2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot Comparison

When comparing the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Honda Pilot, two of the most popular family-friendly SUVS, you will want to pay close attention to the engine options, technology, and safety features. Of course, the base prices are a factor as well, with the 2021 Honda Pilot starting at over $45,000 and the 2021 Ford Explorer starting at $33,000.

Perhaps the biggest deciding factor may be the vehicles' reliability ratings. The Honda Pilot is expected to need serious and costly repairs much sooner than the Ford Explorer.

Overall, the clear choice is the 2021 Ford Explorer for most drivers, especially those with growing families.

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2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot Performance

2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot Performance

The 2021 Ford Explorer offers three engine options, including a hybrid, versus the Honda Pilot's sole V6 engine. The Explorer allows you to choose between power and fuel efficiency to customize your driving experience. With the Explorer, you'll also get a smoother transmission, stabilizing rear-wheel drive, and the ability to tow up to 600 more pounds.

2021 Ford Explorer

  • 2.3L turbo four cylinder
    • Base, XLT, and Limited trims
    • 300 horsepower
    • 310 lb-ft of torque
  • 3.3L V6 Hybrid
    • Limited trim only
    • 318 horsepower
  • 3.0L Twin Turbo V6
    • 365 horsepower (Platinum trim)
    • 400 horsepower (ST trim)
  • Standard RWD
  • AWD available
  • 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Up to 27 mpg city / 29 mpg highway
  • Tow up to 5,600 lbs

2021 Honda Pilot

  • 3.5L V6
    • 280 horsepower
    • 262 lb-ft of torque
  • Standard FWD
  • AWD available
  • 9-speed automatic transmission
  • Up to 20 mpg city / 27 mpg highway
  • Tow up to 5,000 lbs
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2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot Seating/Storage/Cargo

If you're looking for quality materials, useful features, and thoughtful storage, the Ford Explorer offers a lot of desirable options. While the Honda Pilot can seat one more than the Explorer, it does this at the expense of its cargo capacity.

2021 Ford Explorer

  • Seats 6-7
  • Three rows
  • Second row captain's chairs optional
  • Optional two-tone seats with accent stitching
  • Soft touch materials
  • Vegan leatherette option (Limited and above)
  • Powered second row
  • Powered liftgate
  • 18.2 cubic feet behind third row
  • 47.9 cubic feet behind second row
  • 87.8 cubic feet behind first row
  • Concealed cargo storage
  • Cargo organizer standard above base

2021 Honda Pilot

  • Seats 7-8
  • Three rows
  • Second row captain's seats optional
  • Leather trim available
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated second row
  • Powered liftgate available
  • 16.5-18.5 cubic feet behind third row
  • 46.8-55.9 cubic feet behind second row
  • 83.9-109.2 cubic feet behind first row
  • Storage under cargo floor
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2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot Seating/Storage/Cargo
2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot Technology Features

2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot Technology Features

There is no comparison between these SUVs on technology. The Ford Explorer offers exceptional standard technology features, while the Honda Pilot requires a paid upgrade for nearly every feature. This leaves the base Pilot looking sadly outdated and costing thousands more to come with typical modern technology.

2021 Ford Explorer

  • 8” touchscreen with pinch and zoom
  • SYNC3 infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Optional 10.1” vertical touchscreen
  • USB connection
  • Navigation system
  • HD radio
  • Hands-free system
  • 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio (above base)
  • Rear seat entertainment optional

2021 Honda Pilot

  • 5” display
  • 8” touchscreen available
  • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto available
  • Wi-Fi hotspot available
  • Navigation available
  • HD radio available
  • 7-speaker standard audio system
  • 10-speaker option available
  • Rear seat entertainment available
Regional Incentives

2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot Safety Features

Though the advanced safety features are similar across these two models, the Honda Pilot does require a paid upgrade to get the Ford's standard blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. Additionally, the safety ratings on each is notably different. While the Ford got five stars overall and five stars on frontal crash ratings from NHTSA, the Honda Pilot received only four stars on frontal crash. The IIHS showed similar results, noting the Pilot had only “acceptable” ratings on front small overlap passenger crash testing. This is a serious concern for driver's who will frequently have a front passenger.

2021 Ford Explorer

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Tire pressure alert
  • Traction control
  • 4-wheel anti-lock brakes
  • Three-row airbags
  • Post-collision safety system

2021 Honda Pilot

  • Forward collision warning
  • Collision mitigation braking
  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Road departure mitigation
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high-beams
  • Blind spot monitoring (available)
  • Rear cross traffic alert (available)
  • Front and rear parking sensors (available)
  • 4-wheel anti-lock brakes
  • Two row airbags
  • Traction control
New Vehicle Specials
2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot Safety Features
2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot Interior

2021 Ford Explorer vs Honda Pilot Interior

When it comes to the comfort of the driver and passengers, the Ford Explorer offers better standard and available interior options.

2021 Ford Explorer

  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Push button start
  • Remote start
  • Household-style outlet
  • Heated steering wheel option
  • Memory seat settings option
  • Twin-panel moonroof option

2021 Honda Pilot

  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Push button start
  • Panoramic moonroof option
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Why Buy From Heritage Ford near Louisville, KY?

The 2021 Ford Explorer is expected to continue on as one of the top-selling SUVs on the market. Its long-standing popularity is thanks in part to its affordability, which is where Heritage Ford excels as well.

We allow you to combine manufacturer rebates, dealership-exclusive discounts, and other rotating specials to ensure you get the lowest base price. We then refer you to our network of flexible lenders who can get you the purchase or lease package that works for your goals for down payment and monthly payments.

Stop by our showroom today to learn more about how the 2021 Ford Explorer can give you a reliable, comfortable ride for you and your family.

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