2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport Gets Realistically Rendered Ahead of Debut

Honda can’t keep up with demand for its practical crossovers and is about to get another superstar, the 2023 Honda Pilot. Ahead of its debut, we’ve got some info on how it will compare to rivals from Toyota and Hyundai, as well as a rendering for the new TrailSport model.

Honda has been very active this year. We can’t stop talking about the new Civic, the Type and even the crossovers are good. Both the new HR-V and the CR-V look good and have great interiors with probably the best infotainment systems in the segment. The 2023 Pilot is their big sister, even though it doesn’t have “R-V” in the name.

We’re talking about an all-new model since the current generation came for the 2016MY. The fresh model has been under development at their Ohio facility for the past couple of years. All reports seem to indicate that the 2023 Pilot shares its platform with the MDX, which is maybe Acura’s best vehicle.

It’s yet unclear what that means for powertrains. Currently, the Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 280 horsepower. The MDX has one of those too, offering 290 hp, but it also has a Type S powertrain, receiving 355 hp from the 3.0-liter VTEC Turbo motor.

It doesn’t make sense to offer that in the new Pilot. However, Honda’s 2.0-liter turbo seems like an excellent fit. It’s probably the best four-cylinder turbo engine in the mid-sized sedan segment, efficient and very powerful, which is precisely what you’d want in a crossover.

Well, maybe except if you want a 2023 Pilot TrailSport. As the name suggests, this is the rugged version of the crossover, that one that doesn’t (only) drive to ballet classes. It’s got a slight lift and re-tuned suspension, “expanded all-wheel-drive system capabilities”, all-terrain tires, and a metal skid plate.

Most importantly, it’s also got a nice body kit, which is the subject of this rendering by the website Kolesa. They’ve proven quite accurate in the past. For example, here is their depiction of the new CR-V way before it came out. And while we do have another 2023 Pilot rendering, the TrailSport adds another dimension.

The styling of the 2023 Pilot was best summarized today by The Straight Pipes in their review of the smaller CR-V. In their words, Honda has gone from making crazy Gundams to “every car is going to look as good, as normal and least offensive as possible.”

Cosmetics packages for crossovers are becoming a huge source of automaker profit. Some are sporty, while others are off-road oriented, and the TrailSport is somewhere in the middle. Honda sold 143,000 of these SUVs last year, and many want that special piece of equipment to set them apart from their neighbors.

Since the next-gen Pilot debuts in fall 2022, we’d expect the new model to be in dealers come early 2023. Prices will start from around $43,000 for the regular models. However, the PilotSport will be near the middle of the pack, just shy of $50,000. And that’s before markups, obviously.

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