2021 Honda Pilot

MSRP $31,650

Ranked #10 in Suv

8.2

Overall Rating

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2021 Honda Pilot Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 5, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2021 Honda Pilot is a carryover model with some major changes and updates both under the hood as well as inside the cabin. The Honda Pilot now comes as standard with the 9-speed automatic transmission, which was only optional in the lower trims till last year. The Pilot also gains a new Special Edition trim which comes with some minor extra features and distinct exterior styling. The rest of the specs of the powertrain as well as the power outputs remain the same.

See detailed review »

Pros

Spacious interior

Smooth ride quality

Great fuel economy

Cons

Top models highly expensive

Unintuitive infotainment unit

What's New?

New special edition trim introduced

Standard 9-Speed automatic transmission in all trims

Base model gets dual-zone automatic climate control


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$31650

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

8

top speed

112 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

212 cu.in.

horsepower

280 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm

transmission

6 speed Automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12.6/13 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

111.1 in.

length

196.5 in.

width

78.6 in.

height

70.6 in.

curb weight

4036 lbs.

ground clearance

7.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

152.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

83.9 cu ft.

towing capacity

3500 lbs.

payload capacity

1509 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.2 sec.

zero to 100 mph

17.3 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

14.8 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

172 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

LX$31,650 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Honda Pilot in Platinum White Pearl color
Platinum White Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

8.0

Engine and Performance

8.2

Fuel Economy

7.5

Interior

8.5

Exterior

7.0

Safety

9.0

Competition

7.0

8.2

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.2

Overall Rating


The 2021 Honda Pilot comes with a 3.5L V6 engine under the hood and with three rows of seating on the inside. The Honda Pilot for this year comes with dual-zone automatic climate control in the base trim as standard, while tri-zone climate control is standard in the next trim and upwards. The pricing starts at $32,250 and climbs more than $50,000 for the high-end trim. The 2021 Honda Pilot compares with the 2021 Mazda CX-9, 2021 Kia Telluride, and the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse

2021 Honda Pilot SUV front angle view
2021 Honda Pilot SUV rear angle view

8.2/10
Engine and Performance

7.5/10
Fuel Economy

8.5/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

9.0/10
Safety

7.0/10
Competition


2021 Honda Pilot Features

There are a lot of trims in which the Pilot is available. For 2021, a new trim named Special Edition has also been added to the list of trims. The 2021 Honda Pilot comes in seven trim lines, namely LX, EX, Special Edition, Touring, Elite, and Black Edition. All trims are equipped with the same 3.5L V6 engine under the hood mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. All trims except the Elite and Balck Edition come with FWD as standard while AWD is optional. The Elite and Black Edition, which are the highest level trims, come as AWD-only models. 

Trims

LX

EX

EX-L

Special Edition

Touring

Elite

Black Edition

MSRP

$32,250 (FWD)

$34,250 (AWD)

$34,930 (FWD)

$36,930 (AWD)

$38,360 (FWD)

$40,360 (AWD)

$38,960 (FWD)

$40,960 (AWD)

$42,920 (FWD)

$44,920 (AWD)

$48,420 (AWD)

$49,920 (AWD)

Key Features

Seating for 8 

Intelligent Traction Management

Leather-Trimmed Seats

Wireless Phone Charger

Blu-ray Rear Entertainment System (RES)

Panoramic Roof

Black Edition Exterior Trim

 

Multi-Angle Rearview Camera

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Integration

One-Touch Power Moonroof

Hands-Free Access Power Tailgate

Available Heated 2nd-Row Captain's Chairs

Heated 2nd-Row Captain's Chairs

Black Edition Leather Interior

 

18-Inch Alloy Wheels 

One-Touch 2nd-Row Seats

Driver's Seat with Two-Position Memory

Roof Rails

590-Watt Premium Audio System with 10 Speakers

Heated and Ventilated Front Seats

20-Inch Black Alloy Wheels

 

LED Low-Beam Headlights with Auto-On/Off

Blind Spot Information System(BSI)with Cross Traffic Monitor

Integrated Second-Row Sunshades

20-Inch Black Alloy Wheels

LED Headlights with Auto-On/Off

Heated Steering Wheel

Red Ambient LED Lighting

 

LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) 

10-Way Power Driver's Seat

4-Way Power Passenger's Seat

 

Wi-Fi Hotspot Capability

Standard Intelligent Variable Torque Management

 

 

Rear Privacy Glass

Heated Front Seats

HomeLink Remote System

 

20-Inch Alloy Wheels

LED Front-Row Map Lights

 

 

Hill Start Assist 

8-Inch Display Audio with High-Resolution Touch-Screen

Three USB ChargingPorts

 

Body-Colored Parking Sensors

Perforated Leather Front- and 2nd-Row Seats

 

 

Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control

Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control

Side Mirrors with Memory and Integrated LED Turn Indicators

 

Blue Ambient LED Lighting and Front Beverage Holders

590-Watt Premium Audio System with 10 Speakers with Multi-Zone Audio

 

The base LX trim starts at $32,250 and comes with a great set of features. The EX, EX-L Touring, and Elite trims add much more features on top of the trim lower to the respective model, while Special Edition and Black Edition models provide just minor feature additions and unique exterior appearances. Elite stands at the top with all the bells and whistles available for the lineup.

We Recommend

The EX-L trim would be the best option to choose. The EX-L trim comes with much more advanced features and luxury on the inside compared to the lower-end trims. It gets leather-trimmed upholstery along with a powered moonroof, memory function, and adjustability for seats. The pricing of the EX-L is also on the mid-level territory, while it comes with a great set of features.

2021 Honda Pilot Engine and Performance

8.2/10

All trims of the 2021 Honda Pilot are equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine that delivers power to either the front wheels or all four wheels through a 9-speed automatic transmission. The engine delivers a strong 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of power and torque. The power outputs are not the absolute best in the segment, but the power figures are certainly on the higher side of the spectrum. The engine is punchy and responsive, and the power delivery is smooth and linear. 

2021 Honda Pilot SUV engine bay

The Pilot has a highly responsive engine that helps it to sprint to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds and crosses the quarter-mile mark in 14.8 seconds. The 0 to 60 as well as quarter-mile times are really good for a three-row SUV. The 2021 Honda Pilot is limited to a top speed of 130 mph, and the engine is efficient and delivers remarkable performance. The Pilot undoubtedly comes with one of the best powertrain options in the segment.

Models

2021 Honda Pilot LX

2021 Mazda CX-9 Sport

2021 Kia Telluride LX

2021 Chevrolet Traverse LS

MSRP

$32,250 (FWD)

$34,250 (AWD)

$34,160 (FWD)

$36,060 (AWD)

$31,990 (FWD)

$33,990 (AWD)

$33,200 (FWD) $35,200 (AWD)

Engine

3.5 L V6

2.5 L Inline-4 

3.8 L V6

3.6 L V6

Drivetrain

FWD/AWD

FWD/AWD

FWD/AWD

FWD/AWD

Transmission

9-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic

8-speed automatic

9-speed shiftable automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

280 hp @ 6000 rpm

227 hp @ 5000 rpm

291 hp @ 6000 rpm

310 hp @ 6800 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

262 ft-lbs. @ 4700 rpm

310 ft-lbs. @ 2000 rpm

262 ft-lbs. @ 5200 rpm

266 ft-lbs. @ 2800 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

6.2

7.1

7.2

6.5

Quarter Mile (sec)

14.8

15.4

15.4

15.1

Top Speed (mph)

130

130

130

130

The 2021 Honda Pilot smokes all of the rivals in terms of straight-line performance. The Chevrolet Traverse as well as the Kia Telluride are more powerful and put out a higher amount of torque than the Pilot. But still, the Pilot is the fastest in terms of 0 to 60 and quarter-mile numbers. The higher performance from the Pilot, despite its lower power figures, proves how great the performance of the Honda Pilot is. 

How well does the 2021 Honda Pilot Drive and Handle?

The 2021 Honda Pilot is engaging to drive with a strong powertrain and efficient transmission. The steering is also responsive, but the connection between the steering and the road surface is not the best or enjoyable. The vehicle delivers an impressive ride quality with a smooth ride over the pavement as well as mildly uneven surfaces. However, the suspension setup and ground clearance are not the best-suited for proper offroading, but the available AWD drivetrain can be equipped for a considerably higher grip, traction, and stability over slippery as well as normal road conditions. 

2021 Honda Pilot SUV ride and handling

The Honda Pilot loaded with seven or eight people delivers a composed and smooth ride without much body roll. The cornering capabilities are surely limited by its huge footprint, but still, the Pilot is pretty good around corners unless you over expect. The 2021 Pilot is easy to drive around in the city and also to maneuver into and out of tight parking spaces. Overall the handling is good, although there is nothing to be properly excited about and also that the steering feels a bit dead. 

How efficient is the braking performance of the 2021 Honda Pilot?

The 2021 Honda Pilot comes with impressive braking capabilities which are on par with the machine’s performance. The Pilot gets 12.6-inch rotors in the front and 13-inch ones in the rear. Honda has managed to keep the weight of the vehicle down effectively, which helps in delivering superb braking performance. The SUV stops from 60 mph at a distance of 129 ft, which is an impressive distance for the segment. The 2021 Honda Pilot has one of the best braking distances in the segment, proving that it has strong brakes and delivers impressive braking performance.

Model

2021 Honda Pilot LX

2021 Mazda CX-9 Sport

2021 Kia Telluride LX

2021 Chevrolet Traverse LS

Brake Rotors Front (in.)

12.6

12.6

13.4

12.6

Brake Rotors Rear (in.)

13.0

12.8

12.0

12.4

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,060

4,225

4,317

4,362

Braking Distance 60-0 mpg (ft.)

129

139

131

176*

*70-0mph figure shown

The 2021 Honda Pilot is the best performing vehicle in the class, not just in terms of speed but also in terms of bringing the vehicle to a stop from that higher speed. The Honda has a strong set of brakes that bring it to a stop within one of the best distances. The Kia Telluride follows just after it with a difference of just 2 ft. Mazda stands behind Kia with a braking distance of 139 feet.

2021 Honda Pilot Fuel Economy

7.5/10

The 2021 Honda Pilot delivers a pretty good fuel economy, and it is surprising that the Pilot, which is the fastest SUV among the competition, also provides a very good fuel economy. The Honda Pilot puts out a fuel economy of 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and a combined range of 23 mpg. The Pilot has a 19.5-gallon fuel capacity which results in a range of 390 miles in the city, 527 miles on the highway, and a combined range of 448 miles. 

Models

2021 Honda Pilot LX

2021 Mazda CX-9 Sport

2021 Kia Telluride LX

2021 Chevrolet Traverse LS

MPG (City)

20

22

20

18

MPG (Highway)

27

28

26

27

MPG (Combined)

23

24

23

21

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

19.5

19.0

18.8

21.7

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

390/527/448

418/532/456

376/489/432

390/586/456

The 2021 Mazda CX-9 is the best in terms of fuel economy as well as range. The Chevrolet Traverse, however, with a larger fuel tank manages to deliver the best range on the highway while yielding the least efficient mpg figures in city traffic. The Honda Pilot performs really well and stands below the Mazda with slight differences in efficiency figures and range. Overall all of the members in the comparison have their own strengths in terms of fuel efficiency.

2021 Honda Pilot Interior

8.5/10

The 2021 Honda Pilot has a decent cabin with luxury that increases while climbing up the trim ladder. The base LX trim comes with a dual-zone automatic climate control system as standard, whereas tri-zone automatic climate control with humidity control and air filtration is standard in all other trims. The interior options include black or grey perforated leather upholstered seats with lots of adjustability and memory functionality. 

2021 Honda Pilot SUV 

The interior is spacious with lots of space available for the first two rows and a respectable amount of space for the third-row passengers. The third row provides pretty comfortable seating for adults in short drives, while it can be tiring in long journeys and is not suggested. The front two rows, however, offer a great amount of space, and the seats are comfortable and supportive. The highest-end trim also receives seat ventilation along with a heating function. The cargo space in the Honda Pilot is not the best in the competition.

Models

2021 Honda Pilot LX

2021 Mazda CX-9 Sport

2021 Kia Telluride LX

2021 Chevrolet Traverse LS

Seating Capacity

8

7

7

8

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

40.1/62.0/40.9

39.3/57.9/39.4

39.5/61.6/44.1

41.3/62.1/41.0

Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

40.2/62.0/38.4

38.5/58.1/39.4

40.2/61.2/42.4

40.0/62.2/38.4

Third Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

38.9/57.6/31.9

35.4/53.1/29.7

38.1/55.3/31.4

38.2/57.5/33.5

Cargo Capacity

16.5

14.4

21.0

23.0

The Kia Telluride, Chevrolet Traverse, and the Honda Pilot are the overall more spacious models in this comparison, but there are differences in spacing in each row as well as cargo space. The Kia Telluride comes with the best first and second-row space, whereas the Chevrolet Traverse has the best third-row space as well as cargo capacity. The Mazda is the lowest spacious option in the segment, while all others have their own strengths and weaknesses. The following are some of the standout interior features in the Honda Pilot-

  • Heated & Ventilated Front seats
  • Heated 2nd-Row Captain's Chairs
  • Perforated Leather-Trimmed seats
  • Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control System with Humidity Control and Air Filtration
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Ambient LED Lighting

How intuitive is the 2021 Honda Pilot’s infotainment unit?

The 2021 Honda Pilot features an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment unit in the higher trims, while the lower trims come with just a 5-inch color LCD infotainment screen. The larger touchscreen unit is responsive, intuitive, and easy to use. The audio unit in the base models is a 215-Watt audio system with 7 speakers, including a subwoofer. The higher trims, however, come with a 590-Watt premium audio system consisting of 10 speakers, including a subwoofer and Multi-Zone Audio. The 10-speaker audio unit is of high quality, and the listening experience is amazing. The following are the most important infotainment features- 

  • 8-inch Display Audio with High-Resolution Electrostatic Touch-Screen and Customizable Feature Settings
  • Advanced Rear Entertainment System with 10.2-inch High-Resolution Screen, Blu-Ray Player, and Built-In Streaming Apps
  • 590-Watt Premium Audio System with 10 Speakers, including Subwoofer
  • Multi-Zone Audio
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration

2021 Honda Pilot Exterior

7.0/10

The 2021 Honda Pilot is not the best-looking SUV in the segment, however, it’s not bad either. It’s just that the Pilot is a generic-looking Honda SUV. This might be a positive thing for some people, but it's just boring for some eyes. The Pilot doesn’t have any standout beauty elements that will turn heads. But overall, the Pilot is a decent-looking SUV and features LED headlights in the front along with the signature Honda grille. 

2021 Honda Pilot SUV 

The 2021 Honda Pilot features 18-inch alloy wheels in the lower trims and 20-inch ones in the higher trim which come in a black shade in the top-most Black Edition trim. The Pilot is available in eight color options, including four free and four paid options. The 2021 Honda Pilot is a typical Honda-looking SUV with distinct styling and design language. Overall it can be considered a good-looking vehicle from all sides.

Models

2021 Honda Pilot LX

2021 Mazda CX-9 Sport

2021 Kia Telluride LX

2021 Chevrolet Traverse LS

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,982

4,236

4,211

4,362

Length (inches)

196.5

199.4

196.9

204.3

Width (inches)

78.6

77.5

78.3

78.6

Height (inches)

70.6

69.0

68.9

70.7

Ground Clearance (inches)

7.3

8.8

8.0

N/A

Wheelbase (inches)

111.0

115.3

114.2

120.9

The Honda Pilot, as we discussed earlier, is the lightest among the competition while also being the shortest. It also comes with the least ground clearance, whereas the Mazda has the best ground clearance and is the most practical SUV in comparison. When it comes to beauty, the Kia Telluride is the best looking with a sporty and updated design language with futuristic accent lighting and LED-lined turn indicators. The Pilot and the Mazda follow, but both of them have a brand-specific design language that not everyone would appreciate. The following are some of the standout exterior features-

  • Body-Colored Roofline Spoiler with Integrated Brake Light
  • LED Headlights with Auto-On/Off
  • Rear Privacy Glass
  • One-Touch Power Moonroof with Tilt Feature
  • Panoramic Roof
  • Acoustic Glass in Windshield and Front Doors 

2021 Honda Pilot Safety

9.0/10

The 2021 Honda Pilot has been crash-tested and rated by both NHTSA as well as IIHS. It has been awarded impressive safety ratings from both agencies. NHTSA has given the Pilot an overall 5-star rating. It gets nothing short of a 4-star rating under any parameter, including a solid 5-star rating under all side crash tests. IIHS has also given the Pilot very good ratings. All of this means that the Honda Pilot is a super safe vehicle equipped with a host of safety features, including Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and many others, including the following-

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
  • Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM)
  • Blind Spot Information System (BSI) with Cross Traffic Monitor
  • Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Dynamic Guidelines
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control

2021 Honda Pilot Competition

7.0/10

2021 Honda Pilot vs 2021 Mazda CX-9

The 2021 Honda Pilot is definitely the better option than the Mazda CX-9. It provides better drivability and improved handling while also being faster than the Mazda. The Mazda only has a slightly better fuel economy to hold up against the Pilot. But that is not enough to beat the Pilot, and the CX-9 loses out in this duel, meaning that the Honda Pilot is the overall better choice. 

2021 Mazda CX-9

2021 Honda Pilot vs 2021 Kia Telluride

Kia Telluride is a very strong option in the segment offering great space and impressive power outputs. The Kia Telluride also provides good handling capabilities and impressive acceleration. The space on the inside, as well as the cargo capacity, is also very good, and the Telluride also features a luxurious cabin and a beautiful exterior. The Pilot, as well as the Telluride, are equally good competitors in the segment, and the choice is subjective. We would lean towards the Telluride due to its better looks and performance that is very close to the Pilot. 

2021 Kia Telluride

2021 Honda Pilot vs 2021 Chevrolet Traverse

The Honda Pilot is the better option here as it performs better and also looks better than the Chevy Traverse. The Traverse is a powerful SUV with impressive third-row space but still cannot keep up with the Pilot in terms of speed and acceleration. The Pilot also delivers superior handling and fuel efficiency, making it the better choice. The 2021 Traverse is a healthy option, but considering all aspects, the Pilot is definitely the one to opt for. 

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

 

2021 Honda Pilot Final Verdict

The 2021 Honda Pilot is one of the best options in the segment offering impressive performance and interior space. The powertrain combination of the 3.5 L V6 and the 9-speed automatic transmission is superb in delivering the best acceleration figures in the segment while also providing great fuel economy. The Pilot also looks pretty good and comes in various trim options to choose from. Overall it is a superior option in the three-row SUV segment.

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