2020 Chevrolet Traverse vs. 2019 Honda Pilot

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Traverse’s middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Honda Pilot doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Traverse are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Pilot doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Traverse has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Pilot doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

The Traverse (except L/LS) offers an optional Surround Vision 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 Traverse and the Pilot have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems 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 Chevrolet Traverse is safer than the Honda Pilot:

Traverse

Pilot

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

15.6%

28%

Leg Forces (l/r)

53/40 lbs.

46/243 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

478 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

258/133 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 Chevrolet Traverse is safer than the Honda Pilot:

Traverse

Pilot

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

69

109

Hip Force

204 lbs.

269 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

233

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

42 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

HIC

251

406

Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

45 G’s

Hip Force

554 lbs.

838 lbs.

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

Warranty

The Traverse’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Pilot’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 3 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Traverse’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Traverse’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.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Traverse has a standard 170-amp alternator. The Pilot’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

Engine

The Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 30 more horsepower (310 vs. 280) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 262) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Chevrolet Traverse is faster than the Honda Pilot:

Traverse

Pilot

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

7.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

5.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

91.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Traverse AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pilot (21.7 vs. 19.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

The Traverse stops shorter than the Pilot:

Traverse

Pilot

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Traverse has larger tires than the Pilot (255/65R18 vs. 245/60R18).

The Chevrolet Traverse’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Honda Pilot only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Traverse’s wheelbase is 9.9 inches longer than on the Pilot (120.9 inches vs. 111 inches).

The Traverse RS handles at .84 G’s, while the Pilot Elite 4WD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Traverse RS AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Pilot Elite 4WD (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Traverse has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Pilot (7.6 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Traverse to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the Traverse 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.

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

Passenger Space

The Traverse has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.6 inches more third row legroom and 3.9 inches more third row hip room than the Pilot.

Cargo Capacity

The Traverse’s cargo area provides more volume than the Pilot.

Traverse

Pilot

Behind Third Seat

23 cubic feet

18.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

57.8 cubic feet

55.9 cubic feet

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

Servicing Ease

The Traverse 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.

Ergonomics

The Traverse’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Pilot’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the Traverse and the Pilot have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Traverse 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.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Traverse LS/LT/RS/Premier/High Country’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Pilot doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Traverse’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 Traverse’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Pilot’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

The Traverse 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

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Traverse is less expensive to operate than the Pilot because typical repairs cost less on the Traverse than the Pilot, including $122 less for a muffler, $106 less for a starter, $43 less for a fuel pump, $65 less for front struts and $127 less for a power steering pump.

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

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