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We are spending a week with the new Honda Pilot to get to know it on a personal level. So far, after putting roughly 150 miles on the odometer, it’s been difficult to find anything to complain about. However, one common 2023 Honda Pilot question leads to one of its biggest potential flaws.

Is the 2023 Honda Pilot electric? 

The front of the 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport
2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

No, the 2023 Honda Pilot isn’t electric, and tons of people have asked that since we started our week with the TrailSport model. After we say no, we get a confused look that’s eventually shrugged off. 

Personally, I think I understand why. As I grew up in the 90s, there seemed to be a correlation between Honda vehicles and excellent fuel economy. To back this up, I looked up the 1993 Honda Civic, and it got an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined. 

The 2023 Honda Pilot isn’t nearly as good with its fuel. It gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and up to 27 mpg on the highway. But with our TrailSport model, we’re averaging about 18.2 mpg so far. 

This is after driving from Rock Hill, SC, to Asheville, NC, running errands around town, and light off-roading tests. To be fair, our road trip was primarily uphill, and slowly navigating off-roading trails can be rough on fuel. 

Plus, AWD, off-roading suspension upgrades and larger all-terrain tires can impact the fuel economy. We could have spent more time in Normal or Eco mode instead of Sport as well. 

However, what if the Honda Pilot Hybrid or PHEV emerged to help save fuel? The Honda CR-V Hybrid exists. Plus, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. 

What engine is in the 2023 Pilot? 

The 2023 Honda Pilot has one internal combustion engine option. The standard 3.5-liter V6 unit cranks out 285 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in roughly 6.6 seconds, which is exciting. 

It’s competitive against the Kia Telluride, with its 3.8-liter V6 engine that provides 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It reaches 60 mph in about 6.8 seconds and also doesn’t have a hybrid variant. 

When properly equipped, the Pilot can tow up to 5,000 lbs and carry a payload of up to 1,340 lbs. The Telluride can tow up to 5,000 lbs and carry a payload of up to 1,642 lbs. 

Also, the Kia Telluride gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and up to 26 mpg on the highway. With similar driving routes and off-roading, we got about 14.9 mpg. So, maybe the Pilot TrailSport has an advantage with rugged adventuring and road trips. 

What do we like about the Pilot so far? 

The 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport on a dirt road
2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

Most of our time has been spent in the front seat of the 2023 Honda Pilot so far. We still need to climb through the second and third rows like spider monkeys. But we discovered that the Pilot has a pretty smooth ride over the pavement and gravel. 

It’s smoother than the Toyota Sequoia in the wild. Plus, the country has record-breaking heat, but the climate control system in the Pilot can keep up. It quickly cools the entire cabin with vents in the second and third rows. 

The tech is very advanced and intuitive. It’s easy to connect wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. The digital guage cluster has the perfect layout with everything you need, including navigation at a glance. 

Also, the cabin talk audio feature helps you talk with passengers in the very back, and the off-roading camera displays are beneficial. 

There are storage bins and cubbies everywhere! There are so many places to put your wallet, keys, sunglasses, snacks, etc. 

Stay tuned for a full list of pros and cons, along with a full Pilot review. We’re still getting to know this redesigned SUV, and one of the only issues we’ve discovered so far involves the lackluster fuel economy.