2021 Honda Pilot

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

by Aiden Eksteen

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:

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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 2021 Honda Pilot

2021 Honda Pilot Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Special Edition
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Honda Pilot Trims and Specs

2021 Pilot Exterior

2021 Honda Pilot Front View Honda
2021 Honda Pilot Rear View Honda
2021 Honda Pilot Front View 1 Honda
See All 2021 Honda Pilot Exterior Photos


  • 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 +$395
  • Steel Sapphire Metallic +$395
  • Deep Scarlet Pearl +$395
  • Black Forest Pearl +$395
  • Obsidian Blue Pearl
  • Modern Steel Metallic
  • Crystal Black Pearl
  • Lunar Silver Metallic

2021 Pilot Performance

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

Engine and Transmission

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

2021 Pilot Interior

2021 Honda Pilot Steering Wheel Controls Honda
2021 Honda Pilot Infotainment System Honda
2021 Honda Pilot Dashboard Honda
See All 2021 Honda Pilot Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

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

2021 Pilot Trunk and Cargo Space

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

2021 Pilot Safety and Reliability


  • 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.

2021 Honda Pilot Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2021 Honda Pilot:

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