The 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport gives the brand’s three-row crossover a solid trim level for families who need a rig to take them off-road. In a new video, the automaker highlights the model’s development.
While testing the standard Pilot, the engineers realized that none of the existing driving modes were right for the kind of off-roading they were doing. To solve this problem, they created a Trace setting for the system. Another tweak is tuning the all-wheel drive system to handle situations where the two wheels at opposite ends are in the air.
Entering Trail mode activates the Trailwatch camera system. It provides multiple views of the exterior, including outside, front, and bird’s eye views.
Honda has also added front and rear skid plates to the Pilot TrailSport. It’s not as simple as just installing some metal panels under the vehicle. Engineers have to ensure that the pieces don’t affect things like crashworthiness or serviceability. The one in front has an integrated recovery latch.
When creating the TrailSport, Honda was unwilling to compromise on the Pilot’s on-road capabilities. That’s where the vehicle will spend most of its time.
The TrailSport offers a different suspension setup than other Pilot trim levels. Revised spring and strut adjustments add one inch (2.54 centimeters) of ground clearance. Tweaked front and rear sway bars offer better articulation. It rides on 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires
The TrailSport has seating for seven people due to the second row of captain seats. It and the Elite trim get a standard heated steering wheel.
All versions of the 2023 Pilot use a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 285 horsepower (213 kilowatts) and 262 pound-feet (355 Newton-meters). It is connected to a 10 speed automatic gearbox. Elite and TrailSport come standard with all-wheel drive. Lower trim levels come with front-wheel drive.
Deliveries of the 2023 Pilot begin in September. TrailSport starts at $49,645 after a $1,295 destination fee. For comparison, the base Sport trim is $40,445 with front-wheel drive or $42,545 with all-wheel drive.