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Used Honda Pilot vs. Used Toyota Highlander - Which Is More Reliable In These Model Years?

We compare and contrast three years of used Honda Pilot and used Toyota Highlander crossovers to see which has the edge in reliability. 2017, 2013, and 2010.

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Both the Honda Pilot and Toyota make great used family crossovers. Both have a long legacy of safety, strong sales, and happy customers. Both Honda and Toyota are considered reliable brands as well. Is there a difference in the reliability between the used Honda Pilot and the used Toyota Highlander? We check the owner-reported reliability data at two trusted sources to find out.

Our first source is CarComplaints.com. This site aggregates owner complaints and creates a graph showing the best years and worst of each make and model. In addition, the owner data is categorized neatly to help identify any defects that are commonly found in a specific model year. The second source of owner-reported data is from Consumer Reports. This independent group is well-known as impervious to manufacturer bias. We do not include any editorial opinions here. Just owner data reported by two organizations.

Related: Used Honda CR-V vs. Used Toyota RAV4 - Which Is More Reliable In These Model Years?

Used Honda Pilot vs. Toyota Highlander Model Year 2017
2017 is a good year to begin with because this is the three-year-old mark for these crossovers. Both the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander score well at CarComplaints. Neither has any major defects showing up yet. At Consumer Reports, the Honda Pilot earned a 3/5 reliability rating from owners. By contrast, the Toyota Highlander earned a 5/5 rating. Here, we see a slight edge for the Toyota Highlander.

Honda Pilot crossoverUsed Honda Pilot vs. Toyota Highlander Model Year 2013
Model year 2013 Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot crossovers are approaching 100K miles in many cases. The prices have dropped steeply and the vehicles are in the prime of their lives. At CarComplaints.com, the Pilot earns a "Seal of Pretty Good." The Toyota Highlander has no major flaws reported by owners. At Consumer Reports, the Honda Pilot again earns just a 3/5 from owners in reliability and the Toyota Highlander earns a 5/5 rating.

Used Honda Pilot vs. Toyota Highlander Model Year 2010
The 2010 model year is helpful because it allows us to see how the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander age into their full lifespans. At CarComplaints, the Pilot had a seal of approval, but it has since shifted to a "Beware of the Clunker" stamp due to excessive oil consumption reports. The Highlander, by contrast, has no such stamp. At Consumer Reports, the Highlander again earns a 5/5 reliability rating and the Pilot a 3/5.

We hope this overview will help owners make an informed decision when shopping for a used Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander. Both are very popular three-row crossovers and both have relatively good reliability scores. If you own one of these two vehicles, please let us know in the comments below how reliable yours has been. Your comments may help a fellow shopper.

John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career and dedicated himself to chasing his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin.

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Comments

DeanMcManis (not verified)    March 17, 2020 - 8:57PM

I'm a long time Honda fan, and I enjoyed my CRV for years, but my friend had an older Highlander and it worked flawlessly, and then when I helped him search for a replacement we both independently came up with a newer, used Highlander as the best candidate. And he bought a 2018 model. It has been great. I am surprised that he averages around 22MPG, which is surprising because the V6 is a peppy engine and his commute has hours of stop and go traffic.

Aladejare Samuel (not verified)    April 3, 2020 - 3:10PM

I bought a used 2012 Honda Pilot 4WD in 2019. It has been doing great despite the poor conditions of our roads. I've also met other users who equally express the same good comment on it. I bought it at about 100000 miles but still rides as new.