2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport Preview – Built for Adventure Seekers and Off-Road Enthusiasts

By Steve & Tamami Laser

The Honda Pilot is a common sight on the road, with more than 2 million units produced since 2006. And now, with the introduction of the new fourth-generation models, Honda is enhancing the Pilot’s spirit of adventure. The first-ever Pilot TrailSport joins the previously introduced Passport TrailSport sibling, yet with more robust off-road credentials.

Pilot gains all-new styling, an all-new chassis, a new V6 engine, a more modern and upscale interior, increased cargo space, and new high-tech goodies. The TrailSport receives even bolder exterior detailing, plus exclusive hardware for off-road adventures.

Riding on Honda’s new light truck architecture, Pilot gains a longer wheelbase and overall length, plus wider front and rear tracks. Design details include a larger, upright grille, longer dash-to-axle ratio, a strong horizontal beltline and flared fenders. Diffused Sky Blue is a new exterior color choice exclusive to TrailSport.

The new, more powerful 3.5-liter DOHC V6 is rated at 285 hp at 6,100 rpm, and 262 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm. A 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is standard, along with driver-selectable Normal, Econ, Sport, Trail, Snow, Sand and Tow modes.

The Pilot’s second-generation i-VTM4® torque-vectoring AWD improves off-road capability, while the TrailSport goes further with optimized trail torque logic, a stronger rear differential, off-road tuned suspension with a one-inch lift, unique stabilizer bars, spring rates and damper valve tuning.

TrailSport also receives unique 18-inch wheels wrapped with Continental TerrainContact™ A/T 265/60R18 all-terrain tires. Sturdy steel skid plates that can “support the entire weight of the vehicle crashing down on a rock” are designed to help protect the oil pan, transmission, and gas tank.

Inside, new Body Stabilizing front seats are crafted to help reduce fatigue during long drives. Orange contrast stitching and the TrailSport logo is embroidered onto the front head restraints, while all-season floor mats, a heated steering wheel, and a sliding panoramic sunroof are also included.

There’s a 7-inch Driver Information Display, 9-inch color touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and wireless charging. TrailSport also receives a new TrailWatch™ four-camera system that provides helpful views of obstacles while driving off-road, and features forward-camera automatic activation when driving at speeds below 15 mph in Trail mode.

A suite of Honda Sensing® driver-assist safety systems includes a new wide-view camera and radar, expanded Blind Spot Information, new Traffic Jam Assist, Low-Speed Braking Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, and Lane Keeping Assist.

New HPD™ accessory packages are planned for the new Pilot, thanks to a collaboration with Honda Performance Development. Specific content has yet to be revealed, yet enhancements like bronze-color alloy wheels, larger fender flares, and HPD badges are expected to be included.

Honda says the new Pilot was designed in California, developed in Ohio, and will be built at the automaker’s Lincoln, Alabama plant. Offered in Sport, EX-L, TrailSport, Touring and Elite models, the new Pilot is planned to go on sale at U.S. Honda dealers in December.

Note: Pre-production models are shown. Features, specifications, accessories and launch timing for future U.S. market models is subject to change without notice.

News source and photos courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

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