2020 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Dodge Durango

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the Collision Mitigation Braking System optional in the Pilot as “Superior.” The Durango scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

Both the Pilot and the Durango have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, 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 Dodge Durango:





5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

189 lbs.

251 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

46/243 lbs.

427/350 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 Durango:



Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation



Max Chest Compression

24 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

.1/.5 kN

5.3/2.5 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia index R/L



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 Dodge Durango:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

101 G’s

112 G’s

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

304 lbs.

542 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 Durango was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.


The Pilot’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Durango runs out after 60,000 miles.


For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Pilot has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Durango.

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 Pilot’s reliability 15 points higher than the Durango.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in reliability. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 6 places higher in reliability than Dodge.


As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Pilot is faster than the Dodge Durango:


Durango Dual Exhaust V6

Durango V8

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

8 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16.1 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.9 MPH

86.9 MPH

93.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Pilot gets better fuel mileage than the Durango:





3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy


3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy



3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy


3.5 SOHC V6

18 city/26 hwy




3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

14 city/22 hwy



3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

14 city/22 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Pilot uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Durango with the 5.7 V8 engine requires mid-grade for maximum efficiency, which can cost 5 to 40 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 Durango doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.


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 Durango.

Brakes and Stopping

The Pilot stops much shorter than the Durango:



70 to 0 MPH

180 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

142 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

153 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

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 Durango doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Pilot has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Pilot flat and controlled during cornering. The Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Durango doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Pilot is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Durango.

The Pilot Elite 4WD handles at .80 G’s, while the Durango GT pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Pilot Elite 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Durango GT 4x4 (27.5 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Pilot’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Durango’s (39.4 feet vs. 41 feet).


The Honda Pilot may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 1100 pounds less than the Dodge Durango.

The Pilot is 4.7 inches shorter than the Durango, 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 Durango 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 Durango GT 4x4 (37 vs. 38 dB).

Passenger Space

The Pilot has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Durango can only carry up to 7.

The Pilot has 12.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Durango (152.9 vs. 140.3).

The Pilot has .2 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, 3.5 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 1.8 inches more rear hip room, 4.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.1 inches more third row headroom, 2.2 inches more third row hip room and 7.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Durango.

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

Cargo Capacity

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



Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

17.2 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

43.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

85.1 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 Durango doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

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 Durango doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.


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 Durango’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Pilot owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Pilot will cost $470 to $2400 less than the Durango over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pilot is less expensive to operate than the Durango because it costs $400 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pilot than the Durango, including $58 less for front brake pads, $208 less for front struts, $517 less for a timing belt/chain and $11 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Pilot will be $634 to $2710 less than for the Dodge Durango.


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



Consumer Reports® Recommends



Car Book “Best Bet”



The Honda Pilot outsold the Dodge Durango by over two to one during 2018.

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

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