As the current generation Honda Pilot begins to sunset, the automaker is offering a new Special Edition trim level for the 2021 model year. Additionally, a long fresh list of standard features and transmission come on the model.
The Pilot is facing increased competition as it ages from the redesigned-for-2020 Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Mazda CX-9. Kia’s redesigned 2021 Sorento will be out later this year and Volkswagen has refreshed the Atlas for 2021 as well. The Chevrolet Traverse remains popular with buyers and will be refreshed for the 2022 model year.
In the Honda stable, the Pilot slots at the top of the SUV lineup. Below it are the Passport, CR-V, and HR-V. The company recently added a CR-V Hybrid model.
The Pilot lineup sees a bit of a price increase for the 2021 model year. The Pilot Elite, shown here, remains at top-tier offering.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc
Starting today, dealerships will have 2021 Honda Pilot Special Edition (SE) models in stock. Those models build on the Pilot EX-L trim and offer, in addition to what is on the EX-L roster, leather seats, second-row sunshades, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat with two-position memory. Blacked out features include 20-inch wheels, roof rails, grille, and front/rear skid garnishes. There’s a foot-activated hands-free tailgate and wireless phone charger. The model is available in two- or all-wheel drive. Two-wheel drive models start at $38,960 and AWD versions have a $40,960 price tag.
Honda is also making its nine-speed automatic transmission standard across the model line adding paddle shifters to each model. Dual-zone climate control is now standard. Buyers now have the option to choose the Platinum White Pearl paint job for their Pilot Black Edition.
The price of the Pilot has gone up for the 2021 model year, but only slightly. It now starts around $600 more than the 2020 edition. The 2021 Pilot LX with two-wheel drive starts at $32,250 adding AWD to that trim level bumps the price up to $34,250.
The 2021 Honda Pilot is made at the company’s Lincoln, Alabama plant alongside Odyssey, Passport, and Ridgeline. Its engine is also manufactured in Alabama.