2020 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Pilot and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, 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 Honda Pilot is safer than the Audi Q7:

Pilot

Q7

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

35%

44%

Neck Stress

116 lbs.

118 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Honda Pilot is safer than the Q7:

Pilot

Q7

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

24 cm

30 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

4%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.41/.41

.57/.7

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, results indicate that the Honda Pilot is safer than the Audi Q7:

Pilot

Q7

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

109

187

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

101 G’s

128 G’s

Hip Force

269 lbs.

350 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

233

337

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

62 G’s

Hip Force

304 lbs.

888 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pilot the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q7 was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Pilot 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

Reliability

The engine in the Pilot has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Q7 have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Pilot has a 130-amp alternator. The Q7’s standard 120-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 Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

Engine

The Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 32 more horsepower (280 vs. 248) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Pilot is faster than the Q7 55 TFSI supercharged V6:

Pilot

Q7

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

6.5 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Pilot 4WD 9-speed Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Q7 (19 city/26 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Pilot’s fuel efficiency. The Q7 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Pilot uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q7 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Pilot has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Q7 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Q7.

Brakes and Stopping

The Pilot stops shorter than the Q7:

Pilot

Q7

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Pilot has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Q7 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Pilot has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the Q7 don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

The Pilot (except LX)’s optional drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Q7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the Pilot’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Q7’s (39.4 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

The Honda Pilot may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 800 pounds less than the Audi Q7.

The Pilot is 3.1 inches shorter than the Q7, making the Pilot easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Pilot uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q7 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Pilot Elite 4WD is quieter than the Q7 Prestige (37 vs. 43 dB).

Passenger Space

The Pilot has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Q7 can only carry 7.

The Pilot has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room, 3 inches more third row headroom, 2.7 inches more third row legroom and 8.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pilot’s middle and third row seats recline. The Q7’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Pilot’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

Pilot

Q7

Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

14.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

37.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

71.6 cubic feet

The Pilot has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Q7 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Pilot has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Pilot’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Q7’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

The Pilot (except LX/EX) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Pilot is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pilot is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because it costs $564 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pilot than the Q7, including $355 less for a muffler, $104 less for front brake pads, $544 less for a starter, $492 less for fuel injection, $510 less for front struts and $1005 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Pilot will be $16806 to $20194 less than for the Audi Q7.

Recommendations

The Honda Pilot has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Pilot

Q7

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Honda Pilot outsold the Audi Q7 by over four to one during 2018.

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

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