The Honda Pilot is a mid-sized family hauler with raised ride height and well-used interior room. The Pilot is comfortable in all rows and rides smoothly. It is also handsome and efficient. Honda equips it with the standard active safety tech.
The all-new, third-generation Pilot arrived for the 2016 model year and Honda refreshed its well-selling model for the 2019 version. Honda applied minor styling updates for the recent refresh combined with the revised infotainment system, improved nine-speed automatic transmission and standard safety equipment. The 2020 version added the top-line Black Edition trim which packs most features available and cost about $50, 000.
Following the recent refresh, the 2021 Honda Pilot isn’t expected to bring significant upgrades. There will be some changes in the equipment availability and more standard features should be at disposal. Honda promised earlier the electrified versions of its entire light-truck range but there are no hints yet that hybrid version would appear for the 2021 model year. The redesign of the model is also approaching and Honda might wait for the new generation version to install the hybrid unit. We would like to get the Pilot powered by the turbocharged engine as well.
2021 Honda Pilot: Design
After the recent refresh, Honda won’t make notable styling changes until the new-generation version of the popular Pilot SUV. The 2021 Honda Pilot will stay uncharged visually and there could only be changes in the color palette and new wheel options.
The changes for the last refresh weren’t radical but made the Pilot more modern-looking SUV. Honda updated the grille and headlights and added more chrome to the mix. With that, the grille and nicely accentuated headlights are more eye-catchy and model also has attractive taillights.
The base Pilot will arrive on the 18-inch alloy wheels and in the top grades the model will switch to the 20-inch rollers. The top-range Black Edition version will be mostly black as the name suggest and it is actually the appearance package with the gear from the Touring trim.
The mid-size Pilot gets high marks for its versatile and comfortable interior. The model provides good comfort in all rows and has many clever storage compartments. The cargo capacity is also good but not the class-best. The model offers 16 cubic feet behind the last row or maximum of 84 cubes.
The model will also come with durable and nicely finished surfaces but won’t be too flashy. There will be high-level comfort equipment in the upper grades and standard active safety equipment. The Pilot will also use up-to-date infotainment system with Apple Car Play and Android Auto support and a clear 8-inch touchscreen.
All Pilots will rely on forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation and auto high-beams. There will also blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
2021 Honda Pilot: Performance, Efficiency
It’s not clear yet would there be some powertrain upgrades with the arrival of the 2021 Honda Pilot. Honda revised recently the nine-speed automatic transmission for smoother shifting but there weren’t substantial mechanical upgrades.
The 2021 version will likely get the smooth and efficient 3.5-liter V-6 engine as the sole powering unit. The unit delivers 280 horsepower and torque of 262 pound-feet. With the two-wheel drive and 9-gear transmission, the Pilot scores 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highways. The power on the all wheels cuts 1 mpg from these figures.
Hybrid version and turbo unit?
Honda announced the hybridization of its SUV range but hasn’t confirmed the timeline. The Pilot is more likely to get the hybrid unit for the new generation version when the turbocharged engine could also appear. The hybrid system should employ a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle engine assisted by two electric motors. One electric motor will be used for the propulsion and one as the generator. The setup will be controlled by an intelligent system with multiple driving modes.
Honda could also employ a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to power the Pilot. It is also more likely to happen for the all-new version.
2021 Honda Pilot: Release, Price
The 2021 Honda Pilot will hit the market in the last quarter of the 2020 calendar year. The price range should stay close to the current which starts from $31, 450 and reaches $50, 000 with most of the gear equipped.