Comparison: Toyota Highlander vs Honda Pilot

SUVs have long been America's favorite type of vehicle, as they offer lots of room, great outward visibility, and come with many advanced technologies. That said, two vehicles in particular come to mind when it comes to innovation and safety: the Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot.

Since both vehicles have been subjected to years of refinement, and each has class-leading capabilities, the Highlander and Pilot often go head-to-head with customers looking for their next all-around family vehicle.

So let's take an in-depth exploration of just how the 2023 Toyota Highlander and 2023 Honda Pilot stack up.

    Toyota Highlander In White    Honda Pilot In White

New Toyota Highlander Inventory

2023 Toyota Highlander Specifications

Models and Trims:
  • L
  • LE
  • XLE
  • XSE
  • Limited
  • Platinum
  • Hybrid LE
  • Hybrid XLE
  • Bronze Edition
  • Hybrid Limited
  • Hybrid Platinum
  • Front Wheel Drive
  • All-Wheel Drive
  • Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Drive Mode Select
  • 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • 2.5-liter 4-cylinder hybrid engine
  • 8-Speed Automatic Transmission
  • ECVT
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.5
Max Towing:
  • Up to 5,000 pounds

2023 Honda Pilot Specifications

Models and Trims:
  • Sport
  • EX-L
  • TrailSport
  • Touring
  • Elite
  • Front Wheel Drive
  • i-VTM4 All-Wheel Drive
  • DOHC 3.5-liter V6 engine
  • 10-Speed Automatic Transmission with Shift-By-Wire and Paddle Shifters
  • Honda Sensing Driver Assistive Features
Max Towing:
  • Up to 5,000 pounds

2023 Toyota Highlander Comparison Highlights

The new model year is giving a lot of reasons for people to buy the Highlander, with an all-new gasoline engine being at the top of the list. This turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivers high torque and increased efficiency while outputting a robust 265 horsepower.

And even though it's more compact than the 3.5-liter V6 predecessor, it produces 17% more torque, and has reduced NOx and NMOG emissions by more than 50%. Fuel efficiency has also improved, to an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

On the electrified side, the Highlander Hybrid is also a popular choice, and accounts for more than a quarter of all Highlander sales in the U.S. Featuring a 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engineer paired with two electric motor-generators, this hybrid system delivers an impressive EPA-estimated 36 mpg combined, and utilizes many unique engineering details to maximize efficiency.

With the Hybrid, you'll experience 243 total system horsepower and a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds for all hybrid models. Plus, all Highlander Hybrids come standard with Hill Start Assist Control and Trailer Sway Control to help make your adventures easier and safer.

Front-wheel drive is standard for the 2023 Highlander, including Highlander Hybrid, but select models can be upgraded with two different all-wheel drive systems. On the gasoline model trims L, LE, and XLE, the all-wheel drive system can send up to 50% of maximum torque to the rear wheels when it senses traction loss.

The Highlander XSE, Limited, and Platinum models add an extra layer of performance through Dynamic Torque Vectoring, Drive Mode Select, and Driveline Disconnect. This means that torque can be distributed between left and right wheels for enhanced cornering confidence. And during steady cruising, Driveline Disconnect allows the rear wheels to roll freely, which reduces fuel consumption. Multi-terrain select provides further customization of AWD vehicle dynamics for unique scenarios. Towing for 2023 Highlander gasoline models is now rated at up to 5,000 pounds, and benefits from Trailer Sway Control.

This expansion of technologies is also present in the spacious cabin area, as the Highlander Limited and Platinum grades come with two massive 12.3-inch screens standard. One acts as a multi-information display, while the other is the multimedia hub. These customizable and intuitive display systems offer the most visual real estate ever available in a Highlander.

Of course, any Toyota vehicle will be a leader in safety, and the Highlander is a consistent recipient of the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ accolade, due in part to Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+. This suite of advanced driver assistance features includes capabilities like a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Road Sign Assist.

New Toyota Highlander Inventory