2018 Dodge Durango vs. 2017 Honda Pilot

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Durango has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Pilot doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Durango and the Pilot have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Dodge Durango is safer than the Honda Pilot:

 

Durango

Pilot

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

24%

35%

Neck Stress

85 lbs.

116 lbs.

Neck Compression

123 lbs.

478 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

404/224 lbs.

478/436 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Dodge Durango is safer than the Honda Pilot:

 

Durango

Pilot

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

25

109

Hip Force

220 lbs.

269 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

120

233

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

42 G’s

Hip Force

266 lbs.

304 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

HIC

129

406

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

45 G’s

Hip Force

666 lbs.

838 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Dodge dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Durango’s warranty.

Reliability

The camshafts in the Durango’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Pilot’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Pilot’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Durango has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Durango optional and 220 optional). The Pilot’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The Durango’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 13 more horsepower (293 vs. 280) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The Durango Dual Exhaust’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 15 more horsepower (295 vs. 280) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The Durango’s optional 5.7 V8 produces 80 more horsepower (360 vs. 280) and 128 lbs.-ft. more torque (390 vs. 262) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Durango has 5.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pilot (24.6 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Durango’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Pilot:

 

Durango V6

Durango V8

Pilot

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

The Durango V8’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Pilot are solid, not vented.

The Durango stops shorter than the Pilot:

 

Durango

Pilot

 

70 to 0 MPH

176 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

150 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Durango has larger tires than the Pilot (265/60R18 vs. 245/60R18).

The Durango offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Pilot, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

The Durango has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Pilot’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Durango offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Pilot doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Durango’s wheelbase is 8.8 inches longer than on the Pilot (119.8 inches vs. 111 inches).

The Durango’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the Pilot’s (56.1% to 43.9%). This gives the Durango more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Durango’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Pilot’s (37.1 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Durango has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Pilot (8.1 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Durango to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Durango GT 4x4 is quieter than the Pilot Elite 4WD (76 vs. 78 dB).

Towing

The Durango’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Pilot’s (6200 vs. 3500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Honda Pilot 4WD is only 5000 pounds. The Durango offers up to a 7400 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Durango uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Pilot uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the Durango is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Pilot. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The Durango’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Pilot does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Durango and the Pilot have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Durango is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Pilot prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Durango has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Pilot has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite.

The Durango’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Pilot AWD EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite.

The Durango’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Pilot’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The Durango offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Pilot offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Durango has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Pilot EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Durango second among midsize suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Pilot isn’t in the top three.

The Durango is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The Pilot is not ranked.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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