Riverside Area Mazda Dealers Compare the 2018 Mazda CX-9 vs 2018 Honda Pilot

The Mazda CX-9 is a crossover SUV with plenty of style. It’s not only one of the most attractive three-row crossovers available today, it’s filled with amenities found in more expensive SUVs. The CX-9 is the largest member in Mazda’s roster of SUVs. According to the Riverside Mazda dealer, the CX-9 isn’t just about good looks and creature comforts. Mazda’s G-Vectoring technology helps the CX-9 carve curves and turn tight corners.

The 2018 Honda Pilot is another three-row crossover that competes with the Mazda CX-9. We’ll take a look at these SUVs and see which one comes out ahead in a feature-by-feature comparison.


It makes sense to buy an SUV with the best engine possible. Here, the 2018 Mazda CX-9 doesn’t disappoint. Powering the 2018 Mazda CX-9 is a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four engine that puts out 250 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. Look under the hood of the 2018 Honda Pilot and you’ll find a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 280 hp and 262 lb.-ft. of spin. While the Honda Pilot can serve up a few more horses, the Mazda CX-9 makes 48 lb.-ft. more torque than the Pilot. Ultimately, you want a vehicle with more torque, as it’s a measurement of the power the engine sends to the wheels.

Fuel Efficiency

The 2018 Mazda CX-9 is more fuel efficient than the 2018 Honda Pilot. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the CX-9 with front-wheel drive is 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. With all-wheel-drive, the CX-9 delivers 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The Honda Pilot gets 19/27 for four-wheel drive models and 20/27 when equipped with the nine-speed automatic gearbox. Pilots with all-wheel drive and the six-speed automatic get 18/26. With the nine-speed automatic, the Pilot checks in with 19/26.


When it comes to towing capacity, it’s not even close. The 2018 Mazda CX-9 has a maximum tow rating of 3,500 pounds. The most the Pilot can handle is 1,500 pounds.


Mazda vehicles are renowned for their superior handling and the CX-9 handles like a true champion, taking curves with ease. The Pilot is competent at driving around curves, but not without noticeable body lean. The CX-9 has a smaller turning radius than the Pilot, which means it will be easier to negotiate tight spaces in the CX-9.


Automotive reviewers rave about the 2018 Mazda CX-9’s beautiful styling. Here’s what The Car Connection wrote: “The exterior of the CX-9 is superb in its simplicity—it’s better than good, it’s great.” There’s nothing wrong with the Honda Pilot’s design, but you won’t find anyone singing its praises.

Blind Spot Monitoring

Blind spot monitoring is an important safety feature that can prevent accidents by warning drivers of other vehicles in their car’s blind spot. This feature is standard on all Mazda CX-9 models. Blind spot monitoring only comes standard on the Honda Pilot’s most expensive trim level. Otherwise, it’s offered as an option.

Our Conclusion

When you examine the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and the 2018 Honda Pilot closely, you can’t escape the conclusion that the CX-9 is the winner. It has a better engine, is more fuel-efficient, has greater towing power, handles better and is more attractive than the Honda Pilot.