2019 BMW X7 vs. 2019 Honda Pilot

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X7’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.

The X7 has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X7. But it costs extra on the Pilot.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X7’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Pilot doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The X7 offers an optional Surround View 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.

The X7’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Pilot doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X7 and the Pilot have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

The BMW X7 weighs 1051 to 1581 pounds more than the Honda Pilot. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The X7 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 X7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Pilot’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X7 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Pilot.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the X7’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Pilot’s camshafts. If the Pilot’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 7 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The X7 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 55 more horsepower (335 vs. 280) and 68 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 262) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The X7 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 176 more horsepower (456 vs. 280) and 217 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 262) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X7’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Pilot doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the X7’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 X7 has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pilot (21.9 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The X7’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Pilot doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The X7’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.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X7 has larger standard tires than the Pilot (F:275/40R22 & R:315/35R22 vs. 245/60R18). The X7’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Pilot (285/45R21 vs. 245/60R18).

The X7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pilot LX/EX/EX-L’s standard 60 series tires. The X7’s optional 275/40R22 front and 315/35R22 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Pilot Touring/Elite’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X7 has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Pilot LX/EX/EX-L. The X7’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Pilot Touring/Elite.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X7 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 front and rear suspension of the X7 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Pilot, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The X7 has a standard 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.

The X7 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The X7’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Pilot doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X7’s wheelbase is 11.2 inches longer than on the Pilot (122.2 inches vs. 111 inches).

For greater off-road capability the X7 has a 1.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Pilot (8.7 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the X7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the X7 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Pilot doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X7 has 1.8 inches more front headroom and 1.4 inches more third row legroom than the Pilot.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the X7’s third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Pilot doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The X7’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Pilot’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The X7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Pilot’s (7500 vs. 3500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The X7 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 X7 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 BMW service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 48% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Pilot EX-L/Touring/Elite, the X7 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The X7 offers an optional 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 X7 and the Pilot have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X7 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 X7’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 X7’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.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the X7 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Pilot doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The X7’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 X7’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 X7 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.

The X7’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Pilot doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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