2021 Honda Pilot Review

June 15th, 2021 by

2021 Honda Pilot with car container

The Honda Pilot has always been a solid alternative to a minivan – this year is no exception. The 2021 Honda Pilot delivers on its comfortable, roomy third row, its lofty seating height, and its fair amount of ground clearance. In addition, it has an all-wheel-drive system that has always set them apart from competing crossovers/SUVs. The 2021 Honda Pilot also offers its trusty fuel-efficient V-6 powertrain that never fails to deliver a gratifying driving experience. Although the 2021 Pilot isn’t the snazziest mid-size crossover, its many practical and efficient traits make it a desirable option among many people.


  • A versatile, roomy interior with spacious rear seats
  • Smooth and compliant ride in most conditions
  • Better fuel economy than rivals
  • Many clever storage compartments


  • LX: $33,725
  • EX: $36,405
  • Special Edition: $40,435
  • Touring: $44,040
  • Elite: $49,895
  • Black Edition: $51,395

What’s New for 2021?

This year, for the new 2021 Pilot lineup, Honda added a new Special Edition model and made the nine-speed automatic transmission standard. In previous models, the nine-speed transmission was only offered on the Touring trim level, and up and lower-trim versions had a clunky six-speed automatic transmission. The 2021 Special Edition trims (between the EX and Touring) come equipped with black 20-inch wheels, a foot-activated power tailgate, and handy wireless charging. All 2021 models come standard with paddle shifters, dual-zone climate control, and an automatic stop-start system. These valuable upgrades increase the Pilots’ base price by $600, but it’s a small price to pay for all the versatility and efficiency it brings.


21 Honda Pilot driving in snow

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

As mentioned above, the 2021 Honda Pilot has a speedy and fuel-efficient V-6 powertrain that doesn’t disappoint. It comes with a powerful 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine and a newly standard nine-speed automatic transmission making a bumpy dirt road a breeze to drive through. Thanks to the Pilot’s all-wheel-drive switchable terrain modes (Snow, Mud, Sand), the driver can go from city to off-road expert. It also has a torque-vectoring feature that improves handling. So, head out to the mountains! The 2021 Honda Pilot can crawl up a nearly 30-degree incline, finesse its way through rocky terrain, and effectively conquer sandy paths. The 2021 Honda Pilot is a jack-of-all-traits and can handle any road test. Also, a test drive might give you a better sense of the vehicle if you have a moment to spare.

What is the 2021 Honda Pilot towing capacity?

Towing capacity varies throughout trim levels. For example, the FWD Pilot has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, and the AWD drive Pilot can tow up to 5,000 pounds. If you want to tow, we recommend you buy the AWD option.

Interior & Tech

The Pilot’s spacious and practical interior comfortably fits a diverse group of passengers. Family-friendly options such as an in-cabin PA system are available.  Most trim levels offer a three-across second row for those who need to seat eight. Pricier models forgo the bench for two captain’s chairs, reducing the passenger count to seven. Throughout the interior, you will find a whopping 16 cup holders for extra drink space.


The Honda Pilot’s 5.0-inch display offers the basics, whereas EX and higher trims get an 8.0-inch touchscreen with SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, voice command, and other app functions.

Safety and Driver-Assistance

The 2021 Honda Pilot received a perfect five out of five stars, with four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests and another five stars in the side crash test from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. On top of that, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2021 Pilot the highest rating of Good in five crash tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the small overlap front passenger-side test.

21 Pilot Safety

Standard safety features include:

  • Rearview camera
  • Forward collision warning
  • Collision mitigation braking
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Road departure mitigation
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

Available advanced safety features:

  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • LED fog lights


The Pilot is covered by a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.


Overall, the 2021 Honda Pilot isn’t something you’d see at a flashy car show, but it gets the job done, and in typical Honda fashion, it does it very well. The Pilot is great at what it’s made for, providing comfortable, versatile, and safe family-friendly motoring. It competes with rivals like the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Mazda CX-9, and Volkswagen Atlas and is even roomier than most. Factor in the enviable resale value, and the 2021 Pilot quickly becomes a top crossover choice for many. If you are interested in test driving a 2021 Honda Pilot, contact us below. A test drive is a great way to learn more about vehicles and experience them yourself.

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