Drive down the roads of Leesville or Lake Charles, LA, on any given day and chances are you will pass a Ford Explorer or a Honda Pilot. That's because these two vehicles are among the most popular SUVs on the road today.

For many shoppers in the market for a new SUV, the choice comes down to the Ford Explorer vs. the Honda Pilot. To help you learn the differences between the two giants of the SUV market, the team here at Hixson Ford Leesville has put together this review. Read on to learn more!

Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot: Performance and Fuel Economy

The 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Honda Pilot both have a lot to offer drivers in terms of performance. If you want a variety of powertrain options, however, the 2021 Explorer offers more to choose from.

The standard engine in the 2021 Explorer is a potent 2.3L EcoBoost® I-4 engine that gets 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. With the 2021 Pilot, you will get less power, as it comes with a standard 280-horsepower 3.5L V6 engine.

If you require more power from the 2021 Explorer, you can choose between an available 3.0L EcoBoost® V6 engine and a 3.3L Hybrid powertrain. The Honda Pilot does not offer any other engine choices.

The 2021 Explorer with the standard powertrain will also get you further between stops for fuel. See how the 2021 Honda Pilot stacks up in the table below:    


Base Engine

EPA-Estimated City MPG

EPA-Estimated Highway MPG


2021 Ford Explorer

2.3L EcoBoost® I-4



2021 Honda Pilot

3.5L V6



Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot: Cargo Space

Making the most of your SUV requires ample interior space for passengers and all your essentials. For drivers who need the most space, the 2021 Ford Explorer offers plenty of passenger room and cargo volume when compared to the 2021 Honda Pilot.

Drivers and passengers still have plenty of room to stretch out inside of the 2021 Pilot. It offers 40.9 inches of front legroom and 38.4 inches of middle-row legroom.

However, passengers in the 2021 Explorer will enjoy a bit more room. The 2021 Explorer comes with 43 inches of front legroom and 39 inches of second-row legroom.

Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot: Safety

Safety should be paramount with a family-friendly SUV, like the 2021 Pilot and 2021 Explorer. In both models, you will drive with the peace of mind that comes with standard driver-assistive features in the Ford Co-Pilot360™ and Honda Sensing® suites.

Both systems are equipped with helpful features that keep you as safe as possible on the road. The Ford Co-Pilot360 system comes standard with:

• BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross-Traffic Alert

• Rear View Camera

• Lane-Keeping System

• Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking

• Auto High-Beam Headlamps 

The Honda Sensing® suite comes with almost all the same features. When it comes to overall safety, however, the 2021 Ford Explorer comes out on top. The 2021 Explorer was named an IIHS 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK+, whereas the 2021 Pilot was not.

Test Drive a Ford Explorer

When compared to the 2021 Honda Pilot, the 2021 Ford Explorer offers more options, more space, and the safety features to enhance your drives in Leesville and Lake Charles, Louisiana. But don't just take our word for it.

Contact us and test drive a 2021 Explorer at Hixson Ford Leesville, because Hixson Has It: Has a new culture, new attitude, and an easier way! 

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Hixson Ford of Leesville

11981 Lake Charles Highway
Directions Leesville, LA 71446

  • Sales: 855-519-9970
  • Service: 855.519.9968
  • Parts: 855-519-9967


  • Monday 8:30AM - 7:00PM
  • Tuesday 8:30AM - 7:00PM
  • Wednesday 8:30AM - 7:00PM
  • Thursday 8:30AM - 7:00PM
  • Friday 8:30AM - 7:00PM
  • Saturday 8:30AM - 7:00PM
  • Sunday Closed