Son's Automotive Group Compares 2019 Honda Pilot VS 2019 GMC Acadia Near Duluth, GA

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2019 Honda Pilot

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2019 Honda Pilot

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2019 GMC Acadia

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Honda Pilot are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The GMC Acadia doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Both the Pilot and the Acadia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pilot the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 91 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Acadia was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty Comparison

The Pilot’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Acadia’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

The engine in the Pilot has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Acadia have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Pilot’s reliability 44 points higher than the Acadia.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 18th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 17 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine Comparison

The Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 87 more horsepower (280 vs. 193) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 188) than the Acadia’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Pilot is faster than the GMC Acadia V6:




Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10.7 sec

11.8 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.3 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.9 MPH

92.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Pilot gets better fuel mileage than the Acadia:







3.5 V6/9-spd Auto

20 city/27 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.6 V/Auto


3.5 V6/6-spd Auto

19 city/27 hwy




3.5 V6/9-spd Auto

19 city/26 hwy

17 city/25 hwy

3.6 V/Auto


3.5 V6/6-spd Auto

18 city/26 hwy



An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Pilot’s fuel efficiency. The Acadia doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Pilot stops shorter than the Acadia:





60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Pilot has larger tires than the Acadia (245/60R18 vs. 235/65R18).

The Pilot LX/EX/EX-L’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Acadia’s standard 65 series tires. The Pilot Touring/Elite’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Acadia’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Pilot LX/EX/EX-L has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Acadia.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Pilot (except LX)’s optional drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Acadia doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Pilot is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Acadia.

The Pilot Elite 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the Acadia SLT AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Pilot has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Acadia (7.3 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the Pilot to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Pilot Elite 4WD is quieter than the Acadia Denali AWD:




At idle

37 dB

41 dB


78 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Pilot has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Acadia can only carry 7.

The Pilot has 9.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Acadia (152.9 vs. 143.8).

The Pilot has 3.4 inches more front hip room, 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear hip room, 3.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.7 inches more third row headroom, .8 inches more third row legroom, 1.7 inches more third row hip room and 3.3 inches more third row shoulder room than the Acadia.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Pilot’s middle and third row seats recline. The Acadia’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Pilot’s cargo area provides more volume than the Acadia.




Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

12.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

41.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

79 cubic feet

The Pilot has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Acadia doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Pilot. The Acadia doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Pilot’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Acadia’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. The Acadia’s optional front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Pilot the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Acadia can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Pilot has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Acadia doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Pilot Elite’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Acadia’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Pilot’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Acadia’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Pilot owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Pilot will cost $95 to $2745 less than the Acadia over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pilot is less expensive to operate than the Acadia because it costs $684 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pilot than the Acadia, including $106 less for front brake pads, $23 less for fuel injection, $726 less for a timing belt/chain and $444 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Honda Pilot has won recognition from these important consumer publications:




Consumer Reports® Recommends



Car Book “Best Bet”



The Honda Pilot outsold the GMC Acadia by 14% during 2017.

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