2020 Toyota Sequoia vs. 2020 Honda Pilot

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Sequoia 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 Honda Pilot doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

The Sequoia’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 Sequoia and the Pilot 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available four-wheel drive.

The Toyota Sequoia weighs 1411 to 1964 pounds more than the Honda Pilot. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Sequoia for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Pilot.

There are over 18 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Sequoia’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Sequoia has a standard 180-amp alternator. The Pilot’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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 Sequoia’s reliability 24 points higher than the Pilot.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sequoia second among large suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Pilot isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Honda is ranked 15th.

Engine

The Sequoia’s 5.7 DOHC V8 produces 101 more horsepower (381 vs. 280) and 139 lbs.-ft. more torque (401 vs. 262) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Sequoia is faster than the Honda Pilot:

Sequoia

Pilot

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.1 sec

7.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.7 sec

5.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.6 MPH

91.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Sequoia has 6.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pilot (26.4 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Sequoia’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Pilot:

Sequoia

Pilot

Front Rotors

13.9 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

The Sequoia’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Pilot are solid, not vented.

The Sequoia stops shorter than the Pilot:

Sequoia

Pilot

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sequoia has larger tires than the Pilot (275/65R18 vs. 245/60R18).

The Sequoia has a standard 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.

Suspension and Handling

The Sequoia has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Pilot’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Sequoia offers an available 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 Sequoia offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Pilot doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sequoia’s wheelbase is 11 inches longer than on the Pilot (122 inches vs. 111 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Sequoia is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Pilot.

The Sequoia’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.4% to 49.6%) than the Pilot’s (56.1% to 43.9%). This gives the Sequoia more stable handling and braking.

The Sequoia TRD Sport 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Pilot Elite 4WD (27.3 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sequoia’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Pilot’s (38.1 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Sequoia Platinum has a 2.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Pilot (9.6 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Sequoia to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Sequoia’s minimum ground clearance is 2.7 inches higher than on the Pilot (10 vs. 7.3 inches).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Sequoia Platinum 4x4 is quieter than the Pilot Elite 4WD (71 vs. 78 dB).

Passenger Space

The Sequoia has 1.6 inches more front legroom, 3.4 inches more front hip room, 4.4 inches more front shoulder room, 2.5 inches more rear legroom, 2.6 inches more rear hip room, 3.6 inches more rear shoulder room, 3.4 inches more third row legroom, 5.8 inches more third row hip room and 8.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Pilot.

Cargo Capacity

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

Sequoia

Pilot

Behind Third Seat

18.9 cubic feet

18.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

66.6 cubic feet

55.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

120.1 cubic feet

109 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Sequoia’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Pilot doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The Sequoia’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Pilot’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The Sequoia’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Pilot’s (7100 vs. 3500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The Sequoia 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.

The engine in the Sequoia is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Pilot. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The Sequoia’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Pilot does not have an oil pressure gauge.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Sequoia has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Pilot doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Sequoia’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 Sequoia 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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sequoia is less expensive to operate than the Pilot because typical repairs cost much less on the Sequoia than the Pilot, including $79 less for a water pump, $309 less for a muffler and $471 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Toyota Sequoia and the Honda Pilot, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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