The Japanese manufacturer revisited its flagship model for this season. The facelift is fresh and it will be actual for a couple more years. That means the 2021 Honda Pilot is going to be unchanged. At least cosmetically. A year after a facelift, we could see a refresh in the engine room. According to spy photos, the plug-in hybrid model is on the way. Finally!
After the redesign and with the new engine, the 2021 Honda Pilot will be competitive again. After the SUV hit the new generation in 2015, it became one of the most popular three-row models in the market. Meanwhile, the competition did the same and Honda was just watching. Now, it is time for changes, since the three-row mid-size SUV class is one of the hottest out there.
Plug-In Hybrid Spy Photos
It’s been over a year since we noticed the test mule. However, the company didn’t confirm the 2021 Honda Pilot PHEV. Still, we believe this SUV is eventually coming out. First, the Japanese manufacturer needs to catch up with the competition. Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer are out with hybrid engines. Honda’s archrival is even preparing the plug-in version and the Blue Oval delivered this kind of drivetrain for its European model of Explorer.
Still, besides the one appearance, we don’t know too much about this vehicle. It is very probable that Honda is going to use a 3.5-liter V6 engine as the base for all hybrid setups. Electric motors will boost the outputs of the regular configuration and we believe engineers are aiming 315-320 hp and fuel economy of 30 mpg. During 2020, we will find out more about this project.
2021 Honda Pilot Specs
The only drivetrain available for the Pilot SUV is a 3.5-l V6. This vehicle delivers 280 hp, which is 10-20 hp less than its main rivals, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Chevy Traverse… Still, possible buyers of the 2021 Honda Pilot can be sure they have one of the most reliable units in the market. It also adds 262 lb-ft of torque for the maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. Properly equipped, this amount could potentially raise to 5,000 pounds.
The powerplant sends energy to front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. For the better fuel economy, there is a nine-pace gearbox. Another option is the all-wheel drive. However, Honda is not adding the Super-Handling AWD. Acura MDX makes a difference with this system. The best you can get from the new Pilot is 23 mpg combined. If the hybrid SUV comes out next season, we expect at least 27-28 mpg return.
2021 Honda Pilot Touring and Other Models
Until the hybrid model arrives, the changes in the 2021 Honda Pilot will be minimal. So, we will find the mid-size model in five different trim levels. The 2021 Honda Pilot Touring is probably the best buy. It offers some premium features, but this version is still significantly cheaper than the Elite. Black Edition is not coming back for 2021 and fans could see the replacement.
The base offer starts with LX trim and costs under $32,000 before any upgrades. Standard features are rear-view camera, Honda Sensing Safety, 18-inch wheels, and hill-start assist. Pilot EX adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It is enough for some buyers to skip an entry-level SUV. The one-touch middle row will make access a lot easier. Leather upholstery is the highlight of the EX-L model. It also brings moonroof and navigation.
Top of the line versions are Touring and Elite. The first one upgrades the EX-L with hands-free operated power tailgate, heated front buckets, and automatic LED headlights. Panoramic roof ventilated first and heated seconds row, wireless charger, and premium audio system are upgrades for the most expensive Pilot Elite.
Seating Capacity, Cargo Space, Colors
The 2021 Honda Pilot is a three-row model with eight seats. Touring model offers an option for captain’s chairs in the middle row, which cuts down one seating spot. These buckets are standard for the Elite. The maximum cargo space of the mid-size SUV is 84 cu.ft. There are 47 cubic feet behind the second row and with all seats up the vehicle offers only 16.5 cubic feet.
The 2021 Pilot comes with a total of eight colors. However, there are only four for the LX trim, and EX adds three more. Black Forest paintjob is exclusive for EX-L and higher trims. In the standard configuration, you can choose between Crystal Black and Platinum White of pearl section, and Lunar Silver and Modern Steel in metallic class. Obsidian Blue, Deep Scarlet, and Steel Sapphire are other paintjobs you can find across the lineup.
The interior is not offering so many options. Gray cloth is there for EX and LX, while the EX-L and Touring use the same color of their leather. Elite only upgrades the quality of the material.
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