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What’s new: 2023 Honda Pilot

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Chris Teague

2023 Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot is one of the most popular and common family SUVs around. It offers three rows of seating, cavernous cargo space, and a comfy ride. Honda updated the Pilot for 2023, giving it a new TrailSport trim, better tech, and more safety gear.

The 2023 Honda Pilot is available in Sport, EX-L, TrailSport, Touring, and Elite. All models get a new 3.5-liter V6 that makes 285 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. Honda’s i-VTM4 AWD system is revised for 2023 and offers better response and a stronger rear differential. The system can shift up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear axle, and 100 percent can be sent to either rear wheel.

2023 Honda Pilot

The new TrailSport trim brings light off-road upgrades, including Continental TerrainContact AT all-terrain tires, a one-inch lift, off-road suspension, and exclusive stabilizing bars to keep everything planted on the trail. Honda gives the TrailSport underbody skid plates and tow recovery points that can support up to twice the SUV’s gross vehicle weight rating. The TrailSport also gets a specialized trail torque logic system that helps control the power heading to the rear axle in certain situations and helps distribute torque as needed to keep the vehicle moving.

Honda updated the Pilot’s exterior styling with a more upright grille and a beefier, more muscular shape. The new model is 3.4 inches longer than before and offers a longer wheelbase for a more imposing stance. The Sport model gets 20-inch wheels, and the EX-L brings 18-inch wheels. The top Touring and Elite models get exclusive 20-inch wheels. Honda will offer four exterior options packages, including the Honda Performance Development (HPD) appearance package previously offered on the Ridgeline pickup.

2023 Honda Pilot

Inside, the Pilot gets more modern styling and better space. The increased wheelbase length improves second-row legroom by 2.4 inches, and the seat can recline up to ten degrees. A new second-row design allows the middle seat to be removed and stowed under the rear load floor, allowing owners to manage seating capacity and interior space as needed.

A new 7-inch touchscreen comes standard for the Sport trim and brings a physical volume knob, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, USB inputs, and more. Honda’s infotainment software hasn’t been the best in recent years, but it says the 2023 Pilot gets a simplified interface with easier-to-use menus. All other trims get a new 9-inch display that supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both screens have a small ledge under the display for the user to rest their hand for more accurate touchscreen use.

Honda Sensing comes standard and features an improved camera with a 90-degree field of view. The SUV also gets a wide-angle radar with a 120-degree field of view that Honda says improved collision prevention performance with a better vision of pedestrians, bicycles, and other obstacles. The blind spot system now offers 82 feet of radar range, while traffic jam assist and traffic sign recognition come standard for all models.

The 2023 Honda Pilot will be built at the automaker’s factory in Lincoln, Alabama. We don’t have a firm release date or pricing yet but expect to see a price tag in the high-$30,000 range when it launches.

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