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$33,725
Starting MSRP
$31,399
Starting Mkt Avg
TrueCar Rating
Owner Rating
Pros

Spacious interior. Strong acceleration from standard V6. Excellent outward visibility.

Cons

High-end trims don't feel luxurious. Anonymous styling. Infotainment system isn't intuitive.

Verdict

The 2021 Honda Pilot is a popular three-row SUV thanks to its strong V6 engine, generous passenger space, and well-configured cabin. It lacks the eye-catching designs and near-luxury interior offered by competitors, but when it comes to the daily needs of the average family, the Pilot is as competent as they come.

Pros

Spacious interior. Strong acceleration from standard V6. Excellent outward visibility.

Cons

High-end trims don't feel luxurious. Anonymous styling. Infotainment system isn't intuitive.

Verdict

The 2021 Honda Pilot is a popular three-row SUV thanks to its strong V6 engine, generous passenger space, and well-configured cabin. It lacks the eye-catching designs and near-luxury interior offered by competitors, but when it comes to the daily needs of the average family, the Pilot is as competent as they come.

Overview

Like most three-row crossovers, the Honda Pilot is designed to handle a little bit of everything. As Honda's largest vehicle, it slots into the lineup above the two-row Honda Passport and the compact Honda CR-V. The Pilot's extra size allows for eight-passenger seating and an expansive cargo area with underfloor storage. Passenger room is generous in the first and second rows, but the third row is tight like most vehicles in this class. The strong V6 engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission gives the Pilot quicker acceleration than even the more powerful Toyota Highlander. However, as the Pilot is tuned mainly to deliver a smooth ride, it's far from sporty. The cabin is quiet with high-quality materials, but the design lacks the near-luxury look and feel of competitors such as the Kia Telluride and Mazda CX-9.

What's New for 2021

There are only a few changes to the 2021 Honda Pilot. All trim levels are now equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission and a start-stop system to improve fuel economy. In prior years, entry-level Pilots used a less-efficient six-speed automatic transmission. Dual-zone climate control replaces the single-zone system previously on lower-trim models. A new Special Edition model adds black wheels and trim, a hands-free power tailgate, and wireless phone charging to the EX-L trim.

2021 Honda Pilot Trim Comparison

Standard
Optional
Unequipped

* Additional Options Available

Standard
Optional
Unequipped

* Additional Options Available

Starting MSRP

Starting Market Average

MPG

Engine

Blind Spot System

Lane Keep Assist

Moonroof

Front Heated Seats

Cruise Control

Climate Control

Proximity Keyless Entry

Bluetooth

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Apple CarPlay

Android Auto

Wheel Size

Starting MSRP

$33,725*

Starting MSRP

$36,405*

Starting MSRP

$39,835*

Starting MSRP

$40,435*

Starting MSRP

$44,395*

Starting MSRP

$49,895

Starting MSRP

$51,395

Starting Market Average

$31,380

Starting Market Average

$34,632

Starting Market Average

$37,730

Starting Market Average

$38,447

Starting Market Average

$42,362

Starting Market Average

$47,137

Starting Market Average

$48,936

MPG

20 city/27 hwy*

MPG

20 city/27 hwy*

MPG

20 city/27 hwy*

MPG

20 city/27 hwy*

MPG

20 city/27 hwy*

MPG

19 city/26 hwy

MPG

19 city/26 hwy

Engine

3.5L V6

Engine

3.5L V6

Engine

3.5L V6

Engine

3.5L V6

Engine

3.5L V6

Engine

3.5L V6

Engine

3.5L V6

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Wheel Size

18"

Wheel Size

18"

Wheel Size

18"

Wheel Size

18"

Wheel Size

20"

Wheel Size

20"

Wheel Size

20"

Trims and Pricing

Honda builds the Pilot in seven trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, Special Edition, Touring, Elite, and Black Edition. Since stand-alone option packages aren't offered, moving between trim levels is the way to add or subtract features.

The Pilot LX is the lowest-priced model at $33,725 (including delivery fee). The LX includes convenience items such as a power liftgate and second-row USB ports.

For the best value we recommend the mid level Pilot EX-L, which starts at just under $40,000 and includes a moonroof on top of the other great features from the EX. If you're really looking to stand out, the Pilot Special Edition furnishes the EX-L with 20-inch black wheels and trim for an additional $600.

Above the Special Edition, trim prices ramp up quickly. The Pilot Touring starts at just over $44K. Both the Elite and Black Edition top $50K, although they come standard with all-wheel drive, which is a $2,000 option on the lower trim levels. The Volkswagen Atlas R-Line is one of the few competitors in the segment that tops $50K.

This is what others paid nationwide for a 2021 Honda Pilot LX
How to Use the TrueCar Price Graph

The TrueCar Price Graph shows you new car sales data in a way that helps you easily recognize a fair price for a vehicle similar to the one you want. The vertical bars represent what people in your area recently paid for similar vehicles. These transactions don’t include dealer documentation, administrative, or similar processing fees.

How to Use the TrueCar Price Graph

The TrueCar Price Graph shows you new car sales data in a way that helps you easily recognize a fair price for a vehicle similar to the one you want. The vertical bars represent what people in your area recently paid for similar vehicles. These transactions don’t include dealer documentation, administrative, or similar processing fees.

  • What is MSRP?

    MSRP stands for Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, sometimes also known as the sticker price. Because this price is only a suggestion, a dealer can choose to sell a vehicle above—or, more often, below—MSRP.

  • What is Market Average?

    Based on actual recent transactions other buyers have made, the Market Average shows you the average price others paid for vehicles similar to the one you want, while taking into account that most of these vehicles have different option combinations from the ones you specified.

  • Statewide, Regional, and National Data

    If there are insufficient transactions in your area, we calculate your Market Average by gathering statewide, regional, or national data. Because this data can come from a large geographical area it may not be as representative of your local market.

MSRP
$33,725
Market Average
$31,399
Avg Savings off MSRP
6.9% off
Customize Yours
Excellent Price
Great Price

6% - 11% off MSRP

$29,895 - $31,566

Fair Price
High Price
368
sales
890
sales
389
sales
238
sales
Select Style
Nationwide Data

This graph helps you recognize a fair price for the Honda Pilot by displaying national new car sales transactions from the past 30 days. This data can come from a large geographical area, so may not be as representative of your local market. The prices have been normalized to account for transactions involving different configurations of this model.

Engine and Performance

The Pilot's standard 280-horsepower V6 might not match some of its competitors on paper, but its performance is outstanding on the street. Acceleration is strong in any situation and when full power is not in demand, the engine is quiet and unobtrusive. The nine-speed transmission isn't as quick to change gears as the Hyundai Palisade, but it's predictable and smooth-shifting.

Along curvy roads, the Pilot isn't the least bit sporty. Sure, it's stable, but it feels big and slow to react. The Mazda CX-9 is a better choice for a responsive, nimble feel. To its credit, the Pilot's suspension does a great job of soaking up rough roads, and the brakes are capable of bringing it to a quick stop, even with an entire family on board. Light steering makes it easy to maneuver at low speeds.

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency has long been a selling point for Honda, and the Pilot is no different. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the front-wheel-drive model at 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. In combined city and highway driving, the Pilot is rated at 23 mpg, on par with the Toyota Highlander and Kia Telluride. All-wheel-drive models are rated one notch lower at 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 mpg in combined driving. The Ford Explorer delivers slightly higher numbers when equipped with the base four-cylinder engine, but it doesn't match the Pilot's straight-line performance. For even better mileage, there's the Toyota Highlander Hybrid rated at 35 mpg in combined driving.

2021 Honda Pilot Exterior Photos

Interior

With excellent outward visibility and a high seating position, the Pilot feels like a true SUV. That feel is reenforced with a spacious driver's seat and ample passenger and cargo room. The front seats accommodate a wide range of body types and you can select captain's chairs for the second row if you don't need a bench seat to carry a third passenger.

Controls are well-placed, and durable materials are made to withstand a family's regular use. Newer competitors such as the Kia Telluride and Toyota Highlander have more stylish cabin designs, but the Pilot's simplicity adds a measure of instant familiarity. As with most competitors, the third-row seats aren't the most comfortable. However, no one will complain about the second-row accommodations. Cargo room is about average for the class with 16.5 cubic feet of space behind the third row and handy underfloor storage for stashing things out of sight. Fold the second row flat, and that number expands to 46 cubic feet. If cargo capacity is a priority, competitors such as the Chevrolet Traverse and Volkswagen Atlas are better choices, as they both top the Pilot in this area.

Infotainment & Connectivity

The base-model Pilot LX comes with a small 5-inch display with limited features. This is one reason we recommend choosing at least the EX trim level. The EX and above get an 8-inch touchscreen that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. It's a good but not great system, with dated graphics and response times that lag behind the top systems found in the Hyundai Palisade and Dodge Durango. Navigation and Wi-Fi capability are on the options list, but only at the Touring trim and above (which start well over $40K). On the plus side, the Pilot's standard audio system features six speakers plus a subwoofer that delivers quality sound. Touring models and above get a standard 10-speaker system with considerably more power and an in-car PA system for chatting with third-row passengers without shouting.

2021 Honda Pilot Interior Photos

Safety

All Honda Pilot SUVs come with Honda Sensing, a package that includes several active safety systems. It's a big reason why the Pilot earns a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Pilot receives top scores in five out of six crash-test categories. The Pilot's standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning, and forward-collision warning. Pilot EX trims and above add a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic detection.

Honda Pilot vs. the Competition

With room for up to eight passengers, a smooth and quiet ride, and solid fuel economy, the Honda Pilot delivers exactly what you would expect from a midsize SUV. It's not at all flashy or luxurious, yet the Pilot's ability to perform daily chores without complaint makes it a solid choice in the segment. The Pilot's standard V6 is a strong power plant, but if you prefer something with more punch consider the Ford Explorer ST or the V8-powered Dodge Durango. If maximum fuel economy is a priority, it's hard to beat the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and its 35-mpg rating. For all-out value, the Kia Telluride or Hyundai Palisade offer many of the same features found in the Pilot at a lower price.

Honda Pilot Owner Reviews

Based on 390 Reviews
Overall Satisfaction
4.2
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
Fuel Efficiency
4.0
Safety Technology
4.0
Features
4.0
All Reviews
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
Fuel Efficiency
5.0
Safety Technology
4.0
Features
5.0
pros
The looks, comfort, roominess and cargo capacity. It is comfortable and a pleasure to drive.
cons
There is less convenient storage in front compared to my former 2012 Pilot. As an amateur radio operator, it will be much more difficult to find a way to install a radio than in the 2012 Pilot.
Submitted by John B on Jan 14, 2021|2021 Honda Pilot Special Edition AWD|Purchased on Dec 2020
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
Fuel Efficiency
5.0
Safety Technology
5.0
Features
5.0
pros
I love everything about the Honda Pilot from its fuel efficiency to its cosmetic features to its color and stitching.
cons
It would be nice if the passenger side seat adjusted more than just back and forth.
Submitted by Carol K on Jan 14, 2021|2021 Honda Pilot Black Edition AWD|Purchased on Dec 2020
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
Fuel Efficiency
4.0
Safety Technology
5.0
Features
5.0
pros
Very roomy and comfortable backseat for kids or adults
cons
Kind of slow on acceleration compared to other brands of similar models. Idles kind of loud
Submitted by Caleb P on Jan 14, 2021|2021 Honda Pilot Touring 8-Passenger AWD|Purchased on Dec 2020

2021 Honda Pilot FAQs

The 2021 Honda Pilot 2WD EX trim is the lightest model with a curb weight of 4,060 lbs. The 2021 Honda Pilot AWD Black Edition is the heaviest model weighing 4,319 lbs.

All 2021 Honda Pilot models are 196.5 inches in length and 78.6 inches in width.

The 2021 Honda Pilot 2WD variants can tow up to 3,500 lbs. By adding the optional 4WD functionality, towing capacity increases to 5,000 lbs.

Midsize three-row crossovers are a popular segment and for a good reason. They offer a car-like ride and good fuel economy in a large and spacious package. The Pilot excels in these areas, making it one of the best SUVs in its class. Families will appreciate the storage options, available captain's chairs, and comfortable seats. Some rivals indeed offer faster acceleration and plusher interiors, but the Pilot places its emphasis on functionality, and it's there that it shines.

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The Starting Market Average is a proprietary mathematical calculation based on actual recent transactions. It provides a statistically accurate understanding of what other buyers are paying for the least expensive configuration of this vehicle. Adjustments to the calculation beyond make, model, and trim are normalized based on detailed, anonymized transaction information. This accounts for the fact that most or all recently-sold vehicles included different option combinations. The data underlying the Starting Market Average calculation are filtered for extreme outliers and subjected to a weighted averaging process that considers factors such as the recency of transactions and the timing of data lags. In certain instances, the calculated result is adjusted to take account of abrupt changes in the market that may not yet be fully reflected by recent transaction prices. In all cases where the Starting Market Average is shown there is sufficient sample size and transaction detail to be statistically reliable.