The year 2023 ushers in the fourth-generation of the popular Honda Pilot. Fully redesigned, with a style that more closely aligns with other models in the Honda line-up, such as the more compact CR-V and Civic hatchback. Unlike these smaller models, the newest Pilot is the largest and most powerful SUV that Honda has ever rolled off the assembly line. If all the extra size and horsepower wasn’t enough, the TrailSport edition amps up the already adventure-ready nature of the Pilot to exciting new levels.
Considering that Honda got its start engineering compact cars with low displacement engines, they had to make some big moves to cement the Pilots reputation as a rugged, off-road ready SUV in a segment that’s crowded with impressive options. To get started, the time tested 3.5L V6 is the power plant for the new Pilot. Churning out 285 hp. With variable cylinder management and an advanced 10-speed automatic transmission to efficiently measure out power. Traction is aided with an i-VTM4 all wheel drive system. Helped all the more with a variety of drive modes to optimize traction and power deliver under normal driving conditions, optimize economy, sporty performance, snow, sand, trail conditions and towing. There’s also hill start assist and hill descent control to help out even further.
As part of the TrailSport model, proud owners will receive all-terrain tires, steel skid plates, a suspension that’s been tuned for off-road conditions, more ground clearance, and of course, custom 18” alloy wheels and special badging inside and out denoting the TrailSport package. One feature unique to this model that I was especially impressed with was the TrailWatch system. This overhead camera angle closely brings your immediate surroundings into plain view on the 9” color touchscreen. This system will prove to be incredibly helpful with maintaining visibility around tricky, rock and boulder-strewn trails, narrow ridges, steep hills with blind crests, etc.
All of this rough and tough equipment doesn’t mean that the 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport isn’t equipped with some serious creature comforts. The heated steering wheel is wrapped in soft leather. Power front seats are also heated. There’s tri-zone climate control, wireless phone charging, cabin talk, smart phone integration and an overall interior aesthetic that’s clean, comfortable and upscale. Second-row captains chairs were very popular with the kids as well.
Plenty of driving and safety aides make an appearance as well. Making the dull day to day driving on boring tarmac a safer, easier task. Among these are blind sport monitors, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, collision and road departure mitigation and traffic jam assistance.
The latest and greatest Honda Pilot really represents the best version of an SUV that even at the end of its third generation cycle, still finished 2022 as the number three best selling SUV in the U.S. An impressive feat in a segment as crowded as this one is. Now, with a full redesign, the new Pilot has never looked or felt better. More powerful and off-road ready than ever before thanks to the TrailSport edition. For anybody familiar with the reputation for quality and reliability that the Honda badge has become synonymous with, the perfectly sized Honda Pilot is worth serious consideration for your next SUV purchase.
Price as tested: $50,150.00