People need their SUVs to perform all different types of tasks. While you might need to bring your kids to all of their practices and rehearsals, someone else needs a ton of cargo space for all their camping equipment. You need an SUV that is able to keep up with all of the different needs you have day to day, and that's where the 2023 Honda Pilot comes in. The Pilot is an SUV that works for many different types of drivers. To some, it’s a family vehicle, while to others, it’s an off-road adventure buddy. Other times, it functions as a daily commuter, a road trip partner, or a haul-and-tow setup.
It doesn’t need to appeal to everyone for the same reason, which is why Honda has made this vehicle as versatile as possible. This three-row SUV is suited for a range of individual and familial needs. With the improvements made by Honda’s team and your own personal touches, the Pilot very well could be your favorite vehicle you’ve ever had.
The 2023 Honda Pilot has been designed from the ground up, complete with an improved engine, extra space, updated technology, over half a dozen gigantic cupholders, a new transmission, increased horsepower, and a trim level that can take you and your group of adventurers into the wilds without a second thought. Whether you’re looking for a vehicle that can handle big family trips and lots of luggage, you’re looking to explore the outdoors with a few friends for the summer, or you want something that can handle doing both, the 2023 Honda Pilot is an excellent choice.
The 2023 edition of the Honda Pilot is their largest SUV to date. That being said, it can still stroll quietly through the streets, even though it is also capable of taking you and your backpacking buddies over dirt roads, through grass, puddles, mud, or gravel. More power also helps, especially if you’ve decided to go all out on the off-roading idea by getting the Honda Pilot TrailSport, which comes with all-terrain tires, trim exclusive wheels, and a TrailWatch camera system so that you can see every single rock, tree, or other landscape feature, so you know what’s around you as you trek into the wilderness.
The 2023 Honda Pilot is equipped with a single engine option: a 3.5L V6 engine, to be exact. For 2023, Honda adjusted the engine to give you more horsepower than before. This engine produces 285 horsepower, as opposed to the 280 horsepower of previous models, and 262 lb-ft of torque. This, paired with a new ten-speed transmission, as opposed to last year’s nine-speed, helps the Pilot exceed expectations for its ability to travel on and off-road. With this power allowing you to be able to tow up to 5,000 lbs when the SUV is properly equipped for it, it's easy to see why Honda is very proud of its largest, and now most powerful, SUV.
There are a bunch of features in the Pilot that are designed to help you conquer any terrain. To start, you get up to seven available drive modes, so you can tailor your vehicle's output to your surroundings. Modes include Normal, ECON, Snow, Sport, Trail, Sand, and Tow. Now standard, Hill Descent Control is there to prevent you from gaining too much unwanted speed when going downhill. You can also get the TrailWatch system, which displays a live feed of your surroundings on your infotainment screen to make navigating less-than-perfect terrains much easier. Use this to spot unwelcome obstacles lying just below your line of sight or to successfully navigate through narrow paths.
Along with better performance, the 2023 Honda Pilot is equipped with an array of safety and driver-assist features to enhance your driving experience, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. You’ve done plenty of driving on and off-road, in fair or bad weather, with a few other cars, or in a jam-packed line waiting to get off the interstate or turn. You know what it’s like to feel anxious about the driver behind or beside you or wonder if the driver in front of you will brake without signaling. Fortunately, you have the Honda Sensing Suite in the 2023 Honda Pilot. The Honda Sensing Suite can help you navigate tricky situations like changing lanes during rush hour, avoiding a pile-up collision, or missing something in your blind spot.
Having an advanced driver assistance system in place has become nearly standard for several automotive brands, and Honda’s system was built with every driver in mind. Those around you share the road as well, and this focus on safety for all has led Honda’s Sensing system from the beginning. The Honda Sensing suite is there to help give you more peace of mind by helping to prevent an accident or mitigating the damage when one occurs.
First on the roster of the Honda Sensing system is the Collision Mitigation Brake System, which also comes with Forward Collision Warning. Are you distracted for a moment? See the driver ahead of you stop abruptly? Someone suddenly cut you off too close? Your Pilot has your back. It can warn you of a potential collision and then assist with braking if you need it, whether to prevent impact with another vehicle or a pedestrian.
Next is Honda’s Road Departure Mitigation System, which is a mix of the Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist System. We’ve seen it happen before––someone grows tired after a long day at work or behind the wheel and nods off, only to be awoken by a horn, swerving at the last second to avoid a collision. We also know that sometimes, other cars will stray into your lane, getting a little too close for comfort. The Road Departure Mitigation System is designed to help prevent lane drifting. This system will send out an alert if you start to leave your intended lane of travel and will guide you back to the center with gentle steering if you fail to respond. Don't worry; the system does not activate when you put your turn signal on or if it senses you are making an intentional maneuver.
For a little bit more convenience on your travels, there is the Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow to ensure that you won’t get caught by surprise when the car in front of you comes to a sudden halt. It can detect the speed of the vehicles ahead of you and adjust your own speed accordingly. If that vehicle slows down below your set speed, then yours will follow suit without input from you.
While the Pilot is great for power and capability, the multi-faceted SUV has another side––a comfortable, quiet, spacious side that invites you and yours to relax, sit back, and enjoy the ride. What has changed from 2022 to 2023 for the Pilot? Well, to start, there is more space for passengers and cargo. The 2023 Pilot has 21.8 cu.ft. of cargo space in the back, with 59.5 cu.ft. behind the second row and 111.8 cu.ft. with all the seats folded. For comparison, the 2022 model maxed out at 109.2 cu.ft. of cargo space. There are also eight 32-oz size cup holders throughout the cabin. While the seating arrangements haven’t changed, you do still have the option to take out the middle seat of the second row altogether and replace the bench with captain’s chairs. You can opt to keep the middle row intact but lift out the middle seat when not in use––it can instead be stored away in the cargo area, out of sight, but always ready to be utilized.
Depending on which trim level you choose, there are other perks to experience inside the cabin, including heated and ventilated front seats, heated middle-row seats, a panoramic moonroof, a 12-speaker Bose stereo system, and a leather-trimmed interior. Throughout the five trim levels, there are features that appeal to one demographic or another. The Pilot TrailSport was built for off-roading, complete with a specialized suspension system. If you want something more luxurious, you could try out the Pilot Elite, and if you’re more in the market for something that performs well under pressure and can haul half a kids’ sports team or extended family, you’ll want to take a peek at the Sport or EX-L. Remember, the Pilot is built to bring out your best side, so whichever side that is, your Pilot will accent it to perfection.