Kurt Verlin
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2021 Honda Pilot Starts at $32,250

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2021 Honda Pilot Elite
Photo: Honda

The 2021 Honda Pilot has finally launched with a starting price of $32,250, a $600 increase over the 2020 model. For that extra price bump, customers can expect several new standard features that are likely more than worth the cost.

To begin, the 9-speed automatic that was previously offered only at the Touring or Elite trim levels is now standard across the lineup. It comes with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, but despite the extra gears, the base Pilot’s fuel economy remains the same. It has an EPA-estimated rating of 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined.

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Also standard across on all 2021 Pilot models are dual-zone climate control and a stop-start system, which were not standard before. All models also get the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistive and safety technologies as well as an available 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and wireless phone charging.

The EX-L adds leather seats, a power driver’s seat with memory settings, and second-row sunshades. The Pilot Touring adds second-row captain’s chairs, LED headlights, chrome door handles, parking sensors, a rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-ray capability, in-car Wi-Fi and heated second-row outboard seats.

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The top-of-the-line Pilot is the Elite, which adds ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a dual moonroof, and auto-dimming, power-folding side mirrors. It’s offered with a Black Edition that does exactly what you would imagine, except that it’s also available in platinum white and adds red interior highlights. Both the Pilot Elite and the Pilot Elite Black Edition get standard all-wheel drive.

Finally, new for 2021 is the Pilot Special Edition. It builds upon the Pilot EX-L, one of the most popular Pilot trims, and adds equipment that you’d normally get only on top-level trims. That includes the wireless phone charger, a hands-free power tailgate, and some styling details like 20-inch black wheels and front and rear skid garnishes.

The 2021 Honda Pilot is available at dealerships today.