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2020 Honda Pilot Vs. 2020 Ford Explorer

Blue 2020 Honda Pilot parked in front of a trendy building.

Drivers searching for a practical three-row crossover have likely spent a lot of time thinking about the 2020 Honda Pilot. The Pilot model has been around for a while, and it’s an esteemed favorite in the class. The machine is acclaimed for its versatile, roomy interior, spacious rear seats, smooth ride, clever storage compartments, and more.

The Ford Explorer is fully redesigned for 2020. The new design brings drastic changes to the cabin, with only six seats now available in most trims. There’s more cargo space, and some new technologies.

How does the 2020 Ford Explorer compare to the 2020 Honda Pilot? Find out below.

2020 Honda Pilot


2020 Ford Explorer

From $31,650* Starting MSRP $32,765
7 - 8 Seating Capacity 6 – 7
Standard Rear Entertainment System Not Available
Standard CabinTalk® In-Car PA System Not Available
Standard Road Departure Mitigation* System Not Available
Standard One-Touch Power Moonroof with Tilt Feature Optional on AWD only
Standard Walk Away Auto Lock Not Available

*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $1,120.00 destination charge and options. Dealers set own prices.

**Road Departure Mitigation only alerts drivers when lane drift is detected without a turn signal in use and can apply mild steering torque to assist driver in maintaining proper lane position and/or brake pressure to slow the vehicle’s departure from a detected lane. RDM may not detect all lane markings or lane departures; accuracy will vary based on weather, speed and road condition. System operation affected by extreme interior heat. Driver remains responsible for safely operating vehicle and avoiding collisions.

New Three-Row SUV in Salisbury, MD

Though the 2020 Ford Explorer boasts some impressive numbers and looks good on paper, it simply cannot hold up in the real world to the tried-and-true might of the 2020 Honda Pilot. Even in the table above, it starts out at a higher price and is also stuck with a lower seating capacity. Furthermore, the 2020 Pilot comes with a variety of cutting-edge features that are not available in the 2020 Explorer.


The 2020 Ford Explorer suffers from a clunky transmission, which results in a fuel economy that, when tested by Motortrend, came out much worse in the real world than the vehicle’s published numbers would indicate (and worse than the numbers they got for the 2020 Pilot). The 2020 Pilot also enjoys more intuitive steering, with the result being a better experience overall.

Interior Comfort

The 2020 Honda Pilot exudes quality inside with its comfortable seats and excellent build quality. The 2020 Pilot does not squeak or rattle when driven, and is overall quieter on the road than the 2020 Explorer. Even at 70 miles-per-hour, inhabitants of the 2020 Honda Pilot can have a perfectly audible conversation without straining.

The interior of the 2020 Ford Explorer feels decidedly cheaper, with seats described as feeling “gooey.” Though the 2020 Explorer has been more recently redesigned than the 2020 Pilot, it’s said to feel half-finished. The build quality is questionable, other quality-control issues abound. The well-crafted, confident nature of the 2020 Honda Pilot is a welcome alternative.

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All tax, title and vehicle registration fees are additional. See dealer for complete details.