Honda Pilot Trail Sport 2023 front quarter corner

  • Honda has not revealed pricing for the Pilot 2023. The 2022 model starts at $38,080, plus a mandatory delivery fee of $1,295
  • The Pilot 2023 looks stiffer than the model it replaces and features a removable smart center seat in the second row for flexible passenger configurations.
  • On sale next month

The Honda Pilot has always been one of the most popular three-row mid-size SUVs out there. For 2023, it’s less…good…almost. But it must maintain its distinct character in family occupations.

Honda today revealed an all-new fourth-generation Pilot, completely redesigned. It’s more boxy than the model it replaces and more roomy. And the new TrailSport trim makes it capable of off-road driving in a way previous pilots did not.

Honda Pilot Trail Sport 2023 rear quarter angle

More rugged look

Honda is leaning towards a more rugged image with its modern SUV designs. So you knew a bigger SUV would come out with a more massive look. The designers did not disappoint.

If the 2022 Pilot is a compelling alternative to the minivan, the 2023 looks ready to play with more SUVs like the Jeep Grand Cherokee L or Subaru Ascent.

It’s 3.4 inches longer than the previous generation and wears the vertical dimensions and the kind of high-mass grille we’ve come to expect from American SUV designers. Chunkier fender flares add to the effect, while a shaded C-pillar lends a bit of a Chevy Equinox to the rear.

Interior design of the Honda Pilot Trail Sport 2023

Spacious and flexible cabin

Much of this extra length was given to the second and third rows in the form of extra legroom. Cargo capacity has also increased with a full 113.7 cubic feet with both rear rows folded. This dwarfs what you get in some full-size SUVs like the Toyota Sequoia.

Three-row SUV shoppers often leave arguing between the captain’s seats in the second row for their convenience, and the second-row seat for its extra capacity. Honda has come up with a unique solution, trying to give buyers both.

On Touring and Elite models, the second row features a removable center insert. Take it outside, and you’ll find captain’s chairs that provide easy access to the third row. Add it, leave it up to create a center seat or fold it down to act as a console between second-row passengers. It fits in a storage compartment under the loading floor, so you can change your seating configuration on the go.

The base Sport gets a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The higher bezels get a 9-inch screen, wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, and wireless charging.

Aesthetically, the new Pilot stays away from the sleek grille dashboard look of other recent Honda designs. Instead, you get a minivan-like design look with a wide center console and high-mount screens to keep the driver’s eyes close to the road even when checking navigation.

Honda Pilot Elite 2023 front quarter corner

New V6, TrailSport Off-Road Model

Under the hood, a new dual-overhead cam 3.5-liter V6 appears, making 285 horsepower — five more than last year’s Pilot. Power passes through a 10-speed automatic transmission. Sport and Touring models come as front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive available as an option.

Elite and TrailSport models get the Honda i-VTM4 torque-vectored all-wheel drive standard. Features Trail, Sand, Snow and Cloud modes.

Speaking of the TrailSport model, it’s the other big news for 2023. Honda introduced the TrailSport name in 2022 with a range of light equipment for off-road driving. This year, it’s going to be a lot more serious about selling you a pilot ready to try.

The Pilot TrailSport features a retuned suspension designed for trails, 1 inch higher ride height (although Honda didn’t say how much ground clearance which model gets), reshaped front and rear fenders for more off-road cornering, and skid plates to protect the underside of the brush.

Our Lyn Woodward got a chance to test the off-road TrailSport prior to his first public appearance and walked away impressed.

The all-new Honda Pilot 2023 is set to go on sale next month.

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