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2023 Honda pilot trailsport Review

2023 Honda pilot trailsport Review

2023 Honda pilot trailsport Review

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2023 honda pilot trailsport

2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport Breaks Faux-Off-Road Fad

The Pilot TrailSport introduces hill-descent control. Its 2-to-12-mph speed range allowed us tiptoe through rutted trails. The TrailWatch camera system shows the driver any underbody-scraping issues ahead or nearby. We like that the windshield-wiper stalk button lets us switch between front, side, and 360-degree views in Trail mode. Multiple camera angles are like having a virtual spotter, but sometimes it helps to walk out and look.

The TrailSport's recovery points are rated for twice its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. The rear hookup is built into the regular trailer hitch, while the other is hooked to the Pilot's front skid plate under the chin. It's harder to access than Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk's front bumper tow hooks. Honda spokespersons said this was to maintain the Pilot's safety ratings.

At first, we wondered if Honda was just leading us into the woods on a goat path. The first barrier was a rutted and twisted terrain with large rocks. Rain from the night before made things slippery, making it harder. Without steel skid plates, the Pilot's engine, transmission, and fuel tank may have been damaged. We can tell that all the underbody protection was pounded and scratched in ways that made us clench our teeth but never bothered the Pilot.

A set of Continental TerrainContact A/T tires helps the TrailSport claw its way over obstacles. They're 30.5 inches tall and placed on trim-specific rims with a unique wheel flange and inset spoke design to protect them. The spare tire is full-size. Trail Torque Logic sends up to 70% of torque to the rear wheels in the Pilot's off-road Trail mode. Depending on the situation, 75 percent of that torque goes to the wheel with traction and 25 percent to the other wheel.

We started on the Middle Fork Swan River path outside Breckenridge, Colorado, with only the TrailSport's unique capabilities and equipment. Our off-road journey averaged 5–15 mph, except for a brief gravel road section where we reached 45 mph. We couldn't properly test the Pilot's powertrain or handling. We usually switched between Sport and Trail drive settings. The former mode increases steering effort and throttle response, while the latter lightens steering and dulls throttle, making the three-row SUV simpler to control over and around obstacles. Trail mode raises the traction-control system's wheelspin threshold and adjusts the transmission's shift logic.

Faux-off-road SUVs are numerous on the ground these days. They have lots of body armor and intimidating names, but they rarely have the gear to match. Honda's TrailSport-badged Passport and Pilot are crossover cosplayers. The fourth-generation Pilot, due later this year, will validate the TrailSport name. We tested a 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport prototype on a moderately difficult Colorado trail.

The Pilot TrailSport isn't designed to scale rock cliffs, ford deep water, or race in the Baja 1000. Honda says more than half of U.S. public land routes are moderate, therefore it's designed for them. The Pilot TrailSport has a 1.0-inch lift for ground clearance, all-terrain tires, steel skid plates, and a calibrated all-wheel-drive system to provide this increased capacity. For flexibility, the suspension has retuned dampers, varied spring rates, and thinner front and rear anti-roll bars. Honda requested we not discuss the SUV's inside since it was a pre-production test mule. The disguised bodywork hid its new look, but teaser photographs of the next-generation Pilot showed its blockier front and rear ends with a bigger, squarer grille and attractive headlamps and taillights.