Production of the 2023 Honda Pilot Begins in Alabama

Workers at the Honda Alabama Automobile Plant celebrate today as the first 2023 Pilot rolls off the assembly line. This is the fourth generation of the popular SUV built at the Lincoln, Alabama facility, which has been manufacturing the Pilot since its introduction for the 2003 model year.

The 2023 Honda Pilot is the largest SUV in the company’s history. Built on a new platform, longer and wider, it offers more interior space than its predecessor, including seating for up to eight people. It features a more rugged styling and is available in five trim packages, including Sport, EX-L, Touring, Elite and TrailSport.

TrailSport is a departure for the Pilot. More than just a separate trim package, it provides more off-road capabilities than previous generations of family-oriented SUVs. Features include raised off-road suspension with an extra inch of ground clearance, all-terrain tires, thick steel skid plates to protect the engine and fuel tank, and enhanced all-wheel drive capability.

The new pilot may also be equipped with a removable second-row center seat that can be stowed under the rear cargo floor rather than left at home. Honda claims stowable second-row seats are a first-in-class feature for an SUV and are available on the Touring and Elite models.

Under the hood, all models get a revamped version of Honda’s familiar 3.5-liter dual overhead cam V6 engine, which is also assembled at the Alabama Auto Plant. Power output rises slightly to 285 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy and performance are expected to improve gradually, although no performance figures are available yet.

As well as being assembled at the Alabama Auto Plant, the 2023 Pilot was designed and developed in the US. The Honda Design Studio in California was in charge of styling, while Honda’s R&D engineers in Ohio did the development work.

Since 2006, Honda has sold more than two million Pilots in the US, which is the main market for the large SUV.

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