Honda Pilot vs Ford Explorer

Honda Pilot

So, let us take a guess: you live near Harrisburg, Hummelstown, or Hershey, Pennsylvania, and you’re not sure whether you’d rather drive the Honda Pilot or the Ford Explorer. Is that right? At Faulkner Honda, we want you to have the best vehicle for your needs. So, we’re here to help you decide!

That’s why our team wrote this 2021 Honda Pilot vs. Ford Explorer head-to-head comparison. This gives you an easy way to see what these SUVs offer side by side, allowing you to make an educated decision based solely on facts.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you’d like more info about either SUV. Now, let’s dive right in.

2021 Honda Pilot vs 2021 Ford Explorer: Interior Design & Space

If you’re in the market for an SUV, you’re looking for plenty of space in a refined and accommodating interior. Luckily, that’s just what you’ll find in the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer.

Honda has described the 2021 Pilot as “the modern family SUV,” saying that it’s “roomy, refined, and ready to go.” Anybody could be comfortable inside the cabin, regardless of whether they’re: 3-foot, 8-inch; 5-foot, 8-inch; or 7-foot, 8-inches tall. Plus, with three rows of seating, you can comfortably fit up to eight occupants in a generous 152.9 cubic feet of passenger volume.

On the other side of the spectrum, you might not find the Ford Explorer to be quite as spacious. First of all, it only allows you to seat up to seven people, including the driver—that’s only six passengers. Secondly, it doesn’t offer as much space as the Pilot in terms of seating room, especially in the rear seats. Let’s take a look:

2021 Honda Pilot

2021 Ford Explorer

Front-Row Shoulder Room

62.0 inches

61.8 inches

Second-Row Shoulder Room

62.0 inches

61.9 inches

Third-Row Shoulder Room

57.6 inches

54.6 inches

Third-Row Hip Room

44.6 inches

40.9 inches

That isn’t the only place where the Honda Pilot shines. Its cargo space is much larger and more accommodating than the Ford Explorer, whether you have all the seats up, folded down, or a little of both!

2021 Honda Pilot

2021 Ford Explorer

Cargo with All Seats Upright

18.5 cubic feet

18.2 cubic feet

Cargo with Rear Seat Down

55.9 cubic feet

47.9 cubic feet

Cargo with All Back Rows Down

109 cubic feet

87.8 cubic feet

2021 Pilot vs 2021 Explorer: Power & Performance Specs

Power & Performance SpecsPerformance is everything in an SUV. With great power and capability, you can really test the limits on the roads. Plus, models like the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer are both great all-weather vehicles, meaning those rough East-Coast winters have nothing on you.

Let’s look at the Pilot model’s engine power and performance capabilities. These factors are crucial in an SUV as they’re what determine how easily you can get off the beaten path and explore your universe.

Honda has one engine across trim levels because, frankly, that’s all it needs. The powerful 3.5L V6 engine slams home up to 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.

The Pilot also offers an available AWD system, as well as your choice between 18-inch alloy wheels and 20-inch alloy wheels in multiple styles to help further ensure that you won’t be confined to the pavement every day.

On the other hand, the Ford Explorer comes standard with a 2.3L 4-cylinder engine. You can upgrade to the available V6 engine, though you’ll have to choose a higher trim level.

The Honda Pilot doesn’t end its impressiveness there either. With all these standard features that elevate performance, you won’t want to leave the driver’s seat:

  • 9-speed automatic transmission with Paddle Shifters
  • Eco Assist™ System
  • Active Noise Cancellation™
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Idle-Stop

Honda vs Ford: Safety & Driver-Assistive Technologies

Safety & Driver-Assistive TechnologiesWhat’s more important than plenty of cabin room and a powerful performance? Safety, and both Honda and Ford know this. This is why the 2021 Pilot and 2021 Explorer are both equipped with the latest in safety technologies.

In the Honda Pilot, you’ll find the Honda Sensing® Safety and Driver-Assistive Technology suite on every trim level. By helping you elevate awareness and prevent collisions, you can have the peace of mind you need while commuting. In this suite, you’ll find:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System™
  • Road Departure Mitigation System
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Keeping Assist System and Land Departure Warning
  • Forward Collision Warning

But that’s not all. Automatic high beams are also standard. Plus, you can opt for the Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Monitor, available on the second-level trims!

The Explorer has similar features in their standard Ford Co-Pilot360™ package. This includes Automatic High-Beam Headlamps, a Lane Keeping System, and Automatic Emergency Braking. However, if you want more advanced features like in the 2021 Honda Pilot, you’ll have to go for a higher trim level.

Honda Pilot vs Ford Explorer: Which Sporty Utility Vehicle Is for You?

Now that you know a bit more about what separates these two models in our Honda Pilot vs. Ford Explorer comparison, it’s time to get behind the wheel and experience it for yourself. Experience what? If it’s great power under the hood, plenty of passenger and cargo room, and confidence-boosting safety features, we think the answer is the 2021 Honda Pilot.

However, there’s only one way to make sure this is the SUV for you and your family. By scheduling a test drive and experiencing the Pilot firsthand!

If you live around Hershey, Hummelstown, or Harrisburg, PA, it’s very easy to connect with us at Faulkner Honda. Just call us on the phone, chat with us on our website, or stop by our showroom directly. We’re excited to meet you and help you change the way you drive with a Honda SUV Today!


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