Comparison: 2017 Honda Pilot vs 2017 Ford Explorer

Comparison: 2017 Honda Pilot vs 2017 Ford Explorer 

Virginia is a great place to have an SUV, because it lets you go from toting the kids around the streets of Richmond to road-tripping to the coast or national parks. The question is, which model to choose? 

In the face-off between the 2017 Honda Pilot and the 2017 Ford Explorer, one has more to offer in terms of safety and interior space, though it may depend on your needs. Check out our one-to-one comparison for the differences between these best-selling midsize SUVs: 

Safety and Tech

Honda Pilot

The 2017 Pilot is a Top Safety Pick+, as it earned perfect scores in all crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a best-possible 5-Star Overall Rating. 

The Pilot has a standard multi-angle rearview camera with gridlines, and one trim level up adds Honda LaneWatch, an advanced blind spot information system. The EX trim and up are available with Honda Sensing, a suite of driver assistance tech that includes a Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Cross Traffic Monitor.

Ford Explorer

While the 2017 Explorer also received a 5-Star Overall Rating from the NHSTA, the IIHS had a few issues with the model. It was not named a Top Safety Pick, and it earned just Marginal scores in tests for moderate front overlap impact. Additionally, the organization did not evaluate it for rear crash. 

The Explorer does not come standard with any driver assistance tech. Upper trims are available with adaptive cruise control, Enhanced Park Assist System, Forward Sensing System, 180-degree camera, Lane-Keeping System, and Reverse Sensing System.

Comfort and Convenience

Honda Pilot

Both the Pilot and the Explorer have three rows of seating for up to eight passengers, but they differ in how the space is divvied up. With all rows of seats up, the Pilot has less cargo space (with 16.5 cubic feet) than the Explorer. However, when the seats are folded, the Pilot comes out ahead. It features 46.8 cubic feet behind the second row and 83.9 cubes behind the front row. If you’re carrying a full load of passengers plus gear, the Explorer has a bit more cargo, but less passenger space. Meanwhile, the Pilot has ample passenger space in exchange for less cargo area when all seats are up. 

Even the base model of the Pilot comes with high-quality seating, soft-touch materials, and convenience features like push-button start, illuminated steering wheel-mounted controls, and a 4.2-inch multi-information display. Upper trims feature leather trim, heated seats and steering wheel, and a panoramic roof. 

Ford Explorer 

With all seats upright, the 2017 Explorer boasts 21 cubic feet of cargo space. Behind the second row, however, it’s short of the Pilot by a few cubes with 43.9, and behind the first row it features just 81.7 cubic feet. 

The base model of the Explorer is pretty basic, so to match the Pilot’s comfort level you’ll need to upgrade to an upper trim. It’s available with leather-trimmed seating, heated and cooled seating, heated steering wheel, and a 4.2-inch multi-information display. It does not come with the option for a panoramic roof, but does have an available twin-panel moonroof.

Pricing

Honda Pilot

Starting at $30,745 MSRP

Ford Explorer 

Starting at $31,660 MSRP

Categories: Comparisons