Honda Debuts Updated Pilot

Honda has introduced the new Pilot SUV, which has been updated for its fourth generation to be the largest and most powerful Honda SUV, the company announced.

The new Pilot features all-new rugged styling that complements its trail-ready capability. The design features a large upright grille accentuated by flared fenders, wider tracks and larger tires. Under its new longer hood is Honda’s most powerful V6 ever, an all-new dual overhead cam (DOHC) 3.5-liter engine producing 285 horsepower.

Inside, Pilot’s all-new interior has versatile seating with an available removable 2nd row seat that can be stowed under the rear cargo floor. Complementing the interior flexibility is an increase in passenger and cargo space and Honda’s new front Body Stabilizing Seats that help reduce fatigue on long drives.

Standard class-leading safety features include a new and improved suite of Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive technologies, a next-generation front passenger airbag, improved front side airbags and new driver and front-passenger knee airbags.

Sport trim features gloss black trim and grille bar, a chrome exhaust garnish, standard black roof rails, front fog lights and Shark Gray 7-spoke, 20-inch wheels. EX-L adds flash with chrome trim and grille bar, and machined 5-spoke, 18-inch alloy wheels.

Pilot Touring and Elite feature premium exterior finishes, Honda said, including a gloss black grille mesh and B-pillar, dual chrome exhaust garnishes and 7-spoke, 20-inch alloy wheels with a machined finish.

For the first time, Pilot will be available with a new line of four post-production option packages, including a new HPD Package. Created in collaboration with Honda Performance Development (HPD), Honda’s U.S.-based racing company, it includes bronze-colored aluminum wheels, fender flares and HPD decals.

With clean surfacing, sophisticated materials and premium touches, Pilot’s all-new modern interior builds on the Honda design direction to create the most upscale Honda SUV ever. A clean, uncluttered instrument panel top reduces windshield reflections and improves outward visibility.

Inside, the Pilot has 8-person seating and an opening panoramic sunroof, which is standard on Touring and Elite. Heated seats are standard across the lineup. TrailSport and Elite also feature a heated steering wheel. EX-L and Touring have soft leather upholstery and the Elite gets exclusive perforated leather inserts and ventilated front seats.

The 2023 Pilot has the most cargo room in the model’s history, with up to 113.67 cu.-ft.1 behind the first row, and up to 22.42 cu.-ft. behind the third row. Expanded cabin storage includes a massive console bin that can store a full-size tablet, the return of Pilot’s passenger-side instrument panel shelf, and 14 large-volume cupholders throughout the cabin, including eight that will fit wide 32 oz water bottles.

Honda Debuts Updated Pilot | THE SHOP

Under the hood, the all-aluminum DOHC V6 features a unique block and low-profile cylinder heads with high-tumble ports and a narrow 35-degree valve angle for better combustion. The low-profile design of the new DOHC cylinder heads also allowed a more compact rocker arm and hydraulic lash adjuster design, Honda said. Honda engineers also did away with separate cam bearing caps and instead incorporated them directly into the valve cover itself. The result is a 30 mm reduction in overall cylinder head height. The new design also reduces the number of parts. Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) improves fuel efficiency and reduces emissions.

The V6 is paired with aa 10-speed automatic transmission that has been tuned exclusively for Pilot with paddle shifters standard for manual control. The Pilot also introduces the second generation of Honda’s torque vectoring i-VTM4 all-wheel drive system, which is standard on TrailSport and Elite, and can tow as much as 5,000 pounds.

Based on Honda’s new light truck architecture, Pilot’s wheelbase has been extended to 113.8 inches (+2.8 inches), and has significantly wider tracks (+1.1 to 1.2 inches in front, and +1.4 to 1.5 inches in the rear) improve stability. Retuned MacPherson struts in front and an all-new rear multilink suspension make Pilot improve ride quality, Honda engineers said. Pilot’s stopping power is also increased with larger front brake rotors (from 12.6 inches to 13.8 inches) and larger calipers.

Exclusive to TrailSport, the Pilot is available in a new Diffused Sky Blue paint color. In the cabin, TrailSport features details including exclusive orange contrast stitching and head restraints embroidered with the TrailSport logo. All-season floor mats with an exclusive TrailSport design and a new sliding panoramic sunroof are standard.

TrailSport is the only Pilot with an off-road tuned suspension and includes a one-inch lift, Honda said. Stabilizer bars are optimized for articulation and off-road ride comfort; spring rates and damper valve tuning are also exclusive to TrailSport.

Pilot Trailsport is also equipped with standard Continental TerrainContact AT (265/60R18) tires. Unique 18-inch wheels with a rugged look are carefully designed with inset spokes to protect them from trail damage and the TrailSport logo cast in the thick, outer flange, designers said.

Designed in collaboration with Honda Powersports engineers, the thick steel skid plates protecting Pilot TrailSport’s oil pan, transmission and gas tank can support the entire weight of the vehicle. Stout recovery points rated at twice Pilot TrailSport’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) are integrated into the front skid plate and the tow hitch situated behind TrailSport’s full-size spare tire.

In Trail mode, TrailSport’s exclusive trail torque logic off-road system manages the i-VTM4 torque vectoring all-wheel drive system’s distribution of the engine torque based on available traction while simultaneously utilizing the front brakes individually to apply brake vectoring – reducing wheelspin and maintaining traction.

Honda Debuts Updated Pilot | THE SHOP

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at ahecht@cahabamedia.com.

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