Dodge Durango vs. Honda Pilot

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 - January 21, 2015

The Dodge Durango and Honda Pilot are certainly two of the more rugged-looking crossovers you can buy. The Dodge borrows styling cues from the big rigs, while the Honda stands tall and square like a vintage SUV.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Durango & Pilot >>

Of course, versatility is what really matters in this class. Buyers want a catch-all vehicle that can do a lot of things reasonably well. How well do these models meet their demands?

Where the Durango Shines

Buyers who rough it on the weekends or grind their own sausage need not worry about being seen driving a Durango. It's a substantial machine with muscular styling and a four-section grille cribbed from the RAM pickup. And yet the seven-passenger interior is fully up to the task of keeping the entire family comfortable and entertained. With the second- and third-row seats folded, the Durango holds up to 84.5 cubic feet of cargo.

Unlike most crossovers, the Durango is rear-wheel drive and as such can tow 6,200 pounds with the standard 290-horsepower 3.7-liter V6. When equipped with the available 5.7-liter V8 with 360 horsepower, towing capacity rises to 7,400 pounds, on par with many full-size SUVs. Full-time all-wheel drive is available with the V6, and V8 models can get on-demand four-wheel drive with low-ranging gearing for moderate off-road ability.

Where the Pilot Shines

A rare feat among crossovers, the Pilot seats up to eight passenger thanks to an adult-size third row. The squared-off roofline provides plenty of headroom for all and makes the cargo area easy to load. With the rear seats folded, the Pilot can swallow 87 cubic feet of family gear. For all its capacity, the Honda delivers 25 mpg on the highway, or 24 mpg when equipped with all-wheel drive.

All models carry a 3.5-liter V6 with 250 horsepower and a five-speed automatic transmission, a setup that allows the Pilot to tow up to 4,500 in all-wheel drive form. Other standard equipment includes tri-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, and an eight-inch information display.

What's the Difference?

The Durango takes its passenger-carrying role seriously, yet also provides truck-like capability for those who need it. The Pilot's top priority is space for people and things. Its best application is as an all-weather alternative to a minivan.

Our Verdict: Dodge Durango

The Durango stands out as a stylish crossover that can tackle the tough jobs when asked.

Take a closer look at the Dodge Durango >>

Take a closer look at the Honda Pilot >>

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. 


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