2019 Honda Pilot vs 2019 Ford Explorer

2019 Honda Pilot vs 2019 Ford Explorer

Not long ago, parents of growing families were forced to upsize to the minivan in the name of practicality. Today, the growing popularity of SUVs has brought a stream of cooler, 3-row alternatives. In the competitive SUV market, the Honda Pilot and the Ford Explorer are two popular options that offer a practical design and invigorating driving experience simultaneously. Read on to see how these two hard-hitting SUVs size up to one another in this comparison of the 2019 Honda Pilot and the 2019 Ford Explorer.

Both the Pilot and the Explorer feature a similarly handsome and rugged exterior design, with the Pilot carrying a softer, rounded look compared to the boxier Explorer. On the inside, both models offer 8-passenger seating with optional 7-passenger layouts available with the addition of second-row bucket seats. For those ever-active weekend warriors, the Pilot and the Explorer both feature a maximum tow capacity of 5,000 lbs.*

2019 Honda Pilot


2019 Ford Explorer

$31,450** Starting MSRP $32,365
19 city / 27 hwy*** Standard Fuel Economy 17 city / 24 hwy
152.9 cubic feet Passenger Volume 151.7 cubic feet
83.9 cubic feet Cargo Volume 81.7 cubic feet

2019 Honda Pilot and 2019 Ford Explorer Driver-Assistance and Safety Feature Comparison

The Pilot and the Explorer feature solid safety technology packages, with both models offering rearview cameras, rear parking sensors, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-traffic warning systems. The 2019 Pilot goes above and beyond with its standard active safety package, offering Adaptive Cruise Control, a Lane Departure Warning and Road Departure Mitigation System and a Forward Collision Warning and Collision Mitigation Braking System™.

Not only are these features not offered on the Explorer’s lower trim levels – they're not made standard until you reach the top-level Platinum trim. Even then, the Explorer lacks automatic emergency braking.

The 2019 Pilot also performed better in crash safety than the 2019 Explorer in a series of crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Pilot achieved scores of “Good” and “Acceptable” across the board. The Explorer, on the other hand, rated “Marginal” for driver safety and “Poor” for passenger safety.

* Maximum towing capacity for AWD trims is 5,000 lbs. Maximum towing capacity for 2WD trims is 3,500 lbs. Towing requires the addition of the Honda accessory towing kit, trailer harness and hitch ball. Please see your Honda dealer for details.

** MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $1,045.00 destination charge and options. Dealers set own prices.

*** 19 city/27 highway/22 combined mpg rating for 2WD 6AT trims. 18 city/26 highway/21 combined mpg rating for AWD 6AT trims. 20 city/27 highway/23 combined mpg rating for 2WD 9AT trims. 19 city/26 highway/22 combined mpg rating for AWD 9AT trims. Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.