2021 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2021 Honda Pilot: Head to Head

2021 Mazda CX-9 front 3/4 view (top) / 2021 Honda Pilot side view (bottom)
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CX-9 vs. Pilot: Which Is Better?

Three-row midsize SUVs are the rides of choice among many families these days, thanks in part to their versatile passenger- and cargo-carrying abilities. They may be larger and a bit less maneuverable than their compact counterparts, but they’re still easy to manage – especially since many are based on passenger-car platforms. They can effortlessly accommodate growing families at every stage – from transporting strollers and other baby gear with room to spare, to carpooling the grade-school soccer team, hauling football pads and other sports gear in high-school, and eventually transporting a graduate and their possessions off to college.

All three-row SUVs are alike, as we’ll see in this head-to-head battle between the 2021 Mazda CX-9 and the 2021 Honda Pilot. Both are tall-roofed and rather boxy in shape, though with some creases and curves added to make each a bit more visually interesting. Both offer all-wheel drive for added security while driving in adverse weather conditions. 

For 2021, the Mazda CX-9 receives infotainment system enhancements and a new Carbon trim level. The Honda Pilot is updated for 2021 with a nine-speed automatic transmission and dual-zone automatic climate control newly standard, along with an added Special Edition trim. 

In this article, we conduct a thorough point-by-point comparison of both models to determine which of these two family-friendly utes is best for you – and which is the best overall contender.

One caveat, however: U.S. News scores are updated constantly as new data comes in, so the scores mentioned in this article may not match those in our most current rankings and reviews.

Read on to learn which of these three-row SUVs comes out on top.

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