2022 Honda Pilot vs. 2022 Toyota Highlander Comparison

Three-row midsize SUVs have become the default vehicle choice for families of four or more. Consumers shopping in this class can expect generous space for passengers and cargo, numerous convenience features, and (mostly) painless car-seat installation.

The Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander are two of the most popular choices for a crossover SUV with a third-row seat. The 2022 Honda Pilot is modestly larger and roomier than the 2022 Toyota Highlander, but otherwise, they match up closely. Both have a standard V6 engine. Toyota also offers a hybrid Highlander for buyers seeking better fuel economy.

If you’re trying to decide between the Highlander and Pilot, this 2022 Honda Pilot vs. Toyota Highlander comparison will help you sort out the details.

Price and Value

2022 Honda Pilot Elite Dark Blue Front Quarter View

2022 Honda Pilot Elite

Consumers shopping for the 2022 Honda Pilot will find that this 3-row midsize SUV starts at $37,580 and tops out at $51,370, not including the $1,225 destination charge. For 2022, Honda has replaced the Pilot’s familiar LX and EX trim levels with a base Sport model. From there, you can consider the EX-L, SE (Special Edition), TrailSport, Touring, Elite, and Black Edition.

All 2022 Honda Pilots have a V6 engine. The Pilot TrailSport, Elite, and Black Edition have standard all-wheel drive (AWD). Other Honda Pilot trims have standard front-wheel drive (FWD) with AWD as a $2,000 option. The lower trims have 8-passenger seating. The Touring can seat seven or eight, depending on whether you select second-row captain’s chairs or a bench seat. The Elite and Black Edition have standard captain’s chairs.

Every 2022 Honda Pilot comes with the HondaLink suite of connected services, but the lower trims offer few services. You can use the HondaLink app to monitor oil life and request service appointments on these Pilots.

The Touring, Elite, and Black Edition offer automatic collision notification, live emergency assistance, and rapid access to roadside services. These services are complimentary for one year. You get a 3-month trial subscription for remote locking, geofencing settings for less trusted drivers, stolen-vehicle location, live concierge services, and the in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot. Additionally, Amazon can deliver packages to your 2022 Honda Pilot during the 3-month trial if you use the Amazon Key app.

Honda does not offer complimentary scheduled maintenance on the 2022 Pilot.

If you’re shopping for the 2022 Toyota Highlander, you will find that Toyota’s 3-row midsize SUV ranges in price from $35,405 to $47,560, not including the $1,215 destination charge. The Highlander comes in L, LE, XLE, XSE, Bronze Edition, Limited, and Platinum trim levels.

Toyota gives you a choice between a conventional V6 engine and a hybrid powertrain in which a 4-cylinder engine joins forces with an electric motor and a small battery pack. Most trim levels come with either powertrain, but the L and XSE are V6 only, while the Bronze Edition is hybrid only.

All 2022 Highlanders have standard FWD and optional AWD, which varies from $1,600 to $1,950, depending on the trim level. Eight-passenger seating is standard on the L and LE. The XLE and Limited seat seven if you opt for second-row captain’s chairs or eight if you get a bench seat. All other Toyota Highlanders seat seven only.

The 2022 Toyota Highlander offers more connected services as standard. All versions have a one-year subscription to automatic collision notification, live emergency assistance, and rapid access to roadside assistance, plus a 3-month Wi-Fi trial. Besides that, all trims except the base L get a year of remote engine starting and locking. Toyota Highlanders with factory navigation have access to 12 months of concierge services.

Scheduled maintenance is on the house for the first two years or 25,000 miles that you own a 2022 Toyota Highlander.

Advantage: Toyota Highlander

Reliability and Quality

2022 Toyota Highlander Platinum AWD Moon Dust Front Quarter View Action

2022 Toyota Highlander Platinum

The Honda Pilot does not rank among the top three models in the Upper Midsize SUV category of either the J.D. Power 2022 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) or the J.D. Power 2021 Initial Quality Study (IQS). The 2022 Honda Pilot comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 3 years or 36,000 miles

The Toyota Highlander does not rank among the top three models in the Upper Midsize SUV category of the 2022 VDS. It ranks third among Upper Midsize SUVs in the 2021 IQS. The 2022 Toyota Highlander comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Hybrid system warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles
  • Hybrid battery warranty: 10 years or 150,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 2 years or 25,000 miles

Advantage: Toyota Highlander

Performance and Efficiency

2022 Honda Pilot Elite Interior Dashboard

2022 Honda Pilot Elite

Every 2022 Honda Pilot comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Six-cylinder engines are common in 3-row midsize SUVs, but this one stands out for its bright, vigorous performance. Honda matches its V6 to a 9-speed automatic transmission.

The 2022 Pilot’s available AWD system is known as Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4) and includes torque-vectoring capability and selectable terrain modes. This enables it to channel up 70 percent of the engine’s torque to a single rear wheel as needed to maintain traction.

Most Pilots have 7.3 inches of ground clearance. If you regularly drive on dirt roads, the Honda Pilot TrailSport is worth considering, as it offers 7.9 inches of clearance. A properly equipped AWD Pilot has a 5,000-pound tow rating versus just 3,500 pounds on front-drive models.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the FWD 2022 Honda Pilot at 23 mpg in combined city and highway driving. All-wheel-drive Pilots rate 22 mpg combined. The Pilot TrailSport rates 21 mpg in combined driving owing to its raised suspension.

Similarly, the 2022 Toyota Highlander has a 3.5-liter V6 engine as standard. This engine develops 295 hp and 263 pound-feet of torque and pairs with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Sometimes, you’ll notice a delay during transmission upshifts, but the engine has a smooth power delivery.

Toyota offers two AWD systems on V6 Highlanders. The entry-level system has terrain modes and hill-descent control. An upgraded AWD system on the higher trims adds torque-vectoring technology to improve grip.

All 2022 Toyota Highlanders have 8 inches of ground clearance. Regardless of drive configuration, a properly equipped V6 Highlander has a 5,000-pound tow rating.

The EPA rates the V6-equipped 2022 Highl
ander at 24 mpg combined with FWD and 23 mpg with AWD. If you desire a more fuel-efficient family vehicle, Toyota offers the 2022 Highlander Hybrid. The hybrid powertrain combines a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 186 hp and 175 pound-feet of torque with a front electric-drive motor that draws current from a small, 1.9-kilowatt-hour battery pack. A second electric motor blends the power sources; this is known as an electronic continuously variable transmission (eCVT). Hybrid Highlanders have a combined power rating of 243 hp.

On AWD Highlander Hybrids, a third electric motor drives the rear wheels. Unlike on V6 Highlanders (and Pilots), the gasoline engine does not provide torque to the rear wheels. Properly equipped Highlander Hybrids have a 3,500-pound tow rating regardless of drive configuration.

The EPA rates the FWD 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid at 36 mpg in combined driving. The AWD hybrid Highlander rates 35 mpg.

Advantage: Neither

The Pilot has the superior V6 despite its lower horsepower rating. If fuel economy is the priority, the Highlander Hybrid gets the nod provided you can tolerate its noisy 4-cylinder engine.

Safety and Driving Assistance

2022 Toyota Highlander XSE Interior Dashboard

2022 Toyota Highlander XSE

Consumers will find that every 2022 Honda Pilot comes with a Honda Sensing package of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). Honda Sensing includes a forward-collision warning (FCW) system with automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning (LDW), lane-keeping assistance (or LKA, though Honda calls it Road Departure Mitigation), adaptive cruise control (ACC) with stop-and-go capability, and lane-centering assistance (confusingly called Lane Keeping Assist by Honda). In addition, all 2022 Honda Pilots have a blind-spot warning (BSW) system with rear cross-traffic warning.

With ACC and lane centering enabled, the Honda Pilot provides Level 2 semi-autonomous driving assistance. Honda uses older technology than you’ll find in competing 3-row midsize SUVs, so its ADAS is generally not as refined or effective in operation.

In crash testing conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2022 Pilot earned a highest-possible 5-star overall safety rating with 4 stars awarded for frontal-impact crash protection. The Pilot has a Good rating in most major Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) categories. However, it earned a lower Acceptable rating in small-overlap, frontal-offset crashes affecting the passenger side of the SUV.

You’ll find Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) ADAS on every 2022 Toyota Highlander. The TSS 2.5+ package includes FCW with AEB. This is a more advanced system than what you’ll find on the Pilot, and it detects pedestrians and cyclists in both daylight and low-light conditions. It also has intersection turn assistance to help prevent ill-advised left turns into oncoming vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists. The 2022 Highlander also has LDW with evasive steering assistance (helps you during evasive maneuvers), LKA, ACC, and traffic sign recognition.

You’ll want to avoid the base Toyota Highlander L, which doesn’t offer BSW with rear cross-traffic warning. This important safety feature is standard on all other Highlanders. The Highlander Limited and Platinum have low-speed front and rear automatic braking to minimize parking lot incidents. A rear-seat reminder system is standard across the board.

The 2022 Toyota Highlander has a 5-star overall NHTSA safety rating (4 stars for frontal-impact performance). The IIHS rates the 2022 Highlander a Top Safety Pick+, the Institute’s highest designation for safety.

Advantage: Toyota Highlander

Infotainment and Technology

2022 Honda Pilot TrailSport Rear Quarter View

2022 Honda Pilot TrailSport

Every 2022 Honda Pilot comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment interface with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. Honda includes a factory navigation system starting at the TrailSport trim level. The Touring, Elite, and Black Edition also have a rear entertainment system with a Blu-Ray player and a 10.2-inch display.

The Pilot Sport has two USB ports. All other 2022 Pilots have four USB ports, two of which are in the second row. Most 2022 Honda Pilots also have a wireless charging pad for smartphones.

An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment interface is also standard on most 2022 Toyota Highlanders. It includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.

You can get an optional, 12.3-inch widescreen display on the Highlander Limited, and it’s standard on the Platinum. Factory navigation is available with either display. Toyota does not offer a factory rear entertainment system.

All 2022 Highlanders have five USB ports. You can get a wireless charging pad on the XLE and up, and the 2022 Toyota Highlander Platinum has a head-up display.

Advantage: Neither

Features are similar, though only the Pilot offers a rear entertainment system, and only the Highlander has a widescreen display.

Comfort and Utility

2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Bronze Silver Rear Quarter Liftgate View

2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The 2022 Honda Pilot will appeal to buyers who need to get kids in and out of their vehicle multiple times a day. It’s not quite as convenient as a minivan, but it comes close. Adults will find both the first- and second-row seats comfortable. The third row is only passable for full-size humans, but legroom is good for this class, and if your rearmost occupants are in boosters or car seats, you’re unlikely to hear complaints.

Up front, the Pilot offers a good view in all directions from the driver’s seat. Storage areas are large and plentiful. Triple-zone automatic climate control is standard, and all trims except the Sport have second-row sunshades to keep the sun off newborns and irritable toddlers.

The 2022 Honda Pilot offers 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space (based on the SAE J1100 cargo volume measurement standard) behind its third-row seat—enough room for a small grocery run or a folded stroller. It has 46.8 cubic feet behind its second row and offers 83.9 cubic feet with all rear seats folded. Most trims come with either a power liftgate or a hands-free power liftgate.

The 2022 Toyota Highlander doesn’t offer as much passenger room as the Honda Pilot, but it provides just as much cargo capacity. It’s a good choice for families who will likely keep the third row folded most of the time and just use the space for gear and groceries. Third-row access is tight for adults, but most consumers will have no difficulty getting in and out of the first and second rows.

The Highlander has a clunky-looking dash design, but primary controls are easy to find and use. Triple-zone climate control is standard as with the Pilot, but storage areas are not as large or useful. Second-row window sunshades are standard starting on the XLE.

You’ll find 16 cubic feet of grocery/stroller space behind the 2022 Toyota Highlander’s third row. Fold the rearmost seat and you’ll have 48.4 cubic feet. With the second- and thir
d-row seats folded, the Highlander has 84.3 cubic feet of cargo space. A power liftgate is standard on all Highlanders, except the base L. The upper trims have a hands-free liftgate.

Advantage: Honda Pilot

Learn More About the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander

If you’d like to learn more about these 3-row midsize SUVs, be sure to read our expert reviews of the 2022 Honda Pilot and 2022 Toyota Highlander. To find out how people like you rate models in this segment, be sure to check out our ratings from verified vehicle owners.

Also, please keep in mind that while the information in this article was accurate and valid on March 3, 2022, it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.