Can't Find a Honda Pilot? Consider These SUVs Instead
The Volkswagen Atlas, Buick Enclave, and Dodge Durango are great alternatives to the Honda Pilot.
Honda's three-row Pilot has a lot going for it: it's practical, it's well-built, and it's a good value. These qualities can make the Pilot hard to find on dealer lots in certain parts of the country, and high demand has resulted in some dealers charging over the manufacturer's suggested retail price. If you're in the market for a three-row SUV but can't find a Pilot, consider these three competent alternatives. They're likely easier to find and they may be priced closer to the MSRP.
The Volkswagen Atlas competes in the same segment as the Pilot. It was released for 2018, so it's newer, and it benefited from a mid-cycle update for 2021. It's also more affordable as Volkswagen charges around $35,700 (including destination charge) for a base 2022 Atlas SE, while Honda sets the entry-level 2022 Pilot Sport's price at about $39,400. One of the main differences is power, the Atlas SE comes with a 235 hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while the Pilot Sport has a 280 hp 3.5L V6. Atlas buyers can select a 276 hp 3.6L V6 at an extra cost on some trim levels.
At 200.7 inches long, the Atlas stretches about 4 inches longer than the Pilot and benefits from more trunk space. Cargo capacity checks in at 20.6 cu.-ft. behind the third-row seats, 55.5 cu.-ft. behind the second-row seats, and 96.8 cu.-ft. with both rows folded flat. In comparison, the Pilot posts numbers of 16.5 cu.-ft., 46.8 cu.-ft. and 83.9 cu.-ft., respectively. Both come standard with three rows of seats.
Buick markets the Enclave as a more upscale alternative to three-row SUVs like the Pilot and prices it accordingly. The base Essence trim starts around $46,200, including destination charge and a mandatory three-year subscription to OnStar valued at $1,500. The trade-off is that buyers get more features for their money. Powered by a 310 hp 3.6L V6, the entry-level Enclave comes standard with a wireless device charger, a heated steering wheel, and heated front seats, among other features. On the Pilot, these features are either optional on lower trim levels or standard on more expensive trims priced in Enclave territory.
The difference in horsepower and engine displacement isn’t huge, so both SUVs received comparable fuel economy ratings. The front-wheel drive (FWD) Pilot returns an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined, while the all-wheel drive (AWD) model is rated at 22 mpg combined. The Enclave posts 21 and 20 mpg, respectively.
Although it's one of the oldest three-row SUVs on the market, the Dodge Durango remains competitive. Pricing starts at about $39,000, including destination, and it's offered in a wide variety of trim levels, ranging from the value-focused SXT to the performance-oriented SRT 392. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) and a 293 hp 3.6L V6 come standard, though options include AWD and two V8s. The eight-cylinder makes the Durango a unique offering in its segment while the Pilot is only available with a V6.
In its most capable configuration, powered by either the 5.7L or the 6.4L V8, the Durango can tow up to 8,900 lbs. Towing capacity for the Pilot checks in at 5,000 lbs. with AWD, which makes the Durango a great alternative for buyers who regularly pull something heavy. Fuel economy suffers, however the 5.7L powered Durango returns a combined 17 mpg, while the V6 fuel economy is 21 mpg.