The all-singing, all-dancing 2021 Honda Pilot brings a glut of new updates to the table. As standard, the latest Pilot off the assembly line offers an eye-catching array of upgrades including 9-speed automatic transmission, dual-zone climate control, and paddle shifters. On top of that, you’ll be pleased to know that a slew of other improvements has been introduced across the breadth of the Pilot’s trim line. For example, the Touring now provides onboard WiFi, the Elite now comes with rain-sensing wipers, and the Black Edition now offers red interior lighting. And that’s just for starters.
It doesn’t stop there either. Honda has gone above and beyond and even introduced a whole new trim level. Befitting its title, the Special Edition model delivers a hatful of goodies including 20-inch black wheels and a hands-free tailgate.
Engine and Fuel Economy
The latest Pilot boasts a tweaked V6 engine which is capable of producing a highway-gobbling 280 horsepower as well as an impressive 262 lb-ft of torque.
In terms of fuel economy, the 4 wheel drive version will achieve 20mpg under city-driving conditions and 27mpg out on the highway. Meanwhile, the all-wheel-drive edition fairs only marginally worse, achieving figures of 19mpg and 26mpg respectively.
All Wheel Drive
One major advance is that the 2021 Honda Pilot now offers the option of all-wheel drive. And not any old all-wheel drive at that. Oh no. You see, what the 2021 Pilot actually offers is Honda’s painstakingly engineered all-wheel-drive system, which distributes engine torque between the vehicle’s axles using a hydraulically-actuated rear differential.
Okay, enough with the science, how does all that translate to the road? Well, Honda claims that their all-wheel-drive system improves handling in all conditions. On top of that, the all-wheel-drive system also has the benefit of boosting the Pilot’s maximum tow rating from a more than respectable 3,500 pounds to a whopping 5,000.
One of the drawbacks of a 3-row SUV is that accessing the back row can all too often degenerate into something of an unedifying clamber. Not so with the new Pilot, however. You see, Honda has come up with a bespoke solution which allows the 2nd-row seats to shift electronically. What’s more, operating the helpful mechanism is no more taxing than pushing a button.