The SUV is a vehicle that wears many different faces and appeals to a considerable amount of different drivers. In recent years, it gained the notoriety and distinction of being the ideal family vehicle, while others still use it for the purpose of off-roading and other adventures that exist away from the pavement. No matter your intention, the vehicle can certainly adapt to just about any situation it needs to. Speaking of which, the larger incarnations of the vehicle are commonly associated with domestic manufacturers, while the economical and subcompact models are often manufactured abroad.
So, what happens when a brand with a long-standing reputation for performance, safety, and practicality adapts its technology to a larger vehicle that can handle both the rigors of off-roading and provide a reliable method of transportation for the family-oriented consumer? Well, you would end up with the 2023 Honda Pilot. Honda refers to their SUV as embodying both sophistication and ruggedness. And in an age where the vehicle continues to grow in popularity, the Pilot might be the quintessential game-changer many have been looking for. Today, we'll be looking at the Pilot, from behind the wheel, under the hood, and into the cutting-edge tech that Honda has equipped the vehicle with.
We begin our examination of the 2023 Honda Pilot with what's underneath the hood. Now, Honda has a very tall order in front of them; as the popularity of the SUV has grown as much as it has, competition among the various makes and models in the industry is certainly fierce. To this end, Honda has taken a renewed focus on a powertrain that can bestow an economical commute and also take the path less traveled.
Like many other manufacturers, Honda has chosen to streamline production of the Pilot and offer a sole powertrain across all trim levels. This takes the form of a highly-capable 3.5L V6 equipped with a ten-speed automatic transmission. 285 hp and the ability to generate 262 lb-ft of torque provide plenty of kick for the FWD and AWD models, with the FWD version having a combined fuel economy of 22 MPG. For those needing to tow, a maximum capacity of 5,000 lbs is perfectly suited for the active outdoorsman.
And speaking of the outdoors, the Honda Pilot has brand new features that are geared towards off-roading performance and conquering any terrain you set your sights on. Those who opt for the AWD edition of the Pilot will be quite pleased with these new drive modes now available at their fingertips.
As the name suggests, this mode is the most standard mode setting in the vehicle, giving you a combination of fuel economy and great performance on the road.
When fuel efficiency is a priority on your travels, this mode will make changes in the pedal input and throttle opening ratio to ensure you're getting the best mileage on the road, even when more acceleration is required. This also includes regulating the air conditioning to work more efficiently.
Even if you're on the pavement, you might have the urge to utilize the Pilot's horsepower to its fullest potential. Sport Mode allows for increased throttle response and can put some pep in your acceleration.
If you're planning to tow heavy cargo, this mode will enhance your steering to give you ultimate control, as well as adjust all-wheel drive to give you the best traction on more challenging surfaces.
Whether you have to navigate the snow drifts to get the kids to school, or you just want to traverse the tundra, snow mode is incredibly capable of both. Throttle response is softened to assist in maintaining control, and traction is increased to deal with less-than-favorable road conditions.
Now that we've taken the time to examine the performance built for the tough and intimidating, it's time to get behind the wheel and examine the interior that lends itself to the refined and sophisticated feeling of the 2023 Honda Pilot. After all, whether you're driving in the dirt or commuting through the city limits, this is where you'll spend your time, and comfort should take priority.
And while the new powertrain and available drive modes are parts of the rough and ready capability associated with the this Honda SUV, the interior boasts a solid trifecta of practicality, refinement, and sophistication. Geared towards the everyday driver who has a family to be concerned with, the seating is spacious, and Honda maintains a keen eye on keeping everyone comfortable.
Like many other vehicles, the anchor for the interior can be found with the infotainment screen, which is perched atop the dashboard and level with the steering column for enhanced visibility during your travels. The standard size of the screen is 7 inches, but 9-inch screens are available for those who want to enhance their overall experience. While compatibility with Apple and Android services is standard across all trim levels, those who opt for the top-of-the-line Pilot will also have the advantage of a high-end stereo system from Bose, complete with 12 speakers.
Each driver is different, and the amount of necessary space that's needed might vary. Fear not; Honda gives you the opportunity to customize your interior with captain's chairs for the second row. Whether it's a seven or eight-passenger capacity you need, you'll have the opportunity to have either one. Another crucial aspect drivers look for in their SUVs is ample cargo space. Fortunately, the Pilot meets these needs and more, offering 22.4 cu.ft behind the third row, 60.1 cu.ft. behind the second, and an impressive 114.3 cu.ft. behind the first row when the back rows are lowered.
No matter what you plan on utilizing the 2023 Honda Pilot for, one common item unites the off-roader and the family-oriented consumer: safety. As this is the most important part of any vehicle purchase, we've saved it for the final part of our in-depth examination. Honda has always placed a considerable amount of emphasis on taking care of its customers. Whether it's fuel economy or safety, you know they're always going to bring their best game to the table. And in an age where many features bear a striking similarity to one another, the concern for many is more than what is available on any particular model but what the manufacturer makes standard across the board. Luckily, Honda's philosophy on providing a safe commute is one that doesn't attach a hefty price tag.
Among the newest features that Honda has developed and come standard as part of the suite of features known as Honda Sensing are Traffic Jam Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition. The first of these features operate at low speeds and allows some oversight in maintaining your position in your lane. The second utilizes camera technology to identify road signs and then display the information to the driver. Because, as many of us are aware, visibility isn't always readily available.
Some other features included with this new Honda vehicle include Adaptive Cruise Control, a Lane Keeping Assist System, and a Collision Mitigation Braking System that provides assistance with reaction time when a possible collision is imminent. Aside from the technological features employed by Honda, an enhanced emphasis on the structure of the pilot has also been introduced. This is put in place to give drivers additional protection in the event of a collision. It's just one more item that speaks to the level of commitment to safety that Honda continues to demonstrate.