Ford Flex Vs. Honda Pilot

By Justin Cupler | March 29th, 2019

Three-row SUVs offer all the roominess and usefulness of a minivan without the “soccer dad” stigma attached to them. Two great three-row options today are the 2019 Ford Flex and the 2019 Honda Pilot. Both have loads of room, plenty of power, and good performance, but which is best for you? Continue reading to see which of these three-row crossovers is best for our Jacksonville area buyers.

Exterior

Though the Ford Flex is older — it went through its last redesign in 2009 — it remains one of the most unique crossovers on the market. It boasts an upright wagon-like body that offers loads of cargo room, more legroom in all three rows than the PIlot, and easy ingress. Also, it is well-equipped in every trim level, especially its range-topping Limited trim.

The Honda Pilot just received a thorough redesign in 2016 and received a refresh in 2019. The 2019 Honda Pilot’s design is far more traditional than the Flex’s with its typical crossover look and feel. There is nothing surprising about the Pilot, which some buyers will prefer.

In terms of size, the Ford Flex is significantly longer than the Pilot, which offers more interior room but can also make parking it a bit more difficult.

 

Measurement 2019 Ford Flex Honda Pilot Difference
Length 201.8 inches 196.5 inches +5.3 inches
Width 75.9 inches 78.6 inches -2.7 inches
Height 68 inches 70.6 inches -2.6 inches
Wheelbase 117.9 inches 111 inches +6.9 inches
Ground Clearance
7.3 inches
Curb weight 4,439 to 4,828 pounds 4,036 to 4,319 pounds +403 to +509 pounds

 

Advantage: 2019 Ford Flex

  • Larger body offers more interior room
  • Unique looks
  • Upscale appearance in higher trims

Advantage: 2019 Honda Pilot

  • Traditional crossover looks
  • Smaller and easier to park

Interior

Inside, the age of the Ford Flex shows a bit. It has plenty of the latest tech features, including available glass roof, 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and more, but its style is simpler with an upright dash and a focus on horizontal lines. While certain buyers may see this as boring, those looking for something simpler will appreciate this design.

Inside, the 2019 Honda Pilot boasts a modern, shapely cabin with lots of curves on the dash, an available 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen, a push-button transmission shifter, and more. Plus, the Pilot’s luxury ceiling is a bit higher.

Because the 2019 Flex is longer than the Pilot, there is more legroom to play with in all three rows, but the wider Pilot has more shoulder and hip room.

 

Measurement 2019 Ford Flex 2019 Honda Pilot Difference
Front headroom 41.8 inches 40.1 inches +1.7 inches
Front legroom 42.6 inches 40.9 inches +1.7 inches
Front shoulder room 58.4 inches 62 inches -3.6 inches
Front hip room 55.5 inches 59.1 inches -3.6 inches
Second row headroom 40.5 inches 40.2 inches +0.3 inches
Second row legroom 44.3 inches 38.4 inches +5.9 inches
Second row shoulder room 58.1 inches 62 inches -3.9 inches
Second row hip room 55 inches 57.3 inches -2.3 inches
Third row headroom 38.7 inches 38.9 inches -0.2 inches
Third row legroom 33.3 inches 31.9 inches +1.4 inches
Third row shoulder room 50.8 inches 57.6 inches -6.8 inches
Third row hip room 41.1 inches 44.6 inches -3.5 inches
Cargo capacity (behind third row) 20 cubic feet 16.5 cubic feet +3.5 cubic feet
Cargo capacity (third row folded) 43.2 cubic feet 46.8 cubic feet -3.6 cubic feet
Cargo capacity (second row folded) 83.2 cubic feet 83.9 cubic feet -0.7 cubic feet

 

Advantage: 2019 Ford Flex

  • More legroom in all three rows
  • More cargo room with the seats upright
  • Simple design will please select buyers

Advantage: 2019 Honda Pilot

  • More cargo room with the seats folded
  • Wider seats
  • Modern interior with all the latest tech

Performance

The 2019 Honda Pilot and 2019 Ford Flex both use 3.5-liter V-6 engines, but the Flex has the added wrinkle of a potent turbocharged unit. The base Flex engine delivers plenty of power at 387 horses, but its heft slows it down a bit. With the 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6, the Flex has 365 horsepower and sprints to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds.

The 2019 Pilot has only one 3.5-liter V-6 engine, and it produces 280 horsepower. While this is significantly less power than the turbocharged Flex, its lighter curb weight gives is a 0-to-60 time in the low-six-second range.

2019 Ford Flex 2019 Honda Pilot [Difference]
Engine 3.5-liter V-6 3.5-liter V-6
Horsepower 287 hp at 6,500 rpm 280 hp at 6,000 rpm +7 hp
Torque 254 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm 262 lb-ft at 4,700 rpm -8 lb-ft
Transmission 6-speed automatic 6-speed automatic
Driveline FWD (std.) / AWD (opt.) FWD (std.) / AWD (opt.)
0-60 time
6.2 seconds
MPG City 16 18-19 -2 to -3 mpg
MPG Highway 22-23 26-27 -4 mpg
MPG Combined 18-19 21-22 -3 mpg
Optional Engine 3.5-liter turbo V-6
Horsepower 365 hp at 5,500 rpm
Torque 350 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm
Optional Transmission
9-speed automatic
Driveline AWD (std.) FWD (std.) / AWD (opt.)
Max towing 4,500 pounds 5,000 pounds -500 pounds
0-60 time 6.2 seconds 6.2 seconds
MPG City 15 19-20 -4 to -5 mpg
MPG Highway 21 27 -6 mpg
MPG Combined 17 22-23 -5 to -6 mpg

 

Advantage: 2019 Ford Flex

  • Big power advantage with turbo engine
  • Slight power advantage with base engine

Advantage: 2019 Honda Pilot

  • Better fuel economy
  • Slight towing advantage

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Ford Flex lineup has just three trim levels: SE, SEL, and Limited. Prices range from $30,575 to $38,790.

 

The 2019 Honda Pilot has five trim levels — LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite — and their starting prices range from $31,450 to $48,020.

2019 Ford Flex Key Features and Pricing by Trim

SE: $30,575

  • 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V-6 engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Electric power steering
  • 17-inch Sparkle Silver wheels
  • Bright dual exhaust tips
  • Black beltline molding
  • Body-color door handles
  • Grooved door panels
  • Body-color liftgate applique
  • Black mirror caps
  • Halogen headlights
  • Power door locks
  • Integrated blind-spot mirrors
  • Power, heated mirrors
  • Two-speed rear wiper
  • Intermittent speed-sensitive windshield wipers
  • Manual front and rear climate control
  • Ford MyKey
  • First- and second-row floor mats
  • Dual sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Rear grocery bag hooks
  • Overhead console with sunglasses holder
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Four 12-volt power outlets
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Four cargo-floor tie-downs
  • Power windows with one-touch-up/down front glass
  • Tinted rear glass
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with SYNC
  • 4.2-inch LCD screen
  • One smart-charging USB port
  • Six-way power driver’s seat
  • Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  • Cloth seating
  • 50/50 split-folding third row
  • 60/40 split-folding second row
  • Remote keyless entry
  • SecuriCode keyless entry keypad
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera with guidelines

 

SEL: $33,290

  • All SE features, plus
  • Heavy-duty brake calipers
  • Bright beltline molding
  • Chrome door handles
  • Fog lights with bright bezels
  • 18-inch Sparkle Silver aluminum wheels
  • Cargo net
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • San Macassar wood-look trim
  • Heated front seats
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • Six-way power passenger’s seat
  • SYNC 3 infotainment system
  • Enhanced voice recognition
  • 8-inch touchscreen with pinch-to-zoom capability
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Two smart-charging USB ports
  • SiriusXM
  • Remote ignition
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Engine-idle shutdown

 

Limited: $38,790

  • 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6 engine
  • Dual exhaust
  • LED taillights
  • HID headlights
  • Lower grille kast silver strips
  • Power liftgate
  • Satin-aluminum grille
  • Satin-aluminum liftgate applique
  • 19-inch premium-luster nickel-painted wheels
  • Power-folding, body-color mirrors with memory
  • Puddle lights
  • 110-volt power outlet
  • Power-adjustable pedals
  • Ambient lighting
  • Perforated-leather seats
  • Driver’s seat memory
  • Perforated-leather steering wheel with wood trim
  • Yoho maple wood-grain-look trim
  • 12-speaker Sony audio system
  • HD Radio
  • Universal garage door opener
  • Voice-activated navigation
  • SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link
  • Chrome scuff plates with aluminum inserts
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rain-sensing wipers

2019 Honda Pilot Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LX: $31,450

  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Six-speed automatic
  • Eco Assist
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Hill-start assist
  • Electric power steering
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Four-wheel anti-lock brakes disc brakes
  • Multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED low-beam headlights
  • LED brake and reverse lights
  • Intermittent rear wiper
  • Security system
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wiper
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Black mirrors
  • Black door handles
  • Black roofline spoiler
  • Keyless ignition
  • Power windows with auto-up/down front windows
  • Power locks
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Rear seat heater ducts
  • Four cargo tie-down hooks
  • Cargo-area grocery bag hooks
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • First- and second-row floor mats
  • 60/40 split-folding third-row bench seats
  • 5-inch color LCD screen
  • 1-amp USB audio interface
  • 2.5-amp USB charging port in center console
  • Two 12-volt power outlets
  • 215-watt audio system with seven speakers
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Road-departure mitigation
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

 

EX: $34,330

  • All LX features, plus
  • Remote start
  • 18-inch machine-finished wheels
  • Body-color mirrors with heat and integrated LED turn signals
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color roofline spoiler
  • Smart entry with walk-away auto lock
  • LED fog lights
  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Front illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Conversation mirror with sunglasses holder
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • One-touch second-row seat
  • Heated front seats
  • 12-volt power outlet in cargo area
  • 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  • HondaLink
  • CabinControl
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • SMS text messaging
  • SiriusXM
  • HD Radio
  • 2.5-amp USB port in front console
  • Multi-angle with dynamic guidelines
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic monitoring

 

EX-L: $37,760

  • All EX features, plus
  • One-touch power moonroof
  • Power tailgate
  • Acoustic windshield
  • HomeLink universal home remote
  • Second-row integrated sunshades
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Two-position memory for driver’s seat and mirrors
  • Four-way power passenger’s seat
  • Leather seating
  • Two second-row 2.5-amp USB ports
  • In-car PA system through headphones

 

Touring: $42,520

  • All EX-L features, plus
  • 20-inch machine-finished alloy wheels
  • Idle stop
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Chrome door handles
  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • Roof rails
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • LED low-beam headlights with auto-on/off
  • Reverse-gear tilt-down mirror
  • Front-row courtesy lights
  • Blue ambient lighting
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Perforated leather seating
  • Second-row captain’s chairs
  • Satellite-linked navigation
  • Honda HD digital traffic
  • 10.2-inch high-resolution rear screen with streaming capability
  • Rear Blu-Ray player
  • 115-volt power outlet
  • Second-row HDMI interface
  • 590-watt, 10-speaker audio system with a subwoofer
  • HondaLink Subscription Service
  • In-car Wi-Fi
  • Multizone audio

 

Elite: $48,020

  • All Touring features, plus
  • All-wheel drive
  • Snow, Sand, and Mud driving modes
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Auto-dimming, power-folding side-view mirrors
  • Panoramic roof
  • LED front map lights
  • Floor mats in all rows
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • In-car PA system through speakers and headphones
  • Wireless phone charger

Who Should Buy the 2019 Ford Flex?

Want a crossover that doesn’t look like everything else on the road? The 2019 Ford Flex is the vehicle for you. With its wagon-like design language, the Flex harks back to a simpler era of people-and-cargo-hauling machines. It’s sure to stand out for years to come.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Honda Pilot?

The 2019 Honda Pilot is for fans of today’s crossover segment. It is also great for buyers with longer commutes and need the additional thriftiness it offers. Plus, it offers similar straight-line performance to the Flex without switching to a complex turbo engine.

 

Come tackle the streets of Orange Park in the useful and roomy 2019 Ford Flex by scheduling a test drive today at Garber Automall serving the Jacksonville area. Can’t make it to our Fleming Island showroom today? Check out our online inventory to find the 2019 Flex model that best suits you and schedule a test drive for later.