The Buyer’s Guide: Kia Telluride vs Honda Pilot. Kia and Honda are currently at the forefront of the inexpensive midsize SUV industry. There are reasons to like both companies, and there is a lot of overlap in terms of what they do well. Kia and Honda are both famed for their unrivaled dependability and value for money. These characteristics are what distinguishes the Kia Telluride from the Honda Pilot.
Let us examine the commonalities. The Telluride and Pilot both feature a base MSRP of roughly $35,000, can seat a minimum of 5 passengers, offer FWD and AWD options, near to 300 horsepower, and extensive interior and safety-oriented electronics. And that’s only the beginning of the list.
We’ll go into more detail in the next sections, but the Telluride and Pilot are a fairly even battle. Having said that, there are undoubtedly places where one outperforms the other. In this post, we’ll go over the main similarities and differences between the 2022 Kia Telluride and the Honda Pilot to help you make the best buying decision.
Configurations and pricing for the 2022 Kia Telluride vs Honda Pilot
Kia offers the Telluride in four different variants at four different price points for the 2022 model year. The principal distinctions between the models are based on incorporated features rather than changes in size or performance.
- LX – $33,090
- S – $35,590
- EX – $38,090
- SX – $42,990
In all honesty, the difference between Telluride models is essentially insignificant. Each model is available in FWD or AWD configuration, with AWD variants being more expensive. The majority of the characteristics that distinguish the models are internal electronics, safety features, and outward aesthetic changes.
The 2022 Honda Pilot comes in nearly twice as many trim levels as the Telluride. The Honda Pilot is available in seven trim levels, which differ slightly more than the Telluride models.
- Sport – $36,830
- EX-L – $39,060
- $39,660 for the Special Edition
- TrailSport costs $43,560.
- $43,620 – Touring
- Elite – $49,120
- Black Edition costs $50,620.
The 2022 Honda Pilot, like the Telluride, does not differ significantly dependent on trim level. All seven Pilot variants share the same 280-horsepower i-VTEC V6 engine and core proportions. The inclusion of standard AWD on the TrailSport and Pilot Elite trim levels is perhaps the most significant difference between the trims.
Kia Telluride versus Honda Pilot AWD Capabilities and Availability
AWD is one of the most significant considerations for some people, particularly those who live in bad-weather areas, when acquiring a new midsize SUV. Fortunately, both the Kia Telluride and the Honda Pilot are available with AWD.
In terms of features and capabilities, the Kia Telluride and Honda Pilot AWD systems are fairly similar. The Telluride has an All-Wheel-Drive technology dubbed “Active On-Demand All-Wheel Drive w/ AWD Lock and Snow Mode.” That was a mouthful. However, it is a really effective system. The Telluride analyzes 50 distinct vehicle-mounted sensors 100 times per second to determine torque requirements on the fly, providing electricity to each wheel as needed.
The Honda Pilot uses a similar system, which Honda calls the i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system. It is Honda’s most advanced technology, and it is standard on the TrailSport and Elite Pilot trim levels. Torque vectoring is used by Honda’s i-VTM4 technology to deliver power to all four wheels individually via the front and back axles. The i-VTM4 may actively distribute up to 100% of engine torque to a single left or right wheel while sending up to 70% of engine torque to the rear wheels.
When fitted with their respective AWD systems, both the Kia Telluride and Honda Pilot are exceptionally capable vehicles in severe weather, unpaved roads, sand, gravel, and ice. Both vehicles’ base models can be equipped with AWD for an extra $2,000 on top of the base price. In that regard, the Telluride outperforms in terms of cost. An AWD Telluride LX costs $35,390, while an AWD Honda Pilot costs $41,075.
Standard Features of the Kia Telluride vs. Honda Pilot
Another significant difference between the Telluride and Pilot is the standard features that they both include. We’ll concentrate on the exterior, interior, and safety features. In terms of standard features, the Telluride and Pilot share quite a few commonalities in their most basic trim levels. With that stated, it is clear that the Telluride is more focused on creating a luxurious inside experience.
Exterior Standard Features
As previously noted, the Telluride and Pilot share a number of exterior / ease-of-use features as standard. Here are some of their most striking parallels:
- Keyless Access
- Door Handles That Match the Body
- Daytime Running Lights with LEDs
- Privacy Glass in the Back
- Windshield Wipers with Intermittent Variability
In terms of typical external elements, the two have more similarities than differences, particularly in base trim. Even more parallels emerge at higher trim levels. A power tailgate, for example, is offered on both the Telluride EX and the Pilot Special Edition. Power sunroofs, gloss black trim, and wider 20″ wheels are also standard on higher model versions of both.
Interior Standard Features
The inside characteristics of the Telluride and Pilot are remarkably similar, as are the exterior elements. Here are a few of the most notable:
- Start with a Push Button
- Apple Car Play and Android Auto Integration
- Several USB Ports
- Climate Control with Multiple Zones and Rear Seat Controls
- Seats in the second and third rows split 60/40.
- High-End Dynamic Audio
In terms of interior comfort features, the Pilot certainly outperforms the Telluride in base trim. While the interiors of the two vehicles are relatively similar, the Pilot has far more remarkable features.
The 2022 Honda Pilot, for example, comes standard with heated front seats, a more powerful 215-watt sound system with 7 speakers, beverage storage in all three rows, and a walk-away lock option. While the Pilot has more to offer, the Telluride excels at many of their common characteristics.
Both the Kia Telluride and the Honda Pilot, for example, have central infotainment screens that handle their media functions. In contrast to the Pilot’s 8″ display, the Telluride has a larger 10.25″ touch screen display. The Telluride comes with navigation, however the Pilot does not.
The standard seats are also worth noting, since the Kia Telluride has more premium-feeling SynTex faux-leather seats, whilst the Pilot has cloth seats. Both vehicles have numerous USB ports, however only the Telluride has three 12V power outlets.
Both the Kia Telluride and the Honda Pilot top the interior ratings for different reasons. Telluride is your best bet if you prefer quality over quantity.
Features of Standard Safety
Safety is one of the most critical components of any midsized family hauler. In that regard, both the Kia Telluride and the Honda Pilot have you covered. The final versions of both vehicles show that safety was at the top of both manufacturers’ priority lists. In terms of safety features, both vehicles go above and beyond. Here are some of the more striking parallels:
- Forward Collision Alert
- Collision Mitigation Braking System / Forward Collision Avoidance Assist
- Traction and Stability Control
- Lane Departure Alert
- Anti-Lock Brakes on All Four Wheels
- Curtain airbags for all rows
- Monitor / Rear View Camera
The Kia Telluride comes out on top in terms of safety. The Telluride also has driver attention warning, blind-spot collision avoidance aid, and lane-keeping assist, in addition to the features listed above. The Pilot also has several distinctive characteristics, such as an enhanced crash-resistant body design and SmartVent front airbags.
There is no doubt that both cars will keep you and your passengers safe. The Telluride offers the best value for money in terms of safety, with the same number of features but a lower starting MSRP.
Kia Telluride versus Honda Pilot Dependability & Durability
It is no secret that both Kia and Honda are well-known for their dependability. The same is true for the Telluride and Pilot. It’s worth noting that the Kia Telluride is a new model, having debuted for the 2020 model year.
As a result, we’ll have to utilize comparable Kia cars as the Telluride’s comparison. The first-generation Pilot was released in 2002. While the 2022 Pilot is drastically different, the core structure remains strong.
Engine Reliability in the Kia Telluride
Let’s start with the Telluride’s 3.8L Lambda engine, which has also been employed in Hyundai-badged SUVs. When it comes to the reliability of most cars, the engine is one of the most crucial things to consider, as engine problems can be the most expensive to repair in the long run.
In general, the Hyundai-made 3.8L Lambda engine is a strong and dependable engine with no truly typical faults. That being said, no engine is complete without some minor flaws. Carbon buildup on intake valves from direct injection, oil leaks, and high mileage gearbox difficulties have been known to plague the 3.8L in the past. Check out our 3.8L Hyundai Genesis 3.8L V6 Engine guide for more information on some of the 3.8L’s most common issues.
At this point in the 3.8L Lambda’s development cycle, Hyundai and, by extension, Kia have resolved the majority of the oil leak and transmission difficulties. Having said that, oil leaks can still occur if an oil filter is put incorrectly or fails to seat properly. Overall, J.D. Power & Associates rated the Kia Telluride a reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, making it one of the finest in its class.
Reliability of the Honda Pilot Engine
While the Honda Pilot is still held in high respect in terms of dependability, the Kia Telluride is likely to exceed it in 2022. Honda, on the other hand, has an unrivaled track record in terms of engine reliability in the past, so that prognosis is speculative.
The Honda Pilot still uses the Honda J35 3.5L V6 engine, which has been used in Honda cars for almost two decades. While the J35 has been upgraded and refined since then, the general design remains consistent. This allows us to look at the engine’s historical faults and predict some of the challenges that 2022 Pilot owners may have in the future.
Variable cylinder management gasket leakage, frequent timing belt maintenance, and carbon buildup on intake valves are the three most prevalent J35 engine faults. The biggest concern here is with the VCM system, which is in charge of shutting down cylinders during low-demand driving to conserve fuel economy. While it is an excellent system in terms of efficiency, it is prone to problems, particularly at greater mileages. If you want to learn more about the J35 engine, check out our 3 Most Common Problems With the Honda J35 Engine tutorial.
Taking all of this into account, the majority of the 2022 Pilot’s issues will be uncommon and will manifest later in their lifecycle. J.D. Power & Associates assigned the 2022 Pilot a projected reliability score of 79/100, placing it above-average.
Summary of the Kia Telluride vs Honda Pilot
The Kia Telluride and Honda Pilot are both excellent midsized SUVs. When compared to the Honda Pilot’s extensive history, the Telluride is a relatively new vehicle on the market. Despite the historical differences, the Kia Telluride appears to be the greatest alternative in terms of price, interior quality, and safety.
Because the two are so comparable in most ways, the choice really comes down to personal preference. On the one hand, the Telluride is a fresh kid on the block who appears to perform most things better than the seasoned vet. To make matters worse, it does so at a cheaper starting MSRP. The Honda Pilot, on the other hand, has already established itself as one of the top vehicles in its class. In general, a Honda Pilot delivers on its promises.
Exterior appearance, brand preference, and extremely specialized individual needs must all be taken into account. In either case, you’ll drive away from the dealership with a midsized SUV that you and your family will appreciate.