Avenue Motors NJ Used
 Sales 973-319-8566
Service 973-313-5256
1453 Lawrence St Rahway, NJ 07065
Today 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Open Today !
Sales: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
All Hours

2023 Honda Pilot vs. Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Comparison between the 2023 Honda Pilot and Jeep Grand Cherokee L

1. Introduction

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and regarding the Pilot, there have been quite differing opinions. The boxy, slab-sided look of the first generation carries through to this day, muddying Honda's constantly evolving design language. From the front, the vehicle looks rather good, with a solid grille and sleek headlights. The rear attempts to sport "interesting" taillights which may have hit the mark a bit off, but it's not a complete eyesore. Purely on looks, the Pilot doesn't inspire much, but it does give off a sense of hardiness and provides the vibe that it is prepared for off-road duty. Measures are largely the same save for a bit of growth in width and length, which translates to a bit more space inside and easier toggling of third-row seating. High ground clearance and easily accessible roof rails back the statement that this is a car for reaching campgrounds or for pulling up to the kids' soccer game in a muddy field.

Honda has somewhat of an advantage when it comes to family-oriented vehicle releases. Since it was founded, Honda has held a reputation for reliability and practicality, backed up by consistent performance up and down the lineup. Of course, one could argue that Honda might just have a single-minded approach and not really deviate into territory that could be seen as interesting or new, so we shall see how that approach has fared with the reveal of the 2023 Honda Pilot.

1.1. Overview of the 2023 Honda Pilot

The 2023 Pilot is a 3-row SUV capable of seating 7-8 passengers, depending on specific configuration and choice of 2nd row captain's chairs. It comes with a 3.5-liter V6 and an available all-wheel drive (AWD) system. Pricing from about $36,000 to $52,000 including destination, the Pilot is a bit more expensive than most of its direct competitors, but it also brings more standard equipment. This Honda also boasts exceptional reliability and resale history. While the essentials remain appealing, the mid Touring and Elite models have been getting quite expensive, and Honda has let the safety features fall behind with still no rear side airbags or available 2nd row seat belt airbags. Step over step improvements with each generation have also made the 1st generation Pilot almost unrecognizable, it has transformed from an unrefined, truck-based SUV to a more sophisticated and family-friendly mid-sized crossover, which also led to a few disappointed loyalists. Overall, the Pilot's packaging, driving dynamics, and family appeal all combine to make it a vehicle worthy of consideration. This year's changes may affect the Pilot's standing in its competitive segment, but it's still an accommodating and reliable SUV.

The 2023 Honda Pilot is the latest iteration of the popular Honda SUV. Known for its impressive fuel efficiency and smooth drive, the Pilot has been a long-standing favorite for families across the globe. The newest model continues to remain true to its roots with up to 8 passenger seating and all-wheel drive capability. While the core features remain the same, Honda has provided a sleek redesign of the vehicle's front, improving its rugged appearance. Also newly added to the Pilot is 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability, allowing for connectivity on the go. While the Pilot shows the same great performance, it's becoming increasingly outdated the longer it stays on the market. Honda has failed to add anything groundbreaking to the latest model resulting in falling behind its competitors.

1.2. Overview of the Jeep Grand Cherokee L

The Grand Cherokee L definitely becomes an interesting choice for people who are looking for a midsize SUV with a strong and premium look. The size of this SUV is larger than the previous generation, making it have a strong road presence, but the simple design and clean lines make it still look nice. One interesting thing is that this model also offers three-row seating for the first time, so it can carry more passengers than the predecessor. This SUV is also supported with modern technological features, driving assistance, and offered with various trims. There are Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit, which of course have different features, so the prices vary. Step into the cabin and feel how comfortable it is. The premium feel is real in this SUV, high-quality materials are used in all trims, comfort and convenience features are abundant, and the most important thing is that this SUV offers large cargo space. In the engine department, the Grand Cherokee L uses a 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine with eTorque mild hybrid system that can provide better fuel efficiency, and it can also be found a 5.7L V8 HEMI in certain trims. Both are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. For true off-road enthusiasts, it is better to choose a V8 engine because it is equipped with Quadra-Trac II or Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system that can provide more power and capability, especially when towing a trailer. Other trim levels aren't too shabby because they still use the Quadra-Trac I 4x4 system, and they can still provide good off-road capability. No doubt, the Grand Cherokee L still uses the Jeep DNA in its capability, whether it's on or off the road.

2. Performance and Power

High-end models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee L feature a 5.7-liter V8 engine with 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This option boosts the maximum towing capacity to 7,200 lbs compared to the standard 2WD V6 having a towing capacity of 6,200 lbs and the 4x4 V6 having a towing capacity of 6,000 lbs. A 3.6-liter V6 engine with 290 horsepower and eTorque technology will also be an option in the Grand Cherokee L. This system replaces the traditional alternator with a belt-driven motor-generator to provide improved fuel economy, performance, and functionality of the start/stop system. An available Quadra-Drive II system will offer an electronic limited-slip rear differential and a 2-speed transfer case for improved off-road capability on previously mentioned V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee L models. The new Selec-Terrain system will also give drivers enhanced vehicle control in various terrains with five different settings: Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, and Mud/Sand alerting 4x4 systems and traction control systems for ultimate performance.

The new Honda Pilot also offers an Idle Stop feature to shut off the engine at temporary stops to save fuel. This allows the air conditioning to continue running with the engine off to keep the interior comfortable. Honda claims greatly reduced shift times with a more direct and responsive shift feel coming from a push button shifter in the console. A new Variable Torque Management System is said to provide more responsive and powerful AWD acceleration on demand. Lastly, the addition of an available Intelligent Traction Management will also significantly enhance the Pilot's off-road and towing capabilities. With a higher-end model, the 2023 Honda Pilot could also offer a Hybrid option with a unique all-wheel-drive application. The details for what this would exactly include are not fully disclosed in a Honda press release, but it is projected to consist of a 2-motor hybrid system similar to other recent Honda models with increased power and fuel efficiency over the standard internal combustion engine. This could be a valuable upgrade for those who want more power and capability out of their Pilot with potential added towing capacity and efficiency.

Starting with engine options, both the 2023 Honda Pilot and the Jeep Grand Cherokee L have choices. The Honda Pilot offers a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is mated to a newly developed 9-speed automatic with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. By far the best driveability of any previous Pilot, the new transmission promises to be smooth and efficient whether driving around town or cruising on the highway. The new intelligent AWD system offers different drive modes for maximum fuel efficiency as well as an improved torque vectoring system.

2.1. Engine options and specifications

Both SUVs come with standard front-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive systems, which is where the similarity ends. The Honda Pilot comes with a VTM-4 (Variable Torque Management-4WD) system that is optimized for everyday use. This system doesn't come with a low-range gear and is not meant for hard-core off-roading. In contrast, the Jeep Grand Cherokee L comes with the Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, Quadra-Drive II with a rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD), Quadra-Trac Active On Demand, and Quadra-Drive II Active Full Time 4WD systems. What this means is that the Jeep Grand Cherokee L is significantly more capable when the road runs out. Buyer beware though, that although the Jeep Grand Cherokee L will have superior off-road ability, the Honda Pilot will out tow it if the boat and trailer are the most off-road items you'll be taking with you!

The Honda Pilot comes with only one power option, which is a 3.5 litre V6 that is capable of giving an output of 280 horsepower. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L comes with 2 engine options, which are a 3.6 litre Pentastar V6 that outputs 293 horsepower, and a 5.7 litre V8 that outputs a massive 357 horsepower. Both SUVs come with Variable Cylinder Management and are able to activate/deactivate cylinders depending on the driving conditions to increase fuel efficiency. Whether you want to step up power or opt for more fuel efficiency, the engine options for both of these SUVs are solid ones.

2.2. Handling and drivability

The pilot's handling might not be as athletic as the new Grand Cherokee L's, but it feels more stable and controlled. The base trim uses 18-inch wheels with slightly wider tires than before. Although the steering feels somewhat light and over-assisted, which detracts from the sense of control, the Pilot drives smaller than it is. Also helping to this end is the excellent LaneWatch system, which beams a wide-angle view from a camera under the right side mirror when the right turn signal is engaged. Sadly, Honda has stayed the course with a console-mounted shift lever and even the pushbutton gear selectors used in the top Elite and Black Edition trims are confusing and space-consuming. At least the nine-speed automatic comes with paddle shifters, but only the Touring models and above will get the benefit of this gearbox in place of the still less-refined pushbutton setup. Like the previous generation, the Pilot boasts of four-wheel independent suspension, but unlike any Pilot before it, this one comes with adaptive dampers in the top two trims. This is more aimed at providing various levels of ride comfort regardless of whether you are on the Touring's 20-inch wheels or comfort-oriented Michelin rubber, or the 20s clad with more all-weather focused performance. In theory, this should aid both the more comfort-focused buyer, as well as the traditional utilitarian Pilot buyer who might opt for the new entry-level LX AWD and still desires the all-weather prowess of the outgoing generation. Laid out on a stiffer new vehicle architecture and boasting more structural rigidity this time around, the improved packaging and softer lines of the new Pilot do not skimp on the useful interior volume and the ride is said to be quieter. This could all be undone somewhat by the adaptive features of the system itself and we will be eager to assess how close upper trim ride and handling quality can come to the Acura MDX. Time will also tell as to whether any of the four unique drive modes (Normal, Snow, Mud, and Sand) will make any real translation to better all-terrain performance.

2.3. Towing capacity

It's also important for shoppers to compare the build, quality, and location of the hitch receiver on both vehicles. The Grand Cherokee's hitch is mainly hidden from view and the receiver is behind the bumper while the Pilot's hitch receiver is below the bumper and in clear sight. This is a matter of preference, but the location of the receiver will be important for those who frequently load and unload gear from the rear of the vehicle but don't want to climb up to reach the receiver. Both of the vehicles have a 7-pin wiring connector and with this the in-dash trailer brake controller on the Grand Cherokee and Honda's available accessory automatic brake differential provide added control in emergency avoidance maneuvers.

Honda makes an assertion that the Pilot can tow up to 4500 lbs with the accessory transmission and power steering coolers which will be good news for anyone looking to pull a trailer. The Pilot's unibody construction and all-independent suspension are beneficial for towing trailers compared to body-on-frame trucks. The Grand Cherokee, being a true body-on-frame SUV, will outshine the Pilot in terms of towing in all situations but the gap between the two vehicles not equipped with special cooling systems is narrow. Overall, those planning to do a lot of towing should probably select a 2WD Pilot with the 2nd generation of Honda's Variable Torque Management system which can supply up to 70% of available torque to the rear wheels providing improved traction for towing on steep grades or slippery surfaces.

Towing is a high priority in this class and both of these competitors offer considerable capability. Both can tow up to 5000 lbs in 2WD or AWD configurations with their standard 6-cylinder if there is only one driver and no passengers. The base 2WD Pilot with its 280 hp V6 is rated at 3500 lbs while the Grand Cherokee with the 6-cylinder is rated at 2500 lbs.

2.3. Towing capacity

2023 Honda Pilot vs 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Comparison Review

3. Interior and Comfort

The Honda Pilot and Jeep Grand Cherokee both offer three rows of seats, with the Honda being the bigger of the two. Seating capacity and configuration: The Grand Cherokee L comes standard with a bench seat in the second row, with the option of captain's chairs, allowing for either 7 or 6 passengers. The three-person bench is one of the most spacious on the market, with class-leading legroom and headroom. The third row is also known to be quite roomy and can comfortably accommodate two full-sized adults. Several features are present to help passengers access the third row, including a single button press to slide and tilt the second-row seat as far forward as possible, as well as a handle on the outer side of the seat to tilt and slide it without needing to adjust the front position. The Pilot is available in both 7 and 8-seat configurations. Built standard are second-row captain's chairs with two seats, which can be replaced with a bench. First-row legroom in the Pilot is 40.9 inches, slightly more than the 39.8 inches of the Grand Cherokee L. Second-row legroom in the Pilot with the bench or captain's chairs is available at 38.4 and 40.1 inches respectively, competing with GC seating. Third-row legroom is 31.9 inches with a recline function, quite a bit more than the 6-seater GC L at 30.3 inches. Honda boasts significant width in the third row for sufficient seating of all different sizes of passengers. This is a stark contrast to the previous-generation Pilot, which suffered from third-row space due to a wheelbase that was shorter than class norms. At 152.9 inches, 3 inches more than the previous model, the intense space-focused development has resulted in class-leading room in all three rows for the Pilot. This is a quite impressive development goal considering that the previous Pilot had some of the worst third-row space in the segment. Honda has implemented a button mechanism to slide the second-row seats, which can be done with a child seat fixed. This provides a very accessible path to the third row. Honda has also included features such as the ability for passengers in the third row to jump in without having second-row occupants adjust their seats, and cup holders integrated into the trim on Elite grades. Due to Honda's target riders, the integrated cup holder and easy access to the third row features focus on providing functionality for families, which is a targeted demographic compared to the Acura MDX, which is designed with luxurious features more for the adult demographic.

3.1. Seating capacity and configuration

The Jeep Grand Cherokee L has a choice of seating for six or seven passengers. In the six-seat configuration, the second row consists of two captain's chairs available on the Overland and standard on Summit models. These seats are heated and can also slide and tilt to allow access to the third row. The third row itself is one of the more spacious and comfortable in the class, and there is still a small amount of cargo space behind it. The Jeep comes standard with cloth trim, but higher-end models can be optioned with quilted leather seats, which give a luxurious feel.

In the second row, a three-seat bench is standard across the range. Legroom is excellent, and the bench itself feels quite plush and supportive. It's also easy to slide and fold the second row to access the third row, though the Honda's third-row space is a little tighter than some rivals. 8-seat models get a three-seat bench in the third row, which is reasonably comfortable and a breeze to stow and access with its single button. Honda has also thrown in a climate control panel for the rear passengers in the EX-L grade and above, adding a touch of class.

The 2023 Honda Pilot comes with a choice of seven or eight seats. It's worth noting that the Elite and Black Edition come standard with second-row captain's chairs, which reduces the seating capacity to 7. Front seat passengers get plenty of space and comfort, and the driver's seating position is nicely commanding.

3.2. Cabin space and storage

The Honda Pilot (2023) has a larger cabin in general compared to the Jeep Grand Cherokee L (2023). The cabin of the Pilot can accommodate up to eight passengers in its standard seating configuration. However, the EX-L trim levels and above reduce the seating capacity to seven due to the second-row captain's chair. The LE and EX trim levels have a 60/40 split folding bench as the second row, and the same bench sits in the back of the LX. The front seats are powered with the LX having an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat and the EX and above with a 10-way power adjustable seat, all with lumbar support. All models feature a tilt and telescoping steering column to help the driver get comfortable and entry into the Pilot is made easy with the L and LX trim levels featuring a 3-point seat belt in the center position of the second row and the EX and above using the Variable Torque Management 4-wheel drive system. Owners of the L and LX can opt for a 5-speed automatic transmission with a 2-wheel drive system. The 5-speed automatic is standard equipment on the EX and above. The front-wheel-drive system is standard on all models, but the LX also has the option of a rear-wheel drive. The second row has the same air conditioning and heating system for all models, but the EX and above have the added convenience of automatic climate control. An air-filtration system and a power tailgate are also standard EX-L and above. The rear air/heat controls and ventilation and a Honda DVD Entertainment System are only found on the EX-L Res and above. When comparing the storage capabilities, the smaller footprint GC may seem like it has the disadvantage, but the cabin space can surprise some. The Pilot offers 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row that increases to 83.9 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded flat. Although the Grand Cherokee has 84.6 cubic feet of passenger space, it falls short in cargo space with 17.2 cubic feet behind the second row and 46.9 cubic feet behind the first row. The larger difference in cargo space that the vehicles actually feel could be due to the lower floor of the GC, which reduces the height of the cargo area. The L and LX Pilots are equipped with a 3rd-row 60/40 split folding bench that now comes with a reclining feature and a fold-flat option that easily tumbles the seat forward. This allows for a much simpler access to the third row, and it doesn't require the removal of headrests. The same convenience is offered for the second-row bench, but the EX-Pilot and above now have the option of the second-row captain's chairs that also possess a flat fold feature. This makes the captain's chairs an attractive option for those who use the second-row seats as their primary seating positions.

3.3. Technology and convenience features

The Pilot comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen, while the top trim comes with a 10.2-inch color display. There is now wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available, but not wireless phone charging. There is 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability. The second-row passengers get to enjoy an available high-resolution 10.2-inch ceiling-mounted display that they can watch on with wired or wireless headphones, and this screen can display content from the built-in Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, or an app from your smartphone device that will work with Android 6.0 or iPhone iOS 11 and later. Passengers can also use Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Apple Siri to use their preferred voice assistant on certain features. A CabinControl app (also compatible with aforementioned smartphone systems) also lets up to 7 passengers use their smartphones to control the rear entertainment system, rear climate control, and rear USB ports. If equipped, a premium audio system can be enjoyed in the Touring Elite trim and standard in the top Elite trim. This system has 590 watts of power played through 10 speakers that are said to immerse in detail and clarity. The standard upper two trims have onboard navigation included, and the top Elite trim comes with a 12-speaker premium audio system. In contrast, the Grand Cherokee L comes with a standard 8.4-inch touchscreen. The top two trims are equipped with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 10.1-inch touchscreen. The available sound system is a 16-channel amplifier that plays through up to 19 speakers by McIntosh, the well-known American audio company. Wireless charging and a digital rearview mirror can also be added if desired.

4. Safety and Reliability

Honda Safety Sense and Jeep Active Drive I are the advanced driver-assistance systems used in the Pilot and Grand Cherokee L, respectively. Honda Sensing includes: - Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) which can help bring your Honda to a stop by automatically applying brake pressure when the system determines that a frontal collision is unavoidable. - Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM) which can determine if you cross over detected lanes without signaling and can provide steering assistance to help you return to your lane or provide braking to help prevent you from leaving the roadway entirely. - Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) maintains a set following interval behind detected vehicles for highway driving. - Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) can subtly adjust steering to help keep the vehicle centered in a detected lane. - Auto High Beam headlights which can automatically toggle between high and low beams for better visibility.

Both Honda and Jeep are well revered for their solid safety reputation. The 2023 Pilot has not yet been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but the 2022 model earned an overall five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. The 2021 Honda Pilot was also named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) after earning the highest rating of "Good" in all six crash tests. The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is also unrated thus far, but as for the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the NHTSA has given it an overall rating of four out of five stars. The Grand Cherokee has also had solid crash testing results with a five out of five star side crash rating and a four out of five star rollover rating. Meanwhile, the IIHS has not yet rated the new Grand Cherokee L.

4.1. Safety ratings and advanced driver-assistance systems

It is important to mention that neither the 2023 Honda Pilot nor the Jeep Grand Cherokee L have been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but both have been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2023 Honda Pilot received a good rating in the six crashworthiness tests conducted by the IIHS. These tests include driver and passenger side small overlap frontal crash, moderate overlap frontal crash, side impact crash, roof strength and head restraint testing. "Good" is the highest rating given by the IIHS and it assures that occupants in the vehicle are well protected in a crash. The 2023 Honda Pilot also received a superior rating for front crash prevention after it avoided a collision in both the low speed 12 mph test and high speed 25 mph test. The only thing keeping the IIHS from awarding the 2023 Honda Pilot as a Top Safety Pick is its headlight performance. The Pilot received a poor rating for the base trim level and the highest rated Elite trim level received an acceptable rating. The Honda Pilot also received a good+ rating for child seat anchor ease of use. The 2023 Honda Pilot also offers an array of driver assistive systems such as adaptive cruise control, low speed follow, lane keep assist, collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and pedestrian safety. These systems can be found standard in various trims starting from the EX trim and upwards. An IIHS study revealed that vehicles equipped with automatic braking systems have 40% less rear end collisions and the Honda Pilot's superior front crash system only helps in avoiding a potential collision. The Honda Pilot has a strong suite of crash avoidance and crashworthiness features offered at a decent price range for superior and family friendly safety. Like the 2023 Honda Pilot, the Jeep Grand Cherokee L also received a good rating in its six crashworthiness tests conducted by the IIHS. However, the Grand Cherokee L offers a superior headlight system that gives it good ratings across the board. The Grand Cherokee L offers an effective front crash prevention system that was rated superior after it avoided a collision in the low speed test and the high speed test. One downside is that the high level system is only available in the Summit Reserve 4x4 trim. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L also offers driver assistance systems such as active driving assist, drowsy driver detection, traffic jam assist and hands on LaneSense. However, the Jeep Grand Cherokee L ultimately has lesser of an impact in vehicle safety optimization because these systems come at a higher additional price and the word "optional" is key. When comparing the two vehicles, the greater number of safety systems come standard on the 2023 Honda Pilot at a lower price range. Both the 2023 Honda Pilot and the Jeep Grand Cherokee L will protect occupants effectively in a crash, but the Pilot's offering of standard advanced safety systems make it a more favorable choice for the safety conscious.

4.2. Reliability and warranty information

The Jeep has long had a subpar reputation, and Consumer Reports has taken notice, scoring the Grand Cherokee with a 30 out of 100 for its predicted reliability, a score that ranks it below average among all vehicles, and ranks it second to last for mid-sized SUVs among the models that they've tested. Honda's reliability, on the other hand, is one of the most consistent among all manufacturers, with their vehicles typically lasting well beyond the 200,000 mile mark with little more than routine maintenance. Although Consumer Reports hasn't tested or awarded the new Pilots reliability, it's a safe bet that it'll carry over the reliability from the previous generations. The Pilot has scored high for reliability, making it an ideal choice for those who seek a three-row SUV that'll last. Jeep offers the typical warranty found among all Chrysler vehicles, a basic 3-year or 36,000-mile coverage and a 5-year or 100,000-mile powertrain coverage. Honda offers a rather exceptional 3-year or 36,000-mile basic coverage but offers a 5-year or 60,000-mile powertrain coverage, essentially providing an additional 2 years of powertrain-only coverage. This is in addition to Honda's reputation for standing behind their products and their history of repairing any defects outside the warranty period at no cost to the owner. This often translates to a longer coverage of reduced cost repairs.