Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot?

Updated on September 21, 2009
J.K. asks from Cuyahoga Falls, OH
21 answers

Hello Moms! We are looking into getting a 2007 Toyota Highlander or a used Honda Pilot. We have yet to look at a Pilot, but I did like the Highlander a lot when I saw it. However, I am torn about the 3rd row seat. It only fits 2 SMALL people and I know the Honda fits 3. Does anyone own either of these vehicles? Any suggestions or comments? Just have the 2 little boys and a huge golden retriever-no more children in the future! My husband would be satisfied with the Toyota, but I like to look at all the options before making a decision!! Thanks!

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A.S.

answers from Indianapolis on

My parents own a 2 row Highlander and love it. I've driven it once; it handled nicely and didn't "ride like a truck". Another thing to consider is crash test ratings. Here is the IIHS website http://www.iihs.org/ratings/default.aspx

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C.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi Jen,

We have a 2006 Highlander and we love it. We have two children and two big dogs. We usually don't take the dogs with us anymore because it would be a tight fit for the kids and the dogs at one time as the dogs are pretty active in the car. The Highlander was redone I think in 2007 which made the 3rd row a little easier to access. Regardless I think for the times we will be having their friends riding with us, it will be adequate. The Pilot is bigger but also has a bigger price tag. I love both Honda's and Toyota's but for us, the Highlander is just fine.

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K.A.

answers from Indianapolis on

When our second son was on his way, we knew we needed something bigger than the Hinda Civic and Toyota 4Runner we currently had (both '90s models). I wanted a Highlander or Pilot. Well we ended up with a Toyota Sienna (minivan). I never thought I'd drive, let alone own! a minivan but I absolutely love it. Good luck!!!

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E.S.

answers from Columbus on

One of my good friends has a Pilot and she loves it. She has two children and a big dog. She always has enough space. My dad actually sells Hondas and they are the greatest cars. My first car was a 1983 Honda Civic station wagon that I got in 1996 and it was still running great. i am currently driving a 2001 Civic and it is also running great. The Pilot would actually be what i will get when I get a new car. Tons of space and a long-lasting vehicle!

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A.W.

answers from Columbus on

I have a 2005 Honda Pilot that I bought used and I love it!!! I have 3 children and it is perfect. They can either all three sit in the middle row or I can put my oldest in the third row and then seperate the other two in the middle row.

I personally have not looked at the toyota, but I can tell you that you won't find anything with as much room as the Pilot!!!

Hope this helps!!!!

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S.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

Actually, we love our Ford Freestyle (TaurusX now). The 3rd row fits to adults comfortably. Then you can get 2 bucket seats or a 3-seat bench in the 2nd row.

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D.B.

answers from Columbus on

MY husband and i looked at both and we bought a 2004 honda pilot. The pilot fits more in the back and we have used the third row and still had room to move. I would take a look at the pilot first before u choice, bc if you need room the honda has it. I have my oldest son in the third row and my twins in the middle row and i love having the extra room for all the baby needs for the twins who are 2 now and when we go on vacation we take the pilot or has we say the truck and we full all 3 row and have room for strollers and our bags. Greatest SUV ever and I personally have never had problems with my pilot either and it is rather good on gas even being an SUV.
Good luck in your pick!!!!!!!!

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J.S.

answers from Cleveland on

I LOVE my 2004 Pilot. When we bought it (new) we also test-drove the Highlander. I really liked the Highlander, but the Pilot seemed to have so much more room, not only in the 3rd row, but also the second row. My kids were 10 and 8 at the time. It has been 5 years and almost 100,000 miles and I am still very happy with it. And the roominess comes in handy now that my kids (and their friends) are teenagers. Just to note, though. The third row is still not what I would consider "roomy". But for carpooling kids, or seating a couple of adults for short trips back there, it is fine

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P.B.

answers from Dayton on

For space - a minivan is much much better. Odyssey, Sienna, Caravan or Entourage! Typically they have more room, better gas mileage and are way cheaper.

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K.N.

answers from Cleveland on

jen, toyota has one of the highest resale values and some of the most fuel efficient cars on the roads. i have 3 older children and we drive a mercury mountaineer with a similar back seat, our second row nicely seats three adults and the third row even though it doesn't look it is spacious enough for two older children or smaller adults comfortably.

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S.G.

answers from Columbus on

My husband and I have a 4 year old and a 6 month old and a Newfoundland mix dog and we LOVE our 2005 Honda Pilot! We live 2-3 hours from both of our parents so we are taking frequent road trips and our Pilot makes it so manageable. We pack up all the kids things, our luggage, and our dog in the back and we've never had an issue with space. Not to mention that, once we get to our parents', we just pull up the back row of seats and EVERYONE can ride in one car when we venture out. The third row doesn't just seat tiny people; we've had larger build people in our 3rd row and they've sat comfortably. I'm on the petite side and I thought I wouldn't like driving a big SUV but the Honda Pilot drives like a small car. It's not difficult to navigate or park. I really can't say enough wonderful things about it. We've already decided that when it's time to replace it, we're just going to get another Pilot because we like it so much! It's definitely worth checking out before you just go with the Toyota.

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T.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

We have three children the oldest will be 10 in November and the youngest just turned two in July. We are also looking at these two vehicles. Now, I have to admit I am a bit partial toward the Honda Pilot. I test drove one a few weeks ago and the salesman was a large guy: 6'4" and probably 325 lbs. I asked him to sit in the middle seat for me. He did, and I was quite surprised to see that even with the front seats all the way back he was able to sit comfortably. The other reasons why I appreciate the Pilot more: we can tow our boat; each child will be able to bring along a friend easily; even when the kids are not with us, our friends sitting in the back will have plenty of room; and Honda is definitely reliable. Now, the Toyota is known for its 4x4. They also have a great reputation. I live in the middle of the country right now so have good reliable transportation with winter coming is a great concern to us. I do not own either, but as you can see I was quite impressed by the Honda over the Toyota. Oh, one thing to watch out for which is why I haven't purchased yet, the Honda's I have test driven (three total thus far) have all had transmission and/or 4x4 problems when they reach around 100K.

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K.P.

answers from Columbus on

We have a Honda Pilot. We looked at the Highlander in 2004 before we bought the Pilot and went with the Pilot over the Highlander... mostly because of price. I would buy the Pilot again in a heartbeat. We currently have 3 carseats in the middle row and they fit fine. We have taken 7 people (6 of those were adults) on a long trip and everyone fit fine. We also took 4 adults and 2 kids with all of our luggage to the airport and did fine with that as well. We have had NO mechanical problems with it. My sister owns a newer one (2007?) and they haven't had any problems with theirs either.

I probably wouldn't go with the Toyota because my mother-in-law has had some problems with her Toyota Avalon and ended up settling out of court with the company. It was a long time to get there with a lot of headaches and frustration... I just don't feel that great about Toyota after watching her deal with them.

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L.R.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi Jen
I'm sorry I am partial to Honda. We now have 2 of them. We have the accord and the CRV which we love. customer service rocks! If you go to the one in Florence ask for Dylan, she is in the service area and is a pleasure to work with. Tell I said you had to come see her!!
Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in your decision.

God Bless
L.

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A.M.

answers from Toledo on

I drive a 2005 Toyota Highlander and LOVE it!!! However, I only have one child (age 2) and a small dog who never travels with us. We bought it used and have had no problems in the litle over a year I've owned it. We have never used the 3rd row seat-my very safety concerned husband thinks it's a death trap. And it would be for small adults. As far as Toyota as a brand goes....my dad drives a Toyota pick up that is 25 years old, has been stolen and recovered 3 times and has around 200,000 miles on it. It looks awful but still runs and he refuses to part with it. I have a good friend who drives the Pilot and loves it. I would definately keep your mind open and try the Pilot. And maybe take along some gear like car seats, strolles, dogs, etc. to see how everything loads into each car for an apples to apples comparison. That's what we did when looking for my Toyota. Good luck!!

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C.F.

answers from Columbus on

We have a 2006 pilot - my husband loves it. It has bigger cargo space, which you give up for the 3rd row seat and it also is for small people. My mother has a highlander and I like the storage in the pilot better. I have an odyssey minivan and if you are looking for space for larger people in the 3rd row it is the best of the 3. You also don't loose all of your cargo space for the 3rd row. We have a family of 4 and the pilot wasn't big enough for a combo camping trip/hotel because we had backpacks/tents and luggage. We had to take the van. Usually there isn't any luggage on a camping trip.

The highlander does not have big enough cargo space for backpacks and camping gear (my sons are boy scouts). The pilot is big enough if we aren't doing a combo trip. It also handles the campsite terrains well. The minivan doesn't handle steep gravel camping roads/off road parking well. It can't handle muddy parking - too heavy.

Hope this helps.

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J.N.

answers from Cincinnati on

I bought a Highlander when I was pregnant with our first child. We test drove the Pilot also. I thought the Pilot drove more like a truck. I loved my Highlander! I never had a single problem with it and it drove very nicely. I used the 3rd row seating a handful of times and it was fine. I am tiny, so I could get back there without a problem. My husband is 5' 10" and was not comfortable back there. We didn't use the 3rd row as much as we thought we would- not because it was uncomfortable, but because we didn't have a need to. We have 3 kids in carseats now, so I had to sell the Toyota and get a minivan (VW). I would definitely recommend the Highlander. I would have kept it forever if I could have fit 3 car seats in it easier. Good luck!

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A.N.

answers from Columbus on

Hey Jen! I asked my husband for you, since he is a car fanatic (I call him a car nerd) and he works for Honda. He said that they are both good vehicles, but the Pilot is bigger. He said that he would take the Pilot over the Highlander just for the size. We have three boys and travel with our two 50 pound dogs wherever we go though. Not sure that helps, but at least they are both good and it just seems to be a size difference.

Good luck!

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M.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

Hello Jen:
I own a 2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4x4 with 69,000 miles. It has all options, including DVD, leather, and third row fold down seating. The back hatch window is power and my big doggy loves to look and sniff out the back as we drive :) I have sat in the third seat before with my Mom, we're [email protected]____.com service records are available. I do love it but am considering selling...I only have one child and don't need all the extra room anymore since my daugther is older, my parents have moved away and we don't have many carpools now. Price would be @ $15,000. Just thought I would throw it out there to you as another option...check out the Sequoia...a safe, reliable, roomy SUV for your family.
Thanks,
M.

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K.P.

answers from Columbus on

hi jen! that is a tough decision! we had said for a while that we wanted something bigger than our honda crv and just assumed we'd go with the pilot. instead of jumping into that decision we looked at both the highlander adn the pilot. we have a few friends who have the highlander and it also runs a little cheaper, so we thought we could afford a newer highlander than if we went with the pilot. after test driving them and sitting in every seat, we did end up going with the pilot. the highlander middle seats (in the newer versions) we didn't like that it wasn't a whole row, it's kinda split and can act as two seperate seats i think, which may be ok with your two boys, but we didn't like that we couldn't hook our car seat in the middle. also the 3rd row is significantly tighter and i thought it was harder to get into that back row. we did go with an older pilot than planned, 2004 because it only had 45k miles, with leather interior and was pretty inexpensive. i love it!! plus i trust honda, the crv we had was a '99 and had over 200k miles on it and it was still in great shape. we drove out pilot to hilton head, nc from ohio and also to chicago already this summer and having a 9 month old i ended up sitting in the back seat and was very comfy! i drive it every day and just love it. good luck with your decision. please let me know if i can help you any more! :) K.

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E.W.

answers from Cleveland on

I prefer the minivan with 3 kids and a dog. SUV's are just not spacious enough. Also you are paying more for less because they're more popular. In this economy think about how you want to spend your dollar. The best test is to take 2 car seats with you and try them out in the cars you like. You'll know whether it is worth the hassle. We had a jeep with 2 car seats but I loved the jeep and it's great engine and I was "afraid" of the minivan and the image of driving one. Well I can tell you never again with 2 car seats. It was a pain getting everyone in and out. In a minivan they basically put themselves in the car. It was great. My youngest is now 11 and I still like my minivan. I, too, am partial to Honda. I don't thing I'll ever own a SUV again. Our next car is a Honda Accord with the minivan still in the driveway.

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