Honda’s largest model still offers the Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite trims, with the addition of the aforementioned TrailSport trim that slots directly into the middle of the pack. Each of them gets a retuned 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 285 hp and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. Honda has dropped the previous nine-speed automatic transmission, replacing it with a 10-speed automatic. Although front-wheel drive is standard in most trims, Honda’s enhanced i-VTM4 AWD system (standard in the TrailSport and Elite) is optional. With FWD, the Pilot can tow up to 3,500 pounds, but with AWD, it can manage as much as 5,000 lb., depending on the total weight being carried inside the vehicle.
The ’23 Pilot is quite economical with fuel, especially considering its size and brawn. With front-wheel drive, it achieves an EPA-estimated 19 mpg around town and 27 mpg on the highway. While the city mpg stays the same with AWD, the highway fuel economy decreases by 2 miles per gallon. The TrailSport is the thirstiest Pilot, achieving 18 city/23 highway.
The eight-passenger Sport comes with an abundance of high-end features, including auto-on/off LED headlights, LED fog lights and taillights, rear privacy glass, roof rails, and Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock. Inside, the Sport receives push-button ignition, a sunglasses holder, LED interior lighting elements, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch driver information interface, and a reversible dual-level cargo floor. Its power-adjustable front seats are heated and feature back-side pockets, and the second- and third-row seats have a functional 60/40-split. The Sport also gets five selectable drive modes: Normal, ECON, Snow, Tow, and Sport.
The EX-L is elevated with premium side mirrors (they’re heated and include turn-signal indicators, position memory settings, and a reverse gear tilt-down function), a power tailgate, a sound-absorbing windshield, front seatback smartphone pockets, second-row climate control settings, and a deep hidden cargo-area storage compartment. The EX-L also has an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, illuminated vanity mirrors, a conversation mirror, a driver’s seat with two-way memory, leather upholstery, second-row captain’s chairs that reduce the seating capacity to seven (the bench seat can be added back if you prefer that eighth seat), and manual second-row sunshades. That’s not all either, as the EX-L also gets a 15-watt wireless phone charger and Honda’s CabinTalk in-car PA system. If AWD is equipped, an extra drive mode called Trail & Sand will be added.
As its name implies, the TrailSport is made for the most intrepid buyers. In addition to its capability-enhancing upgrades (which consist of 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, a sport-tuned suspension, various protective skid plates, higher ground clearance, an integrated Class III trailer hitch, front and rear recovery points, and the TrailWatch camera system), the TrailSport has some notable luxuries. These include power-folding side mirrors, a panoramic moonroof, heated windshield wipers, a heated steering wheel, all-weather floor mats, and synthetic leather seats with orange contrast stitching. With this trim, the captain’s chairs cannot be traded out for the bench seat.
The Touring mostly builds off the EX-L with the second-row bench seat, but it does have the TrailSport’s moonroof. Not only that, but the Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock system now works for all doors, and the Touring even receives a hands-free liftgate, sound-deadening front-door glass, in-trunk seat storage (which is where you can stow the removable center seat in the second row), and ambient interior lighting. The Elite is given the full luxury treatment. It returns the power-folding side mirrors (which now have a convenient auto-dimming function) and heated wipers/steering wheel from the TrailSport and adds rain-sensing wipers, a head-up display, LED door-trim lighting, perforated leather upholstery, ventilated front seats with special accent piping, upper front seatback pockets, a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster, and heated outboard second-row seats.
The ’23 Pilot is reinforced with the upgraded Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety aids. This time around, traffic jam assist and traffic sign recognition have been added to the suite, which continues to include forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention monitoring, and automatic high beams. Plus, the adaptive cruise control and lane assistance systems (lane departure warning and lane keeping assist) have been upgraded to feel more natural. Low-speed braking control and front and rear parking sensors become standard at the EX-L level.
Multimedia in the base Sport consists of a 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a seven-speaker sound system with a subwoofer. The EX-L and TrailSport move up to a customizable 9-inch touchscreen with HD radio, SiriusXM satellite radio, wireless smartphone connectivity, and a sound system with two additional speakers. The Touring and Elite are furnished with built-in navigation, voice recognition, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a premier Bose audio system with a dozen speakers and multi-zone audio.
The 2023 Pilot also has a generous supply of USB ports and power outlets. The Sport’s front console has a USB-A smartphone/audio interface and a 12-volt power outlet. In the second row, two USB-A charging ports are issued. The EX-L and remaining trims gain an extra 12-volt power outlet in the cargo area, as well as two third-row USB-A charging ports. The TrailSport and Elite are the only trims to receive a 110-volt household-style power outlet.
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Based on model year EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.