Although Japanese automakers like Honda and Toyota have stepped up their game over the years when it comes to the interior quality and overall fit and finish of their respective vehicles, it can be tough to compare them to their German rivals. For example, if you were shopping for a Honda Pilot, you would likely be impressed by its leather interior and features, but your excitement would wane once you stepped foot in an Audi Q7.
Speaking of the Honda Pilot and all of its luxurious panache, we wondered if could be possible to accurately compare to anything from Audi. And what we inevitably found out what that a fully loaded Pilot actually costs less than one of Audi’s most popular and best-selling crossovers.
How much does a fully-loaded Honda Pilot cost?
The 2021 Honda Pilot currently has a starting price of around $32,250 for the base model LX, which comes with some of your basic amenities including a multi-view rearview camera, Honda Sensing, and generous seating for up to eight occupants. But if you want more for your money, then you’ll have work your way up the trim levels.
Opt for the Pilot EX-L and you’ll get some handy features like a leather-trimmed interior, a power moonroof, and a power tailgate. But if you want features like a rear-seat entertainment system, heated front and rear seats, and a more premium audio system, then you’ll have to choose the Touring trim. But even then, you won’t be at the top trim, which is the Pilot Elite.
By checking that box, you’ll get even more comfort and convenience features like a panoramic moonroof, heated and ventilated front seats, second-row captain’s chairs, and even a heated steering wheel. Best of all, if you option out a Pilot Elite, you’ll only be charged around $50,000 at the full MSRP price.
What German crossover can you buy with $50k?
After configuring the best Pilot ever, we suggest hopping over to Audi’s website and see what it has to offer for the same price. Can you buy a base Audi Q7? Nope, that SUV starts at $55,000, so you’ll have to look at something less expensive. How about a Q5? That’s more in the ball-park range as far as pricing, so we’ll look at that.
If you were to opt for an Audi Q5 instead of Pilot, then you would be down three seats as the Q5 can only accommodate up to five occupants. However, you’ll have the utmost prestigious fit and finish that Audi has to offer including safety features like Audi’s Pre-Sense, and luxurious amenities like a full leather interior, heated and ventilated seats, and a panoramic roof.
Do these features sound familiar? That’s because it’s the same stuff that you would get in the Pilot, but with less overall room. Furthermore, $50,000 will still only get you to the mid-level Premium Plus trim for the Q5 as checking the box for the top-trim Prestige would cost closer to $60,000.
The definition of value
By now, you might be wondering why we would even make this comparison, especially considering we’re comparing two different SUVs in two completely different classes. The answer is simple: Value.
In case you don’t truly understand how much value Japanese brands like Honda and Toyota bring to the table, we hope that this comparison at least shows you that. On top of it all, the Honda Pilot is also much cheaper to repair and maintain than any Audi, so there’s that to consider as well.
So if you’re shopping for an SUV and you want to maximize your money, then look into the Japanese brands. You save a lot more than you think.