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Rugged, All-New Honda Pilot Arrives as the Ultimate Family SUV; Pilot TrailSport is the Most Off-Road Capable Honda SUV Ever

2022-11-07

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  • 4th-generation Pilot is the largest, most rugged and powerful Honda SUV ever

  • All-new tough and adventure-ready styling complements Pilot's off-road capabilities and sporty on-road dynamics

  • Pilot TrailSport: standard all-terrain tires, steel skid plates, higher ground clearance, off-road tuned suspension and more

  • New modern, upscale cabin with sophisticated materials and premium touches

  • Pilot is "king of the carpool lane" with flexible seating and more spacious second and third rows

The largest and most powerful SUV in Honda history, the all-new 2023 Honda Pilot is the ultimate family SUV with rugged new styling, more passenger and cargo space, and a top-of-class combination of off-road capability and sporty on-road dynamics.

The new Pilot TrailSport is the most off-road capable Honda SUV ever, engineered to get weekend adventurers even further off the beaten path with special off-road features including a raised off-road tuned suspension, all-terrain tires, steel skid plates and expanded all-wheel drive system capabilities. This fourth-generation Pilot goes on sale this winter in five trim levels: Sport, EX-L, TrailSport, Touring and a Canadian-exclusive Black Edition. 

"The Honda Pilot has been popular with Canadian families for decades, and this all-new Pilot and Pilot TrailSport have been further refined offering more space and comfort while substantially increasing their toughness and off-road capabilities," says Steve Hui, Assistant Vice President Honda Canada. "The new Pilot can comfortably take your entire family and their gear on any road trip, whether it's to the city or on a rugged weekend adventure."

Pilot now belongs on the trail with all-new rugged styling that complements its trail-ready capability. The tough and aspirational design features a large upright grille and a powerful stance accentuated by flared fenders, wider tracks and larger tires. Under its new longer hood is Honda's most powerful V6 ever, an all-new dual overhead cam (DOHC) 3.5-litre engine producing 285 horsepower.

Inside, Pilot's all-new interior makes it the new flexible king of the carpool lane with unmatched comfort, versatile seating with an available removable 2nd row seat that can be conveniently stowed under the rear cargo floor. Complementing the interior flexibility is the most passenger and cargo space in Pilot history, including a more comfortable third row. Pilot also boasts best-in-class overall passenger space and top-of-class cargo volume behind the third-row seats. The new modern interior is also more comfortable with new front Body Stabilizing Seats that reduce fatigue on long drives. Sophisticated materials, premium touches and must-have tech features create the most upscale Pilot ever.

Standard top-of-class safety features include a new and improved suite of Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technologies, a next-generation front passenger airbag, improved front side airbags and new driver and front-passenger knee airbags.

New Pilot Features:

  • Rugged exterior design

  • All-new 3.5-litre DOHC V6 engine is more powerful

  • New second-generation i-VTM4™ torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system improves off-road capability

  • More modern and comfortable interior

  • Class-leading overall passenger space

  • First-in-class multi-function removable second-row middle seat provides three discrete seating options (Touring, Black Edition)

  • Increased cargo volume

  • Standard digital instrumentation

  • 10.2-inch digital instrument display (Touring, Black Edition)

  • 9-inch HD touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ compatibility (EX-L, TrailSport, Touring, Black Edition)

  • Standard 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ compatibility (Sport)

  • New Sport, Tow, and Trail driving modes of 7 available modes

  • Standard Honda Sensing® system with new wide-view camera and radar

  • Standard Hill Descent Control

  • Next-gen front passenger airbag designed to reduce potential for traumatic brain and neck injuries

  • Standard driver and front-passenger knee airbags

  • Trail torque logic optimizes off-road performance of i-VTM4 torque vectoring all-wheel drive system (TrailSport)

New Tough-Looking Exterior
The all-new 4th-generation Pilot further advances the new rugged design direction of Honda light trucks with a tough new look and powerful stance. Complementing its off-road capabilities, Pilot's all-new styling is tough, aspirational and adventure-ready with a large, upright grille, a strong horizontal beltline and aggressively flared fenders. Pulled back A-pillars and long hood create a longer dash-to-axle ratio for a sportier profile.

A strong horizontal beltline highlights its increased overall length (+86mm longer), while a longer wheelbase and wider tracks give it a stronger, more aggressive presence. A sleek roof spoiler and new LED tail lights make the 4th-generation Pilot instantly recognizable from the rear.

The Sport trim features gloss black trim and grille bar, a chrome exhaust garnish, standard black roof rails, front fog lights and Shark Grey 7-spoke 20-inch wheels. EX-L adds flash with chrome trim and grille bar and machined 5-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels.

Pilot Touring features an even more upscale design with premium exterior finishes, including a gloss black grille mesh and B-pillar, dual chrome exhaust garnishes and distinct 7-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels with a machined-finish

Pilot Black Edition adds gloss black trim and grille bar, 20-inch 7-spoke gloss black wheels, gloss black mirror caps, gloss black door garnish, gloss black rear bumper garnish, and Black Edition badging.

The Pilot will be available with a new HPD Package for those looking to take Pilot's rugged new styling even further. Created in collaboration with Honda Performance Development (HPD), it includes 20″ matte black alloy HPD wheels, fender flares, side skid plate, HPD decals and HPD badging.

Modern, Spacious Interior
With clean surfacing, sophisticated materials and premium touches, Pilot's all-new modern interior builds on the Honda design direction to create the most upscale Honda SUV ever. A clean, uncluttered instrument panel top reduces windshield reflections and improves outward visibility.

Pilot is also more comfortable and spacious, with class-leading passenger space and notably more rear seat legroom in the second and third rows. New Body Stabilizing front seats reduce fatigue over long drives. Second-row legroom is up 60mm and the second-row seats feature up to 10 degrees of recline angle (+4 degrees) for increased comfort. Additional forward tilt range improves entry and exit to the more comfortable third row, which gains 16mm of additional legroom.

On-demand 8-occupant flexibility gives Pilot Touring and Black Edition an extra level of versatility. In the second row, a first-in-class multi-function removable middle seat can be conveniently stored underneath the rear cargo floor instead of left at home in the garage. Families then have the seat available if they need it later in their journey, providing owners three distinct seating options at any time:

  • A traditional second row bench for 3-across seating and 8-passenger total capacity (middle seat up)

  • A captain's chair-style wide centre armrest with additional drink holders (middle seat down)

  • Wide pass-through for access to the third row (middle seat removed), particularly useful when child seats are installed in the outboard second-row seats.

Pilot is also the only vehicle in its class with 8-passenger seating and an opening panoramic moonroof, which is standard on TrailSport, Touring and Black Edition. Heated seats and steering wheel are standard across the lineup.

The 2023 Pilot has the most cargo room in the model's history, with up to 3219 litres behind the first row and 635 litres1 behind the third row. Expanded cabin storage includes a massive console bin that can swallow a full-size tablet, the return of Pilot's clever passenger-side instrument panel shelf, and 14 large-volume cupholders throughout the cabin, including eight that will fit wide 32 oz water bottles.

Smart Technology
Intuitive easy-to-use technology has been smartly integrated into Pilot's new modern cabin, including a digital instrument display, standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility and an available, notably larger, touchscreen. 

A standard 7-inch digital instrument panel features an all-digital tachometer on the left and a physical speedometer on the right side. The display also features user-selectable functions such as Honda Sensing® settings, vehicle information and more. Exclusive to Touring and Black Edition configurable 10.2-inch digital instrument display with multi-view camera system paired with a colour head-up display. 

A new 7-inch touchscreen audio system is standard on Sport with physical knobs for volume and tuning, and a simplified menu structure. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility are standard. A large multi-use tray ahead of the shifter can accommodate two smartphones side-by side and features two standard illuminated USB ports, a 2.5A USB-A and 3.0A USB-C ports. For second-row passengers, two 2.5A USB-A charging ports are standard. Touring and Black Edition add two 2.5A USB-A charging ports in the third row.

EX-L, TrailSport, Touring and Black Edition get a larger 9-inch colour touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility, a faster processor for lag-free performance and feature Qi-compatible wireless charging. The Touring and Black Edition's navigation system has also been simplified with new graphics and fewer menus. To make it easier to use when the vehicle is in motion, the screen is recessed slightly from the edge of the dash, resulting in a 20.3 mm finger rest that allows the user to steady their hand while making selections.

Touring and Black Edition models get a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system custom-engineered for the new interior. Featuring Bose Centerpoint technology, SurroundStage digital signal processing and a large 15.7-litre capacity subwoofer box, the new system places all passengers in the middle of the music, regardless of their seating position, with a clear listening experience.

More Power and Refinement
Pilot is Honda's most powerful V6 ever, producing 285 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque (both SAE net). Both the vehicle and the all-new 24-valve DOHC 3.5-litre V6 engine are made* at the company's auto plant in Lincoln, Alabama.

The all-aluminum V6 features a unique block and low-profile cylinder heads with high-tumble ports and a narrow 35-degree valve angle for better combustion. The low-profile design of the new DOHC cylinder heads also allowed a more compact rocker arm and hydraulic lash adjuster design. Honda engineers also did away with separate cam bearing caps and instead incorporated the caps directly into the valve cover itself. The result is a 30 mm reduction in overall cylinder head height. The new design also reduces the number of parts. Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) improves fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. 

Performance is further enhanced by a refined and responsive 10-speed automatic transmission that has been tuned exclusively for Pilot. Paddle shifters are standard for manual control, making Pilot more fun-to-drive.

Pilot also introduces the second-generation of Honda's award-winning torque vectoring i-VTM4™ all-wheel drive system. Standard on all trims, the new and more capable system features a stronger rear differential that can handle 40% more torque and provides 30% faster response, optimizing traction in all driving scenarios, especially slick conditions and off-road. Up to 70% of the engine's torque can be sent to the rear axle, and 100% of that torque can be distributed to either the left or right rear wheel.

Five standard selectable drive modes optimize the driving experience for various conditions: Normal, Econ, Snow, plus new Sport and Tow modes. TrailSport, Touring and Black Edition also feature a new Sand mode and a new Trail mode which optimize Pilot's capabilities off-road.

Pilot can tow as much as 2,268 kilograms which is more than enough for most boats, campers or "toy" trailers that serve as the key to adventure for most customers.

Sporty Yet Comfortable Dynamics
A sportier and more engaging driving experience was created through an all-new chassis and Pilot's stiffest body structure ever. The extremely rigid platform was engineered with TrailSport's true off-road capabilities in mind from the very beginning, which also benefits the ride, handling and overall refinement of the entire Pilot lineup with a 60% increase in front lateral rigidity and a 30% increase in rear lateral rigidity.

Based on Honda's new light truck architecture, Pilot's wheelbase has been extended to 2891 mm for a smoother ride, and significantly wider tracks (+29-31mm in the front and +35-38mm the rear) improve stability.

Retuned MacPherson struts in front and an all-new rear multilink suspension make Pilot more fun-to-drive with confident, agile and precise handling, while simultaneously improving ride quality. Front vertical stiffness is increased 8%, rear longitudinal stiffness is up 29%, and overall roll stiffness climbs 12%.

Pilot's confidence-inspiring dynamics are also enhanced by a revised variable steering ratio that quickens response and optimized front strut geometry for sharper handling and agility around town, and more fun on a twisty backroad. Steering feel and stability are now top-of-class with a new, stiffer steering column and stiffer torsion bar enhancing communication with the driver.

Pilot's stopping power is also increased with larger front brake rotors (from 320mm to 350mm) and larger calipers. A reduced overall pedal stroke and improved heat resistance improve driver confidence in all driving situations and conditions, especially in emergency situations and on wet or snowy roads and trails.

Honda's first Hill Descent Control system debuted on the 2023 HR-V and 2023 CR-V earlier this year, and it's now standard on every Pilot. The system increases off-road capability with more control on steep, slippery declines of 7% or more allowing drivers to select speeds between 3 and 30km/h.

Additional acoustical spray foam insulation, fender liners, thicker carpet and other sound absorbing technologies reduce wind, road and powertrain noise, for a more refined driving experience.

All-New Pilot TrailSport
With even more rugged design and exclusive off-road hardware, including a new trail torque logic off-road system, the all-new Pilot TrailSport is an authentic, off-road capable SUV that has been tested on a variety of challenging terrain.

Exclusive to TrailSport, an available new Diffused Sky Pearl blue paint colour highlights its rugged design and adventurous spirit. In the cabin, TrailSport stands out with rugged details including exclusive orange contrast stitching and headrests embroidered with the TrailSport logo. A new sliding panoramic sunroof is standard.

The new Pilot TrailSport backs up its rugged design with top class off-road performance. TrailSport is the only Pilot with an off-road tuned suspension that includes a 25mm lift for additional ground clearance and increased approach, departure, and break-over angles. Unique stabilizer bars are optimized for articulation and off-road ride comfort; spring rates and damper valve tuning are also exclusive to TrailSport.

Pilot TrailSport is also the first Honda SUV with all-terrain tires for additional off-road traction and robust skid plates to protect its underbody from damage on the trail. TrailSport's standard Continental TerrainContact AT (265/60R18) tires are extremely capable in sand, mud, rocky terrain and snow, but still quiet and comfortable on the road. Unique 18-inch wheels with a rugged look are carefully designed with inset spokes to protect them from trail damage and the TrailSport logo cast in the thick, outer flange.

Designed in cooperation with Honda Powersports engineers, the thick steel skid plates protecting Pilot TrailSport's oil pan, transmission and gas tank can support the entire weight of the vehicle crashing down on a rock. Stout recovery points rated at twice Pilot TrailSport's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) are cleverly integrated into the front skid plate and the tow hitch situated behind TrailSport's full-size spare tire.

In Trail mode, TrailSport's exclusive trail torque logic off-road system manages the i-VTM4 torque vectoring all-wheel drive system's distribution of the engine torque based on available traction while simultaneously utilizing the front brakes individually to apply brake vectoring – reducing wheelspin and maintaining traction.

Trail torque logic also controls the amount of power going to the rear axle in certain situations, like climbing a tough off-road trail with V-ditches that can cause a tire to lose contact to the ground temporarily, as much as 75% of available power is routed to the individual tire with the most traction. For greater traction and smoother progress up the trail, the remaining 25% torque potential is sent to the non-tractive tire to allow immediate transfer of drive force once that tire contacts the ground.

Trail torque logic – how it works:

  1. One side of rear axle loses ground contact

  2. Trail torque logic control detects condition

  3. Rear axle torque increased

  4. Drive force transfers to the wheel with the most traction

  5. Low traction wheel maintains torque potential to allow immediate transfer of drive force once ground contact is made

To quantify target metrics and off-road performance, Honda engineers also developed a new proprietary off-road capability rating system in cooperation with the Nevada Automotive Test Center (NATC), a pioneer in off-road testing.

Top-Of-Class Safety Performance and Features
The 4th-generation Pilot is a class-leader in SUV standard safety features and performance thanks to advanced active and passive safety technology that includes the latest version of Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) architecture, world's first airbag technology and an expanded Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver assistive technologies.

ACE™ now features a new structure optimized and integrated into front sub-frame and side-frame that improves Pilot's crash compatibility with smaller vehicles and occupant protection in oblique frontal collisions. Targeting today's Top Safety Pick+ and NHTSA 5-star ratings, Pilot is designed to meet the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) Side Impact Crashworthiness Evaluation (SICE) 2.0 as well as anticipated future standards.

Pilot features eight standard airbags, including a next-gen passenger-side front airbag that uses a three-chamber design with the two outer chambers designed to cradle the head and minimize rotation to minimize the potential for severe brain trauma associated with oblique frontal collisions. Front knee airbags are also standard.

Standard Rear Seatbelt Reminder and Rear Seat Reminder systems are also new to Pilot; the latter notifies drivers to check the rear seating area for children, pets or other precious cargo when exiting the vehicle.

Pilot Manufacturing
The new fourth-generation Pilot and Pilot TrailSport will continue to be built* exclusively at Honda's Lincoln, Alabama, auto plant, continuing the 40-year legacy of Honda's commitment to build products close to the customer. Since 2006, Honda has produced more than 2 million Pilot in the U.S. 

* using domestic and globally-sourced parts

To subscribe to the latest Honda Canada news and updates, please visit www.hondanews.ca.  

About Honda Canada

Honda Canada Inc. was founded in 1969 and is the parent company for both Honda and Acura vehicle brands in Canada. Since 1986, the company has produced Honda engines and almost 10 million cars and light trucks at its Alliston, Ontario manufacturing facilities, where the Honda Civic and Honda CR-V are currently built. Honda Canada has invested over $6.5 billion in Canada, and each year sources over $3 billion in goods and services from Canadian suppliers. Since its inception, Honda Canada has sold over five million Honda and Acura passenger cars and light trucks in Canada through a dealer network of more than 280 dealerships across the country. For more information, please visit www.hondacanada.ca.

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1. Honda products are made with domestic and globally sourced parts.

1. Based on SAE J1100 cargo volume measurement standard plus, where applicable, floor space between seating rows, seats in their forward-most and upright position, and underfloor storage.

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