2020 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Lincoln MKT

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Pilot has a standard Collision Mitigation Braking System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The MKT offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Honda Pilot has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The MKT doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Both the Pilot and the MKT 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.

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

Warranty

There are over 23 percent more Honda dealers than there are Lincoln dealers, which makes it 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 engine in the MKT has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in reliability. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 5 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Pilot is faster than the Lincoln MKT:

Pilot

MKT

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

6.7 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Pilot

FWD

9-spd

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

6-spd

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

AWD

9-spd

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

6-spd

3.5 SOHC V6

18 city/26 hwy

MKT

AWD

6-spd

3.5 turbo V6

15 city/21 hwy

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The MKT doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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

The Pilot has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the MKT (19.5 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 a six-speed automatic is available for the MKT.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Pilot has larger tires than the MKT (245/60R18 vs. 235/55R19).

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 MKT doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Pilot Elite 4WD handles at .80 G’s, while the MKT pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Pilot Elite 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the MKT (27.5 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Pilot’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the MKT AWD’s (39.4 feet vs. 41.5 feet).

Chassis

The Honda Pilot may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 900 pounds less than the Lincoln MKT.

The Pilot is 11.1 inches shorter than the MKT, 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 MKT doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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

The Pilot has 10.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKT (152.9 vs. 142.3).

The Pilot has 3.4 inches more front hip room, 3.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 1.4 inches more rear hip room, 3.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 5.4 inches more third row headroom, 4 inches more third row hip room and 8.5 inches more third row shoulder room than the MKT.

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Pilot

MKT

Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

17.9 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

39.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

75.9 cubic feet

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

Towing

The Pilot’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the MKT’s (3500 vs. 2000 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Pilot’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The MKT’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Pilot has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The MKT doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 MKT’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

When the Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The MKT’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Pilot owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Pilot will cost $790 to $2140 less than the MKT over a five-year period.

The Pilot will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Pilot will retain 47.05% to 51.4% of its original price after five years, while the MKT only retains 35.6% to 42.64%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Pilot will be $5240 to $15947 less than for the Lincoln MKT.

Recommendations

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

Pilot

MKT

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Honda Pilot outsold the Lincoln MKT by almost 69 to one during 2018.

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

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