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A red 2019 Chevy Traverse with black trim is driving through a city at night.

2019 SUV Competition: Pilot or Traverse?

When it comes to mid size SUVs in the car market, the options are endless. Most car manufacturers make a mid size SUV to choose from but the two that might stick out the most are the 2019 Chevy Traverse vs 2019 Honda Pilot.

The Pilot was introduced by Honda in 2003 and although the design of the car has changed, it has remained reliable with Honda’s 3.5L V6 engine. The Traverse was introduced by Chevy in 2009 as the successor to the popular Trailblazer model and it has not disappointed. As the American market shifted more towards mid-size SUVs and crossovers, it became the much-enjoyed successor to the Chevy Uplander.

Chevy Traverse

The Chevy Traverse has a certain presence when on the roadway. It is a large vehicle, it owns the road and gets people’s attention. It is much bigger than the Pilot. It takes up 17 feet of the road, is over 6 and a half feet wide, and is just under 6 feet tall. The outside is sleek with an aggressive front end with LED running lights. The large glass in the rear reminds you of the old Trailblazer to give it that classic Chevy look. The Traverse is also slightly cheaper to start than the Pilot with a starting price of $29,930 though it can get close to $55,000 if you were to opt for the Traverse High Country.

It comes in seven different trim levels with standard FWD or optional AWD. The Traverse is slightly more powerful than the Pilot with a 310 horsepower, 3.6L V6 engine that it is matched with a 9-speed automatic transmission. This allows the traverse to have a better towing capacity of 5,000 pounds compared to the Pilots 3500 LBS. Or if a sporty SUV is more your style Chevy makes an RS trim level that gives you a peppy turbocharged engine and a more aggressive exterior something that the Pilot does not offer.

The third row has enough legroom to comfortably seat eight people. The overall size of the Traverse helps give it the upper-hand in the cargo space compared to the Pilot, although its boxy design allows for less headroom. Smaller drivers won’t have an issue with this, and might even find the stack of pillows underneath them more useful for the children napping in the back seats.

The Traverse, similar to the Pilot, has a tablet for the radio controls that you can pair to either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay depending on your cell phones operating system. There are also several different seat options including a sleek dark brown leather interior and captains chairs for the second-row. The Traverse is not as thirsty as some vehicles but it’s not exactly fuel efficient, it gets 18 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway combining for 22 MPG with the AWD system.


The brown interior of the 2019 Chevy Traverse is shown. Look at interior features when comparing the 2019 Chevy Traverse vs 2019 Honda Pilot.

Similar to Honda Sensing which is offered on the Honda Pilot, Chevy has a Drivers Confidence package. With features like rear cross traffic alert, forward emergency braking and adaptive cruise control you know you or whoever else is driving your car will be safe. If you do have a new teen driver in the house then the Traverse might be the go-to car for you. The Traverse features Teen Driver Technology which allows you to set speed warnings, volume limits, and even turn off the radio until the passengers buckle their safety belts.

Chevy is also the only manufacturer to offer a Teen Driver report card so you can monitor that your child is not training to be a NASCAR driver. The report card monitors top speed, traction control, wide open throttle acceleration, and collision warnings. But don’t worry mom and dad you need a special pin to check and reset the report card so your new driver can’t tell you they have straight A’s when they haven’t done their homework in months.

Honda Pilot

The 2019 Pilot was given a facelift for the new model year and still remains a popular competitor in the third-row market. The extra space allows for the whole family and all your camping gear to fit comfortably for a family trip into the wilderness. The optional AWD will also allow you to go deeper into the woods without a worry of getting stuck in the rain.

The Pilot starts at $31,450 which is slightly higher than the last year’s model. It still comes powered by Honda’s V6 engine good for 280 hp which is enough power to tow 3500 LBS. It will also get you 20 MPG in the city and 27 on the highway on the FWD model and about 2 MPG less on the AWD models. Although it is usually an economical option the Pilot can also go up in cost to $48,000 if you were to go with the optioned out Elite trim level. And with another year comes more technology.

The big addition for the 2019 Pilot is the now standard Honda Sensing on all EX, and above, trim levels which is Honda’s advanced driver assist package. It includes forward collision mitigation, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure, blind spot warnings, and lane keeping assist. The Pilot also has a traffic sign recognition system to alert you of changing speed limits or even stop signs ahead. This system works well during the day but it has been known to struggle at night and during the rain.

The Pilot saw an increase in its IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) safety rating because of the Honda Sensing technology. The system was capable of avoiding a crash at 12 mph and reduced crash impact speed at 25 mph. Even though not many drivers stay at a mere 12 mph or lower, Honda was definitely keeping safety in mind when they redesigned the 2019 Pilot. The sensing technology helped the Pilot be rated a Top Safety Pick Plus.

The interior of the Pilot is well designed with a tablet now standard for radio controls on all trims other than the LX model and Honda has finally caught up with its competitors and added both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as an optional phone to car integration. Of course, there are the options of leather seats, heated seats and moonroof to give your Pilot a bit more style. The third-row has been said to be rather tight so as long as the third-row is not needed every day and you do not mind the soccer mom look, then the Honda Pilot is a great vehicle choice.

Which is the better option?

There really is no bad choice if you were to pick either the Chevy Traverse or the Honda Pilot. They are both great vehicles made by two great manufacturers. They are in competition together, both vehicles has their pros and cons. But we have reached a point where car manufacturers have all tried to be like each other so much they have essentially created the same car. That’s where the Chevy Traverse is a bit different.

The Traverse is one of the better looking midsize SUVs available. It comes in a variety of trim levels and has a few different engine and drivetrain options as well. The Traverse has a perfect combination of new age technology and classic Chevy ruggedness. It has more cargo space, a lower starting price, and a higher towing capacity with just the right amount of driver assist technology. It is the perfect SUV for someone that is going to use their SUV for more than just going to the grocery store. You can go anywhere from the beaches of Florida to the Mountains in Colorado and know that the Traverse will be able to get you through all the rough roads to keep your family happy and safe.