2021 Honda Pilot vs. 2020 BMW X7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 BMW X7 doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Pilot deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Pilot’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The X7’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Both the Pilot and the X7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Pilot 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Honda dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pilot’s warranty.

Reliability

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The engine in the Pilot has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the X7 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 41 points higher than the X7.

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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 5 places higher in reliability than BMW.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Pilot’s fuel efficiency. The X7 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 X7 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 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 X7 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Pilot, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the X7.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Pilot stops much shorter than the X7:

Pilot

X7

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

140 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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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 X7 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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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 X7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Pilot Elite 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the X7 xDrive40i pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Pilot’s turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the X7’s (39.4 feet vs. 42.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Honda Pilot may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1350 to 1400 pounds less than the BMW X7.

The Pilot is 6.8 inches shorter than the X7, 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 X7 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Pilot has standard seating for 8 passengers; the X7 can only carry 7.

The Pilot has 1.1 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom, 3.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.9 inches more third row headroom and 9.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the X7.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pilot’s middle and third row seats recline. The X7’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Pilot’s cargo area provides more volume than the X7.

Pilot

X7

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

48.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

90.4 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 X7 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

The Pilot’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X7’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics

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To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Pilot has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the X7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition has a 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 X7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The Pilot is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Pilot owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Pilot will cost $6755 to $9190 less than the X7 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 50.46% to 52.42% of its original price after five years, while the X7 only retains 37.87% to 40.24%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Pilot will be $48777 to $58770 less than for the BMW X7.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/09

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

Pilot

X7

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Honda Pilot outsold the BMW X7 by over six to one during 2019.

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