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All-new Pilot: Largest and most powerful Honda SUV ever

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport.



The all-new 2023 Honda Pilot is the ultimate practical family SUV with rugged new styling, more passenger and cargo space, and a class-leading combo of off-road capability and sporty on-road dynamics. It comes in five flavors -- Sport, EX-L, TrailSport, Touring, and Elite -- and boasts Honda's most powerful V6 ever (producing 285 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque), seating for eight, the most cargo room in the model's history, and loads of tech features and upscale touches. This fourth-generation Pilot is dependable and competent in town or on the trails.

We especially like the TrailSport version -- the most off-road-capable Honda SUV ever -- which has been engineered with special off-road features including a raised off-road tuned suspension, all-terrain tires, steel skid plates and expanded all-wheel-drive system capabilities.

TrailSport is the only Pilot with an off-road tuned suspension (which includes a 1-in. lift for additional ground clearance and increased approach, departure, and break-over angles). Unique stabilizer bars are optimized for articulation and off-road ride comfort; spring rates and damper valve tuning are also exclusive to TrailSport. Also, a new TrailWatch camera system uses four exterior cameras and four camera views to help drivers navigate obstacles outside their natural line of sight by slope or proximity such as blind crests, deep ruts, and the trail's edge.

A Pilot for any driving situation
Designed in California, developed in Ohio, and built in Alabama, the 2023 Pilot advances the new rugged design direction of Honda light trucks with a tough look and powerful stance. The styling is more aggressive, aspirational, and adventure-ready with a large, upright grille, a strong horizontal beltline, and flared fenders. Pulled-back A-pillars and a long hood create a longer dash-to-axle ratio for a sportier profile.

The beltline highlights its increased overall length (3.4 in. longer), while a longer wheelbase and wider tracks give it a beefier presence. A sleek body-color roof spoiler and new LED taillights make this new Pilot instantly recognizable from the rear.

The Sport model features gloss black trim and grille bar, a chrome exhaust garnish, standard black roof rails, front fog lights, and Shark Gray 7-spoke, 20-in. wheels. EX-L adds flash with chrome trim and grille bar, and machined 5-spoke, 18-in. alloy wheels.

Pilot Touring and top-of-the-line Elite feature an even more upscale design with premium exterior finishes, including a gloss black grille mesh and B-pillar, dual chrome exhaust garnishes, and distinct 7-spoke, 20-in. alloy wheels with a machined finish.

For the first time, Pilot will be available with a new line of four post-production option packages, including a new HPD Package for those looking to take Pilot's rugged new styling even further. Created in collaboration with Honda Performance Development (HPD), Honda's U.S.-based racing company, it includes bronze-colored aluminum wheels, fender flares, and HPD decals.

Pilot is one of the smoothest and most powerful SUVs in its class, and both the vehicle and the all-new 24-valve DOHC 3.5-liter V6 engine that powers it are made at the company's auto plant in Lincoln, AL.

The all-aluminum V6 features a unique block and low-profile cylinder heads with high-tumble ports and a narrow 35-degree valve angle for better combustion. The low-profile design of the new DOHC cylinder heads also allowed a more compact rocker arm and hydraulic lash adjuster design. Honda engineers also did away with separate cam bearing caps and instead incorporated them directly into the valve cover itself. The result is a 30-mm reduction in overall cylinder head height. The new design also reduces the number of parts. Variable Cylinder Management improves fuel efficiency and reduces emissions.

Performance is further enhanced by a refined and responsive 10-speed automatic transmission that has been tuned exclusively for Pilot. Paddle shifters are standard for manual control, making Pilot more fun to drive.

Pilot also introduces the second generation of Honda's torque vectoring i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system. Standard on TrailSport and Elite, the new and more capable i-VTM4 system features a stronger rear differential that can handle 40% more torque and provides 30% faster response, optimizing available traction in all driving scenarios, especially slick conditions and off-road situations. Up to 70% of the engine's torque can be sent to the rear axle, and 100% of that torque can be distributed to either the left or right rear wheel.

Five standard selectable modes optimize the driving experience for various conditions: Normal, Econ, Snow, Sport, and Tow. TrailSport, EX-L (with all-wheel drive), Touring (with all-wheel drive), and Elite also feature an updated Sand mode and a new Trail mode that optimize Pilot's capabilities.

Pilot can tow up to 5,000 lb.

A sportier and more engaging driving experience was created through an all-new chassis and Pilot's stiffest body structure ever with a 60% increase in front lateral rigidity and a 30% increase in rear lateral rigidity.

Based on Honda's new light truck architecture, Pilot's wheelbase has been extended to 113.8 in. (+2.8 in.) for a smoother ride, and significantly wider tracks (+1.1 to 1.2 in. in front, and +1.4 to 1.5 in. in the rear) improve stability.

Retuned MacPherson struts in front and an all-new rear multilink suspension make Pilot more fun to drive with confident, agile, and precise handling, while simultaneously improving ride quality. Front vertical stiffness is increased 8%, rear longitudinal stiffness is up 29%, and overall roll stiffness climbs 12%.

Pilot's stopping power is also increased with larger front brake rotors (from 12.6 in. to 13.8 in.) and larger calipers. Honda's first Hill Descent Control system debuted on the 2023 HR-V and 2023 CR-V earlier this year, and it's now standard on every Pilot. Additional acoustical spray foam insulation, fender liners, thicker carpet, and other sound-absorbing technologies reduce wind, road, and powertrain noise.

The fourth-generation Pilot is the class-leader in SUV standard safety features and performance thanks to advanced active and passive safety technology. Pilot boasts eight standard airbags, including a next-gen passenger-side front airbag that uses a three-chamber design with the two outer chambers designed to cradle the head and minimize rotation to minimize the potential for severe brain trauma associated with oblique frontal collisions. Front knee airbags are also standard.

Pilot also features an updated Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistive technologies enabled by a new camera with a wider 90-degree field of view and wide-angle radar with a 120-degree field of view.

Blind spot information has been expanded, now with 82 ft of radar range. Also new are Traffic Jam Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition, which are standard. Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist have been updated to feature more natural responses. Standard Rear Seatbelt Reminder and Rear Seat Reminder systems are also new to Pilot.

Inside, it's all clean surfaces, sophisticated materials, and premium touches. Pilot's all-new modern interior builds on the Honda design direction to create the most upscale Honda SUV ever. A clean, uncluttered instrument panel top reduces windshield reflections and improves outward visibility.

Pilot is also more comfortable and spacious, with ample passenger space and notably more rear-seat legroom in the second and third rows. New Body Stabilizing front seats reduce fatigue over long drives. Second-row legroom is up a generous 2.4 in., and the second-row seats feature up to 10 degrees of recline angle (+4 degrees) for increased comfort. Additional forward tilt range improves entry and exit to the more comfortable third row, which gains 0.6 in. of legroom.

On-demand eight-occupant flexibility gives Pilot Touring and Elite an extra level of versatility. In the second row, a first-in-class multi-function removable middle seat can be conveniently stored underneath the rear cargo floor.

Pilot is also the only vehicle in its class with eight-person seating and an opening panoramic sunroof, which is standard on Touring and Elite. Heated seats are standard across the lineup. TrailSport and Elite also feature a heated steering wheel. EX-L and Touring have soft leather upholstery, and the top-of-the-range Elite gets exclusive perforated leather inserts and ventilated front seats.

The 2023 Pilot has the most cargo room in the model's history, with up to 113.67 cu.-ft behind the first row, and up to 22.42 cu.-ft behind the third row. Cabin storage has also been expanded.

A standard 7-in. digital instrument panel features an all-digital tachometer on the left and a physical speedometer on the right side. The display also features user-selectable functions such as Honda Sensing settings, vehicle information, and more. Exclusive to Elite is a configurable 10.2-in. digital instrument display with multi-view camera system paired with a color head-up display. Touring and Elite models get a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system custom engineered for the new interior.

2023 Honda Pilot Elite.



Lots and lots of other features. Learn more at

Pricing for the 2023 Honda Pilot has just been released. The Pilot Sport will start at $39,150. EX-L will start at $41,950 and Touring at $46,450. TrailSport will start at $48,350 and Elite at $52,030.

Source: Honda

Published November 2022

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