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Shopping for a new three-row SUV will likely lead you to compare the 2022 Toyota Highlander to the 2022 Honda Pilot. Both vehicles offer three rows of seating in a midsize SUV package with family-friendly touches. In addition, either vehicle retains strong resale value, offers available all-wheel drive (AWD), and provides a rich suite of standard infotainment technology. While the differences are subtle, we’ll highlight four advantages to choosing the 2022 Toyota Highlander over the 2022 Honda Pilot.

1. The 2022 Toyota Highlander has a more powerful engine

Both vehicles use a 3.5-liter V6 engine as standard fare, but the Highlander’s engine delivers 295 horsepower, 15 more than the Pilot’s 280 horsepower engine. Likewise, both vehicles have nearly identical torque values, with the Pilot producing 262 lb-ft compared to the Highlander’s 263 lb-ft of torque. 

Still, the Highlander offers 1,500 pounds more towing capacity at 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. Automatic transmission duties fall to a nine-speed version in the Pilot and an eight-speed automatic in the Highlander, with both SUVs offering front-wheel-drive and all-wheel drive versions. 

2. The new Toyota Highlander has slightly better fuel economy ratings and a hybrid option 

A silver 2022 Toyota Highlander parked in the wilderness, the Highlander is a competitor to the new Honda Pilot
2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

While fuel economy ratings of the standard 3.5-liter V6 front-wheel drive models are close, the Highlander edges out the Pilot by one mile-per-gallon with an estimated combined rating of 24 MPG, reports Kelley Blue Book (KBB). Those buyers seeking higher fuel economy should opt for the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid with its estimated 36 MPG combined rating. 

The Highlander Hybrid uses a 2.5-liter gasoline engine producing 186 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque coupled with two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors assisting the front-wheel drive for 243 combined net hp. All-wheel drive models feature an auxiliary electric motor powering the rear wheels. The Hybrid’s towing capability matches the 3,500 pounds of the Pilot.

3. The Highlander features a more modern interior than the Honda Pilot  

The 2022 Toyota Highlander XSE Interior shown in Black and red
2022 Toyota Highlander XSE Interior | Toyota

KBB compared the 2022 Honda Pilot’s interior to the new Toyota Highlander and found the Highlander’s interior offered “a more upscale design than you might expect at this price point.” They also point out that the Honda Pilot is overdue for a design update leaving it “a little dated on the inside compared to the more modern Toyota Highlander.” 

The Highlander’s higher trim levels feature leather seats, panoramic moonroofs, premium audio systems, and a heads-up display to provide the driver with valuable data without taking their eyes away from the road. 

4. The 2022 Toyota Highlander is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+


The 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Is More Sensible Than the Gas Version In Real Life

The 2022 Toyota Highlander comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, “one of the best standard safety tech suites in its class,” according to KBB. Toyota’s standard safety technology package includes:

  • Automatic emergency braking with sensors capable of detecting pedestrians in low-light conditions
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane assistance
  • Road sign assist
  • Automatic high-beam headlights 

Regardless of standard safety features, however, both SUVs received a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, the 2022 Toyota Highlander also achieved a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

There’s a lot to like about both of these three-row SUVs

While the 2022 Toyota Highlander certainly has its advantages over the Honda Pilot, both SUVs make for a fine choice. To find out which is the best fit for you, we suggest getting behind the wheel for a test drive.