2021 Honda Pilot vs. 2020 Infiniti QX80

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 QX80’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Pilot uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The QX80 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Pilot and the QX80 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, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Honda Pilot is safer than the Infiniti QX80:

Pilot

QX80

OVERALL STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

2 Stars

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

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There are over 5 times as many Honda dealers as there are Infiniti 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 engine in the QX80 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 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Infiniti vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 1 place higher in reliability than Infiniti.

Engine

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As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Pilot is faster than the Infiniti QX80:

Pilot

QX80

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.2 sec

17.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.1 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/08/06

On the EPA test cycle the Pilot gets better fuel mileage than the QX80:

Pilot

QX80

2WD

3.5 V6/9-spd. Auto

20 city/27 hwy

14 city/20 hwy

5.6 V8/Auto

4WD

3.5 V6/9-spd. Auto

19 city/26 hwy

13 city/19 hwy

5.6 V8/Auto

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Pilot’s fuel efficiency. The QX80 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Pilot’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 QX80 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 QX80 requires premium for maximum efficiency, 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 QX80 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 a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX80.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Pilot stops much shorter than the QX80:

Pilot

QX80

70 to 0 MPH

180 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

153 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

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 QX80 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 QX80 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Pilot Elite 4WD handles at .80 G’s, while the QX80 AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Pilot Elite 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the QX80 AWD (27.5 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Pilot’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the QX80’s (39.4 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

Chassis

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The Honda Pilot may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1600 to 1700 pounds less than the Infiniti QX80.

The Pilot is 1 foot, 1.7 inches shorter than the QX80, making the Pilot easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction lowers the Pilot’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The QX80 uses body-on-frame design instead.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Pilot has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The QX80 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The Pilot uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The QX80 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/08/06

The Pilot has .2 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more rear headroom, 2.1 inches more third row headroom and 3.1 inches more third row legroom than the QX80.

Cargo Capacity

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The Pilot’s cargo area provides more volume than the QX80.

Pilot

QX80

Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

16.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

49.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

95.1 cubic feet

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Pilot SE/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 QX80 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The Pilot has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The QX80 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Pilot to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The QX80 doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Honda Pilot SE/Elite//Black Edition has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The QX80 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 $3405 to $5840 less than the QX80 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 QX80 only retains 43.69% to 48.1%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pilot is less expensive to operate than the QX80 because it costs $564 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pilot than the QX80, including $29 less for front brake pads, $47 less for fuel injection, $4 less for front struts, $869 less for a timing belt/chain and $523 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Pilot will be $32979 to $44551 less than for the Infiniti QX80.

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 2020/08/06

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

Pilot

QX80

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Honda Pilot outsold the Infiniti QX80 by over seven to one during 2019.

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