Minor changes are coming for the 2021 Pilot. The COVID-19 outburst slowed down the development of the new model. So, the redesign will miss the 2022 YM and the new vehicle is going to appear as the 2023 Honda Pilot. The last time when the Japanese carmaker updated its flagship SUV, it caused a lot of interest in the automotive world. Can the Pilot do it again?
Fans hope so. The SUV is still one of the best mid-size three-row models out there. But, the outdated look, outside and inside, slowed down the sales and interest. The complete redesign of the 2023 Honda Pilot will light the fire in this segment again. The SUV will be back with a more aggressive appearance, advanced features, especially safety and driver-aid systems. Finally, the Honda Pilot Hybrid should debut. We read a lot of rumors and this drivetrain was supposed to arrive a long time ago. Now, Honda has some catching up to do. Toyota and Ford are already storming the mid-size market with their hybrid models.
What’s New for the 2023 Honda Pilot?
Honda is always trying to keep its vehicle modern. Designers are always after interesting ideas. For example, the new model for 2021 brought the Special Edition. Also, the company included a unique shade of white color for the Black Edition(?!).
Heavily camouflaged test mules were caught several times. However, none of the previous versions of Pilot SUV haven’t brought major changes. Well, we might have been tricked with the Passport, a slightly smaller SUV with the same styling like Pilot. But now, it is definitely time for big updates, in and out.
Again, prototypes were on the streets, but the last spy photos are pretty old. It seems like the company paused the development of the vehicle due to the coronavirus. That makes us thinking of the 2023 Honda Pilot, rather than the 2022 YM. The redesign is certain, although the SUV had two minor facelifts, in 2017 and 2019.
The exterior is there to draw the attention, but interior features and powertrains are selling vehicles. Honda is already offering a great set of packages and accessories. But, in two years, new technologies and options must be included. The company is working on the next-gen infotainment system. As the flagship model, the 2023 Honda Pilot might get it as one of the highlights.
Still, buyers must be impressed by the look of the cabin in first place. A three-row layout continues to be offered, but we hear that buyers will be able to cut the rear bench and turn the SUV into a five-seater. This is not going to be the only option, since the captain’s chairs can replace the bench in the middle row and provide more comfort. Of course, higher trim levels are going to bring such an option. Even if the three-row layout cannot be replaced, the 2023 Honda Pilot will remain a versatile SUV with the rear-seat folding function and reclining of the middle row that can provide extra space for cargo. Maximum cargo space is already above 110 cu.ft. and the upcoming changes can put the 2023 Pilot on par with some full-size SUVs and their interior volumes.
A 3.5-liter V6 engine is one of the reasons why the Pilot is so popular. We can’t imagine the company replacing this unit. It produces 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque and makes the SUV tow up to 5,000 pounds. Interestingly, the power is being sent to front wheels, although many rivals are using the RWD by default. The fuel economy is one of the reasons why you should consider the 2023 Honda Pilot as a budget-friendly family vehicle. It returns 20/27 mpg. After the redesign, where lighter materials will be used, leading to the overall weight drop, the average mpg rating can go up. Optionally, a nine-speed automatic transmission can spread power to all wheels. This will harm the fuel economy by 1 point, and towing capacity (max 3,500 pounds with AWD).
2023 Honda Pilot Hybrid
In 2020, we saw the test mule with the opening above the front wheel. This started rumors about the Pilot PHEV version. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic made the Japanese company pause the development. So, this is one of the first indications of what to expect from the 2023 Honda Pilot. In the mid-size SUV segment, we can already find hybrid versions of the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer. Jeep Wrangler PHEV is also one of the hot models we expect to see soon. Honda will have to join the race. Also, this is the next step towards complete electrification.
When Will 2023 Honda Pilot Be Available?
With the pause and postpone of the redesign, we can expect the 2022 YM without key changes. That leaves more room for designers and engineers to work on all the abovementioned changes for the following season. The company might introduce the 2023 Honda Pilot concept already in 2021, but not before the final quarter of the year.