In the automobile market, there are some car manufacturers who’ve redefined their purpose to make just one particular car type, and to others; having different categories as answers to the demand of consumers has yielded them more success.

If passenger seating and cargo space top your priority list, then Sport Utility Vehicle or Minivan should come to your mind. For buyers who already know what an SUV is, you probably can tell that the key differences between a minivan and an SUV revolve around their body styles.

Both vehicles are family-focused models that offer three rows of seating for up to eight occupants. Among Honda lovers, the Odyssey and Pilot are very popular and common vehicles in this category.

So much for the similarities between the two of them, we often get asked by new buyers, “what are the main differences between the Honda Odyssey & Honda Pilot?”,

If you’re wondering the same, then stick around because, in this article, we’ll put the Honda Pilot toe to toe with the Odyssey.

Before we jump into Odyssey vs Pilot, let’s get to know these vehicles

Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey, is a minivan manufactured and marketed by Japanese automaker Honda since 1994. Currently, in its fifth generation which began in 2018, the Odyssey not only has characteristics you’d expect to find in any minivan but boast some exclusive features particular to it alone.

After its launch, the Odyssey won some notable awards like

  • The Japan Car of the Year Award (Special Category)
  • The RJC New Car of the Year Award.
  • Wheels magazine’s Car of the Year for 1995.

It later went to break the Civic’s record in 1997 and became Honda’s fastest-selling new car, selling more than 300,000 units.

Honda Pilot

Is the Honda Pilot an SUV or van?

The Honda Pilot is a mid-size crossover SUV manufactured by Honda and introduced in 2002. Primarily aimed at the North American market, the Pilot is the largest SUV from Honda and features three-row seating.

Although the Honda Pilot shares its platform with the Acura MDX, and the Odyssey minivan, it is firmly a Sport Utility Vehicle. Its styling and minivan-like feature offers a perfect middle ground between the rugged 5-passenger Passport SUV and Honda’s Odyssey minivan.

Does The Honda Pilot Look Like A Minivan?

Just like the Odyssey, this spacious three-row SUV boasts a large cabin for up to eight but features a sportier design than Honda’s minivan. Honda’s Pilot boasts a smoother and more streamlined silhouette than some of the more boxy and off-road-styled SUVs available but finds a nice balance between rugged and refined looks.

Which Is Bigger, Pilot Or Odyssey?

While the Honda Pilot features a sleek design, unlike the Odyssey minivan, at a glance it may be tough to tell which is larger, especially for the 2021 models of both. As these models both feature standard three-row seating, their interiors are quite similar in overall size.

However, a closer look inside and you’ll find that the Odyssey minivan is slightly bigger than the Pilot inside in terms of passenger space and maximum cargo volume.

Anyone looking to maximize seating space and cargo capacity for family or other purposes may prefer the Odyssey. In spite of that, the new Pilot SUV still offers plenty of room for your crew and gear!

If you’re searching for a family-friendly, three-row vehicle, you can’t go wrong with either the Honda Odyssey or Honda Pilot. These highly rated and highly refined Honda automobiles each offer seating for up to eight, the peace of mind of standard Honda Sensing safety technologies, and plenty of other innovative Honda features.

Honda Odyssey Minivan Vs. Honda Pilot SUV

While you’ll find spacious and versatile cabins with both the Odyssey and Pilot. The Odyssey offers drivers more cargo room over the Pilot to help with errands around town or trips on the open road.

Interior Space, Comfort & Design

With the Odyssey, you get to enjoy flexibility with a one-motion 60/40 split third-row Magic Seat and Magic Slide second-row seats and multi-function second-row center seat.  While the Pilot gives yous a 60-40 split, flat-folding third-row bench seat and one-touch second-row seats.

The Odyssey offers a 12-way power driver’s seat and eight-way power front passenger’s seat. The Pilot features a ten-way power driver’s seat and four-way power adjustable front passenger’s seat.

The Odyssey minivan features power sliding doors to help you load and unload your young passengers with ease. Both models make your life easier with:

  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • LED fog lights and headlights
  • Parking sensors
  • One-touch power moonroof
  • Heated, power, auto-dimming outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators.

Overall, the 2021 Odyssey is 205.2 inches long with a wheelbase of 118.1 inches. The 2021 Pilot is a bit smaller, measuring 196.5 inches long, with a wheelbase of 111 inches. It also offers 7.3 inches of ground clearance for your next family adventure.

On the base trim level of the Pilot, there’s seating for eight passengers as opposed to the starting Odyssey configuration that has seating for seven. No matter which Honda you choose, you can fold down your second and third-row seats to expand your storage space.

The 2021 Pilot provides 18.5 cubic feet behind the third row, 55.9 cubic feet behind the second row, and 109 cubic feet behind the first row. On the other hand, the 2021 Odyssey measures 38.6, 92, and 158 cubic feet, respectively.

Honda Odyssey vs Pilot trunk space

Here’s a breakdown of the dimensions and cargo space of the Honda Pilot vs. Odyssey:

Honda Odyssey Cargo Space and Dimensions

2021 honda odyssey 449 1598917064

  • Passenger Volume: 163.6 cubic feet
  • Cargo Volume (behind 3rd-row): 38.6 cubic feet
  • Cargo Volume (behind 2nd-row): 92.0 cubic feet
  • Cargo Volume (behind 1st-row): 158.0 cubic feet

Honda Pilot Cargo Space and Dimensions

2019 honda pilot 138 1534804405

  • Passenger Volume: 152.9 cubic feet
  • Cargo Volume (behind 3rd-row): 18.5 cubic feet
  • Cargo Volume (behind 2nd-row): 55.9 cubic feet
  • Cargo Volume (behind 1st-row): 109.0 cubic feet

Exterior Design

The Pilot and Odyssey are some of the most striking vehicles on the road. While they both have smooth lines and elegant design cues, each has its own distinct style, the Pilot and Odyssey share these standard and available exterior features:

  • LED low-beam headlights, daytime running lights, brake, and reverse lights, and fog lights
  • Roofline spoiler with integrated brake light
  • Power-folding, auto-dimming, heated side view mirrors with integrated turn indicators and reverse gear tilt-down

The Pilot doesn’t offer the sliding rear door as that is executive to the Honda Odyssey minivans. However, it provides greater ground clearance for off-road adventuring, meaning you’ll get superb on-road visibility for any rough terrain – all thanks to its higher ride height.

In contrast, the Odyssey sits lower and offers those wide-opening sliding rear doors, so some family members may find it easier to get in and out of than the Pilot.

Technology Features

The Honda Pilot and Honda Odyssey are passenger-centric in their tech integration – having similar tech suites, their elegant interiors are accented by a variety of cutting-edge tech features.

In terms of connectivity, the top tech features that both Honda models share include:

  • 8-in. display audio with high-resolution touchscreen
  • HondaLink
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto­™SiriusXM Satellite Radio
  • HD Radio™
  • Advanced rear entertainment system with 10.2-in. high-resolution screen
  • Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™
  • Multi-zone audio
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Wi-Fi hotspot capability

With features like CabinControl for your passengers to fiddle with their favorite music and CabinTalk so you can make sure your squabbling children hear you tell them to behave — the first time. The Odyssey also includes CabinWatch rear seat monitor (exclusive to the 2021 Odyssey) for you to monitor the goings-on in the backseat

Safety Features

Protection happens to be a major safety feature that makes the latest models of the Honda Odyssey and Pilot stand out. Both models come with standard Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assist technology, along with LATCH points for second-and third-row seats, three-row side curtain airbags, and SmartVent® front side airbags.

Did we forget to mention the traffic sign recognition technology in the Odyssey? Now, you don’t break the law and have these badass police SUVs on your tail. Thanks to the “occupant safety ring”, your most precious cargo gets more secure in the event of a collision.

Other responsive safety features that both models share include:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System™
  • Road departure mitigation system
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keeping assist system
  • Blind spot information system with cross traffic monitor
  • Auto high-beam headlights
  • Multi-angle rearview camera with available dynamic guidelines
  • Front and rear parking sensors


The Pilot’s optional all-drive system is great for maximum traction. You can even go across tougher terrain with Snow, Mud, and Sand settings on EX trims and above. If you live in a cold-weather region, you’ll be concerned about the Odyssey handling capabilities

Is a Honda Odyssey Good in the Snow?

Even though the Honda Odyssey lacks 4WD/AWD, it handles well in snow.  There are still other qualities that make it ideal for driving in snow – for example, the Honda Intelligent Traction Management System comes with a snow mode. When activated, the  Odyssey’s performance is adjusted for maximum control and traction in snow.

Honda Odyssey or Pilot for family

Although deciding which one is right for your family largely comes down to your preferences in style, convenience features, and performance; the 2021 Honda Odyssey and Pilot makes a great choice for any large or growing family shopping for a new minivan or SUV uniquely suited to the family need.

The Honda Odyssey minivan and Pilot midsize SUV are engineered on the foundation of Honda durability, quality, and reliability.

About the Author

Larry Cruise


I know a lot about cars, man. I can look at any car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming.

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