2020 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport

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 Land Rover Discovery Sport doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Pilot and the Discovery Sport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, 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 Discovery Sport has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

There are over 6 times as many Honda dealers as there are Land Rover 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 Discovery Sport have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

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 36 points higher than the Discovery Sport.

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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 32nd.

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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in reliability. With 75 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Engine

The Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 43 more horsepower (280 vs. 237) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 251) than the Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Pilot is faster than the Land Rover Discovery Sport (base engine):

Pilot

Discovery Sport

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.9 MPH

85.9 MPH

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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Pilot has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Discovery Sport (19.5 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Pilot stops shorter than the Discovery Sport:

Pilot

Discovery Sport

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Pilot has larger tires than the Discovery Sport (245/60R18 vs. 235/60R18).

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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pilot’s wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer than on the Discovery Sport (111 inches vs. 107.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Pilot is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Discovery Sport.

The Pilot Elite 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the Discovery Sport HSE pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

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

Passenger Space

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

The Pilot has 4.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom and 5.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Discovery Sport.

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Pilot

Discovery Sport

Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

6.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

34.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

62.8 cubic feet

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Pilot. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Land Rover Discovery Sport is limited to 4409 pounds. The Pilot 4WD offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Pilot has standard extendable sun visors. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

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

Pilot

Discovery Sport

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2016 issue and they ranked the Honda Pilot Elite 4WD higher than the Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE.

The Honda Pilot outsold the Land Rover Discovery Sport by over 13 to one during 2018.

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

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