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2023 Honda Pilot vs. Toyota 4Runner

Comparison between 2023 Honda Pilot and Toyota 4Runner

1. Introduction

Let us now turn to the interior and the outside look of the 2023 Honda Pilot. The Honda Pilot is a type of car that is more suitable to be used by a family. So, the most important thing is the convenience of the passengers. Honda has actually modified the interior of this car by using tri-zone automatic climate control. This feature will be able to give individual climate control to the driver and the front and rear passengers. The seating is for 8-9 passengers, depending on the type of this car. But the most interesting thing is the rear seat. This rear seat is actually the captain's chair, which can be slid and flipped to both sides to make way for the passengers to the 3rd row. This captain's chair makes the rear passengers feel like VIPs. The other modification is by the addition of many hidden storage places, especially in the front row and under the steering, making this car have a better space for keeping some small stuff. This is very suitable for a family, isn't it?

The good does not stop coming, as the 2023 Honda Pilot will come with a lot of cool stuff underneath its hood, but those will be explained in the latter section of this article. But the most interesting thing about this car is actually its engine and performance. Step now into the engine and the performance of the 2023 Honda Pilot. Now, this car only has one type of engine that is suitable for all types of its series. This engine is a V-type engine with 6 cylinders. This 3500 cc engine will be able to deliver you an awesome power, with the car being able to move very responsively on any kinds of streets. With a smooth transmission, you can make turns easily with this car. This engine is actually a bit similar to the previous Pilot, which is the Y35 engine. But the better technology and the addition of 100 cc to the engine make it better than the previous one. Not only that, the FWD and 4WD also make this car easier to be controlled on any kind of roads.

Since its introduction back in 2002, the Honda Pilot was able to make an impressive stance in the realm of cars and automobiles. Of course, we all know that Honda is not a new name in the realm of automobile manufacturing. They have been producing a lot of impressive vehicles through the years. And now, they have made another step to create the 2023 Honda Pilot. Now, the Honda Pilot is more of a family-oriented vehicle, and Honda claims that this Pilot is the most appropriate vehicle to be used by a family. They have made a lot of additions to make this Pilot more comfortable and safe to be used by a family. And to show you that the Honda Pilot is indeed a great choice for your family vehicle, these are the added features that the 2023 Honda Pilot has.

1.1 Background

The 2023 Honda Pilot is an incredibly versatile vehicle that adeptly supplies plenty of space for up to seven passengers. The Pilot has the available choice of both front and all-wheel drive. And with its advanced light truck platform, the Pilot has unibody construction and a fully independent suspension which provides a superior level of handling and ride comfort. With a beginning price of $27,045, the Pilot comes available in a number of trims, starting with the LX and moving on to the EX, EX-L, and Touring packages. And with prices ranging from the low to high thirties, the Pilot offers premium features with each trim level.

Initially, we will provide information on the background of both of these vehicles. Each vehicle has a different history and with that history comes different reputations. Next, there are reasons that certain people are looking into researching and purchasing these vehicles. These reasons will be listed and compared as to the purpose of what consumers are looking for in a mid-sized SUV. Finally, the comparison will begin. There are several different things that a consumer will look at when purchasing a vehicle such as exterior, interior, power, fuel economy, and safety. These variables will become essential in assisting potential buyers to make comparisons on their own for the perfect vehicle. Step inside and see what is under the hood on a Honda Pilot and Toyota 4Runner.

The vehicles we have chosen to compare in this essay are the 2023 Honda Pilot and the 2023 Toyota 4Runner. Automobiles are one of the biggest investments that a person will generally make. Searching for the "perfect" vehicle can be quite the task. There are a plethora of things that everyone considers before making a purchase. In some cases, looks are everything and in other cases, what is under the hood is all that matters. This essay compares two mid-sized SUVs that offer similar yet different features in the long run. Step on in and take a gander at what two specific vehicles can offer to a potential buyer. Keep in mind that what makes a vehicle "perfect" is different for everyone.

1.2 Purpose of Comparison

The purpose of this comparison is to show the reader which of the two vehicles is more comfortable or reliable. Instead of the author explaining the features of the vehicles one by one, the authors will compare the similarities of the two vehicles and show which is of better value. A conventional topic can be based on the features, appearance, and prices of vehicles, but a comparison on the comfortability, reliability, and value of the features might be more helpful for potential buyers. Through this comparison, readers can be informed of important differences between these two vehicles without having to do the research themselves. Both vehicles belong in the mid-size SUV category; however, both have their respective features and capabilities towards different outdoor activities. By researching each specific comparison on each vehicle feature, 3rd party insight, pricing, upkeep and repair costs, and warranties, the author will provide this information in the most concise and accurate way possible. At the end of the comparison, the goal is to inform the reader which vehicle is of better value for purchase. After reading this comparison of the Honda Pilot and Toyota 4Runner, readers will be able to save time they would use to do the research themselves and will have clear information on the differences of these two vehicles. It is meant to target someone considering the purchase of one of these vehicles because the information will be vital for those who are on the verge of purchasing this vehicle. With 3rd party insight and specific details about the features, there should be an increase in awareness of what these vehicles have to offer. The ultimate result we want to achieve is having the reader satisfied with the information and either wanting to read more or considering the purchase of said vehicle.

2. Exterior Design

Honda Pilot comprises of some striking features such as a skid plate, aluminium alloy wheels, steel spring and double wishbone suspension, etc. Apart from above features, a roof rack is also provided with crossbars which is further improved by incorporating power moonroof that gives a feel-good experience for long trips. Honda Pilot is also providing 'Homelink' remote system which facilitates in opening and closing of garage and home security easily as it is positioned on the driver's sun visor. Coming to Toyota 4Runner, it significantly includes a different make of skid plates when compared to Honda Pilot, which is made up of a hardy material called boron steel, providing higher durability. Also, Toyota 4Runner provides privacy glass on the rear side windows, liftgate window, standard black roof rack, and a set of power rearview mirrors. These features can be found only in Toyota 4Runner compared to Honda Pilot. It has integrated fog lights on the front side and the best feature that can be found in 4Runner is its unique power rear glass. This can be lowered down inside the rear liftgate providing easy access to the cargo area. It also provides greater facility and ease of use when compared to other SUVs. This kind of feature can be found only in a few SUVs, and 4Runner is the best at this. This clearly gives a picture of ergonomics of both Honda Pilot and Toyota 4Runner. Now let's sum up the whole discussion about the exterior features of both Honda Pilot and Toyota 4Runner. This is to give a clear picture about the designs of both SUVs. After comparing both the sports utility vehicles, it was found that Honda Pilot has the aerodynamics integrated into the SUV with varied styling. The front end, more upright windscreen, and squared of roofline, all this gives a more bold and aggressive look for the new Pilot. But Honda Pilot does not look like a traditional SUV. It is designed to look efficient in fuel consumption with incorporating VTM-4 system. This system will give power to the rear wheels only when the front wheel has less traction. And under extremely slippery conditions such as icy road, the driver can lock the VTM-4 system, which makes the Pilot operate only in four-wheel drive mode. And rear differential will make it perform better than other V6 power SUVs. The rear differential will make VTM-4 system more effective when compared to other SUVs which provide only 2WD and 4WD modes. This makes Honda Pilot much efficient for customers who are looking for fuel economy. Simulation of race car having a floor and low driving height, Toyota 4Runner carries the same legacy by making use of its body-on-frame construction and also it doesn't look like other SUVs. The Sport edition has a vogue-looking color-keyed bumpers, rocker panels and over fenders, a roof rack and tube steps, etc. Due to this reason, 4Runner doesn't look like a traditional SUV. It looks like an SUV that is meant for racing and off-road rally. The designing of 4Runner is very unique, which cannot be found in any other SUV. But the best feature will be the integration of the power rear glass, which will surely provide greater comfort and ease of use. Although both SUVs are at different levels regarding their designs, they are unique in each of them and provide additional features that cannot be found in other SUVs.

2.1 Honda Pilot Exterior Features

New to Pilot for 2023, a Radiant Red Metallic finish decorates the grille, 20-inch wheels (Platinum trim) and tailgate. The Black Edition receives gloss black accents in place of chrome or body-colored treatments, and can be specified with optional roof rails should a customer desire to fit an accessory. Along with standard gloss black wheels, Honda-unique design elements include: a 3D-look grille with large chrome-look "wings"; the integration of the 4-lamp full-LED headlights and LED fog lights; the placement of the Honda logo at the center of the front and rear; and a chin spoiler that simulates a skid plate design. Standard features include flush-fitting front and rear glass, roof rails and a powered tailgate. On TrailSport, the roof and tailgate are accented with orange highlights. Honda Sensing is standard on all models. Built on a monocoque platform, the rugged Pilot TrailSport implements the improved Intelligent Variable Torque Management all-wheel-drive system. Individual enhancements include special wheels and tires, an increased approach/departure angle, specially tuned suspension, and class-exclusive drive modes. Accorded five stars by the NCAP, this AWD system proved to be confident, capable and predictable in any driving condition.

2.2 Toyota 4Runner Exterior Features

The 4Runner now includes new 17" wheels on the SR5 style and 17" alloy wheels on the Trail model to accompany a wheel designs. The Limited model includes new 20" split 6-spoke wheels. The Trail model features tough mud guards and a tough sealed off-road ready suspension. All 4Runners come with an integrated tow hitch with wiring harness. Utilizing the 4Runner's hard and durable body-on-frame and an effective integrated towing frame, the 4Runner can tow around 5000 lbs. The 4Runner has a variety of colors to choose from.

To improve the stepped design and consist with the rest of the model's lineup, Toyota eliminated the outside fiberglass on the rear hatch, replacing it with a liftgate and an integrated rear hatch. The liftgate has a power back window, which is a very handy feature. The 4Runner features the most up-to-date lighting with projector headlamps on the front and lights on the rear. The Trail and Limited models include fog lights to assist driving in adverse conditions. All models feature tough body-colored power side mirrors. The SR5 and Trail models feature a roof rack system. This is extremely useful for individuals who have luggage larger than the interior area of the vehicle. The system was redesigned and is now lighter and lower. This reduces wind resistance and height constraints and increases fuel economy. High-quality micropore nickel plating is applied to the roof rack to prevent rust.

Toyota's SUV mid-size 4Runner has the power and impressive off-road capacity. This is mainly as a result of attempting to be a conventional SUV. Most of today's so-called SUVs are in fact crossovers with uni-body building and construction like a lot of the vehicles on the road. Uni-body is excellent for on-road efficiency and handling but when it pertains to off-road capability, a proper body-on-frame construction is significantly more effective and durable. The reality that the current 4Runner is based on the FJ Cruiser must give you an idea of its off-road capacity. So when it pertains to exterior features, the 4Runner is focused on usefulness, toughness, and off-road capabilities. The rather aggressive and bulky styling of the 4Runner gives the idea of a full-sized SUV.

2.3 Comparison of Exterior Styling

Starting with the Honda Pilot, the exterior feature-wise is a rather handsome looking car, though it may not be as sporty as some may like, it definitely makes up for it in practicality and looks. On the front of the car, you can see Honda's styling with the 3-bar chrome grille and angular teardrop headlights which flow into the body, giving the car a bit of aggressiveness and that look of the SUV being stuck to the ground. The rear of the car slopes slightly at the top of the tailgate window with a small lift at the end, which gives the car a unique look from other SUVs. Giving the car might look a bit like an SUV/minivan cross, but despite that, it definitely doesn't have that minivan look and it does mean great interior headroom and practicality. Now with the Toyota 4Runner, you can definitely see that this car is the typical body-on-frame SUV, with a rugged body shape, high ground clearance, and high belt line, but this car definitely looks like it means business. The 4Runner's front is reminiscent of the Land Cruiser with the narrow and elongated grille and headlights. Also, Toyota's use of the sideways opening rear door as opposed to a typical top-lifting tailgate is definitely old school, but it separates the 4Runner from any other SUV on the market today. The styling of the Toyota is definitely suitable for somebody who has an active lifestyle and wants to go anywhere, and the 4Runner is a great vehicle to do that in. The 4Runner over the years has definitely kept to the same design philosophy, but it keeps true-blue SUV styling that is a dying breed in the automotive market.

3. Interior Features and Comfort

There were a number of amenities and features noted in the review of the 2023 Pilot. As a result, the Honda Pilot received high marks for its interior features. Lower trim models lacked luxury features such as leather seating and a moonroof but came with a full array of power accessories, keyless entry, and a tri-zone automatic climate control system. The climate control system allows the driver, front passenger, and rear passengers to set individual temperatures. For higher trim models, a leather interior, moonroof, and power tailgate were added. Although top of the line models did not come with a navigation system, it was available as an add-on at the dealer. All Pilots came equipped with a backup camera, something which will soon be mandated on all vehicles. The Toyota 4Runner, although available with some interesting features, did not fare as well as the Pilot in terms of interior features. Standard on all 4Runners was a power rear liftgate window, air conditioning, cruise control, an eight-way power driver's seat, and a four-way front passenger seat. Also available was a third-row seating option, although it was not recommended for long-distance travel. Higher trim models came with dual-zone climate control, a leather interior, and a few other luxury features. Unfortunately, the 4Runner was not available with a moonroof or a navigation system, and the price of adding a third-row seat and additional features meant that it compared with the higher priced Pilots. Given that the 4Runner is a truck-based SUV, it did not offer as much space or versatility as the Pilot, something which detracted from its features value.

3.1 Honda Pilot Interior Features

The 2023 Honda Pilot's interior provides plenty of room for passengers or luggage, and its massive cargo hold is one of the largest in the class. Unfortunately, the interior quality is not consistent and some may find the ride comfort disappointing. The Pilot's overall length has been shortened by an inch, but the wheelbase and track are nearly identical, and the height is only reduced by about half an inch. As a result, the usable space hasn't changed dramatically between the generations. The Pilot has always had above-average cargo capacity. The added length of the Elite's front center console is a great feature for those who need it within reach of the front passengers. The 2023 Honda Pilot's interior dimensions (in inches) are as follows: headroom (front/middle/rear) 39.5/40.9/38.9, legroom (front/middle/rear) 40.9/38.4/31.9, shoulder room (front/middle/rear) 62.8/62.6/57.6, hip room (front/middle/rear) 59.1/57.3/44.6, and the cargo volume behind the 2nd row seats is 80.0 cubic feet. These figures are competitive in the class and slightly better than the outgoing model. The Pilot's 7 and 8 passenger seating configurations carry over and the layout is identical with front buckets and a 60/40 split bench in the second row and 60/40 split bench in the third row. This is an advantage over most vehicles in the class which only seat 7 or 8 passengers in a 2+3+3 configuration. The second row bench now has available one-touch slide and the 3rd row has one-touch entry to ease ingress and egress. These and other features in the interior are intended to make it easier to load your passengers, and a further advantage is the wider opening height of the rear doors.

3.2 Toyota 4Runner Interior Features

The interior of the 4Runner is basic and cleanly designed, and in a break from more carlike crossovers, the 4Runner's center stack is upright and simplified, with easy to reach controls. The Optitron meters and 3.5-inch multi-information display within the gauge cluster are easy to see and use. All models equipped with the Smart Key feature handy automatic running boards for easier access for both driver and passenger. High quality inlay and materials can be found throughout the cabin on the SR5, Trail, and Limited models. Limited models feature leather and ventilated front seats (not available on any Honda Pilot model) and a new Driftwood trim for a more premium look.

The 4Runner is not as plush or modern inside, but it can still make a very comfortable traveler. The roomy interior provides space for the entire family and your gear. The SR5 and Limited models offer a third row to increase seating capacity to seven, while the SR5 and Trail come with a 40/20/40 second-row seat that will boost capacity to seven. The second-row seats on these models have a walk-in function to access the back. Opt for the roomy seven-passenger configuration and the second-row seats feature a center stow seat that increases walk-in function to the third row with 40/20/40 second-row seating. The front passenger area in the 4Runner is slightly smaller due to the body-on-frame transmission hump, but still offers plenty of room.

3.3 Comparison of Interior Comfort and Amenities

The Honda Pilot's interior includes seating for eight passengers (8 passengers Elite and 7 other versions). The Toyota 4Runner only seats up to seven passengers. Both vehicles possess fabric seats; however, the Honda Pilot offers leather-trimmed seats in its EX and EX-L models. The Toyota 4Runner does have an optional leather trim package which adds leather trim to the steering wheel, shift lever, and parking brake handle. When comparing cargo space, the Honda Pilot offers 87.0 cu. ft. of cargo space (with the second and third-row seats folded down). Since the Toyota 4Runner does not have a third-row seat, it offers 89.7 cu. ft. of cargo space when the second-row seats are folded. Although the 4Runner has more cargo space, the Pilot offers more flexibility due to its third-row seat ability.

3.4 Technology and Infotainment Systems

The 2023 Pilot's infotainment system has been updated to support a faster processor and has an all-new interface with sharper graphics and a physical volume knob. A 7.0-inch touchscreen is standard on LX, EX, and EX-L trims and gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, which Honda says is standard on all models. EX-L and Touring trims get an 8.0-inch touchscreen. The top Elite trim gets a 10.2-inch rear mirror to provide a broader view of what is behind the vehicle. This is a Honda first for a car-based product. Even better, this new screen comes with an HDMI input which allows for playing audio or video from a connected device, i.e., smartphone, tablet, or gaming console and can even support an app like Apple TV or Roku. Toyota 4Runner relies a lot on manual controls with swaths of touch-sensitive areas and screens often being only optional. Some models feature the aging Entune infotainment system, which isn't very intuitive and is lacking in modern features. There is just a single USB port and a 6.1-inch or 8.0-inch touchscreen. It was only recently that Toyota 4Runner added the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility which is standard on most models for 2022. Although this newly integrated technology is much appreciated, it is still a far cry from the technology that Honda offers on their Pilot.

4. Performance and Capability

The 2023 Honda Pilot has yet to reveal official automobile dimensions. However, the third-generation Pilot will slightly increase in size as it will be utilizing a light truck chassis using the same platform as the Acura MDX, which will increase both power and performance. The goal for the Honda Pilot is to create a more fully capable off-roading SUV than the Acura MDX. With this increased size, the Pilot will also offer better interior space and seating, and more efficient aerodynamics. A more specific comparison of size will need to wait until the official dimensions are revealed.

Power and capability have always been a strong point for the Toyota 4Runner as it is known to be a fully capable off-roader. The 4Runner provides two different 4-wheel drive systems. The SR5 and Trail models come with a part-time 4WD system, while the Limited has a full-time 4WD with a locking feature. All 4WD models also come with Downhill Assist Control, Hill Start Assist Control, and a Torsen limited-slip center differential. The 4Runner is also equipped with an A-TRAC system that optimizes traction by applying the brake on one of the slipping wheels. For the powertrain, the 4Runner provides a 4.0L V6 with Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing (VVT-i) that puts out 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. of torque. Also, for towing, it is suggested that the 4Runner is capable of towing 5,000 lbs. With the boat or trailer and pull out that old fishing boat collecting dust in the side yard, this V6 will make it simple. As for suspension, the SR5 and Trail models have a coil-spring and double wishbone setup in the front and a coil-spring 4-link setup in the rear. The rear setup even includes a lateral rod for increased off-road capability. The Limited model comes with an X-REAS suspension that further improves performance, comfort, and control.

4.1 Honda Pilot Performance Specifications

Potential buyers can look into the powerful engine in the Honda Pilot, which punches more powerfully than the Toyota 4Runner engine. With the ability Honda Pilot gets from 280 horsepower and 262 torque, due to its heavy material and aerodynamic design, compared to the 4Runner, which only gets 270 horsepower and 278 torque. This proves that the Honda Pilot has a better engine capacity than the 4Runner. On the other hand, the Toyota 4Runner has better power capabilities from its engine. This can be seen from its ability to pull things using the car, as the 4Runner uses a BoF type, which makes the car more sturdy when doing off-road activities compared to the Honda Pilot, which still uses a monocoque type. Additionally, in terms of performance, the Honda Pilot has better fuel efficiency than the Toyota 4Runner. With its better engine performance in its class, the Honda Pilot is more efficient than the 4Runner. In some reviews, the Honda Pilot can achieve up to 25 mph on the highway and 18 mph in the city, while the Toyota 4Runner can only achieve 20 mph on the highway and 17 mph in the city.

4.2 Toyota 4Runner Performance Specifications

The Toyota 4Runner is a solid, off-road performer. Equipped with a 4.0-liter, 245-hp V6 and mated to a five-speed automatic, the 4Runner offers both two and four-wheel drive. The four-wheel drive system is a part-time, two-speed transfer case with the Limited models featuring full-time four-wheel drive. The 4Runner also offers Downhill Assist Control (DAC) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC). These two systems help the driver to navigate down or up a steep incline or decline without the vehicle slipping, sliding, or not making it all. The 4Runner has 9.6 inches of ground clearance which makes it particularly suited to rough terrain. An optional X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension is available that further improves on-road handling and off-road capability. There are three model types of 4Runner: SR5, Sport, and Limited. The Limited models are equipped with the X-REAS system, and all models have the choice of a third-row seat. SR5 models come standard with rear-wheel 2WD. Sport and Limited models can also be purchased as a two-wheel drive, but the V8 engine is only available with full-time four-wheel drive. V8 power makes the 4Runner a towing machine with a 7,000 lb. towing capacity. Offered as an option in all three models, the 4.7-Liter, 260 hp DOHC 32-Valve V8 comes with a five-speed automatic. The V8 is available with full-time four-wheel drive or the Limited edition full-time, four-wheel drive system with Torsen limited-slip center differential and X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension.

4.3 Comparison of Powertrain and Off-Road Capability

Also, given that the 4Runner is built with a transfer case and more traditional 4WD system, drivers can select low range when more torque is needed. On models with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, the flex of the front and rear stabilizer bars can be locked for more wheel travel in rough terrain, then unlocked for better on-road handling. This has more potential for off-road suspension modification than the Pilot and is a major advantage for off-road enthusiasts.

In contrast, the Toyota 4Runner is a serious off-road machine. It has a full truck frame and more than 90% of all 4Runners sold in the last ten years are still on the road today. The 4Runner has multi-mode 4WD, which is available on all V8 models and uses a transfer case with a lockable limited slip center differential and 50/50 front-rear power split. This ensures that the 4Runner has maximum traction in most conditions and also has the ability to take more severe off-road trails with success.

When discussing the Honda Pilot's off-road capabilities, they are minimal at best. This comes as no surprise, as the Pilot is designed to be a car-based SUV for comfort in inclement weather, rather than in severe off-road conditions. The Pilot uses a major modification of a unibody minivan platform, rather than a truck frame, which makes it difficult to endure the stress of off-road use.