Are you in the market for a three-row crossover with plenty of advanced features? You’re in luck! The new 2021 Honda Pilot is making waves in the auto industry with its updated transmission and brand new trim level. It also underwent a style refresh for this new production year, making the vehicle more practical and spacious.
Previous models used a 6-speed automatic transmission as the standard gearbox, and the 9-speed automatic was reserved only for upper-level trims. However, with this new refresh, the smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission has become the standard for all trim levels. As for the new trim level, buyers will be happy to know that a “Special Edition” model is available for the 2021 model year. Taking its place right between the EX-L and Touring trim levels, this model fuses luxury features with sleek exterior finishes. As the newest addition to the fleet, the Special Edition trim has an MSRP of $38,960.1
Another upgrade for the 2021 Honda Pilot is dual-zone climate control as a standard feature on the LX trim. Are you ready to learn more about this refreshed model? Keep reading!
The 2021 Honda Pilot is easy to gauge as far as performance goes. Every model is powered by the same 3.5-liter V6 engine that has been mated with a 9-speed automatic transmission and FWD (AWD is optional). As we mentioned before, last year’s models came standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and the 9-speed version was only available on certain high-level trims. That is no longer the case. All-together, this incredible powertrain produces 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 MPG combined (20 city/27 highway) for FWD models.3 For AWD models, the Pilot has an EPA-estimated economy 22 MPG combined (19 city/26 highway).3
Additionally, the new Pilot can haul up to 3,500 pounds with FWD models and up to 5,000 lbs with AWD models.2 It’s also important to note that AWD is optional on every trim except the Elite and Black Edition models. It’s standard on these.
Slipping behind the wheel of a 2021 Honda Pilot is quite an extraordinary experience. Most models have seating for eight people. However, if your Pilot has captain’s chairs, then the seating capacity will be reduced to seven. Behind the third row of seats is an available 18.5 cubic feet of cargo room. By folding down the third row, you can expand this area to 55.9 cubic feet. Still need more space? You can also fold the second row of seating down to gain access to the maximum cargo area measured at 109.0 cubic feet.
Safety systems are very important to most buyers. Families want to invest in a vehicle that will actively protect them on the roads. Simply serving as a mode of transportation doesn’t cut it anymore. That’s why the engineers at Honda have made sure that the new 2021 Honda Pilot is as safe as it can be.
With several advanced safety features coming standard on the new Pilot, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something you don’t love about this model. First, it gets adaptive cruise control, which is fantastic for folks who drive in heavy traffic frequently. It works by allowing you to set your desired speed limit. The Pilot will maintain that speed until the vehicle ahead begins to low down. At that point, the cruise control system will self-adjust to suit the new flow of traffic. Once traffic has cleared, and things have returned to normal, the system will bring the vehicle back up to the originally set speed. This can help take a lot of pressure off of you as a driver, especially in rush hour traffic.
The next standard safety feature we’d like to discuss is the forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking. Using front-facing sensors, the system will detect any obstacles that pose a potential threat to you. When an obstacle is detected, the system will provide a visual and audible alert so that the appropriate action can be taken. If no action is taken by you, the driver, then the system will trigger the automatic emergency braking feature. This will rapidly slow the Pilot, bringing it to a full stop before impact is made.
Then, there is also the standard lane-keeping system that prevents your vehicle from drifting. Using side-mounted sensors, this advanced system will monitor the lines on the road. If your vehicle begins to drift off to the side, the system will alert you with a visual notification and an addable chime. You can then correct your path to remain in your lane.
The last standard safety feature comes in the form of automatic high beams. If you are traveling down a dark road or highway at night, you can turn on your bright lights. If an oncoming vehicle is detected, the light will automatically dim. Once the oncoming vehicle has passed, the high beams will turn back up again.
If you opt for the EX trim level, you will also get blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The blind-spot monitoring system will let you know if another vehicle has entered into your blind spot. This is meant to prevent you from changing lanes when the path is not clear. Meanwhile, the rear cross-traffic alert system will detect if another vehicle is crossing behind your vehicle when you are in reverse. This will help to prevent fender benders.
Taking things a step further, the Touring trim level gets added parking sensors on the front and back of the Pilot. Finally, the Elite model adds auto-dimming/power-folding exterior side mirrors.
The base model is known as the LX. It features 60/40 split-folding seats in the third row for easy cabin configuration. The infotainment interface is displayed on a 5-inch touchscreen that operates with Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and text messaging. The video feed for the rearview camera is also displayed on this monitor, and you can listen to music through the 7-speaker sound system. LED headlights are also included for optimized visibility.
Next, the EX trim level adds keyless entry, tri-zone climate control, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The front seats are heated for comfort during the winter, and the second-row seats come with the one-touch slide-and-fold feature for easy configuration. As for the infotainment system, it gets a few upgrades, including a larger 8-inch touchscreen and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Heated side mirrors have also been added to the exterior.
The mid-level EX-L model is where the luxury features begin to come into play. The cloth upholstery from the lower trims is removed, and leather upholstery has been installed. The second-row of seats gets a few new features, including additional USB ports for charging smartphones. There is even a sunroof and power liftgate on this model.
As for the new Special Edition trim level, it gets a wireless charging pad that helps keep the cabin clear of clutter. The hands-free liftgate makes it easy to load items into the back of the vehicle without having to set them down on the ground.
Then, we have the Touring model. This version of the Pilot extends the heated seat feature to the second row, and it also adds a back seat entertainment system. Navigation has been integrated into the infotainment system, and the premium ten-speaker stereo offers an expectational audio experience. Roof rails have also been added for extra storage options.
Next, the Elite gets those second-row captain’s chairs that we mentioned before. Please remember that this means the Elite only has room for seven people. Ventilation has been added to the front seats for cooling the summer, and the steering wheel gets a heating feature. Even the sunroof gets upgraded to a panoramic version for ease of use.
Lastly, the cream of the crop is the Black Edition. Essentially, it is identical to the Elite with a few cosmetic differences. The interior boasts a contrasting red trim, and the exterior gets black accents.