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Two of the most popular midsize three-row SUVs are the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. The 2023 Honda Pilot is all-new from the ground up, giving it a more rugged style and the new off-road-oriented TrailSport trim. Still, the 2023 Toyota Highlander has a lot going for it, giving many families the Toyota SUV they know and trust.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander is more affordable than the 2023 Honda Pilot

White 2023 Toyota Highlander posed with flowers in the foreground
2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

Usually, these two three-row SUVs offer extremely similar prices, but the starting price of the latest Highlander is nearly $3,000 less than the Pilot. This might be a bit of a shocker that you expect to change as you climb trims, but that’s not the case. A fully equipped Highlander is still cheaper than the top model of the Pilot.

You only get a hybrid if you drive the Toyota SUV

Although the 2023 Honda Pilot is all-new, it uses the same powertrain as before. The 2023 Toyota Highlander brings a hybrid powertrain which is much more efficient than the Honda SUV.

The hybrid Highlander uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine plus two electric motors. This system mates to a CVT to offer 243 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. This version of the Highlander tows up to 3,500 pounds and returns 36 city/35 hwy mpg in FWD models. The best the Pilot can achieve is 22 mpg combined with an FWD setup.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander has a higher towing capacity

2023 Toyota Highlander Towing a Trailer
2023 Toyota Highlander Towing a Trailer | Toyota

The standard powertrain for the Toyota SUV gives you a 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This non-hybrid version provides 265 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. What’s more interesting is the 5,000-pound tow rating offered. In the Pilot, you only reach this tow rating in the TrailSport trim. All other versions of the 2023 Honda Pilot two 3,500 pounds, putting the Highlander ahead.

All Highlander models include wireless connectivity

The 2023 Honda Pilot offers wireless connectivity, but only in the most expensive model. Every version of the 2023 Toyota Highlander includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it easy to leave your cords at home. This Toyota SUV makes driving a little more convenient for you.

What are the pros and cons of the 2023 Toyota Highlander?

Red 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid posed and parked
2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

According to U.S. News & World Report:


  • Spacious seating in the first two rows
  • Balanced handling and ride
  • A long list of standard features
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Hybrid powertrain offered


  • Engine can be noisy
  • Cramped third row

What are the pros and cons of the 2023 Honda Pilot?

Red 2023 Honda Pilot Driving Outdoors in the Rain
2023 Honda Pilot | Honda


  • Polished ride and handling
  • Spacious well-built interior
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Many standard features


  • Pricier than rivals
  • Cramped third row

The 2023 Highlander offers a lower price range, a hybrid powertrain option, a better tow rating, and better connectivity features than the 2023 Honda Pilot. Both SUVs include advanced driver-assist and safety systems to keep families safe on the road.

Next, check out the advantages of the Kia Telluride, or learn more about the 2023 Toyota Highlander in this video below:


The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Stands Out as the Ultimate Family SUV