Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Toyota 4Runner VS 2018 Honda Pilot Near Greenville, NC

Responsive image

2018 Toyota 4Runner

Responsive image

2018 Toyota 4Runner

Responsive image

2018 Honda Pilot

Safety Comparison

The 4Runner has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Pilot doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the 4Runner SR5/Limited 4x4’s standard Downhill Assist Control allows you to creep down safely. The Pilot doesn’t offer Downhill Assist Control.

Both the 4Runner and the Pilot have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Toyota 4Runner is safer than the Honda Pilot:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Hip Force

233 lbs.

269 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

42 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4Runner for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Pilot.

There are over 18 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 4Runner’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the 4Runner’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Pilot’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Pilot’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 4Runner’s reliability 25 points higher than the Pilot.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Honda is ranked 10th.

Engine Comparison

The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 16 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 262) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The 4Runner has 3.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pilot (23 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 4Runner’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Pilot:




Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.6 inches

The 4Runner’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Pilot are solid, not vented.

The 4Runner stops shorter than the Pilot:





60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the 4Runner’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Pilot (265/70R17 vs. 245/60R18).

The Toyota 4Runner’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Honda Pilot only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The 4Runner has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Pilot, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 4Runner has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Pilot’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 4Runner TRD Off-Road offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Pilot doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 4Runner’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.6% to 46.4%) than the Pilot’s (56.1% to 43.9%). This gives the 4Runner more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the 4Runner’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Pilot’s (37.4 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the 4Runner has a 2.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Pilot (9.6 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the 4Runner to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The 4Runner SR5 is 4.3 inches shorter than the Pilot, making the 4Runner easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the 4Runner TRD Off-Road is quieter than the Pilot Elite 4WD (73 vs. 78 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The 4Runner has .8 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Pilot.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 4Runner’s optional sliding cargo floor is capable of supporting 440 pounds, to make loading and unloading cargo easier and safer. The Pilot doesn’t offer a sliding load floor.

The 4Runner’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Pilot’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics Comparison

The 4Runner’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Pilot’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The 4Runner’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Pilot AWD EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the 4Runner owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 4Runner with a number “8” insurance rate while the Pilot is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The 4Runner will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 4Runner will retain 59.42% to 66.41% of its original price after five years, while the Pilot only retains 48.36% to 52.39%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4Runner is less expensive to operate than the Pilot because typical repairs cost less on the 4Runner than the Pilot, including $61 less for a water pump, $142 less for an alternator and $7 less for front brake pads.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota 4Runner will be $1899 to $7228 less than for the Honda Pilot.

Recommendations Comparison

The TRD Pro was selected by Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine as their 2015 4x4 of the Year. The Pilot has never been chosen.

The Toyota 4Runner outsold the Honda Pilot by 1017 units during 2017.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.