Honda Cars of Katy Compares 2017 Honda Pilot VS 2017 Volkswagen Touareg Near Katy, TX

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2017 Honda Pilot

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2017 Volkswagen Touareg

Safety Comparison

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the Collision Mitigation Braking System optional in the Pilot as “Superior.” The Touareg scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

To help make backing safer, the Pilot Elite’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Touareg doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Pilot EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Touareg doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

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

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 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2017, a rating granted to only 44 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Touareg has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 60 percent more Honda dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pilot’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Pilot is faster than the Volkswagen Touareg:




Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.1 sec

20.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Pilot 4WD 9-speed Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Touareg (19 city/26 hwy vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Pilot Touring/Elite’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Touareg doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Pilot uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Touareg requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Pilot has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Touareg doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Pilot stops shorter than the Touareg:





70 to 0 MPH

180 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Pilot has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Touareg doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Pilot has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Pilot flat and controlled during cornering. The Touareg’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Touareg doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Pilot is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .3 inches wider in the rear than on the Touareg.

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

Chassis Comparison

The Honda Pilot may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 650 pounds less than the Volkswagen Touareg.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Pilot has an electronically controlled liquid-filled engine mounts. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Touareg uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The Pilot uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Touareg doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Pilot has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Touareg can only carry 5.

The Pilot has 49.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Touareg (152.9 vs. 103.6).

The Pilot has .5 inches more front headroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and 5.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Touareg.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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




Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed


32.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

64 cubic feet

Ergonomics Comparison

The Pilot EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Touareg doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Pilot Touring/Elite’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Touareg doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left down on the Pilot the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Touareg can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Pilot has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Touareg only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Pilot Elite detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Touareg doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Pilot has standard extendable sun visors. The Touareg doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the Pilot Touring/Elite is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Touareg’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Standard HondaLink for the Pilot EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Touareg doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pilot is less expensive to operate than the Touareg because it costs $576 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pilot than the Touareg, including $238 less for a water pump, $257 less for an alternator, $73 less for front brake pads, $211 less for a starter, $664 less for fuel injection, $660 less for front struts, $1031 less for a timing belt/chain and $498 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Pilot will be $14049 to $15438 less than for the Volkswagen Touareg.

Recommendations Comparison

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Honda Pilot, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

The Honda Pilot outsold the Volkswagen Touareg by almost fifteen to one during the 2016 model year.

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