Earlier this year Honda dubbed the year as the “Year of the Crossover”, which saw the introduction of the 2023 HR-V and CR-V, now Honda has unveiled the 2023 Pilot. For its fourth generation, the Pilot now looks more rugged than its predecessor with a much improved interior and a new engine.
The previous generation Pilot was criticized for looking too much like a minivan, but Honda has now fixed that with a beefier look thanks to its longer hood, upright grille and flared fenders. The Pilot is now based on Honda’s new light truck architecture and it’s wheelbase has been stretched by 2.8-inches, while its tracks are wider.
To build on the “more rugged” theme, the Pilot also gets a new TrailSport trim, which gets a slightly more rugged exterior, all-terrain tires, and an off-road tuned suspension that provides a one-inch lift compared to the other Pilot models. The TrailSport also adds steel skid plates and a special torque logic off-road system with the standard torque vectoring i-VTM4 all-wheel drive system.
Honda says that the trail torque logic is able to control the amount of power going to the rear axle, with as much as 75 percent of available power routed to the individual tire with the most traction. The remaining 25 percent is sent to the wheel without traction so that it will allow immediate transfer of drive force once its tire contacts the ground.
Honda says that the 2023 Pilot is “the largest and most powerful SUV ever. Under the hood there’s a new dual overhead cam 3.5-liter V6 that generates 285 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, making it Honda’s most powerful V6 ever. The V6 is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The available iVTM4 all-wheel drive system is also in its second generation with a stronger rear differential that can handle 40% more torque and provides 30% faster response. The all-wheel drive system can send up to 70 percent of the torque to the rear axle and 100 percent of that torque can be distributed to either wheel.
The Pilot can tow up to 5,000 pounds and also gets a new Tow driving mode, in addition to a new Sport mode.
Inside the improved cabin gets the same look and feel as Honda’s other new SUVs. It looks more modern and upscale than before. There’s a standard 7-inch digital instrument cluster, but the top Elite trim gets a 10.2-inch display. A 7-inch touchscreen is standard, but upper trim levels get a larger 9-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Touring and Elite trim levels also add a 12-speaker Bose audio system.
Just like before there’s room for up to eight passengers and Honda says that the 2023 Pilot has the more cargo room with up to 113.67 cu.-ft. behind the first row, and up to 22.42 cu.-ft. behind the third row. The eight-passenger models also get a removable middle seat in the second row that can be stored underneath the rear cargo floor when it’s not needed.
The 2023 Honda Pilot is scheduled to go on sale in December and will be offered in five trim levels: Sport, EX-L, TrailSport, Touring and Elite.