2020 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 BMW X7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Honda Pilot are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X7 doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Both the Pilot and the X7 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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 X7 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Pilot 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Honda dealers as there are BMW 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 X7 have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Pilot’s fuel efficiency. The X7 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 X7 requires premium, 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 X7 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 X7.

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 X7 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

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 X7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the Pilot’s turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the X7’s (39.4 feet vs. 42.8 feet).

Chassis

The Honda Pilot may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1300 to 1350 pounds less than the BMW X7.

The Pilot is 6.8 inches shorter than the X7, 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 X7 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Pilot has standard seating for 8 passengers; the X7 can only carry 7.

The Pilot has 1.1 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom, 3.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.9 inches more third row headroom and 9.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the X7.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pilot’s middle and third row seats recline. The X7’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Pilot’s cargo area provides more volume than the X7.

Pilot

X7

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

48.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

90.4 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 X7 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

The Pilot’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X7’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X7 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

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 X7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 X7 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 X7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

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

Pilot

X7

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

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

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