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Both the Discovery Sport and Pilot have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery Sport has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Pilot’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Discovery Sport. But it costs extra on the Pilot.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Discovery Sport’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Pilot doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.
The Discovery Sport’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Pilot doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Discovery Sport and the Pilot 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Discovery Sport comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Pilot’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Discovery Sport’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Pilot’s (6 vs. 5 years).
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Discovery Sport’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Pilot’s camshafts. If the Pilot’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
The Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 262) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The Discovery Sport P290’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid produces 6 more horsepower (286 vs. 280) and 33 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 262) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.
Regenerative brakes improve the Discovery Sport’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Pilot doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
Regardless of its engine, the Discovery Sport’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Honda only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition.
For better stopping power the Discovery Sport’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Pilot:
The Discovery Sport’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition’s 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Discovery Sport offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Pilot’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Pilot, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.
The Discovery Sport has standard front gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Pilot’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Pilot’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Discovery Sport S handles at .82 G’s, while the Pilot Elite 4WD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Discovery Sport S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Pilot Elite 4WD (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s).
For better maneuverability, the Discovery Sport’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Pilot’s (38.3 feet vs. 39.4 feet).
For greater off-road capability the Discovery Sport has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Pilot (8.3 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Discovery Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Discovery Sport is 1 foot, 3.5 inches shorter than the Pilot, making the Discovery Sport easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Discovery Sport with 5+2 Seating’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Pilot doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Discovery Sport’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Pilot’s (4409 vs. 3500 pounds).
The Discovery Sport uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Pilot uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Pilot EX-L/Touring/Elite/Black Edition, the Discovery Sport (except Base) offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Pilot doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Discovery Sport’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Pilot’s parking brake has to released manually.
The power windows standard on both the Discovery Sport and the Pilot have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Discovery Sport is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Pilot prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Discovery Sport’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Pilot’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
The Discovery Sport’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Pilot’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Discovery Sport offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Pilot doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Discovery Sport HSE/HSE Luxury offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Pilot doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Discovery Sport’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Pilot EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite/Black Edition.
The Discovery Sport’s power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The Pilot’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.
The Discovery Sport has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning is only available on the Pilot EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite/Black Edition.
The Discovery Sport’s optional Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Pilot doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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