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2019 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Honda CR-V: What’s the Difference?

  • The 2019 Honda CR-V is a compact crossover and the 2019 Honda Pilot is a midsize crossover with three rows of seats.

  • The CR-V is more affordable and more efficient, but the Pilot offers greater utility with more seats and greater towing capacity.

  • More standard driver assistance tech has been added to the Pilot for 2019.

Car shoppers in the market for a family SUV have probably come across two of the most popular offerings from Honda: the Pilot and the CR-V. On the surface, they might seem pretty similar, but there are plenty of differences setting these two apart, making them better suited to different needs. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between the Honda Pilot and the Honda CR-V.

2019 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Honda CR-V


The CR-V is a compact SUV and the Pilot is on the bigger side of the midsize segment. The size difference is noticeable when you compare them side by side with the Pilot being 18 inches longer, six inches wider and five inches taller than the CR-V.

Both of these crossovers have pretty conservative styling. They won’t turn a lot of heads in traffic, but their practical exteriors and subdued, yet handsome styling can be a big benefit for drivers looking for a sensible SUV.

2019 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Honda CR-V interior


Not surprisingly, the bigger exterior of the Pilot gives way to a bigger interior than the CR-V. One of the biggest differences between these two crossovers is seating capacity. Every Honda CR-V has seating for five, while the Pilot has room for either seven or eight people depending on whether you opt for the optional second-row captain’s chairs. Even with all of the seats in place, the Pilot still offers generous cargo space behind the seats. See the 2019 Honda Pilot models for sale near you

Although it has fewer seats than the Pilot, the CR-V is a class leader in interior space. The back seat passengers have plenty of room and the cargo space is immense. From any seat of the CR-V, it feels like it’s a bigger SUV than it really is. See the 2019 Honda CR-V models for sale near you

As for interior design and quality, the CR-V and the Pilot are fairly similar. Since the Pilot is more of a minivan alternative, it has more interior options like a back-seat entertainment system, abundant USB ports and the aforementioned second-row captain’s chairs.

2019 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Honda CR-V mechanicals


The CR-V has two different 4-cylinder engines available and the Pilot only has one V6 available under the hood. They both come standard with front-wheel drive and are available with all-wheel drive. Like always, AWD brings with it a slight fuel economy penalty.

2019 Honda CR-V Engines

  • 2.4-liter inline four; 184 horsepower, 180 lb-ft of torque; 26 mpg city/32 mpg hwy

  • 1.5-liter turbocharged inline four; 190 hp, 179 lb-ft of torque; 28 mpg city/34 mpg hwy

2019 Honda Pilot Engine

  • 3.5-liter V6; 280 hp, 262 lb-ft of torque; 19 mpg city/27 mpg hwy

Obviously, the bigger SUV with the bigger engine isn’t as fuel efficient as the smaller SUV with the smaller engines. If you can afford it, we recommend the turbocharged engine in the CR-V since it’s notably more efficient while delivering very similar performance as the base engine.

Having the extra grunt of the V6 makes the Pilot a much better towing vehicle. When equipped with FWD, the Pilot has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, but an AWD Pilot can tow up to 5,000 pounds. That means it can tow a pretty wide range of boats and RVs without breaking a sweat. Every 2019 CR-V has a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 pounds, which is good enough for things like small pop-up tent trailers or smaller recreational vehicles like jet skis and dirt bikes.

2019 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Honda CR-V tech


The Honda Sensing safety tech suite now comes standard on every trim of the 2019 Pilot, which is a new perk for the 2019 model. Honda Sensing includes adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation and lane-keeping assist. Honda Sensing comes standard on every 2019 CR-V except for the base LX trim.

Since these two SUVs come from the same brand, a lot of the technology is pretty similar. They both offer a 7-in infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity on the midrange EX trim and up, which we recommend.

2019 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Honda CR-V pricing


As you probably expected, the bigger Pilot costs more than the smaller CR-V and pricing for both models are in line with their competitors. The Pilot has a starting MSRP of $31,450 and the CR-V starts at $24,350. Adding AWD is a $1,400 option for the CR-V and a $1,900 upcharge for the Pilot except for the Pilot Elite which comes standard with AWD.

2019 Honda Pilot vs. 2019 Honda CR-V conclusions


A few similarities between the Honda Pilot and the Honda CR-V is that they’re both practical, sensible crossovers that offer a lot of value. The differences appear when you think about who they’re designed for. The CR-V is great for single people or small families as a versatile little SUV, while the Pilot is more of a minivan alternative for big families who need more seats, more space and maybe some towing capability. Either way, you can’t go wrong with either of these SUVs. Find a Honda Pilot for sale or Find a Honda CR-V for sale

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