Rugged versions of truck and SUV models have become massively popular in recent years, as buyers gravitate toward vehicles that sometimes look more capable than they really are. Honda’s TrailSport treatment hopes to offer a middle ground between form and function, and the automaker says it will expand the off-road performance upgrades with the package over time. Last week, Honda teased the Pilot TrailSport, which will be its “most rugged SUV ever,” with beefier suspension, more all-wheel drive features, and more.
Honda shared a few heavily camouflaged images of the new SUV but has outlined a few of its new and improved features. The 2023 Pilot gets a revised V6 engine along with the off-road upgrades. Honda hasn’t elaborated on specs for the mill, but we expect an improvement over the previous model’s 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Honda already replaced the Pilot’s transmission with a smooth nine-speed automatic a couple of years back, so we’ll likely see some variation on that unit in the future.
We can see new front- and rear-end styling in Honda’s teaser images, though most details are hidden under camo. The grille appears more muscular and upright, while the rear is more sculpted and boxier than before. The off-road suspension seems to have given the SUV a slight lift, while the meaty all-terrain tires complete the look. We can’t see underneath, but Honda says the 2023 Pilot Trailsport gets skid plates and underbody protection.
Pricing information isn’t available yet but using the current Pilot Trailsport as a guide, we can take an educated guess that the Pilot TrailSport will slot into the high-middle of the SUV’s lineup. The 2022 Pilot TrailSport lands between the $40,910 Special Edition and $44,870 Touring trims. That said, the 2023 Pilot TrailSport will feature more dedicated off-road equipment and features, so the pricing and trim alignment may change.