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2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot

2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

2021 Explorer vs Pilot - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

Families, businesspeople and friends on the move are flocking to sport utility vehicles for their convenience and comfort. With luxury amenities that are packed with tech as well as powerful engines under the hood capable of towing trailers, today's SUVs give you a wealth of options - from the 2021 Ford Explorer to the 2021 Honda Pilot. Adventure awaits!

Looking for the perfect SUV to fit your lifestyle and budget? Consider two models from opposite ends of the spectrum: The 2021 Ford Explorer offers a timeless take on practicality, while its counterpart, the 2021 Honda Pilot stands out with modern features. Boasting three rows in both vehicles, buyers can choose between traditional style or groundbreaking innovation -- as each model has what it takes to be an ideal fit!

The 2021 Honda Pilot resembles a standard minivan with some trendy SUV characteristics mixed in, while the 2021 Ford Explorer stands taller and looks more like a typical sport utility vehicle. Let us look at some additional traits that set these two models apart and see how they could make a different to potential buyers.

The Powertrain

If you're after thrilling performance and great towing power, the 2021 Ford Explorer could be your answer. The vehicle's turbocharged engine packs a punch - perfect for anyone looking for serious acceleration or carrying heavier loads. But if superior fuel economy is what you seek, check out the Honda Pilot instead! Offering incredible speed but prioritizing efficiency over horsepower production, this SUV has plenty to offer those who are conscious of their carbon footprint.

The Ford Explorer offers a range of powertrain options to suit any driver, from the standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive combo all the way up to the twin-turbo V6 with 300 – 400 horsepower in select models. Furthermore, those looking for greener alternatives can opt for an efficient yet powerful hybrid system on certain trims. With such diverse choices available, it's no wonder why car lovers are drawn towards this thrilling SUV!

The Honda Pilot is the perfect mix of innovation, power and style. With a range of features catering to different tastes, there's something for everyone in this versatile lineup; from special edition models with an intuitive nine-speed automatic transmission set up, to base models that have great all wheel drive capability - no matter what you choose your ride will be smooth as silk thanks to its sporty V6 engine. Whether off-roading or commuting around town like royalty – let the Honda Pilot take care of it all!

The 2021 Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot differ vastly when it comes to their engine options. But the real divide between them is their capability for hauling: The Honda Pilot's performance shows that its focus isn't on heavy lifting, but with a maximum towing capacity of 5,600 pounds in its most powerful setup – two times more than the Honda model -, the Ford Explorer offers an ideal combination of sportiness and durability perfect for family adventures.


Sometimes, the feel of a vehicle is the deciding factor when considering a purchase. Rather heavy on its feet, the sheer size of the 2021 Honda Pilot and lack of features to correct this downfall leaves much to be desired. The 20-inch wheels included as standard on the Pilot are merely a hindrance to this SUV's ride quality, too. Ironically enough, the Honda Pilot rides better when it is fully loaded with passengers and cargo, but there is little that can be done to improve its body control. Some buyers are willing to overlook these concerns in exchange for a high seating height and extra ground clearance that improves this SUVs convenience for passengers.

The 2021 Ford Explorer offers a smooth and reliable driving experience, while the Honda Pilot provides an exciting thrill. Although they both offer comfortable rides, it's the interior of the Ford that stands out; with plenty of small upgrades designed to make your ride even cozier than before! The tried-and-true performance abilities remain just as strong in this model from years prior - so you can always expect a dependable journey no matter where life takes you.

Even the inherent technology of the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Honda Pilot is significantly different. While the Explorer has focused on improving in this area over the past few years, the Pilot has fallen behind. Offering a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen, the Ford Explorer surprises customers who opt for higher levels with a vertically-oriented 10.1-inch screen setup. Voice-activated navigation accompanies every model, letting buyers know what they can expect from any trim level purchase. In contrast, the Honda Pilot only offers voice navigation as an optional upgrade. Its standard touchscreen spans a more 5.0-inches with an upgrade to a disappointing 8.0-inch layout.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.


One of very few ways the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Honda Pilot fall into the same field is in their safety attributes. Both SUVs offer a robust array of advanced driver assistive safety features that are included as standard. The 2021 Ford Explorer even gained a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as did the 2021 Honda Pilot. Interestingly, the Ford Explorer and the Honda Pilot both fell short on being named as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. The Explorer's performance in its front overlap crash testing contributed to its mere miss of this prestigious designation.

Every driver’s wish of a worry-free experience on the road is now made possible with Ford's Co-Pilot360. The 2021 Ford Explorer takes safety to another level, equipped with sophistication and convenience like never before! Enjoy premium features such as automated self parking assist and advanced collision warnings that can detect imminent danger ahead - while also getting blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, automatic high beams & more included in your package. Get ready for an effortless ride every time you hit the roads!

The 2021 Honda Pilot is an excellent choice for safety-conscious drivers. It boasts a slew of impressive features, such as forward collision warning and lane keeping assist which come standard on every model. But that's not all; the standout feature in this lineup has to be adaptive cruise control - something many rivals don't even offer! This puts it ahead of competitors like the Ford Explorer when it comes to prioritizing your protection behind the wheel.

Which Has the Best Value?

When it comes to features and range of choice – nothing beats the Ford Explorer. Boasting an array of advanced technology packed into one powerful package - this vehicle is perfect for those who crave modern convenience and maximum performance on every drive. On the other hand, if simplicity is more your style then consider checking out what Honda has up their sleeve with their Pilot model; focused around delivering straightforward results without all bells and whistles that come with many premium models today.

The Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot offer similar MSRPs, but when you look at value for money, the Explorer leaves its competitor in the dust. With seven different models to choose from versus just six on the Pilot, as well as a greater array of features coming standard across these trims, it's clear that investing in an Explorer is sure to give you more bang for your buck than opting for the latter option.

Which is Better?

As consumers consider the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot for purchase, one SUV stands out with power-packing features. The 2021 Explorer boasts a hybrid layout, several engine options to choose from, and can pull most standard trailers - setting it above its competition in terms of flexibility and diversity. Each feature has been designed perfectly to create an unbeatable driving experience that will leave you wanting more every time your foot presses on the pedal!

With a variety of safety additions uniquely packaged, as well as an impressive tech suite that includes the innovative vertical touchscreen available in higher trims, the 2021 Explorer is without exaggeration right at home alongside luxury car offerings. Not to be outdone though by its modern features and functions, this SUV provides unparalleled ride quality with comfort levels rivaling some of today's most distinguished vehicles - it truly makes up what can only be called “the total package!”

Families searching for a spacious ride have two great options in the 2021 Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot. However, these vehicles don't just differ when it comes to interior dimensions; they also provide distinct driving experiences - with practicality as its priority, the Ford Explorer provides classic SUV looks while offering an incredibly reliable drive. The Honda Pilot's minivan-style appearance may turn some heads, but most buyers still favor the traditional look of their beloved explorer!

Overall, the 2021 Ford Explorer is the better choice over the 2021 Honda Pilot. Usually, we would make such a decision as this, because every buyer's needs and desires vary. Yet, the 2021 Ford Explorer caters to the requests of a wide array of customers in every area. From its design to its power to its technology and safety, the 2021 Ford Explorer completing soars over the 2021 Honda Pilot in ways that cannot be ignored. If you are considering a purchase of a 2021 Ford Explorer or a 2021 Honda Pilot, we would choose the 2021 Ford Explorer any day.

Used 2021 Ford Explorer: