2021 Honda Pilot

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2021 Honda Pilot Review: All Your Family Needs, But Nothing More

Sometimes, straight-forward and relaxed driving characteristics accompanied by a modest and inconspicuous design is all an everyday vehicle really needs. With its persevering popularity within the ever-booming midsize SUV classification, the 2021 Honda Pilot is proof of this. From its dreary design and tame performance, you'd be right to assume the Pilot is a boring car, but it's beloved throughout the USA and for good reason. Powering the Pilot SUV is a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated gasoline 6-cylinder engine that, with 280 horsepower at the ready, is all the urban runabout requires for easy and reliable commuting. It's the Pilot SUV's commodious, featureful, and versatile interior that really sets it apart, however, with top-spec trims capable of seating up to 7 or even 8 passengers. Unfortunately, with the highly cherished Kia Telluride leading the midsize, three-row SUV division, the Honda Pilot just seems like a cheap knockoff.

Read in this review:

8.4
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2021 Honda Pilot Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Honda Pilot?

The 2021 Honda Pilot has been blessed with a new trim level and a host of upgrades. First off, Honda has introduced the new Special Edition, which slots in-between the EX-L and Touring, and features 20-inch black-finish wheels, wireless phone charging, and a foot-operated auto-lifting tailgate. The smooth nine-speed automatic with paddle shifters and Idle Stop, which was previously only available on the Touring model and upward, is now standard across the lineup. All 2021 models now also come standard with dual-zone automatic climate control. In order to facilitate all these upgrades, Honda has raised the base price by $600.

Pros and Cons

  • Thrifty fuel economy showing
  • Versatile and practical interior
  • Extensive list of tech options
  • Reassuring full safety rating
  • Positive reliability expectations
  • Spiritless driving experience
  • Uninspiring exterior design
  • Inadequate infotainment setup
  • Korean rivals are far classier
  • Top-spec trims are expensive

Best Deals on Pilot

2021 Honda Pilot Trims and Prices

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LX
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$32,550
EX
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$35,230
EX-L
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$38,660
Special Edition
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$39,260
Touring
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$43,220

Pilot Exterior

2021 Honda Pilot Front View Honda
2021 Honda Pilot Rear View Honda
2021 Honda Pilot Front View 1 Honda
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Dimensions

  • Length 196.5 in
  • Wheelbase 111.0 in
  • Height 70.6 in
  • Max Width 78.6 in
  • Front Width 66.3 in
  • Rear Width 66.3 in
  • Curb Weight 3,982.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Platinum White Pearl
  • Steel Sapphire Metallic
  • Deep Scarlet Pearl
  • Black Forest Pearl
  • Obsidian Blue Pearl
  • Modern Steel Metallic
  • Crystal Black Pearl
  • Lunar Silver Metallic

Pilot Performance

2021 Honda Pilot Front View Driving Honda
2021 Honda Pilot In Motion Honda
2021 Honda Pilot Engine Bay Honda

Engine and Transmission

Power for the Pilot SUV is extracted from a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine that cedes its outputs of 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque through a 9-speed automatic transmission to either a front-wheel or all-wheel-drive system. This powertrain has the Pilot deliver reliable but mundane performance qualities that are adequate for the urban setting. The engine is just right for the bulky SUV and performs competently throughout its rev range. The transmission, however, can often feel somewhat sluggish. The FWD versions are rated for a 3,500-pound towing capacity, which increases to 5,000 lbs with AWD versions.

  • Engine
    3.5L V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Pilot Gas Mileage

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    19.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 20/27 mpg
* 2021 Honda Pilot LX 2WD

Pilot Interior

2021 Honda Pilot Steering Wheel Controls Honda
2021 Honda Pilot Infotainment System Honda
2021 Honda Pilot Dashboard Honda
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Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    8-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.9 in
  • Front Head Room 40.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.2 in

Pilot Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Honda Pilot Dashboard 1 Honda
2021 Honda Pilot Rear Passenger Seats Honda
2021 Honda Pilot Trunk Space Honda

Pilot Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Honda Pilot a good SUV?

The 2021 Pilot is a very pragmatic choice within the realm of midsize, three-row SUVs as one of the most undemanding-to-drive, spacious, and versatile 5-door options out there. It may also be one of the most mundane looking options out there, but with the Pilot, it really is what's on the inside that counts. Its powertrain offers all the potential the SUV could possibly need to get about comfortably, reliability, and even quite frugally, even with all eight seats occupied and the trunk filled. The cabin's look and feel is basic but it is ergonomic and outfitted with just about everything one would need to drive a bunch of people around on a regular basis. Both the NHTSA and the IIHS's reviews of the 2021 Honda Pilot supports its role as an safe, ideal everyday runabout. Though the Pilot did come into the new year with some favorable enhancements, we feel Honda has been slacking on the infotainment front, particularly with regard to the five-inch units in the lower-tier models. Nevertheless, at the 2021 Honda Pilot SUV's price of $32,250, you still get plenty of value for the money, and a very sound car overall.

🚗What Honda Pilot Model Should I Buy?

Everything about the Pilot is sensible, from its aesthetics and performance to its interior and specifications. It's for this reason we'd recommend the most sensible trim in the third-gen Pilot lineup - the EX. The top-spec trim just seems unnecessary, considering its excessive price tag and mostly cosmetic additions over the penultimate trims and the entry-spec trim just lacks too many of the modern-day essentials. Some of the must-have features that the EX comes outfitted with include the larger eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, which also comes inclusive of both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. Both front seats also receive heating and the driver's seat gets ten-way power-adjustability. Its one-touch second-row seats are also notably beneficial.

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2021 Honda Pilot Video Review

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