Road Test: 2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport

The Honda Pilot, the largest SUV in the Japanese automaker’s lineup in Canada, is all new for 2023, and that includes the introduction of the TrailSport trim, which we recently tested.

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport

While all Pilot trims are capable of going off the beaten path, the TrailSport adds even more off-road capabilities. That includes a specially tuned suspension and increased ground clearance, as well as skid plates. The all-wheel drive system enhanced in the TrailSport, and the trim gets all-terrain tires outfitted to its 18-inch wheels.

Pricing for the Pilot starts at $50,650 for the Sport trim, all the way up to $62,850 for the Black Edition. The TrailSport comes with a price tag just north of $60,000 with freight added in.

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport

Powertrain: The Pilot lineup is powered by the same 3.4-litre V6 engine, a relatively smooth powerplant that produces 285 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.

It is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission and an Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4) AWD system.

Fuel efficiency for the Pilot TrailSport is estimated at 11.8 litres per 100 kilometres, but I did not better than 12.6 L/100 km.

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport

Exterior: The fully redesigned Pilot grows in size and the fourth generation is the largest Pilot ever.

Despite that, the redesign also makes it the most attractive generation of this popular SUV and it does not ever appear overly large.

Our tester was painted in a very eye-catching Diffused Sky Pearl (blue) paint, well worth the $300 as it definitely gives the Pilot a bit more pizazz. That colour is only available on the TrailSport models.

It also makes the black trim and wheels pop a bit more, which makes the Pilot looks sporty. They include gloss black roof rails, front grille, and door handles.

The TrailSport logo is embedded in the front grille and on the rear hatch. And I like the way the model’s name is spelled out in big letters across the centre of the tailgate.

Interior: The Pilot’s cabin is quite spacious and the three-row SUV, in TrailSport trim, seats seven comfortably (some other trims can seat eight) as it features second-row Captain’s chairs.

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport

The TrailSport features exclusive orange contrast stitching in the cabin, which I like, as well headrests embroidered with the TrailSport logo. Also standard on this trim is a sliding panoramic sunroof.

The third-row seating is definitely on the tight side, while getting back there is also not the easiest of tasks.

But the first and second row of seats are quite comfortable, and when not in use, the third row folds flat to open up a massive amount of cargo area.

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport

Infotainment: The TrailSport features a 9-inch infotainment screen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (both wired and wireless), as well as wireless device charging and satellite radio. It comes with a nine-speaker audio system, and a subwoofer.

The system itself is easy to operate, through a few simple physical controls next to the side of the screen, or via the touchscreen.

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport

Drive: For such a large vehicle, the Pilot was actually an enjoyable drive. The engine delivers sufficient power for all your needs, and the vehicle’s settings can be optimized via a drive mode selector.

The Pilot has five unique modes: Normal, Econ, Snow, Sport, and Tow modes. The TrailSport, however, add a Sand mode for more off-road capabilities.

In the city and on the highway, the Pilot TrailSport is a comfortable ride, and steering response is good.

Conclusion: The latest generation of the Pilot has a lot of nice qualities going for it, and the additional capabilities of the TrailSport could make it even more attractive to consumers who require more than just a large SUV for the city.

The redesigned model also looks very sharp, while the unique colour of our tester makes it stand out a bit in a sea of white, grey, and black it seems.

2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport
Price as tested: $60,884.00
Freight: $2,000.00
Configuration: Front engine/All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.4-litre V6/ 10-speed automatic
Power/torque: 285 horsepower/ 262 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (70 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 11.8 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 12.6 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic)
Competitors:, Ford Explorer, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Subaru Ascent, Toyota 4Runner
Website: Honda Canada

Translate »