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A blue 2021 Honda Pilot EX-L is shown parked in front of a modern house.

Adventure Is Calling: Why Families Love the 2021 Honda Pilot

Do you remember the Griswold family trekking across the country in National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation? Clark’s station wagon was the epitome of a family car in the 1980s with its wood paneling and ample passenger and cargo space. Fortunately, family vehicles have come a long way since then, and we have automakers like Honda to thank. Just take a quick look at your local Honda Pilot dealer where, fortunately, you won’t find any wood paneling or wagon-like features on Honda’s stunning and sophisticated 2021 Pilot.

Honda knows firsthand that families need space, convenience, and comfort in their primary vehicle. You’ll find all of this in the award-winning Pilot that offers seating for up to eight and a diverse suite of features that prioritize you and your passengers’ comfort. What’s even better is that you can customize the Pilot to your needs whether you’re looking for an affordable model or a fully-loaded trim with every bell and whistle. Here’s a closer look at your options and everything the Pilot has to offer families!

A blue 2021 Honda Pilot Elite is shown parked at the ocean.

Affordable Options


The 2021 Honda Pilot is one of the most affordable three-row SUVs on the road, with a starting price of $32,550. This gets you behind the wheel of the LX, which comes with cloth seats and tri-zone climate control that keeps your third-row passengers comfortable at all times. The LX also comes with Bluetooth streaming audio, a multi-angle rearview camera, and safety and driver-assist tools like Adaptive Cruise Control, a Collision Mitigation Braking System, and Road Departure Mitigation System.


Upgrading to the EX adds even more convenience and connectivity features, including one-touch second-row seats that make it easy to access the third row. As the driver, you’ll enjoy heated front seats as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration that allows you to sync your smartphone to the 8.0-inch touchscreen display and infotainment system. As far as safety, you’ll see the addition of Honda’s Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Monitoring.


The EX-L builds on the EX’s standard features with the addition of leather-trimmed seats that give the Pilot a more luxurious interior. You’ll find a one-touch power moonroof that gives you a clear view of the sky above and fresh air in the cabin. The EX-L also comes with a power tailgate that makes it easy to load and unload cargo.

Special Edition

The Special Edition, which is new for 2021, offers a variety of comfort, convenience, and safety features. The SE adds roof rails and a hands-free access power tailgate that allows you to open and close the rear door with a quick motion of your foot. You’ll enjoy wireless phone charging, power front seats with driver’s memory, and enhanced performance tools like the Intelligent Traction Management System with Snow, Sand, and Mud modes that customize the Pilot’s performance to the terrain.


The Touring is a great option for families because it comes with a 10.2-inch rear entertainment system and a CabinTalk In-Car PA system that keeps your rear passengers entertained and easily within earshot while you’re on the road. The model also comes with a Wi-Fi hotspot as well as an upgraded audio system that delivers crisp sound throughout the cabin. Your second-row passengers will enjoy another layer of luxury thanks to the heated front and rear seats that are great on colder winter days.


The Elite continues to build on the Touring and adds second-row captain’s chairs to the SUV, which reduces the Pilot’s seating capacity from eight to seven but adds luxury and sophistication. The trim comes with heated and ventilated front seats, which is great in both winter and summer, as well as a heated steering wheel. Overhead, you and your passengers will have a clear view of the sky above, courtesy of the panoramic roof.

Black Edition

The Black Edition is the top-tier trim in the Pilot lineup and distinguishes itself with unique 20-inch black alloy wheels and its exclusive Black Edition exterior. Inside, you’ll find Black Edition leather trim and red ambient LED lighting that gives the Pilot a sportier feel than any other family SUV on the road. Additional luxuries include a one-touch moonroof, panoramic roof, heated and ventilated front seats, second-row captain’s chairs, and every connectivity and entertainment tool imaginable from the 8.0-inch touchscreen display to the advanced rear entertainment system.

A white 2021 Honda Pilot EX-L is shown parked in front of a store after leaving a Honda Pilot dealer.


While Clark Griswold’s station wagon left much to be desired in terms of power, that’s not the case for the 2021 Pilot that comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. Delivering 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, the V6 makes the Pilot easy to maneuver whether you’re cruising at highway speeds or navigating traffic in the city. This power, along with the now-standard 9-speed automatic transmission, makes the Pilot perform less like a cumbersome three-row SUV.

To take the Pilot’s capability even further, you can opt for AWD that comes standard with Honda’s exclusive intelligent Variable Torque Management system. The system improves the function of the Pilot’s electronic rear differential by distributing torque to the left and right rear wheels. This enhances the Pilot’s capability in all weather conditions and works in conjunction with the Intelligent Traction Management tool that allows you to manually set the Pilot’s drive mode between Normal, Snow, Mud, and Sand depending on the terrain.


The Pilot is not only affordable and fun to drive, but it’s also spacious. This means there’s more room for your family and all your gear, whether you’re hauling groceries, luggage, sporting equipment, or other cargo. The interior cabin is configurable and offers seating for up to eight with traditional second and third-row seating; however, you can opt for second-row captain’s chairs that reduce this seating capacity to seven but add a touch of sophistication and first-class luxury to the SUV.

The standard second-row seat features one-touch technology that makes accessing the third row easier. You’ll also find the second and third rows fold in a 60-40 split, which maximizes the interior space and gives you up to 109 cubic feet of storage space. What’s even better is that you’ll have easy access to the space with convenience features like the hands-free access power tailgate that automatically opens the rear hatch when you move your foot under the rear bumper.

Technology and Safety

The 2021 Honda Pilot is truly innovative, thanks to a suite of cutting-edge technology that keeps you connected and safe when you’re on the road. This connectivity starts with the center-mounted touchscreen display that’s home to the infotainment system as well as the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System. From the display, you can seamlessly sync your smartphone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration or get a closer look behind the SUV using the multi-angle rearview camera.

Beyond these connectivity tools, you’ll find plenty of technology working behind the scenes in the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assist tools. The suite includes the Lane Keeping Assist system that subtly adjusts the steering wheel to keep the Pilot centered in its lane, the Collision Mitigation System that can bring the Pilot to a quick stop when a collision is imminent, and the Road Departure Mitigation System that keeps the Pilot from leaving the roadway. The suite is also home to Adaptive Cruise Control, which maintains the Pilot’s speed and distance according to the traffic ahead.

Family Vacations Never Looked So Good

It’s time to channel your inner Clark Griswold and plan your next family vacation. Fortunately, you don’t have to set out on an epic adventure in the Griswold station wagon; you can do so in style with the sophisticated 2021 Honda Pilot. The epitome of comfort and convenience, the Pilot is not only spacious and capable, but it’s also wildly affordable whether you’re looking for a base model or a top-tier trim that embodies luxury from bumper to bumper. So, where will your next adventure take you and the family?