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The Honda Pilot release date is Monday, Dec. 12, which means that dealers will finally be able to sell the new larger and more powerful Pilot. Honda has revamped many of its new SUVs for the 2023 model year, including the small HR-V, the mid-sized CR-V and the large Pilot. While the HR-V and CR-V are leaning on efficiency and hybrid tech for sales, the 2023 Pilot is taking a different tack with a larger footprint and more power.

Are 2023 Honda Pilots available?

2023 Honda Pilot in blue on dirt
The 2023 Honda Pilot | Honda

The new Honda Pilot SUV should be available at dealerships on Monday, Dec. 12, according to Honda. The new Pilot is Honda’s volley into the hip world of large, off-road ready, SUVs. While big American SUVs like the Chevy Tahoe or Ford Explorer have come nearly overlander ready for years, the Pilot was always seen as more capable of tackling the mean streets of the local suburbs. The new styling, and capability, of the 2023 Pilot could change that perspective.

Honda is debuting a new 3.5-liter V6 engine in the Pilot that will be paired to a new 10-speed transmission to keep that power flowing.  While it doesn’t achieve the gas mileage of smaller SUVs, like the CR-V, at 19 city and 22 highway, the V6 puts out slightly more power than the V6 in the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride with similar mpg figures.

The 2023 Honda Pilot is all new, and designed to be more rugged

2023 Honda Pilot off-road
Honda Pilot Trailsport | Honda

The new Pilot isn’t a refresh. Instead, the company built an entirely-new chassis for the new power train. Honda says that the new Pilot was designed to be off-road ready from the start and the target was to make the off-road Trailsport version capable. The new Pilot also has the latest version of Honda’s all-wheel drive system, called the i-VTM4, that has a stronger and quicker-responding rear differential to help when you’re off the pavement. However, it’s also available as a family-friendly seven- or eight-passenger SUV.

Though the new Honda Pilot is designed for off-roading, the fact that the all-wheel drive Trailsport version isn’t called the “Off Road Sport,” says a bit more about the design brief. Some SUVs, like the similarly priced Grand Cherokee or Toyota 4Runner, have traditional four-wheel drive, instead of all-wheel drive, systems. It may not sound like a huge difference, and for most trail pounding the Honda’s system will be fine. But hard-core off-roaders will scoff.

How much is a new 2023 Honda Pilot?

interior of the 2023 Honda Pilot
2023 Honda Pilot interior | Honda

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Honda says the new Pilot prices will start at $39,150 for the front-wheel drive Sport version. For the first time, Honda is labeling the Pilot as either an 8-Occupant or a 7-Occupant version. The seven-passenger version has two captain’s chairs in the middle and $300 to the price. The top-line Touring and Trailsport and Elite trims cost around $50,000. Destination charges are $1,295 and all-wheel drive is a $2,100 option on all trims.

While Honda is taking a page out of the Toyota playbook and adding a special HPD version with decals and fender flares, it’s simply an appearance package.