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In the highly competitive midsize SUV segment, two of the leading choices are the Honda Pilot and the Ford Explorer. Both models have some positive attributes, but for the 2023 model year, there’s something that gives the Pilot an edge. The 2023 Honda Pilot has one big advantage over the 2023 Ford Explorer: a wonderful redesign.

2023 Honda Pilot has a redesign, but the 2023 Ford Explorer hasn’t had one in 3 years

Front angle view of red 2023 Honda Pilot midsize SUV
2023 Honda Pilot | Honda

In recent years, the 2023 Ford Explorer has dominated the 2023 Honda Pilot on the sales charts. While the Pilot has been a solid all-around family SUV, it was starting to get outdated. 

However, the script has been flipped for the new model year. The Pilot has a redesign that makes it much better. If you desire the latest and greatest for the midsize SUV segment, then the all-new fourth-generation Pilot is worth a closer look. Conversely, the Explorer hasn’t been redesigned in three years. 

The redesigned Pilot has a more rugged look than the outgoing model, with truck-like styling and a boxier shape. For a sense of sportiness, there are the pulled-back A-pillars and a long hood. Also, for the rear section, the midsize SUV has a body-colored roof spoiler and new LED taillights. 

2023 Pilot provides more interior space than the 2023 Explorer

Front angle view of white 2023 Ford Explorer midsize SUV
2023 Ford Explorer | Ford

Another element of the redesign for the 2023 Honda Pilot is a size increase. It’s bigger than the outgoing model. The 2023 Pilot is 3.4 inches longer, with a longer wheelbase and a wider track width. In addition to giving the midsize SUV more aggressive styling, the size increase results in more interior space. 

Honda claims that the redesigned Pilot has best-in-class overall passenger space. It can seat up to eight passengers, compared to seven for the 2023 Ford Explorer. Also, the Pilot provides a generous amount of storage space. It has a rear cargo capacity of 22.4 cu-ft and a maximum cargo capacity of 113.7 cu-ft, compared to 18.2/87.8 cu-ft for the Explorer. Additionally, there are useful storage compartments and many cup holders in the Pilot.

Plus, the cabin of the Pilot is more modern and upscale than the Explorer. It’s technologically sophisticated with a liberal use of premium features.

Features that the Honda Pilot offers — but are not available in the Ford Explorer


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Furthermore, the 2023 Pilot offers features that are not available in the 2023 Explorer. For a more comfortable ride, it has new body-stabilizing seats, which reduce fatigue on long excursions. Also, to amplify your voice when talking to the rear passengers, it has a CabinTalk feature. 

Additionally, the tire fill assist function makes it easier to fill the midsize SUV’s air with tires. Plus, it has a traffic sign recognition feature. When nearing a traffic sign on the road, an icon of the sign displays on the Pilot’s digital interface. 

The CabinTalk feature is standard for the EX-L and above trims, while the other features are standard for all Pilot trims. Conversely, you can’t get any of these features in the Explorer.

The 2023 Honda Pilot has an outstanding redesign, which gives it a big advantage over the 2023 Ford Explorer. When deciding which midsize SUV to get, this is an important consideration.