2023 Honda Pilot debuts in the US – fourth-gen SUV gets rugged styling, new 10-speed auto, TrailSport trim

2023 Honda Pilot debuts in the US – fourth-gen SUV gets rugged styling, new 10-speed auto, TrailSport trim

Honda has unveiled the fourth-generation Pilot in the United States, which will go on sale in the country next month and is available in five trim levels: Sport, EX-L, Touring, Elite and a new TrailSport. The Pilot is Honda’s largest SUV offering in the country that takes on other rivals with three-row seating like the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Subaru Ascent and Ford Explorer.

In its latest form, the Pilot has grown compared to its aging predecessor, now measuring 5,077 mm long (+137 mm), 1,994 mm wide (-2 mm), 1801 mm tall (+28 mm) and with a wheelbase that spans 2,891 mm (+72 mm).

These dimensions are accompanied by a design that is a lot more rugged, with cues inspired by the new CR-V like an upright hexagonal-shaped grille and sleeker LED headlamps. Meanwhile, the new bumper sports a large lower intake that is flanked by small LED fog lamps and vertical air vents.

Honda also points out the A-pillars have been pulled back and there’s a long hood to create a longer dash-to-axle ratio for a sportier profile. The “strong” look also features prominent C-pillars in body colour and a horizontal beltline to complement the wider tracks. At the rear, the model script is clearly displayed on a trim piece linking the angular two-piece taillights.

2023 Honda Pilot debuts in the US – fourth-gen SUV gets rugged styling, new 10-speed auto, TrailSport trim

On the inside, there’s an entirely new dashboard with simple horizontal lines as well as angular corner air vents. Sandwiching the rectangular central air vents is a touchscreen available in seven- or nine-inch sizes and a control panel for things like air-conditioning and other vehicle functions.

Said touchscreen is linked to an infotainment system with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with wireless connectivity possible on higher-end variants. There’s also a choice of a seven-inch multi-info instrument cluster display or a fully digital 10.2-inch unit.

As before, gear selection is done via buttons on the centre console, which has been overhauled to match the rest of the modern cabin, replete with an armrest covering a storage area and further buttons and switches for the available drive modes (Normal, Econ, Snow as well as new Sport and Tow), electronic parking brake and specific driver assistance systems.

The Honda Sensing suite includes blind spot monitoring, traffic jam assist, low-speed braking control, traffic sign recognition, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow and lane keeping assist.

2023 Honda Pilot debuts in the US – fourth-gen SUV gets rugged styling, new 10-speed auto, TrailSport trim

The increased size of the Pilot sees second-row legroom go up by 61 mm, while third-row legroom has increased by 15 mm. The second-row seats also get an extra four degrees of recline angle at 10 degrees for increased comfort. For flexibility, the Pilot offers up to eight-person seating, with the second-row middle seat being removable and storable underneath the boot floor.

On that mention, boot space behind the third row is now at up to 635 litres, while it is up to 3,219 litres behind the first row with the remaining seat rows folded down. The centre console storage is large enough to swallow a full-size tablet, the carmaker noted, and there are 14 large-volume cupholders as well as a passenger-side dashboard shelf.

In terms of the powertrain, the Pilot retains the same 3.5 litre naturally-aspirated V6, but with slightly more power at 285 hp (previously 280 hp) and 355 Nm of torque (unchanged), which is good for a tow rating of 2,268 kg.

The mill is paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission (previously a nine-speed unit) to send drive to the front or all four wheels, with the Elite and TrailSport getting Honda’s i-VTM4 torque vectoring all-wheel drive system as standard (AWD variants gain two more drive modes: Sand and Trail).

To make the Pilot more capable off-road, lateral rigidity has been increased by 60% at the front 30% at the rear. Retuned front MacPherson struts a new rear multilink suspension also contribute to improved handling, with front vertical stiffness increased by 8%, rear longitudinal stiffness by 29% and overall roll stiffness by 12%.

The TrailSport gets further improvements befitting its name, including an exclusive trail torque logic off-road system to better distribute engine torque in low-traction situations, while brake vectoring adds to the support. Honda says as much as 75% of available power can be routed to an individual tire with the most traction.

The off-road-focused variant also gains a new Diffused Sky Blue paint finish, orange interior accents, all-season floor mats, off-road-tuned suspension for additional ground clearance, all-terrain tyres, skid plates to protect vital components and four exterior cameras. The wheels are 18 inches in size, with the alternative for other variants being 20 inches.

Looking to sell your car? Sell it with Carro.

Certified Pre-Owned - 1 Year Warranty

10% discount when you renew your car insurance

Compare prices between different insurer providers and use the promo code 'PAULTAN10' when you make your payment to save the most on your car insurance renewal compared to other competing services.

Car Insurance

Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.



  • Looks very traditional and uninspiring. China SUV looks tons more modern or has American creativity gone elsewhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3
    • Kimchi on Nov 08, 2022 at 1:40 pm

      Direct competitor probably goes to Dacia Duster


      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Mohan Nair on Nov 10, 2022 at 11:20 am

    Looks like the Ford Explorer. Honda and Toyota are both sinking in the US market with no BEV to compete with Tesla.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

Add a comment