It is time for the update. Besides the cosmetic changes, the largest SUV in Honda’s lineup will get the new drivetrain. The 2021 Honda Pilot PHEV has been spied and we expect an official announcement by the carmaker. Until this happens, we will try to find out more about the upcoming mid-size SUV. Test mules are not showing too much with the camo suit on. It seems like the Pilot’s dimensions are unchanged, but the shape will suffer some modifications.
The 2021 Honda Pilot will remain an eight-seater SUV. Only this one and Chevy Traverse offer as many seats in the mid-size segment. The vehicle is getting a hybrid drivetrain. Well, it was just a matter of time, since its main rivals are electrified. Honda takes the extra step and we will see Pilot with a plug-in system with the possibility to ride on electric power only. The range is not going to be too long, but 25-30 miles is a good result.
2021 Honda Pilot PHEV Spy Photos
Speculations are here for a while, but the test mule was finally spotted. We don’t know in which stage of development the 2021 Honda Pilot PHEV is, but engineers must speed it up to catch up with Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander. Well, the Japanese carmaker is already using a hybrid drivetrain for the mid-size SUV, but its premium Acura MDX model. In this case, a 3.0-liter V6 drivetrain, in combination with an electric motor, is creating 321 hp. It is nearly 15 hp more than the Highlander hybrid can do. The plug-in system will take everything to another level. We expect to see the 2021 Pilot with improved fuel economy and power outputs.
V6 Specs, Gas Mileage, Towing Capacity
The base engine for the new 2021 Honda Pilot remains a 3.5-liter V6 engine. It pairs a six-speed automatic gearbox and buyers can choose between front- and all-wheel drive. Total power output is 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The fuel economy is average for the mid-size SUV range – 21/22 mpg with AWD/FWD. You can gain an extra point if you pick the new nine-speed automatic gearbox. But, if the fuel economy really matters, then you should wait for the hybrid drivetrain. The towing capacity of the Pilot SUV remains 5,000 pounds. The 2021 YM will carry over one of the best upgrades on the new version – a super-handling all-wheel drive.
2021 Honda Pilot Changes, Redesign
The new 2021 Honda Pilot will go through a revisit to refresh the appearance. However, we don’t expect spectacular things from the popular SUV. The company might update the front fascia and wheels with the new design. Sizes will remain the same, as well as interior capacity. A new layout in the cabin is making things interesting inside the vehicle.
The new Pilot comes with three rows of seats. Well, the rear bench is suitable for children only. You don’t want to seat an adult there. Behind the third row, there are only 16 cubic feet of cargo space. By folding it, you can gain 30 cubic feet more. Also, sliding second row can create more room for passengers in this area. Total cargo space for the new SUV is around 85 cu.ft.
The new 2021 Honda Pilot is going to introduce a limited package. This season, that is Black Edition. Which one is coming after that is a mystery. The certain thing is that the entry-level version is going to be LX. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available there, but only from EX trim that costs around $3,000 more. The EX-L trim adds moonroof and leather seats. Premium offer begins with the Pilot Touring version. There, we get power tailgate and heated front seats. However, this is not the most luxurious offer. The 2021 Honda Pilot Elite will cost more than $50,000 and it brings ventilation for front buckets, a wireless charger, and a panoramic moonroof.
2021 Honda Pilot Competition
The mid-size class in the SUV segment is growing fast. These vehicles are popular because of their power, interior space, and safety features. So, we have more and more of these vehicles, especially with three rows of seats. After the redesign, Pilot became one of the stars on the market. But, two best-selling vehicles are Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer. As said, main rivals are coming with hybrid drivetrains and it shows the SUVs are at least a step ahead of competition.
Other notable mid-size models with seating for seven passengers are Nissan Pathfinder, Chevy Traverse, and Dodge Durango. It will be interesting to see the new Jeep Grand Cherokee with three rows of seats. Mazda CX-9 is stylish, but it lacks power. Subaru Ascent is the new model in the market. Fans of the Boxer engines will definitely look for this model. Of course, you can always choose a larger vehicle if you need more space inside, compact crossover if fuel economy and agility are concerns, or premium model if you want the latest features.
How can the Ford Explorer be a ‘great’ competitor when CR rates its reliability at 2/5?
These pics are from a year and half ago. Did it get cancelled?