Should the Honda Pilot come back to the Philippines?

by Anton Andres | Nov 16, 2022
2023 Honda Pilot Elite
PHOTO: Honda
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Honda is on the offensive when it comes to crossovers lately. In just a few years, the Japanese automaker debuted all-new versions of the BR-V, HR-V, CR-V, and more recently, the WR-V. Not content with that, Honda also introduced the fourth-generation Pilot.

For those who remember, Honda Cars Philippines sold all three generations of the Pilot here until a few years ago. But with the redesigned model ready for US distribution, does it deserve a comeback here? Let’s see what the new model has to offer.

How does the all-new Honda Pilot look like?

2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport front

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The 2023 Pilot follow Honda’s current design language with a sizable grille at the front that are flanked by slim headlights on each side. Honda says the look is bolder and more SUV-like than before, and they emphasize that with more chiseled bumper corners and thicker body cladding. Honda also squared-off the edges for the 2023 Pilot, and we see more defined lines on the body.

2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport rear

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As for the rear, it does remind us of the previous-generation Ford Everest. That’s not a bad thing per se, though, as that was a handsome-looking SUV. But for those who want a beefier look, the Pilot also gets the Trailsport package. It includes a factory lift kit, all-terrain tires, thicker body cladding, and even an underbody skidplate. Honda even says the Trailsport is the most off-road capable Pilot to date.

The trim levels for the 2023 Honda Pilot are as follows (and in order): Sport (base), EX-L(mid), TrailSport (off-road), Touring and Elite (top of the line).

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What about the inside?

2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport interior

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Inside, the cabin follows the theme set by the Civic, HR-V, and CR-V. Mind you, it’s been given a more ‘macho’ look thanks to a thicker-looking dashboard and hexagonal air-conditioning vents. Honda also added a shelf on the passenger side of the dashboard. Handy.

The seats are worth a mention in the all-new Honda Pilot too. The automaker calls it Body Stabilizing front seats and it aims to reduce fatigue over long drives. Of course, an SUV of this size should have a large cargo area. Honda responds to that need by having a maximum volume of up to 3,219 liters. If you’re curious, the new Pilot has 14 cupholders on board too.

Let’s talk performance

2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport off-road

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When it comes to the engine, the 2023 Honda Pilot uses the familiar 3.5-liter V6, but it gets uprated this time around. Horsepower is at 285hp while torque is 355Nm for the new Pilot, and it shifts with a new 10-speed automatic transmission. The standard drivetrain is front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available in all variants.

Additionally, the i-VTM4 all-wheel drive system is standard on the two top-spec trims. Five standard selectable drive modes optimize the driving experience for various conditions: Normal, Econ, Snow, plus new Sport and Tow modes. The updated Sand mode and a new Trail mode optimize Pilot's capabilities off-road, says Honda.

Anything else?

2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport off-road

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All models feature a standard 7-inch digital instrument panel with an all-digital tachometer on the left and an analog speedometer on the right side. The luxury-themed Elite variant has a configurable 10.2-inch digital instrument display with multi-view camera system paired with a color head-up display.

Lower trims get a new seven-inch touchscreen audio system, while mid and higher-spec models get a larger nine-inch display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are standard but higher trims are upgraded to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also, the Touring and Elite models get a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system custom-engineered for the new interior.

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PHOTO: Honda
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