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2019 Mazda CX-9 vs 2019 Honda Pilot

Buyers looking for a new three-row crossover SUV don’t have as much choice as those who want something smaller. However, it's still a difficult choice when there are models as good as the 2019 Mazda CX-9 and 2019 Honda Pilot to choose from. If you’ve been considering buying the CX-9 at a dealer like the Chandler Mazda dealership, CardinaleWay Mazda, or you have your eye on the Honda Pilot, read on as we compare both SUVs to see which one is the best buy.

Although the exterior styling of the Honda has been upgraded considerably over the years, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 is a class above in this important area. The Honda is aging well, but it’s still an older design when all's said and done. The Mazda is every inch the bigger brother of the smaller CX-3 and CX-5 models, which means it's sleek, modern stylish and desirable. The Pilot certainly isn’t an ugly vehicle, but it's easy to see that it's a model that straddles the worlds of SUVs and minivans. If looks are a consideration, the Mazda is an easy winner.

Price

The Honda Pilot has a slightly lower starting Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) than the Mazda CX-9, but it can be argued that the CX-9 gives buyers more at that level. It's a different story at the other end of the trim level spectrum though, as the range-topping Mazda CX-9 Signature is close to $3,000 less than the Honda Pilot Elite trim. While we use the MSRP as a way to compare the two vehicles, it’s not the actual price you’ll pay at a dealer like Chandler area Mazda dealers.

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Fuel Economy

The modern turbo engine of the CX-9 also pays dividends when it comes to fuel economy. The best EPA ratings the Pilot can muster are 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway for front-wheel-drive variants. Even though it's a little heavier, a front-wheel-drive CX-9 returns an impressive 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

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Engines

The Honda Pilot comes with an old-school V6 engine, while the Mazda CX-9 employs a more contemporary turbocharged inline-four. Although this results in the Pilot having a little more horsepower than the CX-9, the CX-9 more than makes up for that with 310 lb-ft of torque compared to just 262 lb-ft for the Pilot. The Pilot is slightly lighter than the CX-9, but with a full load of passengers and cargo on board, the extra torque of the Mazda's turbo engine is what you really want and need.

Passenger Space

Looking at some of the dimensions of these two vehicles, it could be easy to assume the 2019 Honda Pilot would have more passenger space than the Mazda CX-9, but that would be an incorrect assumption. The CX-9 has a 115.3-inch wheelbase, while the Pilot only has a 111-inch wheelbase. This translates into more legroom for passengers in the front and second rows of the CX-9 than the Honda Pilot.

Fuel Economy

The modern turbo engine of the CX-9 also pays dividends when it comes to fuel economy. The best EPA ratings the Pilot can muster are 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway for front-wheel-drive variants. Even though it's a little heavier, a front-wheel-drive CX-9 returns an impressive 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

The Last Word

Models don’t stay around as long or remain as popular as the 2019 Honda Pilot by being below-par, and the Pilot is obviously a very good three-row SUV. In almost every way though, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 is clearly a more contemporary and more desirable model.