Buyer's Guide

2021 Honda Pilot
Select a Different Model (14 Available): Black Edition AWD
Fuel Economy $ 19 / 26 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 16/82 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 7/7
Horsepower 280@6,000
See All Specs
Free Price Quote From a Local Dealer
2021 Honda Pilot MODEL OVERVIEW


  • Comfortable ride
  • Clever interior packaging
  • Strong acceleration


  • Transmission operation could be smoother
  • Dated infotainment system
  • Bland interior design

As one of the class leaders in the three-row SUV segment, the Honda Pilot blends comfort and versatility into a single package. Like the smaller CR-V, the Pilot features plenty of clever storage spaces for everything from mobile devices to bags. Take the center console, for example, which is big enough to fit a shoulder bag or purse. The current generation Pilot is now in its fifth model year and is nearing the end of its lifecycle.

What's New

  • Special Edition model features black 20-inch alloy wheels, wireless charging, and a hands-free power liftgate.
  • All Pilot models now get a nine-speed automatic transmission, replacing the six-speed unit in lower trims. The nine-speed automatic was previously limited only to the top three models.
  • Black Edition now available in the Platinum White Pearl exterior color.

What We Think

The Honda Pilot remains one of the most well-rounded three-row SUVs in the market. Smartly packaged, the Pilot is one of the few vehicles in its segment that can fit adult passengers in the third row. Clever storage solutions like the gigantic center console bin and underfloor cubby in the cargo area also add to the Pilot's appeal as a family vehicle. Honda's V-6 engine provides plenty of power; the Pilot is one of the quickest three-row family SUVs available. Excellent suspension tuning gives the Pilot a comfortable ride and stable handling when you need to make emergency maneuvers.

Despite being spacious for people and their stuff, the Pilot's interior is a bit behind the curve with its dated and bland design. Honda's infotainment system also lags behind competitors with finicky voice commands and slow responses to inputs. The nine-speed automatic, while improved, still tends to hunt for gears during specific driving situations like climbing up a steep grade. Even so, the Pilot is a top-ranked choice in its class, just below the Subaru Ascent and Kia Telluride.

Read about the Pilot in our nine-vehicle three-row SUV comparison test here.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The 2021 Honda Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 with 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic is the only gearbox available for the 2021 model year. EPA fuel economy ratings are 20/27 mpg city/highway for FWD models and 19/26 mpg with AWD.


In NHTSA testing, the 2021 Honda Pilot received a five-star overall safety rating (out of five stars). IIHS crash testing yielded five scores of Good and one Acceptable, for the passenger-side small front overlap test.

All 2021 Honda Pilot models get the Honda Sensing driver assistance suite, which includes lane departure warning, lane keeping assist with centering function, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and front automatic emergency braking. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard only on the EX and higher grades.

Cargo Space and Towing

When all seats are up, the 2021 Honda Pilot has 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space on all but the Elite trim, which has slightly less at 16.0 cubic feet. Folding the third row expands capacity to 46.8 cubic feet on the LX, EX, EX-L, Special Edition, and Touring grades or 46.0 cubic feet on the Elite and Black Edition. Total cargo volume with the second and third rows down are 83.9 cubic feet for the base LX, 83.8 cubic feet for the EX, EX-L, Special Edition, and Touring models, or 82.1 cubic feet in the Elite and Black Edition grades.

The maximum towing capacity varies based on the chosen drivetrain configuration. FWD Pilots are rated for 3,500 pounds, while AWD variants can pull more payload at 5,000 pounds.


The base 2021 Honda Pilot LX comes standard with a tiny 5.0-inch screen, Bluetooth, and a seven-speaker audio system. Moving up to the EX trim and higher gets you an 8.0-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Built-in navigation, a rear-seat entertainment system, and 10-speaker unbranded premium audio system are available only on the Touring, Elite, and Black Edition grades.

Trim Levels (Interior and Exterior Options)

2021 Honda Pilot LX

Exterior: Rearview camera, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED low-beam headlights
Interior: Keyless entry/start, three-zone climate control, cloth upholstery, 5.0-inch screen, seven-speaker audio system, Bluetooth
Safety: Forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, front automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist with centering function, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams

2021 Honda Pilot EX

Exterior: LED fog lights
8.0-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, 10-way power driver's seat, heated front seats
Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert

2021 Honda Pilot EX-L

Exterior: Power tailgate, sunroof
Auto-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, leather-wrapped steering wheel, four-way power front passenger seat, driver's seat memory, leather upholstery

2021 Honda Pilot Special Edition

Exterior: Hands-free power liftgate, black 20-inch alloy wheels,
Interior: Wireless charging

2021 Honda Pilot Touring

Exterior: 20-inch alloy wheels, full LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors
Interior: LED ambient lighting, heated second-row captain's chairs, built-in navigation, rear-seat entertainment system with a 10.2-inch display, 10-speaker unbranded premium audio system, Wi-Fi hotspot

2021 Honda Pilot Elite

Exterior: Dual-pane glass roof (sunroof plus fixed glass over the second row)
Interior: Ventilated front seats, wireless charging
Performance: AWD

2021 Honda Pilot Black Edition

Exterior: Black 20-inch alloy wheels, Black Edition badges, black grille
Interior: Red LED ambient lighting, red contrast stitching, front seats with Black Edition badges

Key Competitors:

Engine Name
Engine: V6 3.5 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, 9 Speed Automatic Mode Select
Black Edition AWD
Full-Size Utility
Standard MPG
Body Style
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
Maintenance Warranty Months
Corrosion Warranty Months
Powertrain Warranty Miles
Full Warranty Miles
Powertrain Warranty Months
Full Warranty Months
Roadside Assistance Miles
Maintenance Warranty Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
IIHS Best Pick
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$500 Honda announces a Military Appreciation Bonus when leased or financed through HFS. 03-31-2021
$500 Honda announces a College Graduate Down Payment Assistance Bonus when leased or financed through HFS. 03-31-2021
$0 0.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 66, 72 Months - Honda announces APR rates on select models. 03-01-2021
$0 0% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Honda announces APR rates on select models. 03-01-2021