The Pilot is Honda's largest three-row midsize crossover. It was getting up there in years — the current model debuted for the 2016 model year — and facing stiff, competition like the Kia Telluride.
So it's a good thing that Honda just announced it is giving the Pilot a much-needed overhaul for the 2023 model year. The new Pilot should feel a bit less sad with its boxy new looks, enhanced off-road capability and sportier driving dynamics.
Honda isn't reinventing the Pilot powertrain with electrification. It sticks with a 3.5-liter V6, though Honda says it's a redesigned version that will put out more power, 285 horsepower instead of 280 hp. The Pilot levels up to a new 10-speed automatic transmission, and Honda's second-gen torque vectoring AWD is available.
The Pilot will look more SUV-like. The overall length is 3.4 inches longer, with 2.8 in added to the wheelbase. It also gets more than an inch wider track front and rear. Improvements like a stiffer chassis, a new multilink rear suspension and larger brake calipers should improve the driving dynamics. The Pilot can also come with up to seven different drive modes.
Honda introduced the Trailsport badge to take on Toyota's TRD. On the Passport, it was more of an appearance package. But on the Pilot, Trailsport brings some upgraded capabilities.
The Pilot Trailsport features an off-road-tuned suspension with a one-inch lift and all-terrain tires. It has steel underbody skid plates and recovery points at the front and rear. Trailsport includes a TrailTorque logic system for the AWD and a TrailWatch terrain camera system.
The fourth-generation Pilot is a 2023 model year vehicle. Honda says it will go on sale in December 2022. The press release did not mention pricing.
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