Honda Pilot vs Acura MDX

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - August 29, 2016

Much like Toyota and Lexus, or Nissan and Infiniti, the Honda and Acura brands are closely related. Their models share many of the same components, despite appealing to different buyers.

The Honda Pilot and Acura MDX might look like two totally different crossovers, but they're actually built on the same platform. Can the Pilot hold its own against its luxurious cousin?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Pilot & MDX »

What We Like About the MDX

The MDX comes standard with a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The base price also includes features like leather seating, driver memory, a sunroof, and a power tailgate. Needless to say, the MDX is equipped like a proper luxury vehicle from the start.

The MDX ranks as midsize and offers three rows of seating, but less interior room overall than the largest crossovers. That said, cargo space is undeniably generous at 91 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The standard power-sliding second row is a welcome touch that allows third-row passengers to get in and out with dignity.

What We Like About the Pilot
The Pilot carries the same 3.5-liter V6, which in this case makes 280 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and the upper trims get the Acura's nine-speed unit. While base models are modestly equipped, nearly everything available on the MDX can be added to the Pilot for a price.

The interior can accommodate up to eight passengers, one more than the MDX. Cargo space maxes out a 84 cubic feet, which is a tad above average for a crossover of this size.

Which Makes More Sense?

The difference between these siblings lies in the details. The MDX wears classier trim inside and out, and rolls down the road a little more smoothly and quietly. But is that enough to justify a price difference of about $12,000?

Our Verdict: Honda Pilot

The Pilot comes very close to the MDX in every respect except price, which makes it the favorite in our book.

Take a closer look at the Honda Pilot »

Take a closer look at the Acura MDX »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.