2023 Honda Pilot: A refined and rugged family SUV
The Honda Pilot is one of the most complete three-row midsize SUVs on the market, offering a spacious cabin, a smooth ride, and a host of safety and convenience features. For the 2023 model year, the Pilot has been fully redesigned, with a new engine, transmission, chassis, and styling.
New Look, New Powertrain
The 2023 Honda Pilot sports a boxier and more truck-like appearance, giving it a more rugged and aggressive look than the previous generation. The new design also improves the visibility and aerodynamics of the SUV. Under the hood, the Pilot retains the 3.5-litre V-6 engine, but it gets a slight boost in power, from 280 hp to 285 hp. The engine is paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the old nine-speed unit. The new transmission is smoother, more responsive, and more efficient than the old one, and it also offers paddle shifters for more control. The Pilot is still a front-wheel-drive-based model, but it offers an optional all-wheel-drive system that can distribute torque to the rear wheels as needed.
Comfortable and Spacious Cabin
The Pilot continues to offer a comfortable and spacious cabin, with room for seven or eight passengers, depending on the configuration. The front and second-row seats are supportive and well-cushioned, and the third-row seats are easy to access, thanks to a one-touch button that slides the second-row seats forward. One of the things that I liked about the driver and front passenger’s seats is the cooling option, which works very efficiently because they are perforated. The Pilot also offers plenty of cargo space, with a deep underfloor storage compartment that can hold the removable second-row centre seat or other items. This is also made possible because the spare tyre is under the body of the vehicle, a concept that is used by many pickups. The cabin is also quieter than before, thanks to more sound insulation and active noise cancellation.
Packed with Features
The vehicle comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assist features, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and more. The Pilot also offers a range of convenience and entertainment features, such as a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, a panoramic sunroof, a 12-speaker Bose sound system, and more. The top-of-the-line Elite model has features such as ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and a hands-free power tailgate.
TrailSport Model for Off-Road Enthusiasts
For those who want to take the Pilot off the beaten path, there is a new TrailSport model that offers some extra off-road capability. The TrailSport model features a higher ground clearance, all-terrain tyres, skid plates, and a revised all-wheel-drive system that can send more torque to the rear wheels. The TrailSport model also has a unique exterior and interior styling, with black accents, orange stitching, and TrailSport badges.
Not Perfect, But very compelling
The Pilot also faces stiff competition from other three-row midsize SUVs, such as the Toyota Prado, the Hyundai Palisade, and the Kia Telluride, which offer similar or better features, performance. However, the Pilot still remains a solid choice for families who are looking for a refined and rugged SUV that can handle their daily needs and occasional adventures.
Price of tested model: $14.5 m
Engine: 3.5 Litre, V6
Torque: 262 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
Fuel tank: 70 litres
Body Type: SUV
Competition: Toyota Prado, Hyundai Palisade, and Kia Telluride.
Vehicle provided by: ATL Honda (876) 960-8500, 1-888-285-778