilot may be a bit better value. There does seem to be a shortage of Pilots at most dealerships.

gobigorgohome
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by gobigorgohome » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:29 pm

bartl007 wrote:We just purchased a 2017 Highlander XLE AWD after test driving both vehicles you're considering. The infotainment systems are quite different and the 3rd row seating is more spacious in the pilot but we liked the slight reliability edge that Toyota offered (IMO) as we're planning on keeping this vehicle for 10-15 years. We paid 37k OTD using the email method mentioned ad nauseum on this site. We bought our floor mats off eBay. A few links below may be helpful.

http://www.dashboard-light.com/rankings.html

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/333-3 ... 258?page=1
Bartl007- What is the email method you mentioned that is on bogleheads? I can't seem to locate. Thanks in advance.

sgl
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by sgl » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:36 pm

Both are great vehicles so you really cant go wrong...We have a Highlander and one of the major advantages in my opinion is the rear hatch glass opens independently of the hatch. We find it more convenient for loading and unloading smaller items than having to open the whole hatch everytime.

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jharkin
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by jharkin » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:57 pm

IFRider wrote:
It's interesting you find the gas mileage sucks, I think it's awesome, but then I traded a Ford Explorer with a V8 for my pilot.

+1 on the oil changes (it's so easy on this car), and I do the transmission and VTM also.
Getting 21mpg on a first gen Pilot is actually pretty impressive. Ours generally got 17mpg no matter where we drove... My Tacoma pickup actually does better on gas :oops:

So far the new one seems much improved in that department. We averaged 22 or 23 on the first tank of all back road driving and if I reset the trip gauge before a highway cruise and keep the econ button on it is getting better than 25. Not bad for a 4500lb non-hybrid.

Speaking of oil changes, if you think a pilot is easy you should see the Tacoma. If you have an oil extractor you dont even need to get under it- filter is right up top next to the filler cap and they designed in a nice catch basin to capture the filter spill. It the easiest change I've ever seen...

bartl007
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by bartl007 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:10 pm

Car buying tactics referenced below which contains the original fatwallet thread link. I ended up contacting 20 dealerships within a 3 hour driving radius which definitely helped as I believe a lot of dealers in certain regions are now aware of this approach to negotiation and there seemed to be a clustering of OTD prices but one small town dealership was willing to earn my business and the 2hr drive saved us ~2k compared to the next closes dealership.

viewtopic.php?t=181983

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StevieG72
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by StevieG72 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:50 pm

Highlander

Toyota will depreciate slower. See this article https://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/bes ... -cars.html

Significantly fewer complaints over at carcomplaints.com as well.

Disclaimer, I am a Toyota fan owning a 2016 4Runner.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

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jharkin
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by jharkin » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:53 am

StevieG72 wrote:Highlander

Toyota will depreciate slower. See this article https://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/bes ... -cars.html
But like everything its relative. Notice the Pilot was the second place finisher. Using Edmunds own TCTO tool I get:

HIghlander XLE V6 AWD 5 year depreciation: $17710
Pilot EX-L AWD Sensing 5 year depreciation: $18202

So Toyota wins by.... $100 a year. Or 0.2% of the purchase price... The question is, is that a deciding factor if NOTHING else about the vehicle sways your opinion either way. In our case it was not as there where a lot of practical things we liked about the Honda better. Others may like the Toyota better (they are soooooo close) and for them the depreciation advantage is a small bonus.
StevieG72 wrote: Significantly fewer complaints over at carcomplaints.com as well.

Disclaimer, I am a Toyota fan owning a 2016 4Runner.
This is true, and if you look at TrueDelta you will see similar trends:

https://www.truedelta.com/Honda-Pilot-v ... on,114-268

The thing is, that the largest spike in complaints for Honda is for the 2016 redesign and most of the complaints are in the 9speed transmission and electronic features specific to the Touring/Elite (auto stop, active safety, etc). If you stick to an EX-L vs. XLE comparison the Honda is still worse, but its not an order of magnitude and like I said both are still miles more reliable than your average Ford Explorer or BMW/Mercedes/VW that the OP seems to be coming from.

Ive owned many Honda's and Toyota's and one or two American cars in my life and Id still take either brand over most others any day of the week....


Bottom line is I really think it comes down to driving both and picking the one that feels better to you. They are that close and most owners of either will have a good experience.

Luke Duke
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by Luke Duke » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:00 am

I have an '04 Highlander 4cyl with 250K miles. It has had less than $500 in repairs over its lifetime. It could probably use another $500.

Nowizard
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by Nowizard » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:08 am

Both are reliable vehicles. Highlander rides smoother, may have a few more options, but is quite tight in the third seat. Highlander gets somewhat better gas mileage. The six cylinder model of the Highlander has excellent power, the four not so much. Generally, the Pilot is considerably larger, but you probably know that. If you have young children and are car pooling, it may be wiser to select the larger vehicle since the children will also be getting larger.

Tim

takeshi
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by takeshi » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:09 am

Alexa9 wrote:Looking for opinions. Also, might lease one of each and purchase the one we like more after 3 years.
As with just about any topic you can collect opinions but popular opinion isn't necessarily what's best for you (and your family in this case). Both are reliable and both are good options. In the real world there isn't one selling while the other does not sell. I'd +1 the suggestion that you try an extended test drive, either keeping each over a weekend or so or renting each to see how well they suit you.

If you do want recommendations it would help others if you'd list out your priorities and concerns to get specific feedback. Even with that, I'd still highly recommend some long first hand experience with each to finalize your decision.

texasdiver
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by texasdiver » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:17 am

Note:

If you are getting it to haul kids. We test drove a couple versions of the highlander with our kids.

The limited version we bought has middle row bucket seats with a space between them for kids to scramble through to the third row. This makes it a 7 passenger vehicle.

There were lower trim version that had bench seats across the middle row making it an 8 passenger vehicle. Our kids found the 3rd row seating in these versions to be very claustrophobic because you don't really have access or sight lines forward (at least a smaller child doesn't) and they did not like those seating versions. Plus, you have to fold the middle row seats forward to access the third row.

I went into the shopping process thinking that I wanted a middle row bench seat for that possibility (however remote) of using it as an 8 passenger vehicle. After feedback from the kids we went with the 7 passenger version. The kids liked the seating much better.

silvercertificate
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by silvercertificate » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:59 pm

I recently evaluated those same two vehicles to replace my 2006 Pilot with over 280k miles. They are both excellent vehicles and your choice will likely come down to personal preference and where you get the best deal. I ultimately chose to get the Honda CRV because I could live with a smaller SUV and I drive 40k miles per year for work so the improved fuel economy of the CRV was a nice upside. I am very happy with my 2016 CRV that now has over 50k miles. I average 32-34 MPG on most tanks of fuel vs. the 20 MPG in my 06 Pilot.

I have owned 4 Honda vehicles now and they have all been excellent however, when I purchase the pick-up that I really want it will be a Toyota or a Tundra. I think you cannot go wrong choosing the Highlander or the Pilot.

fittan
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by fittan » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:31 pm

You're splitting hair here...both are excellent choice. I bought a 2014 HL last year for $28K and it's been a great car. Here's my 2 cents.

In terms of interior (dashboard area) design, the HL is much better. The HL is less clutter and it has this long "tray area" under the dash to put stuff. Also the storage cabin (aka armrest) is much much bigger than the pilot.

If you will be utilizing the 3rd row seats, the Pilot wins. It is much roomier (both width and roof height).

usnaron
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by usnaron » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:02 pm

don't buy a Honda with variable cylinder management (VCM), like the Pilot has, until you research the issues with it and the class action VCM suit that Honda lost.

FIREmeup
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Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

Post by FIREmeup » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:14 pm

My wife and I were in this predicament about 8 months ago. Had a new baby on the way so time to scrap the Hyundai Santa Fe....which was nothing but problems...and get a more reliable car. Wanted an SUV with a 3rd row. Tried the explorer...grand cherokee....arcadia....traverse....enclave....highlander....Pathfinder... and pilot. It was hands down the pilot. The only ones that got a 2nd consideration was the traverse and arcadia. Did not like the highlander. Maybe it was the road we were on but felt it's ride didn't come close to comparing to the Pilot. Anyway love the Pilot. 8 months now about 26mpg combined (according to the car reading...Probably about 24 for real) such a quiet smoth ride. I would get the car warranty from Hyannis Honda if you guy with the Pilot. Get a quote online from them. It is the same thing that your dealership will sell you for a 200 to 300% markup. Let us know what you choose!

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