2023 Honda Pilot improves the family-SUV formula
Honda, in 2022, is on an update spree. Most of their models are going through a generation update. The latest offering to get this treatment is the 2023 Honda Pilot, marking the fourth generation of the SUV.
The new Pilot retains all the core qualities of the older model but improves in many different areas. The most important of them is styling. The previous-gen Pilot was not exactly a looker, nor did it have the rugged appeal of an SUV. The new Pilot hopes to change with a new design and a rugged Trailsport trim.
The front fascia of the 2023 Honda Pilot sports an upright grill, pronounced fender lines, and a muscular hood. The headlight and grill design grow more rugged despite retaining the Pilot identity from the third-gen model.
The rear, too, is more butch. Squint at it a bit. Doesn’t it resemble the past-gen Ford Everest’s rear end? All said and done, the new design of the 2023 Honda Pilot takes it far away from the third-gen’s criticized Odyssey-on-steroids design.
Peel away this skin and spot Honda’s new light-truck platform. This architecture is lighter and improves lateral stiffness by 60 percent at the front and 30 percent at the rear. This platform can soon be seen underpinning future Ridgelines and Passports.
The interior is typical Honda, with a lot of emphasis on practicality and a decent level of tech. It is roomier than any other Pilot, with more second and third-row legroom. With all its seats up, the 2023 Honda Pilot can still eat up to 634 litres of cargo.
Scoring more brownie points in the practicality department are the 14 cup holders in the cabin and the multiple seating options. The 2023 Honda Pilot has seats for either 8 or 7 passengers depending on the variant. The Pilot Touring and Elite trims also offer a foldable-second row seat that can be folded and stored in the rear underfloor when it is not needed.
On the tech side, the 2023 Honda Pilot offers up to a 9-inch screen. The front seats are heated across the range to keep the cabin comfy, and a heated steering wheel also appears in the higher trims.
Honda Pilot engine specifications
The 2023 Honda Pilot gets a 3.5-litre V6 engine that churns out 285 hp. Paired with this unit is Honda’s 10-speed automatic transmission. This transmission has been doing notably well in the Odyssey, so it should improve the 2023 Honda Pilot’s drivability. The power can be sent to either the front or all four wheels.
The 2023 Honda Pilot also gets a rugged TrailSport trim that goes deeper than the skin. Revised suspension lends an additional 25 mm of ground clearance, while unique front and rear sway bars improve the ride while going off-road. The wheels are 18-ich units, with chunkier all-terrain rubber, just what it needs when it strays off the tarmac. On top of all this, software enhancements for the all-wheel-drive system alter the torque delivery for better crawling capability off-road.