- The 2021 Honda Pilot now equipped as standard with nine-speed automatic transmission.
- New mid-level Special Edition trim with 20-inch black alloy wheels, wireless phone charging and hands-free tailgate.
- Base Pilot LX obtains dual-zone automatic climate control.
A new Special Edition trim level has been added to the 2021 Honda Pilot lineup, which bundles a few popular features at an attractive price. The midsize, eight-passenger crossover gets a few other noteworthy changes as well, including the elimination of the six-speed automatic transmission.
Once again, the Pilot has a slew of competitors to deal with, such as the new-for-2020 Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer, the Chevrolet Traverse, the Dodge Durango, the Volkswagen Atlas, the Subaru Ascent, the Kia Telluride, the Hyundai Palisade as well as the soon-to-be-redesigned Nissan Pathfinder.
As before, all 2021 Honda Pilot variants in the United States market are equipped with a 3.5-litre V6 engine that develops 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. However, the nine-speed automatic that was previously reserved for Touring, Elite and Black Edition trim levels is now standard across the board, which is matched to an automatic stop/start system. As a result, fuel economy around town rises by 1 mpg in LX, EX, EX-L and EX-L Navi/RES versions.
The new Pilot SE gets the EX-L’s equipment list, which includes leather upholstery, a power sunroof, a power tailgate, door-integrated second-row sunshades, a 10-way power driver’s seat with two-position memory, heated front seats as well as a 215-watt sound system with eight-inch touchscreen. However, it also benefits from hands-free tailgate operation, roof rails, wireless phone charging and 20-inch black alloy wheels.
Meanwhile, the base 2021 Honda Pilot LX obtains dual-zone automatic climate control, while all other trim levels feature a three-zone system with rear-seat controls.
The Pilot Touring piles on navigation, a rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-Ray player and HDMI input, on-board Wi-Fi (data subscription required), park sensors, heated second-row seats and LED headlights, while the Elite adds a dual-pane moonroof, ventilated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, a heated steering wheel and more. The Black Edition features a monochrome exterior appearance in addition to red interior lighting and red leather stitching—and is now available in Platinum White Pearl. Second-row captain’s chairs are optional in the Touring, standard in the Elite and Black Edition.
All 2021 Honda Pilot variants are also blessed with a comprehensive advanced driving aid suite that rounds up adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning and automatic high beams, while all but the base LX also features blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
No word yet on what changes are in store for the Canadian-market 2021 Honda Pilot. However, the revised crossover is now on sale in the U.S., priced as following ($1,120 destination and delivery charges not included):
LX 2WD – $32,250
LX AWD – $34,250
EX 2WD – $34,930
EX AWD – $36,930
EX-L 2WD – $38,360
EX-L AWD – $40,360
SE 2WD – $38,960
SE AWD – $40,960
Touring 2WD – $42,920
Touring AWD – $44,920
Touring with Captain’s Chairs 2WD – $43,220
Touring with Captain’s Chairs AWD – $45,220
Elite AWD – $48,420
Black Edition AWD – $49,920