Have Your Cake and Eat It Too With the 2021 Honda Pilot SE

If you and your family are in need of a three-row SUV, then one of the safest and most reliable choices would be a 2021 Honda Pilot. Fortunately, Honda “value packages” its cars really well so you can get all the features that you want without having to constantly add options a la carte. However, there are some drawbacks. For example, if you want some of the features from the Touring trim level, but don’t want to pay the extra price for it, then you would be stuck having to opt for the EX-L, until now. With the new Pilot Special Edition trim, you can have your cake and eat it too.

The 2021 Honda Pilot SE is a nice middle ground

With the addition of the SE trim level, the 2021 Honda Pilot now comes in seven different trim levels. That might sound like a lot, however, the additional trim levels allow prospective buyers the option to omit any features they don’t want. Honda has incorporated this trim-level structure since they started making commuter cars and it’s hard to argue with a tried-and-true system.

With the new SE trim level, the Honda Pilot will be equipped with the same features as all of the lower trim levels (LX, EX, and EX-L), however, it will have some additional equipment that’s only available on the higher Touring trim. For starters, a hands-free power tailgate is included along with a wireless phone charger. But for an added touch of sportiness, a set of black roof rails and 20-inch black alloy wheels are also installed and the nine-speed automatic transmission that was previously only on the higher trim levels is standard as well.

RELATED: Honda Pilot vs. Hyundai Palisade

2021 Honda Pilot SE
2021 Honda Pilot SE | Honda

What else is new for the 2021 model year?

While the 2021 Honda Pilot has already been released, the biggest news for it is the Special Edition trim level, which slots in between the EX-L and Touring trims. In addition to the nine-speed automatic transmission, Honda also included more standard features across the lineup. These features include paddle shifters, dual-zone auto climate control, and an automatic start/stop system.

We think that one of the nicest features that are included on the new SE trim level is the 20-inch black wheels, which were previously only offered on the “Black Edition” trim. While the Pilot was never meant to be sporty or aggressive, the black wheels do add a nice touch and it’s even better than prospective buyers don’t need to spend an extra $10,000 and jump two trim levels just to get them.

RELATED: Avoid the Kia Telluride, Buy the Honda Pilot Instead

2021 Honda Pilot SE
2021 Honda Pilot SE | Honda

How much does the 2021 Honda Pilot SE cost?

The new 2021 Honda Pilot SE has a starting MSRP of $38,960, which is only $600 more than the lower EX-L trim level and a small price to pay considering the features that you get. Although, just note that Honda did raise the base LX price up by $600 over the 2020 model year in order to compensate for the added standard features, but value is always at the top of Honda’s list, so can be sure that you’re getting a good deal regardless of the price hike.