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The redesigned 2023 Honda Pilot received multiple improvements in interior quality and powertrain options. It now has slightly more horsepower and a longer transmission. The relatively new Honda Pilot Trailsport also received a suspension lift, giving it 8.3 inches of total ground clearance. However, despite these tweaks, Honda still fails to address the problems most owners had with the previous generation. If you plan on buying a used one soon, you might want to consider these real Honda Pilot owners’ dislikes.

Honda Pilot owners wish it got better gas mileage 

A light blue Honda Pilot driving in a wooded area on a dirt road.
2023 Honda Pilot | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda Pilot received the most complaints in the fuel economy portion of the 2022 J.D. Power APEAL (Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout) study. The outgoing model only has one engine option, a 280-hp V6 with standard front-wheel-drive. It’s rated for 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, while opting for all-wheel drive drops its mileage to 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

For 2023, the Honda Pilot’s gas mileage is slightly worse. Front-wheel drive models earn 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. All-wheel drive Pilots have the same city mileage but only achieve an estimated 25 mpg on the highway. 

Despite that, J.D. Power editors assure us that the Pilot’s overall driving experience has definitely improved. The new ten-speed transmission operates smoothly, and the V6’s acceleration never falters. The 2023 Honda Pilot also offers quick braking responses, steering wheel inputs, and agreeable ride quality. 

The Honda Pilot’s infotainment system might be a hassle

Regardless of trim, every 2022 Honda Pilot has an 8-in center touchscreen. On the redesigned Honda Pilot, the two cheapest models have a 7-in touchscreen and an analog gauge cluster. Higher trims can have a 9-in touchscreen with wireless smartphone integration instead of the standard tethered connection. There’s also an optional digital gauge cluster, but it’s only standard on the Honda Pilot Elite.

J.D. Power didn’t have any complaints about the new system’s interface, and most of the standard infotainment features work as advertised. However, on trims with the 9-in touchscreen, the audio control knobs are smaller and more annoying to use.

Critics and drivers disagree about the Honda Pilot’s seat access

Getting in and out of the car was one of the biggest problem areas on the Pilot’s APEAL study. However, J.D. Power editors claimed that the Honda Pilot never had a seat access problem. It still has the same wide door sills as before and, for 2023, a bigger third row that can seat adults more comfortably.

Honda also improved rear-row access for this model year by adding a removable middle seat in the second row. Once removed, it can be stored neatly inside the hidden storage compartment under the Pilot’s cargo floor. This feature is only included on the Touring and Elite trims.

However, J.D. Power acknowledged that the low placement of the driver’s seat could be a problem. While it was raised slightly on the 2023 Pilot, there are still no height adjustment features for the cabin’s passenger seat. 

Are the Honda Pilot’s complaints justified?

In terms of gas mileage, the Honda Pilot is actually on par with many of its rivals. In fact, it’s more efficient than the Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse. However, it’s hard to forgive the Honda Pilot’s basic infotainment system with many better options out there. Every Kia Telluride comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, plus a digital gauge cluster. 

Every midsize SUV should also have decent seat access, but the Honda Pilot still has mixed reviews in that aspect. Fortunately, the extra rear passenger space and removable seat should improve owner satisfaction in the future.