Honda dealers far and wide—from Miami, FL, to Los Angeles, CA—know that the newest Honda Pilot has no rival. It’s a best-selling SUV for a reason: People and critics love it as both a capable family vehicle and cargo-hauler. But the name of the game is competition, and at South Florida Honda Dealers, we’re here to quell any thought you may have that there’s a better SUV out there. Here we’ll check out the redesigned-for-2016 Honda Pilot and how it compares to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, to prove once and for all why the Pilot remains unbeatable.
Pilot vs. Grand Cherokee: Performance & Fuel Efficiency
Underneath the hood, the Pilot showcases its impressive powertrain. The Pilot is clearly built for taking on any obstacle, once you look at its 3.5L V6 engine and hear the roar produced by 280 horsepower. Paired with either the standard 6-speed automatic or new 9-speed (on Touring and Elite models), its V6 is full of vigor. The Honda Pilot is also ranked among the best in its class when it comes to fuel economy—city and highway ratings of 19/27 mpg for the Pilot LX, and 20/27 mpg for the Touring and Elite trims—thanks to added technology like stop/start and cylinder-deactivation. Dropping 300 pounds also helps with fuel efficiency and improves handling from the steering wheel to the accelerator.
The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee, not to be outdone by the Pilot, also comes with a great selection of engines. A 295-hp V6 comes standard on the base Laredo, while the Limited, Overland, and Summit models come with two other options: a 5.7L V8 Hemi that pumps out 360 ponies or a 3.0L EcoDiesel with an impressive 420 lb-ft of torque. All engines come matched with an 8-speed automatic.
Tipping the scales at nearly 5,000 pounds, the Cherokee may have an edge in overall power, but it lacks the refinement to satisfy today’s wallets. It’s true that the Jeep Grand Cherokee bumped up its EPA ratings from past model years, but it’s hardly enough to push it into the realm of practicality. At just 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, the Grand Cherokee Laredo model falls short of what you’d expect a five-passenger SUV to offer in fuel economy. The SRT trim even offers jaw-droppingly inefficient ratings in the low- to mid-teens, earning it a gas-guzzler award in our books.
Honda Pilot: Reigning Supreme in SUV Spaciousness
With three-row seating for up to 8 passengers, the Honda Pilot is no stranger to spaciousness. For years now, the model has been one of the segment’s roomiest—and the 2016 model year proves once again that SUVs can realistically serve a dual purpose of hauling people and stuff all at once. At just over 171 cubic feet, passenger volume is astounding in both rear, middle, and front. Folding the rear seats down opens up an impressive 109 cubic-feet of cargo space.
Stylings inside offer even more comforts to passengers. Numerous cubbies and storage nooks are available throughout the cabin. Finishes resemble those inside the Accord and CR-V, and seats are ideally shaped and can be repositioned for drivers of any height. In the Pilot LX, entry-level features include a rearview camera, tilting steering column, touchscreen audio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and a push-button start. Moving up in trim levels will earn you access to features like leather-trim seats and dash, satellite radio, heated seats, climate-controlled AC, and a Blu-ray entertainment system, among others.
Measuring in at just 140 cubic feet of passenger volume—30 cubic feet less than the Honda Pilot—the Jeep Grand Cherokee two-row crossover is more “modest” than it is “grand.” Sticking with its decades-old blueprint, the Cherokee’s exterior dimensions ensure a cozy interior, which drivers may notice upon sliding through the narrow front doors. With a maximum cargo capacity of 68 cubic feet, the Cherokee can’t touch the Pilot in spaciousness. Features inside the Grand Cherokee are as robust as the Pilot’s, however, including Quadra-Trac 4WD systems, Uconnect infotainment, Wi-Fi connectivity, a Blu-ray entertainment system, surround-sound audio, and more.
Putting Safety First
Nothing should be more important when buying a family SUV than safety—not even price. To keep all passengers protected, the Pilot comes with Honda Sensing Suite, which includes driver-assist features like blind-spot monitors, a LaneWatch camera, auto emergency braking, and forward-collision warning systems. Boasting an overall five-star rating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and having been rewarded by the IIHS with the acclaimed Top Safety Pick+ award, the 2016 Pilot is as safe an SUV as we’ve seen. With the Honda Pilot, your family’s security won’t ever be in question.
The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee carries over past models’ safety features, but still lacks center-front and rear-seatbelt airbags—both of which come standard on most other SUVs in this class. While also producing a five-star rating with the NHTSA, the Cherokee was not as impressive on the IIHS testing grounds, earning marginal scores in the “small overlap crashworthiness” assessment.
The 2016 Honda Pilot: A Hands-Down Winner
Comparing eight- and five-passenger SUVs may seem counterintuitive, but when we look at the MSRPs of the Pilot vs. the Grand Cherokee, it’s clear which of these crossovers wins. Priced at or below the Cherokee, the 2016 Pilot is hands-down better thanks to incredible safety ratings, loads of passenger and cargo space, and better engine performance and fuel efficiency.
Serving the areas of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie, Pembroke Pines, and beyond, our new car dealerships will pilot you toward Honda offers and savings on a new SUV—guaranteed. Find your next new car at a South Florida Honda dealer today. Locate your local Honda dealership online, and stop in to test drive any of our certified-used cars or new Honda models, including the critically acclaimed Honda Pilot SUV.