We haven’t seen much of the next Honda Pilot. The last sighting involved a prototype still covered in heavy black coverings. Now, our spy team caught a test vehicle cruising down the highway with just a camo wrap, giving us our best look thus far at the next-generation model.
The major takeaway is that Honda will inject its popular SUV with a bit more aggression. The camo wrap still hides many details, but it’s impossible to miss the larger grille with a mesh motif. The bold look is similar to the direction Honda took with the current Ridgeline pickup truck, but that’s not the only obvious change. The Pilot’s entire front clip is taller, adopting a beefier style versus the sloped face of the current model. The headlights are slimmer and mounted up high, with vertically-oriented corner vents and small driving lamps visible down low.
Moving to the side, it appears the new Pilot will be quite similar to the current SUV with regard to its profile. The camo wrap does a good job of obscuring details, but a close look suggests the rising beltline with a slight up-kink on the rear glass will remain. The wheelbase does look a bit longer – rumors say the next-gen Pilot will ride on the automaker’s new global light truck platform used by the current Acura MDX. At the rear, camouflage hides detail but we expect to see slim taillights and a completely new rear gate with symmetrical styling cues.
We’ve yet to see or hear anything regarding the Pilot’s interior. Similarly, there’s nothing set in stone regarding powertrain options, though we expect Honda to continue offering the 3.5-liter V6. It makes 280 horsepower in the current model, sent to the wheels through a 9-speed automatic transmission. It’s possible the gearbox will be upgraded with a 10-speed auto, and a plug-in hybrid version borrowing the two-motor system from the Accord is likely.
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Though we haven’t seen many prototypes in public, we expect a debut to happen later this year. That would make the next-gen Honda Pilot a 2023 model.