Kia Telluride Vs Honda Pilot: Fully Compared

Kia Telluride vs Honda Pilot

Unbelievable, but the Kia Telluride seems to be a better SUV than the Honda Pilot. We’d all know the Honda Pilot to be a super impressive mid-size SUV for all SUVing needs, but the Telluride has continued to beat most of these prominent SUVs since it appeared in 2020, and the Honda Pilot doesn’t seem to be holding up well.

But what is the difference between Kia Telluride vs Honda Pilot? Well, I tested both, and I found many ways in which they are true rivals.

Let’s say it’s a battle between consumers’ acceptance, reliability, and performance. The Honda Pilot is one of the best and highest-ranking SUVs in the United States; it’s a three-row SUV with so much space to offer. The Kia Telluride is a classy SUV with lots of modern features and hi-tech systems.

This comparison guide looks at the distinctive differences between these two popular mid-size SUVs loved by many people in the United States.

Kia Telluride Overview

Kia-Telluride-OverviewIntroduced in 2019 for the 2020 model year, the Kia Telluride is one of the most coveted rides of the moment – especially in the U.S. It has topped many charts and has remained on the top spots, thanks to its premium/luxurious exterior and interior design. When I tested the Kia Telluride, there was no doubt that the SUV is a pure definition of class and luxury.

But then, the Kia Telluride is not a luxury ride; it’s a non-luxury SUV with premium features and techs – call it a “Premium SUV.”

Kia Telluride won the 2020 Word Car award – it is a decent SUV for any family – offering seating space for up to eight passengers. The Telluride SUV can go off-road, but you have to choose the capable off-road trim.

Compared with other popular like the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot, Kia Telluride is quite cheaper and looks much better on the inside – the base model comes with a leatherette interior, well-polished.

Honda Pilot Overview

Honda-Pilot-OverviewThe Honda Pilot is a mid-size crossover SUV with three-row seating; it is Honda’s largest SUV offering to the North American market. Pilots are currently made in Lincoln, Alabama, packed with many new technologies you’d find useful. Honda Pilots are rated among the top 6 best mid-size SUVs to own and drive.

Launched in 2002 – a year after Toyota launched its Highlander SUV series – the Honda Pilot has been facelifted and upgraded quite many times to look like it does right now. The current design is sleeker and more spacious. However, the Honda Pilot is based on the platform of the Acura MDX and Odyssey minivan.

Compared with the Kia Telluride, I found that the Pilot really stands out in handling and comfortability. The cargo space provided by Honda Pilot is arguably the largest you can get from any three-row SUV of its class. You can’t go wrong with a newer model Honda Pilot.

Kia Telluride Vs Honda Pilot

No doubt, if you’re looking for an SUV ride spacious enough for the family, has a large trunk space, affordable price, and is suitable for slight off-road driving, the Telluride and Pilot checks all the boxes.

Model/FeatureKia TellurideToyota Higher
Seat rows
Engine Options
3.8L V6 (Gasoline)
3.5 L J35Z4 V6
Fuel Economy
24 - 26 MPG (HWY)
22 MPG Highway and City Combined
8-speed A8LF1 automatic
10-speed automatic
Trim Levels
 LX, S, EX, SX, X-Line, and X-Pro
LX, EX, Sport, EX-L, SE, TrailSport, Touring, Elite, and Black Edition
Rating (Cars.USNews)
8.6 out of 10
8.3 out of 10
Towing Capacity
5000 pounds
3500 pounds
$30,000 - $44,000
$35,000 - $44,000

Note: This comparison (chart and article) is largely based on the 2022 models of the Telluride and Pilot.

1. Engine, Transmission, and Acceleration

Both the Telluride and Pilot come with a standard V6 engine, but the Telluride particularly comes with a 291-hp, 3.8L engine that goes from 0-60mph in 7.2 seconds, while the Pilot comes with a 280hp 3.8L engine that accelerates as fast as the Telluride – it’s almost a tie.

However, while the Telluride comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission, the Pilot comes with a 10-speed transmission. Also, the Kia Telluride’s standard V6 engine produces up to 262 pound-feet of torque at 5200 rpm, and the Pilot produces 262 pound-feet of torque at 4700 rpm.

2. Exterior Design

With the well-crafted body design, the Telluride looks more interesting and catchy to the eye. While the Honda Pilot doesn’t have so much of an appealing body design compared with the Telluride, it still looks good, and many people love it that way.

Both the Telluride and Pilot come standard with all-season tires and a compact spare tire.

3. Interior Design

On the inside, the Kia Telluride has a better appealing interior with a leatherette finish. The Honda Pilot has a cloth interior – although it looks cute, it’s not as appealing as the synthetic leather interior in the base model Kia Telluride.

Both SUVs come with power windows and locks as standard interior components. Also, you’re getting heated front seats and folding rear seats as standard features. For sure, there are several ports to connect your devices while on either of these rides.

4. Towing Capacity

With the proper gear, a Kia Telluride can tow up to 5,000 pounds of weight; but on the other hand, a well-equipped Honda Pilot can tow only 3,500-pound tons. So, definitely, the Telluride can definitely move more tons than the Honda Pilot, and that means a lot for campers.

5. Infotainment and Tech Features

The Honda Pilot comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment unit that supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to connect your devices.

Also the 2022 model also comes with a rearview backup camera, i-MID central dashboard, USB connectors, Bluetooth hands-free calling, and tri-zone climate control features as standard.

On the other hand, Tellurides come with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and higher trims come with a 12-inch touchscreen display.

Particularly, Tellurides come with Kia Drive Wise tech, which integrates the following: forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, pedestrian detection, active blind-spot warning, and lane-keeping assistance - to mention a few.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kia Telluride the Same Size as Honda Pilot?

They are not, but the difference is insignificant. The Kia Telluride is about 196.9 inches long and 78.3 inches wide, while the Pilot is 196.5 inches long and 78.6 inches wide. More like the Pilot is wider, and the Telluride is longer.

Coming to the trunk capacity, the Pilot offers 16.5 cu-ft. with all seats rolled up, while the Telluride offers 21 cu-ft. With the third row folded, the space is 46.8 cu-ft. for the Pilot and 46 cu-ft. for the Telluride.

How Reliable is the Kia Telluride?

Kia vehicles are pretty reliable; J.D. Power rates the 2022 model 85 out of 100, which is above average. Other notable websites rate the Kia Telluride above average; it’s a decent ride, after all - capable of lasting for a long time.

Is the Kia Telluride Comfortable For Long Road Trips?

Looking at the seat arrangements - with the heated front seats and headrest - the Kia Telluride is a great ride you can drive for the whole day. Yes, it is a comfortable ride for long road trips; you can even take it off-road.