2019 Audi Q7 vs. 2019 Honda Pilot

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q7 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Honda Pilot doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The Q7’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Pilot doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q7 and Pilot have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q7 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Pilot’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Q7 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Pilot doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Q7 offers an optional backup collision prevention system which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Pilot doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q7. But it costs extra on the Pilot.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Q7’s standard Hill Descent Assist allows you to creep down safely. The Pilot doesn’t offer Hill Descent Assist.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q7 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Pilot doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The Q7 offers an optional Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Pilot only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Q7 and the Pilot have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi Q7 weighs 410 to 1067 pounds more than the Honda Pilot. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Honda Pilot:

 

Q7

Pilot

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

102

216

Neck Compression

38 lbs.

478 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

46/29 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 post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Honda Pilot:

 

Q7

Pilot

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

15 inches

HIC

290

406

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

45 G’s

Hip Force

557 lbs.

838 lbs.

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

Warranty

The Q7 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Pilot’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Pilot’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The camshafts in the Q7’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.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Q7’s reliability 20 points higher than the Pilot.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 8 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 262) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 49 more horsepower (329 vs. 280) and 63 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 262) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Q7 55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6 is faster than the Honda Pilot:

 

Q7

Pilot

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.2 MPH

91.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regardless of its engine, the Q7’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Honda only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Pilot Touring/Elite.

The Q7 has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pilot (22.5 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Q7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Pilot:

 

Q7

Pilot

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

The Q7’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 Q7 stops much shorter than the Pilot:

 

Q7

Pilot

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q7 has larger standard tires than the Pilot (255/55R19 vs. 245/60R18). The Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Pilot (285/45R20 vs. 245/60R18).

The Q7’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pilot Touring/Elite’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q7 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Pilot’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Q7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Pilot doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Q7 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Pilot’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q7’s wheelbase is 6.9 inches longer than on the Pilot (117.9 inches vs. 111 inches).

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Pilot Elite 4WD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Pilot Elite 4WD (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Pilot (8.3 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Q7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Q7 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 2.4 inches higher than on the Pilot (9.7 vs. 7.3 inches).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Q7 Prestige is quieter than the Pilot Elite 4WD:

 

Q7

Pilot

Full-Throttle

70 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

67 dB

Passenger Space

The Q7 has .8 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more rear legroom than the Pilot.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Q7’s third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Pilot doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

The Q7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Pilot’s (4400 vs. 3500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Honda Pilot 4WD is only 5000 pounds. The Q7 offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Q7 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 Q7 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.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 62% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Pilot EX-L/Touring/Elite, the Q7 Prestige offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Q7 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Pilot doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Q7 and the Pilot have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Q7 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 Q7’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Pilot’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Q7’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Pilot’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q7 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Pilot doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Q7 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Pilot doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Q7 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Q7 has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Pilot doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

A manual rear sunshade is optional in the Q7 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Pilot doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The Q7’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Pilot EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite.

The Q7’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 Q7 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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q7 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q7 with a number “5” insurance rate while the Pilot is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q7 is less expensive to operate than the Pilot because typical repairs cost less on the Q7 than the Pilot, including $149 less for a water pump, $155 less for a fuel pump and $105 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi Q7 and the Honda Pilot, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Q7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Pilot has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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