2021 Honda Pilot vs. 2020 Hyundai Palisade

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Palisade’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

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

Warranty

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There are over 27 percent more Honda dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it 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 engine in the Palisade has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Engine

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As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Pilot is faster than the Hyundai Palisade:

Pilot

Palisade

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.2 sec

17.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

93 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Pilot

Palisade

2WD

3.5 V6/9-spd. Auto

20 city/27 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

3.8 V6/Auto

4WD

3.5 V6/9-spd. Auto

19 city/26 hwy

19 city/24 hwy

3.8 V6/Auto

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

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 Palisade 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 Palisade.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Pilot stops much shorter than the Palisade:

Pilot

Palisade

70 to 0 MPH

180 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

129 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 Palisade doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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The Pilot has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Palisade doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

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 Palisade doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Pilot Elite 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the Palisade Limited 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Pilot Elite 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Palisade Limited 4x4 (27.5 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis

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

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Pilot Elite 4WD is quieter than the Palisade Limited 4x4 (37 vs. 38 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Pilot has 1 inch more front hip room, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.1 inches more third row headroom, .5 inches more third row legroom, .9 inches more third row hip room and 2.4 inches more third row shoulder room than the Palisade.

Cargo Capacity

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

Pilot

Palisade

Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

18 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

45.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

86.4 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 Palisade doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

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

Ergonomics

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If the windows are left open on the Pilot the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Palisade can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Pilot’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Palisade SE/SEL’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Pilot EX-L/SE/Touring/Elite/Black Edition’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Palisade offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Pilot 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 Palisade SEL/Limited.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pilot is less expensive to operate than the Palisade because it costs $727 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pilot than the Palisade, including $64 less for a muffler, $94 less for front brake pads, $109 less for fuel injection, $62 less for front struts, $550 less for a timing belt/chain and $528 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/08/11

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

Pilot

Palisade

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its May 2020 issue and they ranked the Honda Pilot Black Edition 4WD higher than the Hyundai Palisade Limited 4x4.

The Honda Pilot outsold the Hyundai Palisade by almost five to one during 2019.

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

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