Comparison: 2017 Honda Pilot vs 2017 Ford Explorer

Staunton drivers seeking a full-size SUV that's fit for the whole family should be sure to look at safety ratings as well as features that can make road trips with young passengers just a little easier.

In the case of the 2017 Honda Pilot versus the 2017 Ford Explorer, both are top sellers in Virginia because of their sporty styling and good reputations, but one comes out ahead in terms of family-friendly features. Read on, then come take a Pilot for a test drive to see for yourself:  


Honda Pilot

The 2017 Pilot was a favorite among the two major safety organizations. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it best-possible scores in all categories, naming the 2017 Honda Pilot a Top Safety Pick+. Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a 5-Star Overall Rating*.

The Pilot comes available with a full suite of driver assistance technology, including Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Information System, and Cross Traffic Monitor.

Ford Explorer

While the Explorer also earned a 5-Star Overall Rating from the NHTSA, it didn't do as well in evaluations by the IIHS. It did not earn a Top Safety Pick title and earned a Marginal score in tests for small overlap front impact. Also, it was not rated by the IIHS for rear crash protection.

The Explorer is available with Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Keeping System, Blind Spot Information System, front and rear sensing systems, and Park Assist.


Honda Pilot

The Pilot comes standard with a multi-angle rearview camera with gridlines, rear privacy class, push-button start, and Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and Streaming Audio. One trim level up, to the EX, adds three-zone climate control, SMS text message function, 8-inch display audio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Sirius XM Radio, and Pandora compatibility.

The EX-L model gives you luxe interior features, including heated front seats, Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation, and an available Rear Entertainment System with 115-volt power outlet, HDMI interface, and second-row shades. Upper trims, such as the Touring and Elite, include Blu-ray Rear Entertainment System, blue ambient LED lighting, 10-speaker audio with subwoofer, heated steering wheel, and a panoramic roof.

Ford Explorer

The base model of the Explorer is a pretty basic ride, equipped with air conditioning, rearview camera, and the SYNC infotainment system. Upper trims are available with heated front seats, leather trim, SYNC 3 infotainment with voice recognition, ambient lighting, Sony speaker system, and dual-zone climate control. The 2017 Explorer is not available with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or a rear seat entertainment system.


Honda Pilot

Starting at $30,745**

Ford Explorer

Starting at $31,660 MSRP

*Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's New Car Assessment Program  ( Model tested with standard side airbags (SAB). 2017 Honda Civic with Honda Sensing ™ and specific headlights. 

**Prices shown are Honda Suggested Retail Prices only and do not include taxes, license or a destination and handling charge. Actual vehicle/accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Dealers set their own prices. Please consult your selected dealer.