The 2023 Honda Pilot has just been unveiled, and the Japanese automaker promises that it’s better in every single way possible. The cleanly-styled Pilot is also the most rugged it’s ever been, thanks to a new variant that’s focused on being better off-road.
Styling-wise, the new Pilot follows in the footsteps of the new CR-V and other newly-redesigned Honda models. This means that the Pilot comes with a clean, understated look that probably won’t win awards, but will surely please the Honda faithful. It’s also much bigger than the outgoing model by 86 mm, making this Honda’s largest SUV ever.
It’s also riding on Honda’s newest light truck architecture, and it was designed with the new TrailSport variant in mind. As a result, the longer and significantly stiffer structure enable the Pilot to go through tough, uneven terrain with ease without any chassis flex. Speaking of the TrailSport, this variant benefits from a 25.4 mm higher ground clearance, unique bumpers for better approach and departure angles, bespoke suspension and sway bars, all-terrain tires, and underbody skid plates for protection.
If you prefer to go the fancier route, there’s the top-of-the-line Elite trim, which comes with 20-inch wheels, chrome exterior finishes, and a host of upscale interior appointments.
Speaking of the interior, the 2023 Honda Pilot has been given the most premium interior of any Honda SUV to date. To achieve this, large areas of the interior are covered in soft-touch materials, while the Elite variant gets a 10.2-inch fully-digital instrument cluster. All other variants get a smaller 7-inch partly-digital instrument cluster, while a 9-inch infotainment with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on all but the base Sport variant. Other amenities include a panoramic sunroof, a 12-speaker Bose sound system, wireless charging, heated front and rear seats, just to name a few.
The interior also has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. All models are capable of seating up to eight people, but what about those who want an added dose of luxury provided by captain’s chairs? Well, on higher variants, the middle seat can either act as a rear center console, or it can be removed altogether and stored under the trunk floor. If you leave the center rear seat at home, you’re provided with massive underfloor storage instead.
Powering the new 2023 Honda Pilot is a new 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6 that produces 285 horsepower and 355 Nm of torque. This represents a 5 hp gain over the previous engine. Thanks to its all-aluminum block, low profile heads with high-tumble ports, narrow 35-degree valve angle as well as overall fewer parts, this engine is claimed to be the smoothest in its class. This engine drives either the front or all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic.
The 2023 Honda Pilot will go on sale in North America this December. Considering that the Pilot was last sold in the Philippines in its pre-facelift third-generation form in 2018 due to slow sales and unfavorable exchange rates, don’t expect to see this new version anytime soon.