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The Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot are fierce competitors in the midsize SUV segment. While the Pilot makes a big leap forward with a redesign for the 2023 model year, the Highlander has a key advantage. The 2023 Toyota Highlander has one big thing that the 2023 Honda Pilot doesn’t offer: an efficient hybrid powertrain.

Unlike the 2023 Honda Pilot, the 2023 Toyota Highlander offers a hybrid powertrain

Front angle view of gray 2023 Toyota Highlander midsize SUV
2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

While the price of gasoline has dropped from its record highs earlier in 2022, gas is still one of the most significant costs of vehicle ownership. With its efficient hybrid powertrain, the 2023 Toyota Highlander makes filling up the fuel tank a more affordable endeavor. You’ll save a great deal of money over the long haul with a more efficient midsize SUV like Highlander Hybrid.

Conversely, you can’t get a hybrid version of the 2023 Honda Pilot. While Honda offers hybrid versions for some of its other models, such as the CR-V Hybrid and Accord Hybrid, the Pilot doesn’t offer a hybrid powertrain. There is a possibility that the Japanese automaker might eventually release a Pilot Hybrid in the United States — but not for the 2023 model year.

2023 Highlander gets higher gas mileage than the 2023 Pilot

Rear angle view of blue 2023 Honda Pilot midsize SUV
2023 Honda Pilot | Honda

The obvious benefit of the hybrid powertrain in the 2023 Toyota Highlander midsize SUV is high gas mileage — and resulting savings at the fuel pump. It combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors, with a gas-sipping estimated fuel economy of up to 36 city/35 highway mpg. The Highlander also offers a fully gas-powered model with a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four engine. It gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 22 city/29 highway mpg.

All 2023 Honda Pilot models come equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. It’s not very efficient, with an estimated fuel economy of up to 19 city/27 highway mpg. Compared to the Pilot, the Highlander Hybrid gets 17 more mpg for city driving and eight more mpg for highway driving. Even if you opt for the fully gas-powered version of the Highlander, you’ll still benefit from higher fuel economy.

Another advantage of the high fuel economy of the Highlander is convenience. With the lower fuel consumption, the Highlander can travel farther on a full tank of gas. This means Highlander owners don’t have to stop at a gas station as often as owners of the Pilot.

Other advantages of the Toyota Highlander over the Honda Pilot

In addition to its efficient hybrid powertrain, the 2023 Highlander has some other advantages for midsize SUV shoppers. For one, it offers some safety and driving assistance features that are not available in the 2023 Pilot. This includes evasion assist, driver monitoring alert, a passenger cushion front airbag, and a driver knee airbag. Also, the Highlander offers a 12.3-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. For the Pilot, the largest one available is a 9.0-inch version. 

Additionally, with its slightly smaller size and tighter turning circle, the Highlander is more maneuverable than the Pilot. Furthermore, it’s more affordable. The Highlander has a starting price of $36,420 MSRP, compared to $39,150 MSRP for the Pilot. 

With its efficient hybrid powertrain, the 2023 Toyota Highlander has a big thing that the 2023 Honda Pilot doesn’t offer. When deciding which midsize SUV to get, this is a key element to consider.


2023 Toyota Highlander: Features, Price, Specs, & Overview