That is the all-new fourth era 2023 Honda Pilot. Using on an all-new mild truck platform, the Pilot is Honda’s greatest and strongest SUV to this point. And we’re right here in Sedona, Arizona to drive it each on and off-road.
The final time we in contrast SUVs on this section, the 2020 Pilot completed useless final within the area of seven. Now in its fourth era with boxier appears to be like and this an trustworthy off-road model within the Path Sport, has Honda performed sufficient to freshen an SUV that will have gone stale? Let’s test it out. (upbeat music) That is the Elite model, the highest trim. We had simply gotten out of a Pilot Path Sport, which is their newish off-road trim. There was a Path Sport out there for 2022, however Honda has gone a bit of bit above and past that degree of off-road readiness to make it a extra precise off-roading car. Additional safety, knobby tires, the standard bits. That is the great one. That is the household hauler. Pricing for this with choices is a bit of over $53,000. Honda went out of its solution to declare that that is the very best dealing with Pilot ever. It is type of a low bar, gotta be trustworthy with you there. Positively noticing much less physique roll right here within the Elite than I did within the Path Sport on comparable roads, which makes excellent sense. Path Sport sits increased. The off-road suspension is a bit of bit softer. Once more, some knobby off-road tires. That every one combines often for a bit extra of a sloppy feeling. This is not as sloppy, but it surely looks like a three-row SUV. Steering communication is fairly good. We’re in regular mode proper now, so it is not the tightest steering, however you continue to get a good really feel of the place the nostril of the automotive is, and as you progress the wheel, there’s good responsiveness. There are additionally cattle guards within the highway. Sorry about that. I am going to put it into sport mode in a second and shift the transmission into sport as nicely. And it is a bit of higher. Sport positively tightens up the load of the steering wheel, provides you much less play. However once more, you are still getting that very same kind of direct suggestions and pretty rapid response. The 2023 comes with a 10-speed computerized as a substitute of a 9-speed. Different upgrades this new Pilot has contains 5 extra horsepower from its 3.5-liter V6 up from 280 to 285. Torque stays the identical at 262 pounds-feet and it would not really change towing capability both. That also maxes out at 5,000 kilos. Although in keeping with Honda, you now not want upgraded transmission cooling to get that max towing determine. We additionally obtained to take the pilot Path Sport off-road, and whereas this is not a real hardcore Jeep Path, we did get to expertise some respectable rock crawling off-camera stuff, slippery situations, and the entire manner I have been impressed. There is a good set of path cameras that is new for the Pilot this yr. Offers you with a pleasant variety of digicam views. General, very spectacular. Additionally, truthfully, 95% greater than the common proprietor might be going to do with one in every of these, but it surely’s good to know you possibly can. So right here we’re contained in the 2023 Honda Pilot, particularly the Path Sport. We have already performed one up-close video, so I am going to strive to not bore you. However I do wanna let you understand how I really feel about these design modifications, and for essentially the most half, huge fan. The previous Pilot wasn’t a nasty inside essentially, but it surely had so much working towards it. One of many causes it got here in final in our most up-to-date comparability check was its horrible Honda show audio system. We railed towards that system for years. It value it a lot in that comparability check. And whereas this is not the most recent and biggest that Honda has to supply, this new nine-inch touchscreen that is out there on most trims within the Pilot has wi-fi Apple CarPlay and wi-fi Android Auto, bodily audio controls. These are push button truck selectors. Not my favourite. I’d’ve most popular one other tuning knob. However bodily controls. On the steering wheel you get some extra useful bodily controls. You even have heated steering wheel out there right here. As that is the Path Sport, you do not get the complete digital 10.2-inch instrument show. As a substitute, you are left with a kind of two-thirds digital, one-third bodily speedometer. Works positive. I’ve no actual complaints with it. Very straightforward to make use of, very straightforward to see. Different nice issues about this cabin, bodily local weather controls, heated seats. If this had ventilated seats, these could be right here as nicely. However you could have your fan pace, your temperature settings, all simply inside attain. Easy-to-use drive mode selector, parking brake, Honda’s now normal hill descent management. There’s really a good quantity of storage up right here as nicely, which is sweet. Honda used bigger water bottles as kind of their benchmark for the cup holders, so haven’t any concern when you have, say, a Nalgene or one thing like that. That ought to possible match there, however clearly try it out. Good huge cup holders right here. Little bit extra storage right here subsequent to the wi-fi machine charging. That is out there on most trims. After which the return of the passenger shelf, which has a rubberized ground to maintain issues from sliding round. Not essentially my favourite solution to retailer issues. This is able to be laborious for me to achieve if I had been simply on my own within the automotive, but it surely’s not the worst. You do additionally get a pleasant huge compartment right here as nicely. I want to see a bit of bit extra. That is kind of a household SUV. We try to switch the minivan. So possibly some storage down right here, like a cross by means of for a bag or one thing could be good. However an enchancment general in comparison with the last-gen Pilot. Visibility was a robust go well with within the final era. The little bit much less good right here, these A-pillars are a bit thicker and might block a few of your line of sight, however nonetheless pretty good upright seating place. Ahead visibility was not too dangerous for me whereas I used to be driving. One different criticism that I do have is that this wi-fi charger has a tough time with my cellphone not less than and its case, preserving issues in place and persistently charging, but it surely’s not the worst I’ve used. There are additionally USB A and C ports right here. The C port, nonetheless, is just for charging. For knowledge you must use USB A. That is beginning to grow to be a bit of bit extra outdated, however I believe most individuals lately nonetheless do have a USB A wire that they’ll use. One factor that was noticeable to me driving each the Path Sport and the Elite on-road is that the Elite, regardless of its bigger wheels and extra street-oriented suspension, did not actually trip any much less comfortably. Granted the roads we had been on had been pretty clean, however 20-inch wheels in comparison with eighteens and avenue tires in comparison with all-terrains, and with out the Path Sport’s off-road tune suspension, bumps imperfections weren’t actually felt any greater than within the Path Sport. In order that was very spectacular. One of many brilliant sides of getting the same powertrain all through the lineup is simple gas financial system comparisons. Some trims of the pilot are all-wheel drive solely. Some are all-wheel drive non-compulsory. You both get front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The front-wheel drive goes to be your most fuel-efficient, at 22 miles per gallon mixed. Most all-wheel drive variations are 21. After which this, the Path Sport, with all its additional weight off-road tires, et cetera, drops down to twenty. So these aren’t nice numbers, however they’re all inside kind of the traditional vary for a V6-powered SUV of this dimension. So probably not surprising. As Honda has enlarged the Pilot, that additionally comes with elevated inside room, together with additional leg room for second-row passengers. Wasn’t actually a criticism to start with, but it surely’s at all times good to have extra. The seats are very comfy. I’ve a good quantity of head room even with this huge panoramic roof. And in keeping with Honda, the Pilot is the one car in its section that gives a gap panoramic roof and seating for as much as eight. So this, because the Path Sport, is barely out there with second row captains chairs, so two in entrance, two within the second row, three within the again. However on different trim ranges, you will get a second-row bench seat. And on the vary topping Elite, usually captains chairs are thought of kind of the peak of luxurious in relation to inside seating for three-row SUVs. However the Elite does one thing particular the place it may be a bench seat or you possibly can fold that center seat down, have cup holders for the second-row passengers. Or, if you would like need to cross by means of, you possibly can completely take away it after which simply stow it within the again in a bit of cargo compartment underneath the cargo ground. And that is nice as a result of, if you happen to do not need to use the seat, you do not have to, however if you happen to want it later, it is proper there with you. Whereas in most autos with detachable seats like that, you type of have to depart it behind or take up actual usable cargo house. The good factor is also that this Path Sport, with its second-row captains chairs, nonetheless has that underfloor compartment, which is just a few helpful additional storage out of sight for additional gear, no matter you could want. Different good options, you get your local weather management and a few charging ports right here, these are USB A. And one characteristic I actually like is these storage pockets on the again of the entrance seats, embrace a bit of device-size pocket the place you possibly can pop a cellphone, simply go away it there. One of many necessary issues in relation to three-row SUVs is definitely stepping into the third row. Within the Pilot’s case, that is pretty straightforward. On the aspect of the seat right here, there’s simply a straightforward one-touch button, folds the seat ahead, helps it slide ahead. You shove all of it the best way, after which you could have, nicely, as you possibly can inform from my voice, not the very best entrance, but it surely’s pretty straightforward for somebody of my dimension. After which getting in, not horrible. I’ll say I haven’t got plenty of leg room again right here. This isn’t supreme. The second highway does slide ahead, so you are able to do some passenger negotiation. However for essentially the most half, not precisely the very best place to place somebody of my dimension. Now, I’ve solely had the possibility to drive each the Path Sport and the Elite, which is the best trim degree within the Pilot lineup, so I am unable to communicate to how your entire lineup stacks up. However I can say that now the Pilot is actually a lot improved and it is probably not a standout in a crowded section of three row SUVs, but it surely’s actually not an also-ran. For extra on the 2023 Pilot, be sure you take a look at automobiles.com.