The refreshed 2021 Honda Pilot will be the company’s largest SUV so far. The Pilot is a 3-row family car, with seating for seven or eight passengers, depending on the preferences and configuration. The cabin offers plenty of space and good amount of quality materials, like cloth or leather available on higher trim levels.
The competition in the mid-size class is very though. Some of the main rivals will be Subaru Ascent, Volkswagen Atlas, Ford Explorer, and Toyota Highlander. But don’t worry, the Pilot has a thing or two to show. The mid-cycle refreshment brings more aggressive styling and clear design. In the same manner, the capable 3.5-liter V6 drivetrain will provide enough power to accomplish every task with ease.
2021 Honda Pilot Redesign
The upcoming 2021 Honda PIlot will get a mid-cycle facelift. The redesign of the fascia will definitely bring a more appealing design. Besides the cosmetic changes, the new Pilot will include Honda Sensing safety features as part of the standard equipment. Moreover, we will see the hands-free power liftgate as well. In recent months, the engineering department is trying to improve and overcome certain issues from the previous version.
Some of the problems may be solved by installing a volume knob or refining the 9-speed automatic gearbox. The overall shape of the vehicle is mostly rounded. But, the company has a way to deal with that by bringing more sharp lines to the exterior. Front and rear fascia will be slightly different, to accentuate a new more aggressive style.
The end result of these alterations will probably be somewhere in between. Yes, the front end looks more flashy, but he rear end remains spheroidal. One of the visually interesting features is the roof rails, yet they come as standard for higher trims and optional for the base level. 2021 Pilot rolls on 18-inches wheel. Or course, if you choose the Touring trim, for example, you’ll get 20-inch alloy wheels.
The 2021 Honda Pilot will be a 3-row seater, with an option of seven or eight seats. Still, most of the models are set up to accommodate eight passengers, with the aid of the 2nd-row bench. However, you can replace the 2nd-row bench with a pair of captain’s chairs. These are standard on the Elite trim and optional on Touring.
Installing the captain’s chair will increase comfort in the cabin, and provide easier access to the third row. But, it will reduce the total count to seven passengers. The interior of this mid-size crossover SUV is roomy, maybe even the most spacious in the whole class.
The base model comes with a relatively small 5-inch display, Honda Sensing safety, and a driver-assist suite. Good news for all potential customers is that the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity will be available on all trim levels.
2021 Honda Pilot EX-L
Without a doubt, the most impressive trim of the 2021 Honda Pilot lineup is the EX-L. This model includes all the standard equipment form the base LX, and adds a leather-covered interior, power tailgate, moonroof, and universal garage remote. Moreover, the drivers will surely enjoy a power-adjustable seat and in the silence that provides acoustic windshield.
The Pilot will borrow features from other Honda vehicles as well, for example, Odyssey’s minivan-derived CabinTalk function. This amazingly useful feature allows you to communicate with the passengers in the back through their headphones. The standard package accessories are rear-seat window sunshades, driver-seat memory function, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
On top of that, the EX-L adds a rear entertainment system with a 10.2-inch screen, HDMI, navigation system, Blu-ray player, and streaming apps. In addition, this variant offers a 110-volt power outlet. The powertrain is the same 3.5-liter V6 unit, with FWD as standard and AWD as optional.
The forthcoming 2021 Honda Pilot offers only one drivetrain option. It is a 3.5-liter V6 engine. This mill is well-refined and it’s capable to produce 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. One thing that will be common to all Pilot versions is the standard front-wheel-drive system.
Of course, the customers may purchase the optional all-wheel-drive. If you chose the AWD on one of the higher trims, you’ll get a terrain management system. The standard transmission is a 6-speed automatic, except on the Touring which uses a 9-speed gearbox. The higher trim also employs the engine start/stop function, which turns off the mill at idle.
But, if you don’t like starting and restarting constantly, this setup can be disabled very easily. The towing capacity of 2021 Pilot is 5,000 pounds with the AWD system. If you have FWD the maximum rating is 3,500 lbs.
The EPA city/highway fuel economy for models with 6-speed gearcase is 19/27 (FWD), 18/26 AWD. On the other hand, a 9-speed automatic transmission vehicle returns 20/27 mpg (FWD), 19/26 mpg (AWD).
Release Date and Price
The starting price of the base 2021 Honda Pilot LX is $33,200. The EX will start at $36,400 and adds more safety features and tech updates. However, we suggest considering EX-L as the best option. This variant cost just under $39,000, and bring a whole new level of interior comfort and luxury.
The stars of this roster are Touring and Pilot Elite, with the price tag of $45,600, and $49,400. The AWD is standard only for these two. For the rest of the squad, the AWD adds an extra $1,900 to the price. The 2021 Pilot release date is set for the second quartal of 2020.