2021 Honda Pilot

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The Honda Pilot is consistently one of the best-selling larger utility vehicles on the market, and for good reason. It offers a truly spacious interior, a towering ride height, an efficient yet powerful V6 engine, and an impressive all-wheel drive system (available). While these are some of its consistent high points, the 2021 model comes with a few notable improvements, including a brand-new Special Edition trim level, a standard nine-speed automatic transmission, and standard dual-zone automatic climate control, even on the base LX. All in all, it’s the perfect weekend getaway ride for drivers who have more than the average number of passengers and their stuff to transport.


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Trims, Powertrain, and Efficiency

The 2021 Honda Pilot is sold in LX, EX, EX-L, Special Edition, Touring, Elite, and Black Edition trim levels. Most are provided with seating for eight passengers, but with the second-row captain’s chairs that are optional on the Touring and standard on the Elite and Black Edition trims, seating capacity goes down to seven. The 2021 Honda Pilot’s powertrain is made up of a 3.5-liter V6 engine (280 hp and 262 lb.-ft. of torque) and a swift nine-speed automatic transmission. Most trims get front-wheel drive as standard, with all-wheel drive available, but the Elite and Black Edition only come with AWD. According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2021 Pilot achieves 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, while the AWD versions get 19 city/26 highway.


The LX is provided with push-button ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, and a 60/40-split flat-folding third-row bench seat. The EX provides a jolt of convenience with heated side mirrors with integrated turn-signal indicators, Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock, LED fog lights, tri-zone automatic climate control, one-touch fold-down second-row seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats. The EX-L issues memory functions for the side mirrors and driver’s seat, a moonroof, a power tailgate, a HomeLink remote system, second-row sunshades, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-trimmed seats, and a power-adjustable front passenger’s seat.

The Special Edition earns its name with some sought-after features: a hands-free liftgate, black 20-inch wheels, black roof rails, and a wireless device charger. The Touring adds front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights, blue ambient interior lighting, heated rear seats, and available second-row captain’s chairs. The Elite is distinguished with its standard second-row captain’s chairs, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors, a panoramic roof, a heated steering wheel, and heated and ventilated front seats. The top-of-the-line Black Edition stands out aesthetically with stylish black exterior accents and red ambient interior lighting.

Technology for Connectivity and Safer Driving

All versions of the 2021 Honda Pilot are set up with the Honda Sensing suite of active driver aids. The base version of this technology package consists of forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. All trims are also given automatic high beams and a backup camera with multiple view angles. All trims except for the base get blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, as well as an upgrade of the backup camera to include dynamic guidelines.

The LX delivers a 5-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth hands-free and audio streaming functionality, a USB data port, 12-volt power outlets in the front and center console, and a seven-speaker audio system. The EX and above get upgrades in the form of an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a HondaLink remote system, and satellite and HD radio. The Special Edition and Elite get a wireless charging pad. The Touring and Elite are loaded with integrated navigation, voice recognition, a Blu-Ray rear entertainment system with 10.2-inch screens, a 115-volt power outlet, a second-row HDMI setup, a PA system, a 590-watt audio system with ten speakers, HondaLink subscription services, multi-zone audio, and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot.

*(NHSTA) Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov). Model tested with standard side airbags (SAB).