The 2021 Honda Pilot is a three-row midsize SUV with seating for up to eight that’s roomy and also more refined than you’d think! Every Pilot is available with all-wheel drive and the excellent nine-speed automatic transmission now comes standard across the lineup. There’s a new Special Edition trim for 2021 that SUVs.com had the chance to take a look at. The new 2021 Pilot Special Edition builds on the popular EX-L trim with additional features that, up until now, were exclusive to the top trims. It has a starting price of $38,960 for a two-wheel drive model. The most expensive 2021 Pilot trim is the Pilot Black Edition. As per its name, it has a cool blacked-out look with 20-inch black alloy wheels, special Black Edition exterior trim, and even special red ambient LED lighting inside. The Black Edition trim starts from $49,920. To continue learning more about the 2021 Pilot including the new Special Edition trim that SUVs.com had the chance to take a look at, continue reading below!
Honda describes the exterior design of its Pilot as both rugged and refined. It’s a family SUV, but it does still offer bold styling. The most distinctive feature of the vehicle is the bold front grille. The Pilot SUV’s grille features an aggressive chrome layout that integrates beautifully with the sculpted headlights with auto-on/off functionality. The Honda logo is prominently featured. The wheels of the Pilot are also impressive. The Special Edition trim gets 20-inch black wheels, for example. There are also bright finished wheel faces for other trims.
The taillights at the back are just as attractive as the wheels. They straddle the tailgate and rear quarter panel with their signature shape and feature distinct LED accents. The badging near the taillights of the Pilot SUV makes the rear look even better.
While the Pilot does have bold features, it was actually designed to be aerodynamic. Its smooth lines and aerodynamic body complement the Pilot’s EarthDreams engine and weight-saving chassis, making for a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
As for what makes the new Special Edition trim special, it builds on the great features of the EX-L. It has additional exterior perks like roof rails and 20-inch black alloy wheels. You also get to enjoy the convenience of the hands-free access power tailgate.
The highest level trims get LED headlights and a panoramic roof.
What has 3-rows, 280 horsepower, and seating for 8 at just a hair above thirty grand? The Honda pilot of course! The Pilot offers a lot of SUV for the money with few negative attributes. That’s a reason why it’s consistently in the top 20 best-selling SUVs. The Pilot does an excellent job of balancing price, performance, and practicality, what more could you need?
Moving inside of the Pilot now, it has seating for up to eight. The Special Edition trim that SUVs.com checked out features leather-trimmed upholstery, wireless charging, and a sunroof.
The Pilot is a three-row midsize SUV but you might be surprised by just how spacious it feels. There truly is room to stretch out in the Pilot and the back row isn’t necessarily as cramped feeling as it is with some competitors. It’s also easy to get back there thanks to the one-touch 2nd-row seats.
There are different seating configurations to meet your family’s needs with room for up to eight, but you can choose to opt for the comfortable 2nd-row captain’s chairs to fit seven. They allow your passengers to truly sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride inside of your Pilot.
Want to be able to easily communicate with passengers in the third row? The Pilot makes communicating with rear seat passengers easy with its available CabinTalk in-car PA system. The system can definitely come in handy when you have little ones seated in the back.
On the higher level trims, you get the enjoy the luxury of perforated leather-trimmed seats that are both heated and ventilated. On cold days, three heat settings ensure the right level of warmth. On cold days, cool air circulates through the seats.
Standard inside the new 2021 Honda Pilot Special Edition that SUVs.com had the chance to check out is a one-touch power moonroof. The moonroof makes you feel like there’s even more headroom inside the Pilot. There’s also the even more impressive panoramic roof that comes standard on the higher level Elite and Black Edition trims. The panoramic roof offers beautiful, expansive views to passengers in the second and third rows.
The Pilot Special Edition features a wireless phone charger, which is nice. It provides a hassle-free charging zone that’s easy to access and use. You also have the 8” touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that comes with most trims. We’d just suggest avoiding the 5” display. Navigation does come standard on the higher level trims.
There’s a rear seat entertainment system that comes standard on the Touring level trim and above. It offers a 10.2” display for viewing fun. Don’t forget, there’s also that CabinTalk in-vehicle PA system you can opt for. Between the entertainment and PA systems, you should be able to keep kids entertained on long rides! Every Pilot also gets a rearview camera as standard for added peace of mind.
As for cargo space, there’s up to 109 cubic feet of it when the 60/40 split 2nd- and 3rd-row seats are folded down. You also get to enjoy the hands-free access power tailgate with the higher level trims. In addition to the cargo space in the back, you’ll also find plenty of it all around the Pilot. In fact, there are 16 cupholders inside the Pilot SUV!
While only the higher level Pilot trims used to get the nine-speed automatic transmission, now all Pilot trims feature the better transmission as standard. The Pilot’s V6 engine also packs plenty of power and offers a sporty sound!
Every Pilot features a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard with most trims and all-wheel drive is available.
The Pilot gets an EPA estimated 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway (in front-wheel drive configurations).
As for safety, you do get the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistive and safety technologies as standard!
Competitors for the 2021 Honda Pilot include the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Mazda CX-9, Volkswagen Atlas, and others.
The 2021 Honda Pilot is priced from $32,250 before the destination charge for the base LX trim in front-wheel drive. The new Special Edition we had he chance to check out is priced from $38,960.
As always, be sure to do further research into any vehicle you might be interested in purchasing. You want to make sure a vehicle is absolutely the right fit for you before making a purchase decision. If possible, it’s best to test drive the vehicle before you buy. You’ll also want to check with your local Honda dealer to see if there’s special pricing you can take advantage of.
The Honda Pilot is roomy, has features that make it a great family SUV, and it also has a powerful engine and an impressive transmission backing it up. It’s wonderful that the nine-speed automatic transmission now comes standard across the board. The Pilot might be a great family SUV, but that doesn’t mean it’s bland or boring. The Pilot has a bold feel and it might just be the right fit for your family!
We gave the 2021 Honda Pilot an SUVs.com deal score rating of 78/100. Did you watch our video review of the 2021 Pilot? Be sure to leave a comment on our YouTube channel!