Adventure is always in reserve with rugged, versatile mid-size SUVs like the 2017 Ford Explorer and the Honda Pilot. But which model is right for your driveway? Check out our SUV comparison guide to learn more.
2017 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot
The Explorer's cabin has a well-earned rep for creature comforts. It's decked out in high-quality materials, including a soft-touch dash, which gives your ride a certain luxury. All three rows supply the roomy support you need, whether you're taking the entire family on a cross-country trip or simply spending a day running errands.
In the Honda Pilot, all three rows are adult-friendly, so you can take the whole crew out for a biking or hiking adventure. If there's one caveat to the Honda's appeal, it's that access to the third-row seats is narrow, making it hard for passengers to get in and out of the cabin.
Whether you're in the mood to make family memories or simply seeking pristine backdrops for some amazing selfies, the Explorer is always ready for your next adventure. Head into the mountains or over rugged trails with the Explorer's all-wheel-drive technology. The Explorer also tows up to 5,000 pounds' worth of weekend warrior toys wherever you may want them.
The Honda Pilot's all-wheel-drive system can easily handle slippery surfaces, such as snowy pavement, giving you extra traction for greater driver control in a pinch. The Pilot can also tow up to 5,000 pounds, making it a great pick for fishermen. Unfortunately, the Pilot's transmission isn't as smooth as it could be, with some rough shifts at low speeds. You won't see this in the Explorer, which always feels smooth and composed.
For staying connected on the go, the Pilot is your SUV. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technology project smartphone apps right onto the Pilot's central touchscreen. There's no longer a need to look down at your phone, because you can access your contact list and music collection with one quick swipe.
Still, we give the Explorer's infotainment system, Sync 3, two enthusiastic thumbs up, in part because its touchscreen is responsive and easy to use. The Explorer doesn't offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - yet. But it does give you voice controls, which make it easy to alter navigation routes or make hands-free calls - and all without looking away from traffic.
The Explorer's take on safety gives you the kind of peace of mind that you can't pass up. In government crash tests, it earned a perfect five-star rating for overall protection. We're also big fans of its safety gadgets, including the 180-degree camera, which lets you see around corners when visibility is limited. Driver aids, like lane-keeping assist, constantly monitor the road around you to reduce the possibility of an accident.
The Pilot's Honda Sensing package bundles helpful driver aids together, which do everything from sense an oncoming collision to detect a road departure. These technologies can even intervene to help you avoid an accident, guiding you back onto the road or applying the brakes in the face of a crash. However, Honda's driver aids have developed a bit of a reputation for being too quick to sense danger when, in fact, there isn't any.
Learn More about the Ford Explorer
The 2017 Ford Explorer is ready for all kinds of action - making it our pick over the Honda Pilot. It gives you the all-wheel-drive performance you need to make your way over rugged trails without a care in the world, along with three rows of comfortable passenger room and a solid safety track record. If you're looking for a mid-sized SUV that performs, the 2017 Ford Explorer is an excellent option for you.