Honda Pilot and Kia Telluride: Which SUV Does Consumer Reports Favor?

When buying a three-row SUV, many consumers have a hard time deciding between the Honda Pilot and Kia Telluride. To help with the decision, Consumer Reports compared the two cars and chose a winner. What are the differences and how does each model stack up? Here’s all the information you need to choose between the Honda Pilot and Kia Telluride.

Roominess and comfort

The Honda Pilot’s roomy interior includes slightly more space in its third row than the Kia Telluride. In addition, Honda makes it easy to move the second-row seats forward to create even more room in the third row. When compared to the Telluride, the Pilot offers far more headroom in its rear seat as well.

The driver’s seat in the Pilot is at an ideal height for visibility. The steering column is also easy to adjust. Pilot drivers will find the controls easy to navigate. Telluride owners often remark that reaching the touchscreen is somewhat difficult. However, the Pilot’s foot-activated parking brake is often cumbersome and takes up some of the driver’s left leg space. This isn’t an issue with the Kia Telluride.

Interior design

When it comes to interior design, Consumer Reports gave the Telluride better marks than the Honda Pilot. They claim it has a “near-luxury” appearance, with sturdy door latches and handles.

On the other hand, the Pilot’s interior components are made of hard plastic, which looks cheap. While the Telluride has a better overall appearance, the automaker did sacrifice quality, namely in its glove box as well as the storage bin under the armrest.

Ride and handling

Its sturdy suspension makes the Honda Pilot one of the smoothest-riding three-row SUVs on the market. You’ll notice very little vibration, even when driving rough roads. Even so, either model will feel cumbersome when maneuvering around corners due to their its size. When accelerating, the Telluride has an advantage as it was a few tenths of a second faster than the Honda Pilot.

Stopping distance

The Telluride outperformed the Honda Pilot in both wet and dry-braking tests. Kia’s SUV was able to stop within 133 feet during its wet-braking test — a full 20 feet sooner than the Pilot. Not only did the Honda Pilot not match the Telluride, but the results of its wet-braking test puts it far behind a number of other vehicles in its class.

Safety features

The Honda Pilot is equipped with safety features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and lane departure warning. In addition to these features, the Telluride also has a rear occupant alert system, which will notify you if you forget children or pets in the back seat.

Gas mileage

Both models have similar fuel efficiency, but the Kia Telluride does have a slight advantage. In independent tests from Consumer Reports, the Honda Pilot came in at 20 MPG compared to 21 MPG for the Telluride.

The winner: Kia Telluride

Consumer Reports declared the Kia Telluride the hands-down winner. In particular, they noted that the Telluride had a better road-test score. It not only beat the Honda Pilot but every other three-row SUV tested. In making the decision, Consumer Reports also touted Kia’s “performance, efficiency, style, and family-friendly usability.” If you’re in the market for a new SUV, the Telluride may be your best bet.