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2023 Honda Pilot, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car

 

2023 Honda Pilot First Look: Bigger, Brawnier, and Less Minivan-Like

Honda’s versatile new Pilot aims to stand out in a crowded three-row SUV field.

SUV sales may be perpetually hot, but there’s no denying it’s tough for many shoppers to get excited about three-row crossovers. Functionally, these are minivans—though they look far tougher than those perennially uncool vehicles, three-row full-size crossover SUVs are designed to haul people and things and do little else, often leaving hardcore off-road capability to smaller or more rugged body-on-frame four-wheelers.

The new 2023 Honda Pilot aims to adjust that paradigm. Bigger, roomier, and more capable than the version it replaces, the new Pilot aims to add a bit of daylight between it and the automaker’s Odyssey minivan by offering a sportier experience and an off-road-ready Pilot TrailSport model.

What’s New With The 2023 Pilot?

The attention-grabber of the new 2023 Pilot line is undoubtedly the new Moab-tuned TrailSport model, but before we get to it, it’s worth taking a look at what’s going on under the skin of all new Pilots. Riding on an updated version of the automaker’s light truck platform (versions of which are shared with the Ridgeline pickup, two-row Passport, and the Acura MDX), the new Pilot is longer and wider than the version it replaces.

Its wheelbase and overall length both grow almost 3 inches versus the previous Pilot, while its track widens by up to 1.5 inches. The end result, Honda says, is that the new Pilot is more stable and fun for the driver, and both roomier and more comfortable for occupants.

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Powering the 2023 Pilot is a new narrow-angle 3.5-liter V-6. Good for 285 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque (up 4 horses from the previous version), the new engine is smaller, simpler, and more efficient than the engine it replaces. Further amping its efficiency is cylinder-deactivation technology and a new 10-speed automatic, which replaces the often-clunky nine-speed auto in the previous Pilot.

The Pilot will be available in front-wheel drive and with Honda’s latest torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. The updated AWD system features an upgraded rear differential, allowing the Pilot to send up to 70 percent of its power to the rear axle and 100 percent of that power to either wheel.

018 2023 Honda Pilot

The New Pilot TrailSport

Speaking of all-wheel drive, the new system comes standard on the new Pilot TrailSport (as well as the loaded Pilot Elite). Unlike the previous-generation Pilot TrailSport, the new one was planned to be part of the Pilot lineup from the get-go, advancing beyond the old badge-and-trim job into what Honda says is a Moab-tuned family crossover capable of “moderately difficult” off-road trails.

To do that, the TrailSport model adds a host of off-road upgrades, including 18-inch wheels with proper all-terrain tires, a unique suspension tune designed to give the Pilot better ground clearance, off-road ride comfort, and articulation, steel skidplates for the oil pan, transmission, and gas tank, and recovery points integrated into the front skidplate and rear trailer hitch.

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The 2023 Pilot TrailSport also has a unique Trail drive mode. Designed for situations in which the Pilot might have an airborne wheel, the drive mode tweaks the AWD system’s software, utilizing the brakes up front and the near differential out back to send 75 percent of the available power to the tire that’s in contact with the ground and the remaining 25 percent to the tire without traction.

Honda says this system allows for the immediate transfer of power once all four tires return to terra firma, making for a smoother overall experience. We were impressed by a ’23 Pilot TrailSport prototype we drove earlier this year, which handled exactly the type of mid-grade off-roading Honda promised.

034 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport

Styling The New Pilot

Although the Pilot TrailSport got the brunt of Honda’s attention, all models benefit from some significant sheetmetal and interior changes. Outside, all Pilots sport Honda’s latest design language, which sees the SUV transforming from a somewhat anonymously styled mall-crawler to a properly handsome trucklet.

Inside, the Pilot eschews the honeycomb textures found in the new Civic, HR-V, and CR-V in favor of a more conservative, practical aesthetic. The new Pilot sports a deep center console, plenty of storage trays in the center stack, and a wide shelf built into the passenger side of the dash. It also comes standard with a digital instrument cluster (7.2 inches on most Pilots; 10.2 inches on the range-topping Elite), and a small 7.0-inch infotainment display on the top of the dash (Elite models get a 9.0-inch version).

The added length is also a boon for rear passenger comfort. Both the second and third rows are now roomier than before, with Honda claiming class-best legroom from the usually cheap seats in the way-back. The rear seats are more versatile, too.

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The Pilot will be available as an eight-seater with a second-row bench, a seven-seater with second-row captain’s chairs (the only available configuration for the TrailSport), and as an eight-seater with a removable Odyssey-style middle seat for the second row that also doubles as an armrest and can store underneath the rear cargo floor.

Speaking of, Hondas also claims it’s added more cargo space behind the third row, giving it 22.4 cubic feet of space, while, with the rear two rows folded flat, cargo capacity balloons to 113.7 cubic feet.

031 2023 Honda Pilot

What To Expect From The Pilot, Safety-Wise

Even though it’s yet to be crash-tested by the NHTSA or IIHS, Honda is aiming for top scores in both tests. To ace those tests , the automaker has notably developed a new chambered passenger-side front airbag designed to cradle the head and minimize rotation, reducing the risk of severe brain trauma. In addition to the new airbag, the 2023 Pilot features seven others, including standard knee airbags.

On the active safety front, the new Pilot gets the latest Honda Sensing advanced driver assist system, which features wider camera and radar fields of view, thus improving the suite’s performance. Standard active safety features include blind-spot monitoring, traffic jam assist, and low-speed braking control, lane keep assist, and adaptative cruise control.

When Does The New 2023 Honda Pilot Go On Sale? How Much Will It Cost?

With SUV sales booming, Honda is aiming to get its versatile new 2023 Pilot to dealers by December. The automaker plans to announce pricing closer to launch, but we would be surprised to see base pricing rise much beyond $40,000. Seems like we won’t have to wait long to find out if Honda’s gamble of making the Pilot more things to more people pays off.

2023 Honda Pilot Specifications
BASE PRICE $40,000-$55,000 (est)
LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD/ AWD, 7-8-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 3.5L/285-hp/262-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 10-speed auto
CURB WEIGHT 4,500 lb (MT est)
WHEELBASE 113.8 in
L x W x H 199.9-200.2 x 78.5 x 70.9-72.0 in
0-60 MPH 6.5-8.0 sec (MT est)
EPA FUEL ECON 18-19/25-27/22-23 mpg (MT est)
EPA RANGE, COMB 415 miles (MT est)
ON SALE December, 2022

 

2023 Honda Pilot Starting at $40,000 est

Overview

An all-new generation of Honda’s three-row Pilot SUV is on its way for the 2023 model year and it’s been improved from grille to tailgate. The new Pilot’s styling is boxier and more truck-like this time around, which gives it a more rugged overall appearance. A 285-hp 3.5-liter V-6 and a 10-speed automatic are standard and come with either front- or all-wheel drive. The interior can be set up with room for seven or eight passengers, with upscale Touring and Elite models coming standard with a panoramic sunroof and a 12-speaker Bose stereo system.

An off-road oriented TrailSport variant sits at the middle of the lineup and offers all-terrain tires on unique 18-inch wheels and tweaks to the all-wheel drive system that allow for more torque transfer to the rear wheels. When it goes on sale in December, the Pilot will be a new challenger to segment leaders such as the Kia Telluride, the Hyundai Palisade, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee L.

What’s New for 2023?

The Pilot has been entirely redesigned for 2023, complete with updated styling to match the newest models in the Honda lineup, such as the smaller CR-V SUV and the Civic compact sedan and hatchback.

 

Pricing and Which One to Buy

Sport
$40,000 (est)
EX-L
$42,000 (est)
TrailSport
$46,000 (est)
Touring
$48,000 (est)
Elite
$52,000 (est)

Although everything about the 2023 Pilot is new for 2023, we expect the pricing to adhere closely to that of the outgoing 2022 model. That would mean a starting price of around $40,000, with higher-end trims reaching up to and beyond the $50,000 mark.

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Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Like the 2022 Pilot, the all-new 2023 model comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. However, in the new generation SUV it makes 285 horsepower, a 5-hp increase over last year. The 2023 Pilot has ditched the old nine-speed automatic transmission for a new 10-speed unit, although the SUV remains a front-wheel-drive-based model with all-wheel drive available as an option. We got a chance to sample a prototype of the most rugged Trailsport model on real-world off-road trails near Breckenridge, Colorado.

The Trailsport proved itself capable of the moderately-difficult terrain we encountered but Honda admitted they haven’t created a rock-crawling super-machine that’s intended to tackle Moab alongside Broncos, Wranglers, and 4Runners. The Pilot Trailsport has a special suspension with a 1.0-inch lift, steel skid plates, all-terrain tires, a hill-descent control system, and a specially tuned all-wheel drive system with a Trail driving mode.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA hasn’t released fuel economy estimates for the new Pilot yet, but we expect it to be similar to the outgoing model at 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway for front-wheel drive models. When we get a chance, we’ll test the 2023 Pilot for ourselves on our 75-mph highway fuel economy route and update this story with its results. For more information about the Pilot’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

 

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Being a family-friendly SUV, the 2023 Pilot’s cabin is designed with that use case in mind. All models are capable of sitting up to eight in the three rows but the EX-L trim can be had with optional second-row captain’s chairs that reduce passenger capacity to seven; captain’s chairs are standard on the TrailSport. The Touring and Elite models come with a second-row seat design where the middle seat portion can be removed and stored under the floor in the cargo area when not needed.

Honda boasts that eight of the Pilot’s cupholders are capable of holding big 32-ounce water bottles and that its cargo area is more voluminous than ever before. When we get a chance, we’ll see for ourselves how many suitcases can fit inside the Pilot’s cargo area and update this story with test results.

Infotainment and Connectivity

A 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and an accompanying 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster are standard on the 2023 Pilot. Honda’s latest infotainment interface is easy to use and features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. TrailSport, Touring, and Elite models get a larger 9.0-inch infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability; the Elite also comes with a 10.2-inch gauge cluster. Honda hasn’t said what the standard stereo will be in the Pilot, but the Touring and Elite models come with a 12-speaker setup from Bose.

 

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Honda equips all Pilot models with a comprehensive suite of driver-assistance features it calls Honda Sensing. The bundle includes automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlamps, and more. For more information about the Pilot’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
  • Standard adaptive cruise control

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Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Honda’s warranty is entirely average for its class. Hyundai, for example, offers one that’s significantly longer, and Toyota provides the added bonus of complimentary scheduled maintenance.

  • Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

 

2023 Honda Pilot

2023 Honda Pilot Videos

 

nlChEOzaUUw - First Look: The 2023 Honda Pilot Is ALL-NEW! | Can It Topple the Telluride? | TrailSport & More!

First Look: The 2023 Honda Pilot Is ALL-NEW! | Can It Topple the Telluride? | TrailSport & More!

The Honda Pilot is all-new for 2023, and frankly, this redesign couldn’t come soon enough. With competitors like the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade having put the Pilot in its place over the last few years, the Pilot was in slightly desperate need of an update. Fortunately, for 2023 Honda is giving the Pilot the makeover it needed, with a brand-new design inside and out, a new engine, and the addition of an off-road-oriented TrailSport model. So, is it enough? 
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