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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

Honda's 3-Row Goes Rugged! 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport

This summer, Honda lent us their Passport TrailSport, the rugged version of their 2-row family hauler that is based on the Pilot platform. However, this November at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Honda showed off their first-ever Pilot TrailSport to massive crowds.

We liked the Passport just fine as it was a perfect size for our family of three and provided an excellent vehicle for a 7-hour drive to South Padre Island. Sadly, we felt the TrailSport badge to be a little lacking in what it offered in off-road goodies. With what amounts to wheels, tires, and orange interior stitching, the TrailSport was little more than an appearance package in our opinion, albeit a rugged appearance package.

Honda corrects this with their 2023 Pilot TrailSport, the largest and most powerful Honda SUV ever produced. Built with Honda’s new more boxy and rugged styling, the TrailSport adds all-terrain tires, steel skid plates, higher ground clearance, an off-road-tuned suspension, and more. Clearly, Honda is taking what worked well for the smaller Passport and upping the ante with the new Pilot.

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 wheel spin and maintaining traction. We barely got to test the system in the Passport, but look forward to butting this Pilot through its paces soon.

A new TrailWatch camera uses for exterior cameras to help drivers navigate obstacles outside their natural line of sight. When driving In Trail mode at speeds below 15 mph, the forward view camera automatically turns on but will deactivate if speeds rise. TrailWatch will automatically reactivate if the vehicle dips below 12 mph, allowing the driver to focus on the terrain and not on searching for a camera button on the dash.

2023 Honda Pilot models are hitting dealer lots now.

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport Specs:

  • 3.5L V6 Engine

  • 285 Horsepower

  • 262 lb-ft of Torque

  • 10-Speed Automatic Transmission

  • 5,000 lbs Towing Capacity

  • Second Generation i-VTM4™ Torque-Vectoring All Wheel Drive

  • 7 Available Drive Modes Including Sport, Tow, and Trail

  • Standard Hill Descent Control

  • TrailWatch Camera System

  • Seating for 7

  • 9-inch HD Touchscreen Infotainment with wireless Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ Connectivity

  • Standard Digital Gauge Cluster

  • Standard Honda Sensing® with New Wide-view Camera and Radar

  • Passive Keyless Entry

  • EPA Fuel Economy 18/23/20 (city/hwy/combined)

  • Starting MSRP $48,350 (TrailSport)

  • Price as tested: $50,040 (est.)

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