2021 Toyota Highlander vs Honda Pilot

2021 Toyota Highlander

Whether you need a midsize SUV for your family or want one for the extra cargo room, there are many options available to you. Two popular SUVs are the 2021 Toyota Highlander and 2021 Honda Pilot. Since these models have lots to offer drivers around Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach, FL, you may wonder which one is ideal for your lifestyle.

The team at Bob Tyler Toyota is here to help with this detailed Toyota Highlander vs. Honda Pilot comparison. Continue reading to learn about these SUVs. Then, feel free to contact our dealership near Daphne, AL, if you have any questions.

2021 Toyota Highlander vs 2021 Honda Pilot Quick Facts

Toyota Highlander

Honda Pilot

Number of Trim Levels 10 7
Hybrid Model Available Not Available
Fuel Economy Rating EPA-estimated 36 city/35 highway MPG* EPA-estimated 20 city/27 highway MPG
Maximum Cargo Volume 84.3 cubic feet 83.9 cubic feet
Smartphone Integration Standard Available

2021 Highlander vs 2021 Pilot Performance Specs

Toyota HighlanderWe’ll start this comparison off by covering the performance specs of both the 2021 Toyota Highlander and 2021 Honda Pilot. While both vehicles provide smooth rides and balanced handling, you’ll find more power and efficiency with the Toyota model.

The Highlander comes standard with a 3.5L V6 engine, which delivers 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. The Pilot comes standard with a 3.5L V6, too. However, it produces just 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque—falling a bit short for your city or highway travels.

Additionally, the Highlander offers a hybrid version of this model. When equipped with a 2.5L Atkinson Cycle engine and electric motor, you’re looking at an EPA-estimated 36 city/35 highway MPG fuel economy rating.*

Meanwhile, the Pilot doesn’t offer a hybrid. So, the best rating you’ll get is an EPA-estimated 20 city/27 highway MPG.

Cargo Capacity & Interior Amenities

As we mentioned before, the 2021 Highlander and 2021 Pilot are in the midsize SUV class. As such, they offer tons of room for eight people and their belongings.

With cargo room, specifically, you’re able to pack more into the Toyota model. This is looking at the seats in their standard configurations rather than them being pushed forward:

2021 Toyota Highlander

2021 Honda Pilot

Cargo Volume Behind Second Row

48.4 cubic feet

46.8 cubic feet

Cargo Volume Behind First Row

84.3 cubic feet

83.9 cubic feet

You may have larger items to bring along to a vacation spot. In that case, you can take advantage of either model’s towing capacity.

Both SUVs can tow up to an impressive 5,000 pounds when properly equipped—this equates to a midsize trailer or boat. However, if you opt for the front-wheel drive (FWD) version of the Pilot, you’re looking at a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. The Highlander remains at carrying 5,000 pounds of trailer weight in its FWD model.

Both models, though, offer many amenities to help keep everyone on board comfortable. These include available heated seats for the first and second rows along with ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Combine this with the optional 3-zone automatic climate control system, and you’ll always be treated to your ideal cabin temperature.

Technologies in the Highlander vs Pilot

Toyota Highlander TechWhether you’re driving to work, running errands, or taking a road trip, you shouldn’t have to do so in silence. Luckily, the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot are equipped with high-tech features for you and your passengers to enjoy.

For instance, each SUV offers:

  • Bluetooth® wireless technology
  • SiriusXM® Satellite Radio
  • Navigation system

The Highlander comes standard with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. Plug your compatible phone into the vehicle’s USB port and access various mobile apps on the 8-inch touchscreen. Wi-Fi Connect comes standard, too, allowing up to five mobile devices to connect to the internet wherever you roam.

The Pilot has all these features, as well. However, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher trim level to get them.

Advanced Safety Systems

Toyota Highlander Interior SpaceWhen Toyota and Honda created their respective SUVs, they did so with safety at the top of the list.

Both the Highlander and Pilot come standard with advanced driver-assisting technology suites (Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.5+ and Honda Sensing®, respectively).

Inside both suites, you’ll find the following features:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection: It uses a camera and radar to detect when you’re getting too close to a vehicle or person. If you’re unable to hit the brakes in time, this feature can do it for you.
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control: Maintains a set distance from the car ahead of you, regardless of how fast or slow traffic is going.
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist: Will warn you if you’re unintentionally drifting from your lane. It can also apply gentle steering corrections to get you back on track.

Additionally, the Toyota Highlander comes standard with Road Sign Assist. This system is designed to detect speed limit, Stop, Do Not Enter, and other signs. As you approach specific ones, they’ll be displayed on the vehicle’s Multi-Information Display so you can act accordingly.

Unfortunately, you won’t find this feature inside any version of the Honda Pilot.

Which Midsize SUV Is Right for You?

Thanks to its performance, comfort, and technology features, the 2021 Toyota Highlander surpasses the 2021 Honda Pilot. If you’re still not sure if it’s right for you, we recommend getting behind the wheel.

You can do so at Bob Tyler Toyota by scheduling a test drive. Before you know it, you may have found a new vehicle for excursions around Pensacola, Florida, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and Daphne, Alabama!


*EPA-estimated 21 city/29 hwy/24 combined MPG for 2021 Highlander; 20 city/27 hwy/23 combined MPG for 2021 Highlander AWD; 36 city/35 hwy/36 combined MPG for 2021 Highlander Hybrid. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary for many reasons, including your vehicle’s condition and how/where you drive. See www.fueleconomy.gov.