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Mid-Size SUV Comparison: 2020 Honda Pilot Versus 2020 Ford Explorer

Mid-Size SUV Comparison: 2020 Honda Pilot Versus 2020 Ford Explorer

Honda & Ford Three-Row SUVs Go Head-To-Head

Drivers searching for a new SUV that offers three rows of seating and a smooth, confident ride may be drawn toward the 2020 Honda Pilot. Honda's 8-passenger mid-size SUV is a favorite in its segment but faces stiff competition, including from the recently redesigned 2020 Ford Explorer.

In some ways, the Honda Pilot and Ford's Explorer target different buyers. While both make for fine family SUVs, you'll see that the Pilot is more practical, thanks to its 8-passenger seating, while the Ford and its standard 6-passenger configuration is the sportier option.

Let's review these two popular three-row SUVs in more detail to help drivers and families determine the better option for their unique situation and budget.

Seating Space & Passenger Capacity

The 2020 Honda Pilot and Ford's 2020 Explorer both provide roomy interiors and impressive capability, but you'll soon discover that the new Pilot has some key advantages over the redesigned Ford. For starters, the 2020 Pilot gets seating for up to eight passengers as standard, while Ford's new Explorer comes standard with seats for just six occupants. There's a 7-passenger configuration available in certain trim levels of the Explorer, but no option for 8-passenger seating. If you would like the flexibility to transport as many as eight friends or family members, then you'll surely want to opt for the Honda Pilot.

Honda does it again with regard to providing the space and comfort that families request. The 2020 Pilot gives you a wider cabin for accommodating all of your precious cargo, which translates to more shoulder room for all three rows than what you'll get with Ford's Explorer. While total passenger volume is nearly identical with these two mid-size SUVs, the Pilot's wider rows mean that it can easily fit three occupants in a row compared to just two in the standard-equipped Explorer.

Pricing, Safety Features & Value for Your Money

When you're shopping for a three-row SUV that won't break your family's already tight budget, you'll want to consider that Honda's 2020 Pilot is more affordable than its rival from Ford. The 2020 Pilot LX 2WD boasts a starting MSRP* of $31,550, which proves to be significantly lower than the comparably-equipped 2020 Ford Explorer XLT RWD model, priced at $36,675.

For the 2020 model year, both Honda and Ford equip these respective family SUVs with advanced driver-assist technologies. In the 2020 Pilot, you get the Honda Sensing® suite as standard that not only includes a pre-collision braking system, but also adaptive cruise control, complete with a low-speed follow feature that will come in handy during stop-and-go-traffic.

Ford's Co-Pilot360 on the new Explorer lacks the adaptive cruise control system that Honda's Pilot gets as standard. While available, this advanced cruise control system with stop-and-go function is only optional and will cost you extra, whether you add it as an option on the XLT or upgrade to a pricier Explorer trim level.


In standard form, the Pilot and Ford provide families with capable performance. The Honda makes use of a 280-hp V6 in every trim level, while the Ford is offered with a range of 4- and 6-cylinder engines. All-wheel drive (AWD) is also available across the lineups of these two popular sport utility vehicles.

The redesigned 2020 Ford Explorer has switched to a rear-wheel-drive platform and also offers more powerful available engines than the Honda Pilot. The Ford can be equipped as a sportier, more performance-oriented three-row SUV. Still, if you're seeking practicality and maximum interior space and comfort for your family, the Honda specializes in just that!

Get Into a New Pilot SUV at Venice Honda

Now that you've learned more about some of the similarities and differences between the 2020 Honda Pilot and its main rival from Ford, isn't it time for a test drive? If you live near the Osprey, Florida, area, then the team here at Venice Honda invite you to our nearby dealership for a closer look at this highly refined SUV from Honda.

As the Venice, FL, area's dedicated, full-service Honda auto dealership, we're here for every local motorist with competitive vehicle pricing, lease offers, finance specials and routine maintenance and auto repair services.

*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge, options and accessories. Dealers set own prices.

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