2023 Honda Pilot SUV Boosts Space, Style And Off-Road Skills

Honda has just released details on the 2023 Pilot, its biggest and most powerful SUV. The carmaker is an elite performer in the SUV marketplace. The CR-V crossover consistently ranks among the top two or three best-selling SUVs in America, while the Pilot itself cracked the top 25 bestselling cars in 2021 (via Car and Driver).

Honda isn't resting on its laurels, however. As Car and Driver notes, there hasn't been a meaningful update to the Pilot since 2016. The latest release clearly intends to remedy that, committing to several major changes which both increase the Pilot's "king of the carpool lane" comfort and connectivity and deliver a true off-roader as suited for axle-deep mud as for the daily school run.

Interestingly, one thing about the Pilot will not change – its propulsion. Honda's bestselling models either already ship a hybrid model, as with the CR-V and Accord sedan, or have one in the works, like the upcoming Civic Hybrid. The company even has an all-electric SUV in the works with the new Prologue, due to hit the pavement in 2024. Per the most recent release, however, the Pilot will stay the Pilot: a gas-guzzling, no-compromises full-sized beast.

Offroad power with premium tech

The 2023 Honda Pilot will sell in 5 trim levels. From cheapest to most expensive, those are Sport, EX-L, TrailSport, Touring, and Elite. All will ship with Honda's most powerful V6, putting out 285 horsepower and 262 foot-pounds of torque. Increasing the new Pilot's performance will be a new 10-speed automatic transmission, with a manual option with paddle shifters. All five classes also come with a brand new interior, delivering modular 8-person seating, increased safety features, and better connectivity options. A 7-inch touchscreen compatible with both Apple and Android comes as standard. Finally, the new Pilot has serious towing credentials, being cleared to tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Other changes have been limited to particular trim levels. The TrailSport is Honda's dedicated off-road monster: it will ship with Honda's latest torque-vectoring AWD system, all-terrain tires, and TrailWatch external camera system. The Elite has the same AWD setup as the TrailSport but swaps the dedicated off-road elements for creature comforts like individually ventilated seats, more interior configurations, and a bigger, more versatile driver display. Touring doesn't get all the Elite's toys but does come with the same leather interior, 12-speaker Bose stereo, and 20-inch alloys. The Sport and EX-L are the stock models; the latter just comes with a slightly nicer 9-inch HD touchscreen.

All in all, Honda has made some substantial changes to its biggest beast. The manufacturer plans to unleash the all-new Pilot in December.