The New Generation Honda Pilot Brings More Power and Refinement for the 2023 Model Year

When you want more grunt and growl in the Honda Pilot than ever, you’ll want the 2023 version. This new generation model does more than simply add more power; it smoothly gives you that power, making this three-row midsize SUV the family vehicle you’ll love to drive.

How much more power does Honda give the Pilot for 2023?

Red 2023 Honda Pilot Driving on a Wilderness Trail in the Rain
2023 Honda Pilot | Honda

It’s only a small bump in power, but the new Pilot three-row midsize SUV brings five horsepower more than before. This puts the 24-valve DOHC 3.5-liter V6 engine at 285 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This all-new engine is built at the Honda plant in Lincoln, Alabama, which makes perfect sense for a more powerful SUV.

This new engine has fewer parts and better efficiency and emissions for the Pilot

Engine for the Honda Pilot for 2023
Engine for the Honda Pilot for 2023 | Hond

When you want to geek out about an engine, the new all-aluminum V6 under the hood of the Honda Pilot for 2023 is a good one to start with.

“This new engine has a unique block and low-profile cylinder heads with high-tumble ports and a narrow 35-degree valve angle for better combustion.”

Honda News Press Release November 7, 2022

The engineers deleted the separate cam bearing caps and reduced the cylinder height which reduces the number of parts used. The Variable Cylinder Management system improved fuel efficiency and improves emissions. The actual fuel economy numbers haven’t been released yet, but this engine promises excellent results.

How is this new powertrain for the Honda Pilot delivering the expected refinement for 2023?

Instead of the previous 9-speed automatic transmission from the previous generation, the new 2023 version of this three-row midsize SUV has a new 10-speed automatic transmission. This transmission is tuned perfectly for the new Pilot. If you want an added bit of fun to go along with the smoother ride, the powertrain comes with standard paddle shifters, giving you manual control during your drive.

The i-VTM4 system does things by the percentages for this three-row midsize SUV

Light Blue 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport Playing on dirt trails
2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport | Honda

The i-VTM4 AWD system from Honda has won awards, and now the second generation of this system is standard on the TrailSport and Elite trims. This system is now more capable than ever and does things by the percentages. This means:

  • A stronger rear differential capable of handling 40% more torque
  • 30% faster response time from the i-VTM4 system
  • Up to 70% of the engine torque can be sent to the rear axle
  • 100% of the torque at the rear axle can be shifted to either rear wheel as needed

Are there any other refinements for the Honda Pilot we see in 2023?

Blue 2023 Honda Pilot Elite Posed
Blue 2023 Honda Pilot Elite Posed | Honda

This new three-row Honda SUV has five standard driving modes to give you the settings you want for different conditions. These five modes are:

  • Normal
  • Econ
  • Snow
  • Sport
  • Tow

All models with the i-VTM4 AWD system add two more modes for excellent off-road driving capabilities. These two modes are Sand and Trail.

How much weight does the new generation of the Pilot SUV tow?

Previous Generation Honda Pilot Towing a Boat
Previous Generation Honda Pilot Towing a Boat | Honda

This new generation three-row midsize SUV tows up to 5,000 pounds. While that’s not equal to a pickup truck, it’s more than enough to pull most boats, campers, and small trailers to bring more gear wherever you go during your adventures.

Is this new Honda SUV a good vehicle to drive?

With more power, a refined transmission, several driving modes, and an improved AWD system, the Honda Pilot is much better for 2023 than any previous year. That said, MotorTrend reminds us that this Honda SUV doesn’t offer a hybrid powertrain like the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

The Pilot could be a great option for many families, offering a useful and comfortable three-row midsize SUV to handle nearly all driving needs.