The 2023 Honda Pilot welcomes Generation Four of the Honda Pilot 3-row midsize SUV, launching in November 2022. It’s bigger, more versatile, and more powerful than ever. And has greater off-road capability on the TrailSport model.
A new generation of Honda’s three-row Pilot SUV has been launched for the 2023 model year and has been upgraded from the grille to the tailgate. The new Pilot styling is now boxier and more truck-like, which gives it a more rugged overall look. A 285-hp 3.5-liter V-6 and a 10-speed automatic are standard and come with either front- or all-wheel drive.
The interior can be arranged with room for seven or eight passengers, with the high-end Touring and Elite models coming standard with a panoramic sunroof and a 12-speaker Bose stereo system. The off-road-oriented TrailSport variant sits in the middle of the lineup and offers all-terrain tires on unique 18-inch wheels and adjustments to the all-wheel drive system that allow more torque to be transferred to the rear wheels.
Off-road capability and newfound on-road refinements and updated features make it easy for the Pilot to challenge segment leaders such as the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, and Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
The Pilot has been completely redesigned for 2023, complete with updated styling to match the latest models in Honda’s lineup, such as the smaller CR-V SUV and the Civic compact sedan and hatchback.
Enhanced powertrain, a truly capable Trailsport model, is as family-friendly as the last version.
City fuel economy could be better, entry-level infotainment displays tiny, and Honda’s Odyssey minivan remains a more practical option.
Improvements and styling refreshes make the Pilot a tougher and more desirable choice at the top of Honda’s lineup.
2023 Honda Pilot Review
The completely redesigned fourth-generation Honda Pilot is incredibly roomy, loaded with incredible technology, and offers the segment’s most family-friendly interior tricks. Prices start at $39,150.
The Pilot has always been a fine 3-row midsize SUV and a timeless entry on our annual list of the best family cars. Now, of course, is best.
On the outside, the Pilot now exudes more personality with a rugged and contemporary style. Inside, it’s even roomier than the previous model, which is already one of the most accommodating in the segment.
With sleek new second-row center seats that can be removed and stowed in the back, Pilots can switch between open 7-seater and 8-seater capacity on the fly.
The new V6 engine delivers plenty of power through a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission mated to front- or all-wheel drive. And the new TrailSport variant is as serious an off-roader as any in the segment, and it looks like it.
With its exceptional levels of road and seating comfort, high-end cabin design, and useful storage areas, the third-generation Honda Pilot immediately became our favorite three-row crossover SUV when it debuted in 2016.
But in the following years it has seen Kia The Telluride and its mechanical twin, the Hyundai Palisade, took Honda to claim the crown as their own. So what’s an overthrown ruler to do? Put the troops out there and get better, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing in the completely redesigned 2023 Honda Pilot.
Many of the Pilot updates happen to attributes that we think the older Pilots need to work on. Honda expanded the wheelbase (space between the front and rear wheels) and overall length to open up more passenger space, especially in the second and third rows to better accommodate large adult and child safety seats.
New styling inside and out helped modernize the Pilot and make it feel more solid and less warped. And to inject some excitement into its highly competent (but also slightly boring) lineup, there’s a new Pilot TrailSport that does some real off-road upgrades.
Pilots also need an infusion of technology and that’s one area where Honda still needs to make some improvements. But these changes put the Pilot on a more equal footing with the top of the segment.
- The Honda Pilot is completely redesigned for 2023
- The additional length gives the Pilot more cargo and passenger space
- The new TrailSport model adds off-road capability
- The new V6 engine is now mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission
- Starting the fourth Pilot generation for 2023
2023 Honda Pilot Specs
- Dimensions: 200″W x 79″W x 71-72″H
- Cargo volume: 18.6 ft³, 86.5 to 87 ft³ with seat area
- Towing capacity: 3,500 to 5,000 lbs
- Engine: 3.5 L V6
- Curb weight: 4.202 to 4.418 lbs
- Horsepower: 285 hp
2023 Honda Pilot Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
We were impressed by how relaxed the Pilot was driving on the highway for long periods. Honda put a new seat in this generation and it’s a big upgrade, with full support on your back.
Optional heated and ventilated seats in the front row and heated second-row also help to keep things comfortable.
Even better is the Pilot’s excellent ride quality. We rode Elite on 20-inch wheels and TrailSport on all-terrain tires, and neither had any issues. The Pilot’s suspension isolates the big bumps in the road very well, but the SUV feels connected when you’re driving.
We never beat the old Pilot for ride quality, but the new one is even better.
We had a chance to look at the Pilot TrailSport and Elite models. Both offer pleasing cabin materials and a new interior look that bears little resemblance to the new Honda Civic, a look that has permeated all of Honda’s smaller vehicles.
As on the Civic, the multimedia screen is mounted above the dashboard instead of being more integrated as before. The Pilot isn’t the most luxurious member of the class—that distinction still belongs to the Telluride and Palisade—but it won’t disappoint.
The extra length of the Pilot is put to good use for the second and third-row passengers. This is a drawback of the previous Pilot – it has a tiny third row that doesn’t fit adults comfortably and can’t match its larger competitors. Honda says the second row has added 2.4 inches of legroom and the third just 0.6 inches, but those advantages help the third row the most because the second row can slide back and forth.
I’m less than 6 feet tall and once I adjusted the driver’s seat and moved into the second row to a still comfortable position and there were a few inches between my knees and the back of the seat, there was enough room in the third row for me to adjust. The third-row seat cushion is a bit low so your thighs lift off the cushion so it’s not great for long trips,
Most other three-row SUVs let you choose between a seven-seater setup with captain seats or an eight-seater configuration with bench seats, no ifs, and, or buts. But in the Pilot, you can have both, thanks to the detachable second-row center seats available on the Touring and Elite models.
That way, if you pick up another passenger and need a place to put it… there’s a place for that butt. The seat is stored in a bin under the rear cargo area when not needed and weighs 20-25 pounds, so it can be moved and installed fairly easily.
Being a family-friendly SUV, the 2023 Pilot’s cabin is designed with these use cases in mind. All models are capable of seating up to eight in three rows but the EX-L trim can be had with an optional second-row captain’s seat which reduces passenger capacity to seven; the captain’s seat is standard on the TrailSport.
The Touring and Elite models come with a second-row seat design where the middle seat section can be removed and stored under the floor in the cargo area when not needed. Honda is proud that the Pilot’s eight cupholders can hold a large 32-ounce water bottle and that the cargo area is larger than before.
When we get the chance, we’ll see for ourselves how much luggage can fit inside the Pilot’s cargo hold and update this story with test results.
Sharp New Look
Spacious And Flexible Interior Comes to the larger and roomier new 2023 Honda Pilot which is one of the most accommodating midsize SUVs money can buy, including an easily accessible third row and significantly roomier than some.
Depending on trim, the second row consists of a 3-position bench, double captain’s seat, or bench with a removable middle seat stored under the rear cargo floor. There’s nothing too fancy on the front, just a nicely positioned screen and controls, and generous bins, cubes, and cupholders.
The new Pilot is bigger, bolder, and boxier than the previous version, looking more ready for adventure than its direct competitors. The large, upright grille, sharp lines, and increased length give the Pilot a more robust look, and TrailSport takes it from there. Count us among fans of the new look.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and accompanying 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster are standard on the 2023 Pilot. Honda’s latest infotainment interface is easy to use and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
TrailSport, Touring, and Elite models get a larger 9.0-inch infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities; The Elite also comes with a 10.2-inch gauge cluster.
Honda hasn’t said what the standard stereo will be on the Pilot, but the Touring and Elite models come with a 12-speaker setup from Bose.
This is an area where Pilot feels he could do more. The TrailWatch camera is a cool tech addition, but the Pilot’s largest multimedia screen measures just 9 inches and puts it behind many other vehicles in this segment that offer screens of 12 inches or more.
Also, the navigation is slow and the maps feel pixelated and low-res. They look much better when connecting a smartphone and using Google or Apple Maps. A 7-inch touchscreen comes standard on the base trim level, and that’s a disappointment compared to the standard 12.3-inch screen now found on the Telluride.
As a partial saving grace, a larger screen is at least standard on the EX-L trim level and above, and with the larger screen comes wireless connectivity for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with a wireless charging pad.
That said, it looks like the Pilot could still use some improvement in this area, especially considering the 12.3-inch display available on the new Accord with built-in Google integration.
The Pilot’s advanced safety features are also getting an upgrade for 2023. There’s a standard Traffic Jam Assist system that allows adaptive cruise control to work until it stops while keeping the Pilot centered in his lane. The front-facing camera and radar have also been upgraded, with a wider field of view to better detect potential hazards.
The passenger compartment isn’t the only area experiencing growth in redesigns. Storage space behind the third row has also been expanded to 22.4 cubic feet — good enough to take the Pilot to the top of the class. Lower the second and third rows to reveal 113.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
All Pilots are equipped with a sizable storage compartment under the cargo area which can be accessed via a removable cover, but the Touring and Elite models with stable middle seats get a larger storage area that can be used with the seat attached or stored somewhere. at home. It can even fit a backpack, or whatever you want to keep prying eyes out of the cabin of an SUV.
New 2023 Honda Pilot V6 Engine
The Pilot’s engine is again a 3.5 liter V6. Honda says it’s all-new, with a new aluminum block among other changes. It produces 285 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. That’s only a modest 5-hp increase over last year’s model, though the new Pilot also features a 10-speed automatic transmission that gets more gears than the outgoing nine-speed box.
The V6 and new transmission combo could yield slightly better acceleration, but we won’t know for sure until we get our hands on the new Pilot for our full evaluation. The last-generation Pilot we tested went from 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds, which is already a faster-than-average time for a mid-sized three-row SUV.
Front-wheel drive is standard on most trim levels, with all-wheel drive optional (though standard on the TrailSport and Elite models).
Same, but different. The 2023 Pilot SUV has a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine (no turbo or supercharger), like its predecessor. But this was a new engine, producing more power than any Pilot had enjoyed before. Honda is known for making sleek, smooth V6 engines, and this one is incredibly muscular.
Replacing the 9-speed transmission, the new 10-speed automatic transmission in the 2023 Pilot sends power to the front wheels in basic form (FWD), or to the all-wheel drive (AWD) system that comes standard in TrailSport and Elite trim, optional elsewhere.
Maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds, which is easy enough for a trailer with an ATV or some dirt bikes, that sort of thing. Fuel economy figures are typical for this segment.
- 3.5-liter V6
- 285 horsepower @ 6100 rpm
- 262 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
- EPA combined fuel economy: 22 mpg (FWD), 21 mpg (AWD), 20 mpg (TrailSport)
2023 Honda Pilot Transmission, and Performance
Like the 2022 Pilot, the all-new 2023 model comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. However, this new generation of SUVs, produces 285 horsepower, an increase of 5 hp from last year.
The 2023 Pilot has ditched the old nine-speed automatic transmission for a new 10-speed unit, although the SUV remains a front-wheel drive-based model with all-wheel drive available as an option. While the updated V-6 engine doesn’t make the Pilot feel any quicker than the previous generation model, throttle response is improved and the 10-speed automatic shifts nice and smooth.
Road enhancements are also enhanced for the 2022 model, with more confident steering and braking. Trailsport’s most rugged model proved capable of handling some of the toughest terrains we encountered on real-world off-road trails near Breckenridge, Colorado, and again in Sedona, Arizona.
But Honda has yet to create the rock-cruising super engine meant to tackle Moab alongside Broncos, Wranglers, and 4Runners. The Trailsport Pilot features a custom suspension with a 1.0-inch lift, steel skid plates, all-terrain tires, a downhill control system, and a specially tuned all-wheel drive system with Trail driving mode.
2023 Honda Pilot MPG and Real World Fuel
The EPA estimates that the Pilot is good for the city at up to 19 mpg and 27 mpg highway. When we get the chance, we’ll be testing the 2023 Pilot ourselves on our fuel-efficient 75 mph route and updating this story with the results. For more information on the Pilot’s fuel economy, visit the EPA website.
2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport: the new TrailSport?
As evidenced during our first early rides of the redesigned Pilot, the new TrailSport version is the most capable off-roader in the 3-row midsize SUV segment outside of the Jeep Grand Cherokee L (which is a segment outlier, after all).
More than just special badges, wheels and protruding tires, the Pilot TrailSport sits an inch higher for greater ground clearance, features a specially tuned suspension and all-wheel drive system, and the gas tank, transmission, and oil pan are protected by skid plates. the steel made to hold the entire weight of the vehicle fell straight onto the rock.
It also has front and rear recovery points, a full-size spare tire, and a fantastic new TrailWatch camera system with four cameras that can help drivers position the Pilot precisely when navigating rocky, potholed, or narrow terrain. Still, some buyers will buy it for the rugged look alone, and that’s fine with us.
The pilot got an off-road-oriented model with the introduction of the TrailSport trim level. This is the second TrailSport that Honda will offer – it debuted on the Passport first but on that vehicle, it functions more as a glorified appearance package that doesn’t add any real capabilities.
That’s not the case with the Pilot, where the TrailSport gets some mechanical upgrades that should make it easier to, well, drive when the paved road ends.
This starts with a 1-inch suspension lift that results in more ground clearance – 8.3 inches, compared to the standard 7.3 inches – as well as more wheel travel to help keep the wheels in contact with the ground.
This boost is welcome, though still a bit short compared to the roughly 8.7 inches of clearance offered by the Ford Explorer Timberline and Subaru Ascent, two three-row rivals with similar off-road credentials.
Under the Pilot are three skid plates to protect the engine, fuel tank, and rear of the vehicle. The plate was strong enough to withstand the full weight of the Pilot falling on a rock, Honda said.
The TrailSport AWD system also gets self-tuning settings, allowing wheels that are in the air or have lost traction to still gain torque so they will engage immediately after regaining traction.
There are signature 18-inch alloy wheels at every corner with the TrailSport logo imprinted on the wheel itself and the wheels are wrapped in all-terrain tires, the first time Honda has done so.
Finally, there’s also a new TrailWatch camera system that displays a front or side view at speeds under 15 mph, so you can see obstacles that are under the hood line of the car that you can’t see. This feature gives the driver additional confidence when off-road.
TrailSport badges adorn the exterior and front seats, and the TrailSport is offered in Scattered Sky Blue which is exclusive to trim.
2023 Honda Pilot Driving
The new V6 delivers power, acceleration, and fuel economy on par with others in its segment, but we found it smoother and quieter than the engine it replaces. The new engine pairs perfectly with Honda’s excellent 10-speed automatic transmission, which eventually found its way to the Pilot.
As for steering and stopping, the new Pilot delivers the same brand of intuitive responsiveness we’ve come to expect from every Honda vehicle. We were particularly impressed with the feel and functionality of the Pilot’s new, larger brakes.
Even with updated internals the new V6 looks very similar to the old version. The Pilot’s larger overall footprint erases any advantage of the extra 5 horsepower (285 hp now total). And with an unchanged 262 lb-ft of torque, there’s no more grunt on offer to help move things along.
Honda’s new 10-speed transmission shifts smoothly but always feels like work. Around town, we wish this car would go faster and stay afloat. The updated powertrain feels adequate with its power delivery but is by no means the Pilot’s strength.
There are now up to seven (yes, really) riding modes to choose from, including new Sport, Trail, and Tow modes. Honda’s improved all-wheel-drive system in the Pilot can now send up to 70% of the engine’s torque to the rear axle and transfer power to each wheel independently as needed.
We had the opportunity to use all of this while driving the TrailSport on various off-road terrains. With occasional wheel lift, it would take the SUV a second to adjust and transmit power into the correct corner, ultimately surviving with little trouble.
The only troubling moment was the few times we bumped the center skid plate against rocks, even though Honda engineers assured us they made it tough for a reason.
Out on the highway, power is plentiful, the ride is smooth, and outside noise is kept under control. Our initial tests put the latest version of Honda’s adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping features among the best in the segment.
They’re more accurate, more responsive, and standard across the line. If you regularly drive long distances or in stop-and-go traffic, this alone is a good reason to include Pilot on your shortlist.
The new Pilot also excels in plenty of parking spots it’s sure to frequent, thanks to light steering, one of the narrowest turning circles in the segment, and no shortage of tech assists.
Our Favorite Features And Technologies
Traffic Jam Assistance
The 2023 Honda pilot can steer himself through stop-and-go traffic, survey his surroundings and operate the accelerator, brakes, and steering. If you are a regular participant, these capabilities should be at or near the top of the list of your must-have features. Impressively, this is standard across the Pilot range.
Walk Away Close
Press the button, grab all the bags or boxes you can handle, and as you walk away (with the locks on), the Pilot will graciously close the back door behind you. Tour and Elite only.
The seat can be removed/stored Trim
Touring and Elite also have a second row of seats with a removable middle seat. Once onsite, you have seating for eight. Fold down the seat back and provide armrests and cupholders for two outboard positions. Remove it entirely and you’ve opened up an easy path to the third row. It stows very comfortably under the rear cargo floor, so you’re always ready to welcome another eighth passenger. This is minivan-level flexibility.
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto wireless
Only the base Sport trim requires cables, while the rest of the 2023 Pilot range has wireless smartphone integration as standard. We just love convenience.
Wireless phone charging
Installed as standard in the top four trims. It’s great to see a feature like this get out of expensive vehicles and into more affordable rides.
The problem with touch screens is that you have to touch them. You can go over the bumps and suddenly end up with Liszt when you want Lizzo (or vice versa). The touch screen in the new Pilot (7 inches in the Sport, 9 inches in the other ranges) is recessed almost an inch into the dashboard, giving users something to rest their hands while making input.
2023 Honda Pilot Trims
What’s on offer for the 2023 Honda Pilot trim?
Now that the 2023 Honda Pilot’s release date has been announced, so have its trims and prices. When shopping for the all-new 2023 Pilot SUV, you’ll find five unique trim levels on offer. Choose from the following trims:
- 2023 Pilot Sport
- 2023 Pilot EX-L
- 2023 TrailSport Pilots
- 2023 Pilot Tour
- 2023 Pilot Elite
The 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport is here for families with adventure plans ahead. The rugged edition of the new 2023 Pilot SUV brings off-road-inspired features and technology to create one powerful family carrier.
Choose the 2023 TrailSport Pilot to experience the following adventure-focused upgrades:
- TrailWatch Camera System
- Exclusive 18-inch Pilot TrailSport alloy wheels
- All-terrain tires
- Off-road tuned suspension
With the all-new TrailWatch system, you can activate trial mode on the nine-inch touchscreen and view live video of the surrounding terrain. The four cameras and four views make it perfect for taking on rough terrain.
The TrailWatch system is also featured on the Pilot Elite top trim, but only the TrailSport edition is offered in the new Diffused Sky Blue paint color.
Pricing for the 2023 Honda Pilot has also been announced, so contact our Honda Highland Park dealer for further details and access to your preferred Pilot trim levels, options, and accessories.
2023 Honda Pilot Release Date
The 2023 Honda Pilot release date has been announced for December 2022. This new Honda midsize three-row SUV will be coming to our Honda dealership near Chicago, IL, in a choice of five trim levels, all powered by a new 3.5-liter engine. V-6 engine.
2023 Honda Pilot Price
The price of the all-new Pilot is growing, now starting a little over the $40k hill. We recommend the Honda Pilot EX-L for its balance of price and features. The EX-L trim adds leather seats, a larger 9.0-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, and a power tailgate. Whether you need an all-wheel drive or not is a matter of personal preference. For us, the increase in crane capacity is worth the money.
- Sports $40,495
- EX-L $43,295
- Touring $47,795
- Trail Sport $49,695
- Elite $53,375
People also ask Honda Pilot 2023
Q: Is Honda Pilot changing for 2023?
A: A new generation of Honda’s three-row Pilot SUV has been launched for the 2023 model year and has been upgraded from the grille to the tailgate. The new Pilot styling is now boxier and more truck-like, which gives it a more rugged overall look.
Q: When can I buy a 2023 Honda Pilot?
A: When will the 2023 Honda Pilot be available? The 2023 Honda Pilot release date has been announced for December 2022. This new Honda midsize three-row SUV is coming to our Honda dealership near Chicago, IL, in a choice of five trim levels, all powered by a new 3.5-liter V-6 engine.
Q: How much will the 2023 Honda Pilot cost?
A: The 2023 Honda Pilot starts at $39,150. The rugged TrailSport starts at $48,350, while the top-of-the-line Elite starts at $52,030.
Q: What are the major problems of the Honda Pilot?
A: The most common issues that 2022 Honda Pilot owners complain about are related to forward collision avoidance and the vehicle’s brakes and braking system. Drivers report that SUVs frequently apply brakes when there is no reason to apply the brakes. There are also big problems with automatic braking.