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Finally, you can take a family of seven out on the trails in a Honda SUV. If you’ve had to play rock, paper, scissors, or snuck out of the house because you only had five seats and seven people, you’ll be glad to see what the 2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport offers. Now, the question is, where can you go in the wilderness with this Honda SUV?

Is the 2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport a Jeep Wrangler competitor?

2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport Front Grille View
2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport Front Grille View | Honda

No, don’t expect the smooth-riding family-focused Honda SUV to suddenly take on the hardcore off-road qualities of a Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco. Instead, this new three-row off-road trim competes with:

  • Toyota Highlander
  • Kia Telluride
  • Hyundai Palisade

To a lesser degree, this new Honda SUV trim also competes with:

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee L
  • Ford Explorer

We say a lesser degree because of the off-road focus the Grand Cherokee L and Explorer can bring that the Highlander, Telluride, Palisade, and Pilot Trailsport do not possess.

Did Honda take the 2023 Pilot Trailsport testing mule to some insane locations?

2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport Testing Mule on a cliff trail while testing
2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport Testing Mule is in there somewhere | Honda

Yes, they sure did. MotorTrend showed photos provided by Honda that have the testing mule out on some rocky ridges riding around like a true off-roader. The photo above shows the SUV in a sort of “Where’s Waldo” view where you’ve got to find the vehicle amidst the terracotta rock face.

What will this new Pilot SUV add for off-road driving?

The new 2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport will include:

  • All-terrain tires
  • Steel skid plates
  • An off-road tuned suspension
  • Improved AWD system

What powertrain does the 2023 Honda Pilot SUV offer?

Honda Pilot Trailsport testing mule clad in camo
Honda Pilot Testing SUV | Honda

We expect the current 3.5-liter V6 engine to continue for the 2023 Pilot. There are rumors that Honda could add a hybrid variant, but that’s yet unconfirmed. Even though we’ve already crossed into the fall of this year, we expect the release of the new Pilot generation to give us more information regarding the statistics for this SUV.

Does this mean we don’t have a conclusion regarding this off-road Honda SUV?

Yes, unfortunately, it’s hard to judge and understand just how hardcore the new 2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport can be without more information. Will this Honda have more off-road credentials than the Highlander, Telluride, or Palisade, or will it fall short in its class?

Will future Pilot models offer better off-road credentials?

Light Blue 2023 Honda Passport Trailsport
2023 Honda Passport Trailsport | Honda

It’s possible that future models of the Pilot Trailsport might have more off-road features. Honda is developing a more hardcore version of the Passport Trailsport, which is a two-row off-road SUV that shares much of the packaging and equipment with the Pilot. Once completed, some of the items that work well for the shorter Passport could appear in the Pilot. This is yet another unconfirmed element of the conversation.

What do we actually know about the 2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport?

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport teaser
2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport teaser | Honda

Let’s see; we know the Trailsport trim is being added to the Pilot lineup and that Honda has tested this SUV in some tough wilderness locations. That’s truly about all we really know about this new three-row SUV that could be your off-road choice in the future. It looks like we’re all waiting for the final spec from Honda.

Next, check out the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, or watch this 2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport video below:


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