2018 Honda Pilot

Starting Price: $31,875 | Price yours

Above Average: Quiet, thoughtful, versatile interior, comfortable carlike ride, fantastic resale and reliability

Below Average: Infotainment interface

Consensus: A practical, smart choice that also offers a rewarding driving experience

2018 Ford Explorer

Starting Price: $33,135 | Price yours

Above Average: Upscale interior, large options list, rugged styling

Below Average: Third-row space, somewhat off-road capable but other models are better

Consensus: Looks like a Land Rover but getting on in years. Ford continues to upgrade it with new looks and features


The Honda Pilot’s reputation for bulletproof engineering makes this eight-passenger crossover a family-friendly cruiser that still manages to retain amazing resale value. The Pilot is also KBB's Midsize SUV Best Buy of 2018. Its excellent driving characteristics and stout V6 engine offers better fuel economy than its competitor here, but still remains average for the segment. The Ford Explorer’s good looks carry over with refreshed exterior trim and an enhanced active park assist that allows the Explorer to practically park itself, and pull out of the parallel parking spot when you're ready to leave. Combined with the handsfree liftgate, it’s every Costco shopper’s dream vehicle.

Honda Pilot Advantages

Updated more recently, with an improved navigation system. Honda Collision Sensing Suite with lane departure and collision warnings, active cruise control and lane-keep assist. Third row is larger and easier to access.

Ford Explorer Advantages

Its Safe and Smart safety technology package with Adaptive Cruise, Cross Traffic Alert and Active Park Assist that parks and unparks the Explorer by itself. A handsfree liftgate. Three engine choices and five trim levels. New onboard Wi-Fi.


Available all-wheel drive on both models. These SUVs both offer V6 power, three-row seating and a quiet, comfortable ride.

Final Recommendations

Choose the Honda Pilot for 8-passenger reliability and an interior designed with thoughtful family-friendly features, or the 7-passenger Ford Explorer, with a wide array of trim levels and engine options. Both are worthy contenders.

  2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Ford Explorer
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 3.5-liter V6 3.5-liter V6
Horsepower 280 hp @ 6,000 rpm 290 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 262 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm 255 hp @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 9-spd Automatic, 6-spd
Fuel Economy 22 mpg (19 city, 27 hwy) 20 mpg (17 city, 24 hwy)
Also Available Automatic, 6-spd 2.3-liter 280-hp I4; 3.5-liter, 365-hp twin-turbo V6
Warranty 3 years or 36,000 miles 3 years or 36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 8 passengers 7 passengers
Wheelbase 111.0 inches 112.6 inches
Overall Length 194.5 inches 198.3 inches
Width 78.6 inches 90.2 inches
Height 69.8 inches 70.0  inches
Turning Diameter 39.4 feet 38.9 feet
Headroom, Front 39.5 inches 41.4 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.9 inches 37.8 inches
Legroom, Front 40.9 inches 42.9 inches
Legroom, Rear 31.9 inches 33.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 62.0 inches 61.5 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 57.6 inches 50.8 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 151.7 cu. ft. 151.5 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 83.8 cu. ft. 81.7 cu. ft.
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