2023 Volkswagen Atlas vs 2023 Honda Pilot

2023 Volkswagen Atlas

Front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon

S, $32,565; SE, $35,915; V6 SE, $39,315; V6 SE R-Line, $40,715; V6 SEL, $43,315; SEL 4Motion, $43,415; V6 SEL R-Line, $40,015

Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 235 hp, 258 lb-ft; DOHC 24-valve V-6, 276 hp, 266 lb-ft

8-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 117.3 in
Length: 200.7 in
Width: 78.3 in
Height: 70.1 in
Passenger volume: 155 ft3
Cargo volume: 21 ft3
Curb weight (C/D est): 4300–4750 lb

2023 Honda Pilot

front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 8-passenger, 4-door wagon

Base/As Tested: $53,755/$53,755

DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 212 in3, 3471 cm3
Power: 285 hp @ 6100 rpm
Torque: 262 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm

10-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 113.8 in
Length: 199.9 in
Width: 78.5 in
Height: 71.0 in
Passenger Volume, F/M/R: 57/57/40 ft3
Cargo Volume, behind F/M/R: 87/49/19 ft3
Curb Weight: 4670 lb

A Comprehensive Comparison


In the competitive realm of family SUVs, the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2023 Honda Pilot emerge as prominent contenders. This comprehensive comparison seeks to delve into the essential aspects of both vehicles, providing potential buyers with insights to guide their decision-making based on individual preferences and requirements.

Overview of the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas:

The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas boasts a cavernous three-row SUV design, offering ample interior space to comfortably accommodate adults even in the rearmost seat. Available with either a 235-hp turbocharged four-cylinder or a 276-hp V-6, the Atlas provides versatility in power options. While the interior materials may lack the plushness of some competitors, the vast interior space makes it practical, especially with the third row folded. The 2023 model simplifies trim levels and includes a standard 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro instrument cluster for trims above SE.

Key Points:

  • Spacious Interior: Comfortably accommodates adults in all three rows.
  • Engine Options: Choice between a 235-hp turbo-four or a 276-hp V-6.
  • Simplified Trim Levels: Enhanced clarity in trim offerings for 2023.

Overview of the 2023 Honda Pilot:

The 2023 Honda Pilot, in its all-new generation, presents itself as a rugged and desirable SUV. With a 285-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission, the Pilot focuses on refined powertrain performance. The TrailSport variant adds off-road capabilities with features like all-terrain tires and tweaks to the all-wheel-drive system. The exterior boasts a boxier and more truck-like styling, distinguishing itself in the crowded SUV segment.

Key Points:

  • Rugged Design: Boxier and more truck-like styling for a rugged appearance.
  • TrailSport Variant: Adds off-road capabilities for adventurous driving.
  • Improved Powertrain: A 285-horsepower V-6 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Comparison of Engine Options

The heart of any SUV lies in its engine, and both the Atlas and the Pilot offer robust powerplants. The Atlas offers a choice between a 235-hp turbo-four or a 276-hp V-6, catering to different driving preferences. On the other hand, the Pilot’s focus is on refined powertrain performance with its 285-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine.

Key Points:

  • Atlas: Two engine options – 235-hp turbo-four or 276-hp V-6.
  • Pilot: Emphasis on refined power with a 285-hp 3.5-liter V-6.

Comparison of Exterior Design

Exterior aesthetics play a pivotal role in attracting buyers. The Atlas offers a more conventional appearance, focusing on interior space. In contrast, the Pilot embraces a rugged and distinctive design, setting itself apart in the crowded SUV market.

Key Points:

  • Atlas: Conventional appearance with a focus on interior space.
  • Pilot: Rugged and distinctive exterior design.

Comparison of Interior Features and Comfort

Interior comfort is crucial for family SUVs, and both the Atlas and the Pilot aim to deliver in this aspect. The Atlas provides a vast and practical interior space, prioritizing cargo room when the third row is folded. The Pilot, especially in its TrailSport variant, offers a refined interior design with comfortable seating.

Key Points:

  • Atlas: Vast and practical interior space, emphasizing cargo room.
  • Pilot: Refined interior design, comfortable seating, with additional features in the TrailSport variant.

Comparison of Safety Features

Safety is a paramount consideration, and both the Atlas and the Pilot incorporate standard safety features. The Atlas includes forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, while the Pilot adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Key Points:

  • Atlas: Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking.
  • Pilot: Standard automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Pricing and Value for Money

Affordability is a critical factor in the decision-making process. The Atlas starts at $36,445, with a range of trims offering various features. The Pilot, with a starting price of $37,675, emphasizes affordability along with a refined powertrain.

Key Points:

  • Atlas: Starting at $36,445, providing value with a range of trims.
  • Pilot: Starting at $37,675, emphasizing affordability and a refined powertrain.

Cargo Space and Practicality

Balancing passenger space and cargo capacity is essential for family SUVs. The Atlas impresses with its cargo space, accommodating four carry-on suitcases behind the third row. The Pilot strikes a balance, catering to those prioritizing style and practicality.

Key Points:

  • Atlas: Impressive cargo space with practicality.
  • Pilot: Balances passenger space and cargo capacity, focusing on style and practicality.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is a critical consideration, and both the Atlas and the Pilot provide competitive estimates. The Atlas, with its 3.8-liter V-6 engine, offers reasonable fuel efficiency. The Pilot, considering its size and power, provides a balance between performance and fuel economy.

Key Points:

  • Atlas: Competitive fuel efficiency with a 3.8-liter V-6 engine.
  • Pilot: Reasonable fuel efficiency considering size and power.


The choice between the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2023 Honda Pilot ultimately depends on individual preferences. The Atlas caters to those seeking a spacious and practical family SUV with a range of trims. In contrast, the Pilot appeals to those desiring a rugged and refined option, especially with its TrailSport variant. Consider your unique needs – whether they revolve around interior space, design, affordability, or off-road capabilities – to make an informed decision. Both the Atlas and the Pilot offer distinct strengths, catering to different segments of the family SUV market.

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