2023 Honda Pilot Debuts More Rugged TrailSport Model

Honda proudly proclaims that the newly debuted fourth-generation Pilot is the most important, strongest SUV that it has ever constructed. Well, after all it’s — is not that what the Pilot has at all times been? Not to steal an excessive amount of of Honda’s thunder, the 2023 Pilot is a good-looking machine arriving with more room for passengers and cargo, a brand new V6 engine and a extra rugged TrailSport trim stage with capability-boosting off-road upgrades.

The 2023 Pilot is new proper all the way down to the newest era of Honda’s mild truck platform, which comes with enhancements to chassis rigidity, dealing with and experience high quality. Overall, the SUV is 3.4 inches longer than the earlier era at 199.9 inches bumper-to-bumper with a 113.8-inch wheelbase — 2.8-inches longer than final 12 months. The Pilot’s monitor has additionally been elevated by 1.1 inches on the entrance axle and 1.4 on the rear, however the general physique width of 78.5 inches is definitely 0.1 inches narrower than earlier than.

The dimensions solely inform a part of the story. The new look options extra upright proportions, mixing the squared-off profile of the second-generation Pilot with the extra natural form of the third-gen. Up entrance is the most important hood that Honda has ever manufactured, which drapes over the engine bay with a clamshell design. Also up entrance is a brand new honeycomb grille and angular headlamps with an equally new LED mild signature.

The fourth-gen Pilot revives the chunky C-pillar, separating the rear aspect glass very like the first- and second-generations.

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Inside, the bigger Pilot advantages from extra second- and third-row legroom (up 2.4 and 0.6 inches, respectively) and extra cargo capability, with 22.4 cubic toes behind the third row and as much as 113.7 cubes with each rows folded flat. The Pilot is on the market in eight- and seven-passenger configurations, however the Touring and Elite trim ranges characteristic a brand new detachable second-row middle part that offers you each. It flips as much as type a three-across bench seat, flips all the way down to function a large second-row middle armrest or pops out leaving a pass-through to the third row.

The detachable part weighs round 35 kilos and snaps into place simply, although it may be a bit tough to carry out. There’s even a storage cubby for it beneath the cargo flooring, so you may by no means have to depart residence with out it.

Expanded tech and security

The base Pilot Sport comes normal with a 7-inch hybrid instrument cluster that mixes a coloration display with a bodily speedometer needle. That’s mated with a regular 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with normal Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity by way of USB. The dashboard is residence to 2 USB ports (a 3.0-amp Type-C port and a 2.5-amp Type-A), whereas the second row dedicates a pair of two.5-amp USB-A ports to charging. 

Step as much as the EX-L grade or higher to improve to a 9-inch infotainment system with quicker processing, smoother simplified navigation software program and wi-fi connectivity for CarPlay and Android Auto. That additionally will get you a Qi wi-fi charging pad and one other pair of two.5-amp USB-A ports for the third row. The top-spec Elite mannequin additional upgrades with a ten.2-inch, full-digital instrument cluster and a coloration head-up show.

The Pilot Elite contains a full-digital instrument cluster and a 9-inch middle touchscreen.

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Driver help tech has additionally been enhanced for the 2023 mannequin 12 months beginning with the identical sensor modifications that debuted on the brand new 2023 CR-V. The forward-looking digicam sensor now contains a wider 90-degree discipline of view, whereas the entrance radar expands to a 120-degree FOV. Together they enhance recognition of pedestrians, autos, bikes and highway boundaries, serving to the pre-collision, adaptive cruise management and lane protecting steering help programs behave extra naturally. Radar vary for blind spot monitoring has additionally been prolonged to 82 toes. The normal Honda Sensing driver help suite now consists of Traffic Jam Assist, low-speed auto-brake help and visitors signal recognition.

All-new V6 engine

Powering the Pilot is an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 285 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Yes, that is the identical displacement as final 12 months. Yes, it is peak torque is identical, too, however Honda assures me that it is a new engine with a singular block and a brand new low-profile cylinder head. With 5 hp greater than final 12 months, that is simply barely essentially the most highly effective V6 that Honda has ever supplied in an SUV, however extra importantly, the extra compact design guarantees to yield effectivity and emissions enhancements, although Honda hasn’t but launched official estimates.


Also new is the usual 10-speed automated transmission with a decrease first gear than the 9-speed it replaces, and the second-generation of Honda’s i-VTM4 torque vectoring all-wheel drive system. i-VTM4 is ready to ship as much as 70% of accessible torque to the rear axle and shift 100% of that to both wheel if essential. If this sounds loads like Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, that is as a result of it’s. i-VTM4 makes use of the identical differential design, however with beefier elements for elevated torque dealing with and completely different tuning for SUV obligation.

Engine bay of the 2023 Honda Pilot Elite

The new V6 appears to be like loads just like the previous V6 on paper, however ought to include effectivity and emissions upgrades.

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The Pilot options Normal, Econ, Sport, Snow and Tow drive modes — that final one unlocking as much as 5,000 kilos of trailer capability with the suitable {hardware}. Optioning all-wheel drive provides Sand and Trail modes to the digital selector. Hill descent management can also be normal on each Pilot mannequin now.

Rugged TrailSport spec

Honda debuted a TrailSport trim stage for the 2022 Pilot, however that was largely an look bundle with a little bit of a carry. The 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport options extra strong tools that ought to assist it stroll the off-road stroll extra confidently.

The modifications begin with the Continental TerrainContact A/T all-terrain tires with chunky 60-profile sidewalls wrapped round reasonably-sized 18-inch TrailSport-specific wheels. Peer beneath the rear bumper and you may spy a full-sized spare tire as nicely. Ground clearance and method/departure angles are elevated because of a 1-inch carry over the remainder of the lineup. Unique springs, dampers and off-road stabilizer bars increase articulation and off-road consolation to enhance with the carry.

Ground clearance is nice, however contact with obstructions is usually a actuality when off-roading. Honda has fitted the TrailSport with beefy metal skid plates beneath the oil pan, transmission and gasoline tank that may help all the weight of the SUV slamming onto a rock. The entrance skid plate and the rear tow hitch additionally combine restoration factors rated for twice the Pilot’s gross car weight ranking, making it safer and simpler to be towed out of sticky conditions.

All-terrain tires and a one-inch carry increase the TrailSport’s off-road functionality.

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The TrailSport’s Trail mode additionally options distinctive all-wheel-drive logic that helps it retain traction when lifting a wheel from the bottom. A mixture of mechanical rear-axle torque vectoring and front-axle brake biasing permits the i-VTM4 system to ship as much as 75% of accessible axle torque to the grounded wheel, whereas the lifted tire will get the remaining 25%. Honda reckons that protecting the raised wheel spinning additionally retains it able to seamlessly settle for energy when it will definitely touches again down for a extra seamless driving expertise. 

Inside, the TrailSport options embossed logos on the headrests, all-weather “TrailSport” branded flooring mats and orange distinction stitching on the dashboard and first two rows of seats. The TrailSport’s TrailWatch digicam mode prompts the Pilot’s encompass view digicam and retains the entrance digicam energetic at low speeds for a greater view of tight sections and over steep crests. Exceed 15 mph and the digicam deactivates, however the system will robotically reactivate if you happen to gradual to 12 mph in Trail mode, which is sweet. Camera washers for the entrance and rear cameras are additionally normal for the TrailSport trim.

The 2023 Honda Pilot and Honda Pilot TrailSport ought to start manufacturing on the automaker’s Lincoln, Alabama plant in December and attain dealerships shortly thereafter. Pricing and financial system have not been introduced, however we count on to study extra within the coming weeks.

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