2019 Mazda CX-9 vs 2018 Honda Pilot
2019 Mazda CX-9 2018 Honda Pilot
MPG (city/hwy)
  22 / 28 19 / 27
Fuel Range (city/hwy)
  418 / 532 miles 371 / 527 miles
Rear Leg Room
  39.4 in. 38.4 in.

2019 Mazda CX-9 vs 2018 Honda Pilot

Serving Troy, MI

Many midsize SUVs are increasingly finding it harder to stand out in an ever-increasingly competitive sector. But don’t count the Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot—which offer three rows of seats and debuted in the middle of the 2000s—among them. The CX-9 has always focused on the thrill of driving while the Pilot has mastered reliability and durability. For the 2019 model year, with the CX-9 in its second production cycle and the Pilot in its third—both cycles, coincidentally, started in 2016—both SUVs are enhanced with significant changes to keep them fresh. It can be argued that they are neck-to-neck in terms of quality; U.S. News & World Report has them sharing the same spot in the Top 10 of the publication’s Midsize SUV category. However, here are three important reasons why you should get the 2019 Mazda CX-9 instead of the 2019 Honda Pilot.

Driving Experience

With its MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension firmly tuned, the CX-9 has always been a sportier ride than most of its three-row peers. For 2019, Mazda returned the suspension in a way that improves ride comfort while retaining the sporty dynamics. Also, for a vehicle as large as the CX-9, which weighs between 4,217 and 4,383 pounds when unloaded it is splendidly agile and composed—with taut steering, stabilized body movement, and fantastic agility. Thank the standard G-Vectoring control system, which automatically increases stability during cornering, for that. The 2019 Honda Pilot might be smooth to drive, but there’s nothing about its ride quality that puts it on the tightly focused, sporty level of its Mazda counterpart.

Fuel Economy

Thanks to its SKYACTIV® TECHNOLOGY, Mazda produces some of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the market, and the 2019 CX-9 is no exception. Standard on this midsize SUV is the 2.5-liter SKYACTIV®-G turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine and the 6-speed SKYACTIV®-Drive automatic transmission, which, when coupled with a front-wheel drivetrain, maximize the vehicle’s fuel economy at 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Comparatively speaking, the 2019 Honda Pilot is not as committed to fuel efficiency as the CX-9: rolling with a larger, gas-guzzling 3.5-liter V6. There’s the option of going with a front-wheel drive to reduce energy consumption and a 9-speed automatic transmission for energy distribution between a larger number of gears. But even with a top-level fuel economy of 20/27 mpg, the Pilot will produce two less mpg in the city and one less mpg on the highway than the Mazda.

Interior Quality

One of the 2019 Mazda CX-9’s main attributes is the quality of its cabin. Materials and styling are more luxurious than what is expected from the typical midsize SUV, and Mazda added sound-deadening insulation to make the cabin a much more serene environment than ever before. By comparison, the interior of the 2019 Honda Pilot feels dated, and outside noise is a bit louder than the average occupant can tolerate. Notably, tri-zone automatic climate control is standard on all CX-9 trims; you would have to upgrade a level above the base trim to get that on the Pilot.

To find out more about the 2019 Mazda CX-9, as opposed to the 2019 Honda Pilot, give us a call today at our Mazda dealership in Troy, Michigan. One of our Mazda specialists will be able to help you pinpoint the CX-9 that has your preferred features and options. And of course, you will get to test-drive one to get that exhilarating feel being in a Mazda.

* Up to an EPA-estimated 22 city/28 highway MPG for 2019 Mazda CX-9 FWD models. AWD models, 20 city/26 highway MPG. Actual results will vary.