When you're seeking the right midsize SUV for you and your family, there's no doubt you've considered the Ford Explorer vs. Honda Pilot. Both SUVs offer an incredible amount of power and space to their passengers, but in order to determine which one is best suited for you, you'll need to understand their differences.

At Richmond Ford Lincoln, we're here to assist our friends in Richmond, Mechanicsville, and Ashland, VA, with their decision on choosing between the 2020 Ford Explorer or 2020 Honda Pilot. Our comparison will provide you with the details you need to decide!

2020 Explorer vs Pilot: Power, Performance & Engine Options

There's a true competition between the Honda Pilot vs. Ford Explorer, because they're each outfitted with respective V6 engines. While there is a difference in outputs, the 2020 Explorer offers two additional engines, while the Pilot engine carries over all the trim levels.

  • The 3.0L V6 in the Explorer produces as much as 400 horsepower, while the 3.5L V6 in the Pilot maxes out at 280 horsepower.
  • The 2.3L 4-cylinder in the Ford Explorer boasts an impressive 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.
  • The 3.3L hybrid motor in the 2020 Ford Explorer delivers 318 horsepower and 322 lb-ft of torque.

For transmission pairings, the Honda Pilot has either a 6-speed automatic or a 9-speed automatic, while the Ford Explorer touts a 10-speed automatic.

Fuel Economy Estimates

While fuel economy might not be the first strength you think of when looking into large, family-oriented SUVs, the Ford Explorer does a splendid job of helping you avoid the pump. The Honda Pilot? Well, it's efficient but can't keep up with the strong fuel economy estimates of the hybrid Explorer.

For the Pilot, you can expect an EPA-estimated fuel economy return of 20 city/27 highway MPG. If you want to go with all-wheel drive to tackle inclement weather better, the rating for the Pilot drops further to an EPA-estimated 19 city/26 highway MPG.

The Ford Explorer easily surpasses these figures when you opt for the hybrid motor under the hood. With the hybrid setup, you can expect an EPA-estimated 27 city/29 highway MPG. The returns are favorable even if you stick with the 2.3L 4-cylinder, as the SUV then garners an EPA-estimated 21 city/28 highway MPG.   

Entertainment & Technology Features

The cabins of these respective SUVs offer plenty of fun and entertaining features for the ride.

Each vehicle comes standard with radios, Bluetooth® pairing for audio streaming and hands-free phone use, and USB/auxiliary inputs for portable media devices to connect to the stereo. These features can be accessed through the respective display screens. However, the Ford Explorer SYNC® screen includes voice recognition, which makes it easier and more convenient to select the features.

The Honda Pilot has its own voice-activated system, yet the touchscreen measures just eight inches, no matter the trim level you select. That's not a bad size, yet the Premium Technology Package of the 2020 Ford Explorer boasts a 10.1-inch LCD capacitive portrait touchscreen with pinch-to-zoom capabilities.

Other goodies come packed in the Premium Technology Package, too, such as a 980-watt B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen touting 14 speakers. The comparative sound system in the Pilot is meager, offering just 590 watts of power and peaking at 10 speakers.

Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot: Athletic Trim Level

Even if your SUV is going to be a daily commuter around the local streets, packing it with some athleticism can be a fun way to spice up your drives.

Ford has been integrating some performance-oriented trim levels into many of their recent models-the 2020 Ford Explorer included. Unfortunately, the Honda Pilot gives you no such option.

The performance trim of the Ford Explorer is labeled the ST. What's the difference?

Well, the ST comes packed with that 3.0L V6 engine and bumps the output of the motor to 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. In any other trim, that same V6 will make 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. That gap in power leads to the Ford Explorer doing some pretty nutty stuff on the street, such as having the ability to hit 143 MPH at top speed!

Maximum Towing Capacity

Sometimes, your cabin isn't going to have enough room for supplies, or you may want to bring a boat or trailer along for the ride. Either way, the 2020 Ford Explorer delivers more reliable and capable towing capacities than the Honda Pilot.

You don't need to bump up to the strongest engine for the Explorer to impress, either. The 2.3L motor gives you the ability to tow as much as 5,300 pounds. Even the hybrid motor has a sturdy maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

If you do feel the urge to go for the Explorer SUV's V6, though, you can make use of a maximum towing capacity of 5,600 pounds!

Turning to the Honda Pilot, the SUV typically offers a meager 3,500 pounds of maximum towing capacity. If you deck the model out with all the optional towing equipment, you'll still only be able to make use of a maximum 5,000 pounds of towing capacity!

Making Your Decision Between the 2020 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot

At Richmond Ford Lincoln, we hope that our Ford Explorer vs. Honda Pilot comparison helped you get a sense of what these SUVs offer and how they differ. While you've noticed that the Explorer offers more power, space, convenience, and options, you can still learn even more about the SUV and what it can truly offer your trips on the road. Drop in for a closer look or simply climb into the driver's seat!

Browse our inventory of new Ford Explorer models online to see if the SUV is right for you! Our Richmond Ford dealership is committed to helping our friends in Richmond, Mechanicsville, and Ashland, Virginia, find the vehicle that's perfect for them.

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Richmond Ford Lincoln

4600 West Broad Street
Directions Richmond, VA 23230

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