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Honda News: All-New Fourth Generation Honda Pilot Arrives

Drew Dowdell

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Honda revealed the all-new, larger, fourth generation 2023 Honda Pilot today.  This new generation of Pilot gains more rugged looks and significant improvements to the off-road TrailSport trim introduced for 2022.  The Pilot gains 2.8 inches in wheelbase, 3.4 inches in exterior length, and up to 1.5 inches in track over the outgoing model depending on trim.

Starting next month, the 2023 Pilot arrives in Sport, EX-L, TrailSport, Touring, and Elite trims.  The biggest news is the TrailSport trim that features all-terrain tires, steel skid plates, higher ground clearance, off-road suspension that includes a one-inch lift, 18-inch wheels with inset spokes, and exclusive system logic for the i-VTM4 torque vectoring system dedicated to taking the Pilot TrailSport off-road. In trail mode, the i-VTM4 system can direct up to 75% of the rear axle's torque to the wheel with the most traction, keeping 25% reserved for the remaining wheel for quick reaction once traction is restored.  While in TrailMode and below 15 mph, the Pilot's 4 exterior cameras help the driver navigate tight terrain with the front camera activating automatically. Hill Decent Control which debuted on the 2023 CR-V earlier this year is standard on all Pilots.

Powering the Pilot is a new 3.5-liter DOHC V6 providing 285 horsepower (Up by 5 over the previous version) and 262 lb.-ft of torque (same as last year). This new engine features a more compact and space-efficient design that lowers cylinder head height by 30 mm and reduces the number of parts. Variable Cylinder Management remains, shutting down cylinders in low-load situations.  The transmission gains a gear with now 10 forward speeds. The Pilot is rated for up to 5,000 lbs of towing when properly equipped.

New Pilot Features:

  • Rugged exterior design
  • All-new 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine is more powerful
  • New available second-generation i-VTM4™ torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system improves off-road capability
  • More modern and comfortable interior
  • Class-leading overall passenger space
  • First-in-class multi-function removable second-row middle seat provides three discrete seating options (Touring, Elite)
  • Increased cargo volume
  • Standard digital instrumentation
  • 10.2-inch digital instrument display (Elite)
  • 9-inch HD touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ compatibility (EX-L, TrailSport, Touring, Elite)
  • Standard 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ compatibility (Sport)
  • 7 available drive modes, including new Sport, Tow, and Trail modes
  • Standard Honda Sensing® system with new wide-view camera and radar
  • Standard Hill Descent Control
  • Next-gen front passenger airbag designed to reduce potential for traumatic brain and neck injuries
  • Standard driver and front-passenger knee airbags
  • Trail torque logic optimizes off-road performance of i-VTM4 torque vectoring all-wheel drive system (TrailSport)
  • TrailWatch camera system to help drivers navigate obstacles (TrailSport, Elite)

Naturally, the Pilot also gets an all-new interior with a clean and uncluttered instrument panel. The extra size of the platform translates to noticeably more legroom for the 2nd and 3rd row passengers.  The Pilot can be configured with either a 2nd row bench or a bench with a removable center stowable seat (Touring and Elite only). Occupants in the front seats will find comfort in the Body Stabilizing front seats that reduce fatigue during long drives. Cargo room is up to 113 cu.ft behind the first row and 22.4 behind the third row.

The Pilot retains its class-leading suite of safety and driver assist features available from Honda Sensing. Blind spot information has been expanded, now with 82 feet of radar range. Also new are Traffic Jam Assist, Low-Speed Braking Control and Traffic Sign Recognition which are standard. Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist have been updated to feature more natural responses.  Pilot features eight standard airbags, including a next-gen passenger-side front airbag that uses a three-chamber design with the two outer chambers designed to cradle the head and minimize rotation to minimize the potential for severe brain trauma associated with oblique frontal collisions. Front knee airbags are also standard.

The 2023 Honda Pilot will be build in Honda's Lincoln Alabama plant and go on sale in December.


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Overall, probably the best-looking Pilot and best-looking Asian SUV for ICE SUVs. Way better looking than anything Toyota, Mazda or Nissan has out right now.

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4 minutes ago, David said:

Overall, probably the best-looking Pilot and best-looking Asian SUV for ICE SUVs. Way better looking than anything Toyota, Mazda or Nissan has out right now.

Agreed, I think the latest Pathfinder is a very close second in terms of appearance, and now that it has a 9-speed they addressed the biggest gripe about it.  The Highlander and Outlander are just fugly. The Ascent is meh. The CX-9 is nice, but it has an entirely different mission, it's more luxury than rugged off-road. But that's just the Japanese....  the Palisade and Telluride are a class above the Pilot and really push into luxury territory.

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22 hours ago, David said:

Overall, probably the best-looking Pilot and best-looking Asian SUV for ICE SUVs. Way better looking than anything Toyota, Mazda or Nissan has out right now.

I wonder if any or all of this will be installed in the Acura MDX, if it hasn't been done already.

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19 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

I wonder if any or all of this will be installed in the Acura MDX, if it hasn't been done already.

MDX is due for a refresh anyway, so I assume any of the new goodies would be on there, but the MDX already has torque vectoring via SH-AWD.

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