Greene Ford Compares 2014 Ford Flex VS 2013 Honda Pilot Near Cleveland, GA

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2014 Ford Flex

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VS

2013 Honda Pilot

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Flex inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Pilot doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Flex Limited offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Pilot doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Flex (except SE)’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Pilot doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Flex (except SE)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Pilot doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Flex offers optional SYNC ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Pilot doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Flex and the Pilot have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The Flex comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Honda doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Pilot.

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Flex’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Flex’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Pilot’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Pilot’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The Flex has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Pilot doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Flex has a standard 650 amp battery. The Pilot’s 550 amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

Engine Comparison

The Flex’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 37 more horsepower (287 vs. 250) and 1 lbs.-ft. more torque (254 vs. 253) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The Flex Limited’s optional 3.5 turbo V6 produces 115 more horsepower (365 vs. 250) and 97 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 253) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Flex ECOBoost is faster than the Honda Pilot:

Flex

Pilot

Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.5 MPH

85 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Flex has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Pilot doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Flex’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Pilot are solid, not vented.

The Flex stops shorter than the Pilot:

Flex

Pilot

70 to 0 MPH

189 feet

198 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

140 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Flex’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Pilot (255/45R20 vs. 235/65R17).

The Flex SEL’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pilot LX’s standard 65 series tires. The Flex’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Pilot EX/EX-L/Touring’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Flex offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Pilot’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Flex’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Pilot doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Flex’s wheelbase is 8.7 inches longer than on the Pilot (117.9 inches vs. 109.2 inches).

The Flex Limited AWD handles at .80 G’s, while the Pilot EX-L 4WD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Flex SEL AWD performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver 1.6 MPH faster than the Pilot EX-L 4WD (58.9 vs. 57.3 MPH).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Flex has 2.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Pilot (155.8 vs. 153.7).

The Flex has 1.8 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more rear headroom, 5.8 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more third row headroom and 1.2 inches more third row legroom than the Pilot.

The Flex Limited offers an optional rear tailgate seat that can be flipped rearward and used for tailgate picnics. (Do not use seat reversed while vehicle in motion.) The Pilot doesn’t offer a rear tailgate seat.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Flex’s cargo area provides more volume than the Pilot.

Flex

Pilot

Behind Third Seat

20 cubic feet

18 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Flex’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Pilot doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Flex offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The driver can also remotely turn on the heater or air conditioner. The Pilot doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Flex (except SE)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Pilot doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Flex and the Pilot have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Flex is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Pilot prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Flex’s exterior keypad. The Pilot doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

Intelligent Access Key standard on the Flex Limited allows the driver to unlock the doors, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the car in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Honda Pilot doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Flex SE/SEL’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Pilot’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Flex Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Flex has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Pilot only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Flex has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Pilot has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the EX/EX-L/Touring.

Both the Flex and the Pilot offer available heated front seats. The Flex Limited also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Pilot.

The Flex Limited’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Pilot doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

The Flex offers an optional center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Pilot LX doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Flex Limited offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Pilot doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Standard SYNC for the Flex allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, tagging songs to buy them later and other online activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Pilot doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Flex Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Pilot doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Flex owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Flex with a number “5” insurance rate while the Pilot is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Flex is less expensive to operate than the Pilot because it costs $91 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Flex than the Pilot, including $7 less for front brake pads, $68 less for a starter, $75 less for a fuel pump and $62 less for front struts.

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