2021 Honda Pilot receives more standard kit including a nine-speed automatic gearbox

The 2021 Honda Pilot is receiving more standard kit along with a new Special Edition (SE) trim. Part of the new equipment includes a nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters to replace the aging six-speed gearbox of the outgoing model. This new transmission was only offered in higher trim models. But for 2021, the nine-speed tranny is now standard including dual-zone climate control across the board.

Meanwhile, the Honda Pilot SE (Special Edition) is new for 2021. Based on the Pilot EX-L, the SE includes a power driver's seat with two-position memory settings, leather upholstery, and second-row sunshades.

It also receives wireless charging, roof rails, front and rear skid plates, 20-inch black wheels, and a foot-activated power tailgate. The new Honda Pilot SE starts at $38,960 (excluding destination).

All Honda Pilots are motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard while Honda's i-VTM AWD with torque vectoring is a $2,000 option. However, the Pilot Elite and Black Edition are only available with AWD. New for 2021 is Platinum White Pearl paint for buyers who desire a white Honda Pilot Black Edition.

The base Honda Pilot LX starts at $32,250 and comes with LED headlights, a rearview camera, USB and auxiliary inputs, a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment display (a larger 8-inch unit is also available), and Honda Sensing. The latter includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, high-beam assist, road departure mitigation, and emergency braking. Honda Sensing remains standard on all 2021 Honda Pilot trim models.

On the other hand, the Pilot Touring offers more premium features. Starting at $42,920 (2WD) and $44,920 (AWD), the Touring includes parking sensors, Wi-Fi connectivity, a satellite-based navigation system, Blu-Ray rear-seat entertainment, and optional second-row Captain's chairs. If you want more, the Pilot Elite adds a dual moonroof, ventilated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors, and standard AWD at $48,420.

The 2021 Honda Pilot is available now at your favorite Honda dealership. Production is at Honda's Lincoln, Alabama plant using domestic and globally-sourced materials.