Honda makes owning a Pilot a much easier decision in the 2021 model year. Every trim level now receives a nine-speed transmission, paddle shifters and a slew of other elements. Honda doesn't take away the features that also make it a great purchase, including a roomy interior and a generous amount of safety, convenience and other technologies. 

However, it is important to compare the Pilot to other competitors so you understand why it is a better SUV. Here, we compare it to the 2021 Mazda CX-9. 

The 2021 Honda Pilot powers up over the competition

No matter which grade level you choose, the Pilot features a 3.5-litre six-cylinder engine that generates a solid 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Combined with the advanced nine-speed transmission, this enables the Pilot to tow up to 5000 pounds. Additional drivetrain features include paddle shifters and grade logic control. 

The Mazda CX-9 includes a turbocharged four-cylinder that achieves 250 horsepower when it uses 93 octane fuel. If you prefer to save money at the pump and use 87 octane, horsepower reduces to 227. Although the CX-9 provides more torque, the horsepower tradeoff provides the Pilot up to a 53-horsepower advantage. 

Another tradeoff is the CX-9's six-speed automatic transmission. It only makes available paddle shifters with high grade models, whereas they are standard on every Pilot. The CX-9's limited horsepower affects its towing capabilities, offering a maximum of 3,500 pounds of towing capacity.

The 2021 Honda Pilot has supreme interior volume

Whenever we compare the Pilot to the competition, we can't seem to find another vehicle with similar interior cargo volume. This holds true with the CX-9. The Pilot offers up to 3,092 litres of volume while the CX-9 is limited to 2,016 litres. The difference of over 1,000 litres is over the capacity of some compact SUVs. 

The volume also translates into greater passenger comfort. The Pilot features more front shoulder room, more headroom in the back rows, and more legroom in the third row over the CX-9. 

You can also opt for the Pilot’s Black Edition model, which brings more attitude thanks to 20" black aluminum-alloy wheels, a gloss black finish front grille bar and black door handles along with special seat stitching and floor mats.

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