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Vehicle Comparisons

2017 Honda Pilot vs. Ford Explorer

When looking for a family-friendly SUV, many people turn to either the 2017 Honda Pilot or the 2017 Ford Explorer. Both have great power, adventure-ready interiors, and safety features to give you extra peace of mind. But which one is best for your travels around Centennial, Aurora, and Denver?2017 Honda Pilot vs. Ford Explorer

To help answer that question, our team at Mile High Honda created this 2017 Honda Pilot vs. Ford Explorer comparison. After reading through this review, you’ll be ready to go on a test drive of your preferred vehicle.
Honda Pilot vs Ford Explorer: Brawny & Fuel-Efficient

The 2017 Honda Pilot and 2017 Ford Explorer each have 3.5L V6 engines paired with 6-speed automatic transmissions to get you wherever you need to go. However, the Pilot has a bit more oomph with its 262 lb-ft of torque; the Explorer has just 255 lb-ft of torque.

Power makes for a fun drive. But, when you’re transporting a multitude of children, you’ll want to focus on getting to your destination rather than stopping to refuel. If you want admirable fuel economy, choose the Honda Pilot, which achieves an EPA-estimated 18 city/26 highway MPG.1 The Ford Explorer, unfortunately, only achieves an EPA-estimated 17 city/24 highway MPG.

A Look Inside the Pilot vs Explorer

If you have a large family, or need to drive around a soccer team or group of employees, you’re at an advantage with the 2017 Honda Pilot, as it seats eight. The Ford Explorer, while still a roomy vehicle, only seats seven.

In addition, the Explorer does have comparable headroom and legroom in its three rows of seats. However, the Pilot has more passenger volume with 152.9 cubic feet, compared to the Explorer’s 151.7 cubic feet of passenger space.

And if you need more room for work equipment or lots of luggage, the Honda Pilot delivers. It has 46.8 cubic feet of space when the third row is folded down, and 83.9 cubic feet of space when the second and third rows are folded down. The Ford Explorer has only 43.8 cubic feet of space when the third row is down, and just 80.7 cubic feet of volume when the second and third rows are down.

How Do the SUVs Compare, Safety-Wise?

Safety is one of the most important aspects when choosing a vehicle. When determining how reliable a vehicle is, it’s great to look at safety scores.

The 2017 Honda Pilot was awarded a 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).2 Unfortunately, the 2017 Ford Explorer did not have as impressive safety scores, and therefore didn’t receive any type of award from the IIHS.

One reason why the 2017 Pilot was given such a prestigious award is for its suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies called Honda Sensing®. In this suite, you get plenty of features to give you security, including:

  • Road Departure Mitigation System
  • Lane Keeping Assist System
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System™

The 2017 Explorer has plenty of safety options that are nothing to snub at. However, it doesn’t offer anything like the comprehensive features in the Honda Sensing® system.2017 Honda Pilot vs. Ford Explorer

Which One Do You Want to Take on Your Next Adventure?

The Pilot and Explorer are each impressive SUVs in their own right. However, the Honda Pilot has higher fuel economy, a roomier interior, and a better overall safety system.

To get an idea of how the 2017 Honda Pilot will help you and your family around Centennial, Aurora, and Denver, schedule a test drive at Mile High Honda. We look forward to meeting you!


  1. Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
  2. The 2017 Pilot with available Honda Sensing® and LED Headlights has been awarded the coveted 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in recognition of its superior crash safety performance.

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2777 South Havana St., Denver, CO 80014

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