Some might argue that three-row SUVs don’t get much better than the Honda Pilot. And the latest model is already proving to be a popular choice for families or those hauling more people and things. It’s true, with all of its safety features, versatility, and capability, the 2021 Honda Pilot doesn’t disappoint.
But the competition is getting fierce in this category. There are some worthy and notable contenders stepping up this year for a share of the SUV-buying frenzy. Here are a few of the best Honda Pilot alternatives that deserve a test drive, according to U.S. News.
The 2021 Kia Telluride gets an upscale design
If it’s been a while since you’ve considered a Kia, now is the time take another look. The 2021 Kia Telluride gets an entirely fresh and more upscale design this year.
It even got an engine upgrade, too, for those who enjoy punchy power. According to U.S. News, it’s one of the best choices in the three-row SUV category.
The 2021 Mazda CX-9 is more athletic than ever
If driving dynamics and athleticism through the curves matter to you, there isn’t a stronger contender than the 2021 Mazda CX-9. This midsize SUV entry may have a slightly smaller interior than the Honda Pilot, but there is something to be said about enjoying the drive.
Mazda offers the turbocharged engine, which might not match the Honda Pilot’s horsepower, but it certainly improves fuel efficiency. And climbing inside the CX-9 will have you thinking you’re in a luxury model, with its 12-speaker Bose system, Nappa leather, and genuine wood trim.
Go anywhere with the 2021 Toyota 4Runner
If your SUV adventures include roads that aren’t paved, the only midsize contender you need to drive is the 2021 Toyota 4Runner. It doesn’t necessarily measure up to the Honda Pilot in every comparison, but it absolutely destroys its rivals when it comes to off-road capability. And it’s loaded with cabin tech and some of the class-leading infotainment features, including an eight-inch screen and Amazon Alexa platforms.
Experience the digital cockpit of the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas
Some people spend a good deal of time in their SUVs. And if you need your new model to be comfortable with all of the latest tech and extras, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas deserves a look.
U.S. News was particularly impressed by the Digital Cockpit system. It makes settling in behind the wheel feel connected and futuristic. Navigation and vehicle info displays directly ahead via the 12.3-inch display within the instrument cluster. And the VW Atlas technically offers more cabin room than the Honda Pilot, too, allowing the occupants to enjoy a more spacious feel.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s many engines
Don’t discount the trusted Jeep when you look for a new SUV. The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee might be a completely different ride than the 2021 Honda Pilot, but that may be what makes it so attractive to some buyers.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a more capable off-road vehicle and comes with a roster of luxury features inside. What makes this SUV so special is its many engine variations from which to choose. There are four engines ranging from the 295-horsepower V6 to the monstrous 707-horsepower, supercharged V8 beast. And some people just need that four-wheel-drive, as well.
The 2021 Honda Pilot is deservingly popular and tends to lead the pack in a few key areas. But the SUV competition is closing the gap, and for you, it might boil down to what you need your midsize SUV to do. Don’t discount some of these worthy rivals, and test drive a few for yourself.