Chandler Area Mazda Dealers Compare The 2018 Mazda CX-9 vs 2018 Honda Pilot

The biggest and most powerful SUV in Mazda’s roster, the 2018 Mazda CX-9 is a family SUV that pleases the most demanding drivers. This three-row crossover has ample space for occupants, making it perfect for families. And the Mazda CX-9 looks great, too, with interior styling that rivals some luxury SUVs. According to the Chandler Mazda dealer, Mazda’s G-Vectoring technology provides incredible handling.

The 2018 Honda Pilot competes with the 2018 Mazda CX-9 in the large crossover market. If you’ve been looking for a family-friendly vehicle, you’ll be interested in our head-to-head matchup. Read on to discover which crossover comes out the winner.


The 2018 Mazda CX-9 comes out ahead in this category. Powering the 2018 Mazda CX-9 is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 250 horses and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. Compare this to the 2018 Honda Pilot, which gets a 3.5-liter V6 engine that’s good for 280 hp and 262 lb.-ft. The CX-9 makes 48 lb.-ft. more torque, so there’s more power available from the engine to power the wheels.

Fuel Efficiency

Gas prices are constantly in a state of flux, so it’s smart to own a vehicle that’s fuel efficient. The Mazda CX-9 with front-wheel drive gets EPA-estimated fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The highest numbers you’ll get from the Honda Pilot are 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with its nine-speed automatic.


When it comes to handling, the 2018 Mazda CX-9 is among the class leaders. Cornering and taking turns are second nature to the CX-9. Turning in the Honda Pilot comes with noticeable body lean, which makes cornering anything but confident. Additionally, the Mazda CX-9 has a smaller turning radius, making it easier to drive the CX-9 through tight spots more easily than the Honda Pilot.

Tow Capacity

If you ever need to do any towing for a weekend trip, you’ll definitely prefer the 2018 Mazda CX-9, which can tow up to 3,500 pounds. That’s more than twice as much towing power than you get with the Honda Pilot, which can only handle 1,500 pounds.


The 2018 Mazda CX-9 received well-earned kudos from the automotive press for its attractive styling. Edmunds wrote: “With sharp, modern style inside and out, the CX-9 feels richer than its cost ...” The Honda Pilot’s utilitarian styling is sedate and not particularly memorable.


A recent study by Consumer Reports found that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than those produced by Honda, with Mazda rating four places higher than its rival. Additionally, the Honda Pilot’s engine uses rubber-belt-driven camshafts that need to be replaced periodically. If the belt breaks, it could severely damage the engine. The Mazda CX-9’s camshafts are driven by a hardened steel chain that needs no maintenance.

Our Conclusion

When you look closely at the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and the 2018 Honda Pilot, you’ll see that the CX-9 wins this matchup. The CX-9 is more fuel-efficient, has a faster engine, handles better and can tow a lot more than the Pilot.