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Subaru Outback vs Honda Pilot

This is a white Subaru Outback on display at a car show.

Ever struggled to decide between two cars that you felt unsure which one to choose or which one would even suit you best? Don’t stress, I felt like that as well deciding between the Subaru Outback vs. Honda Pilot; that’s why I dug deep to find which one is the best!

The Subaru Outback has a better fuel efficiency than the Pilot and a higher ground clearance making it perfect for those off-road trips. The Honda Pilot seats eight people, ample cargo space, and a more powerful base engine make it the perfect SUV for a big family.

Though the Outback has higher ground clearance, it doesn’t shy away from the Honda from being used off-road either. With its bigger engine, the Honda can tow a more significant number than the Outback if that’s something you are looking at doing.

Outback vs. Pilot

This is a blue Honda Pilot on display at a car show.

The Outback has been redesigned over time to what we now know to be a mixture of a station wagon and SUV, labeling it a mid-sized SUV. The Outback drives like a sedan and has an SUV’s ground clearance that allows for a comfortably seated height over other cars. This design style makes the Outback a unique Subaru model, retaining its comfortability and versatility.

The Outback is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want something fuel-efficient for the city and can take you out of the city to make lifelong memories. Thanks to its all-wheel drive, it makes going off-road easy and enjoyable, giving the driver reassurance that his vehicle can take the rugged terrain as it comes.

The Honda Pilot is a great crossover mid-sized SUV that seats eight people with a fair amount of space for both passengers and your cargo space. The Honda 2021 is the brand’s largest SUV, and some even say the most capable compared to other SUVs in its class.

The Honda Pilot, when it came out in 2016, was a big hit and favorable by a lot of people seeking a strong mid-sized SUV that can cater to more people inside. Honda gave that to people, but unfortunately, competitors have created better mid-sized SUVs with better interior quality and slightly bigger bodies like the Hyundai Palisade.

Though there are better choices in the market, the Honda Pilot is still on top of the list of choices. The Pilot is still a great well rounded SUV that gives you a comfortable ride with its ample wheelbase and size. The engine is more than capable of pushing this car when it’s needed, and even more size, not slacking under heavy loads.

Size Comparison

This is a white Subaru Outback parked at a covered parking lot.

The Outback has a smaller body shape than the bigger Honda Pilot; the length of the Outback is 191.3 inches, width is 73 inches max, total height is 66.4 inches, and wheelbase is 108.1 inches. However, the ground clearance for the Outback is higher than the Pilot’s, being 8.7 inches that would give you a higher comfortable ride, both on-road and off-road.

The Outback, smaller in size than the Honda Pilot, gives the Outback a smaller cabin with 42.8 inches of legroom in the first row of seats and 39.5 inches of space in the second row of seats. The cargo space for the Outback is 32.5 cubic feet, and with the back row seats down, that number becomes 75.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

The Honda Pilot, on the other hand, with its more considerable body, is 196.5 inches long, 78.6 inches max-width, 70.6 overall height, and an extensive wheelbase of 111 inches. The bigger a wheelbase, the more comfortable a ride is, as it picks up fewer vibrations of the road from the wheels as it has a more significant area of wheelbase, making the vehicle more responsive.

The cargo space is something that the Honda can brag about with an overall cargo volume of 83.8 cubic feet. Its cargo volume to the second-row seats is 46.8 cubic feet, and then directly behind the third row, it’s 16.6 cubic feet. If all seats are occupied, then that back trunk volume is small to put luggage inside.

The Honda gives 40.9 inches of legroom to front-seat occupants, which is less than the Outback, second legroom of 38.4 inches, and then back row seats have 31.9 inches of legroom space.

Engine Specs

This is a close look at the Subaru Outback engine.

The Outback comes standard with its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 182 horsepower. The turbocharged engine version of the higher trim Outback will give you 290 horsepower. The Outback has a 26 city/33 highway miles per gallon fuel efficiency, making it the more conventional choice to save fuel.  The Outback comes standard with an all-wheel drive train.

The Honda Pilot comes with a 3.5 liter V6 cylinder engine that produces 280 horsepower for Honda Pilot. There are no other engine options for the Pilot, which is strange as the other Honda SUVs have hybrid options. The V6 is thirsty compared with the Outback; the Pilot has its mileage per gallon of 20 in the City /27 on the highway, decent fuel efficiency for the size of the engine but not the greatest.

On top of that, the Honda Pilot comes standard with front-wheel drive, but for others looking for an AWD option, the Pilot does have it in their higher trims. The all-wheel-drive option will give you better traction control and grip on the road for those wet conditions and off-road surfaces.

Safety Features

This is a close look at the interior of a Honda Pilot showcasing the dashboard.

To put your mind at ease, both the Honda and Subaru come with advanced safety systems that will keep your passengers safe. They are both tested and have high-ranking safety specs. They both come with similar safety features such as:

  • Pre-collision braking
  • Lane departure and sway warning
  • Advanced adaptive cruise control with lane-centering
  • Lane keep assist
  • High beam assist
  • Rear vision camera


The Outback is a great car that comes standard with the capabilities of taking you anywhere you want to go, even if that includes off-road. The engine will give you excellent fuel economy that won’t make you stop every so often at your local gas stop. It’s a tremendous well-rounded crossover, with remarkable comfort, quality features, and excellent versatility.

The Honda Pilot has efficient space with smooth riding and a powerful engine that allows a driver to tow a heavy load easily. Though its fuel economy is affected, the Honda will ensure that your vehicle won’t slack in power when it’s needed. The Honda Pilot is one of the best-rounded three-row SUVs you can get on the market.


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Cars: Honda Pilot vs. Subaru Outback