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2025 Honda Pilot Trailsport | SUV Overview – Critiques

Some suspension tweaks and all-terrain tires make this Pilot the extra “off-roady” of the trims

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When automakers first stuffed a 3rd row of seats into their midsize SUVs, it’s probably nobody figured most of them would wing previous full-size sport-utes and minivans as the popular people-haulers. However right here we’re, and right here I’m wanting on the 2025 Honda Pilot, a midsize made to carry as much as seven or eight passengers, relying on the trim.

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It’s the biggest SUV that Honda affords – in descending order, it’s above the Passport, CR-V, and HR-V (there’s additionally the Prologue, but it surely’s all-electric). You may nonetheless get the Honda Odyssey minivan, and naturally minivans are superior lots-of-people-to-haul haulers than any sport-utility; however they fell out of favour with most consumers some time in the past, and so once more, right here we’re.

What are the Honda Pilot’s trims and costs?

The 2025 Pilot is available in 5 trims, beginning with the Sport at $53,350, earlier than a supply cost of $2,000; after which to the EX-L at $56,850. My trim is the TrailSport, at $59,850. From there, you’ll be able to transfer as much as the Touring at $63,600; and past that, the Black Version, mainly the Touring with gloss black trim and fancier wheels at $65,100.

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My TrailSport wore a coat of Subtle Sky Blue paint, which added $300, and it had a bundle of all-weather flooring mats and cargo liners for $542. All of these costs are for the 2025 model and that’s what Honda is promoting in dealerships proper now. For disclosure, I used to be driving a 2024 mannequin, however nothing has modified on the Pilot from ’24 to ’25 and so all the things else right here applies to each.

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What powers the Honda Pilot?

All Pilot trims use a 3.5L V6 engine that makes 285 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, and it really works equally effectively in slower metropolis visitors or if you want passing energy on the freeway. It contains what Honda calls VCM, for Variable Cylinder Administration, which means it shuts off gasoline to a few of the cylinders when full energy isn’t wanted to assist enhance gasoline economic system. It’s mated to a 10-speed computerized transmission, which is each a blessing and a curse. It tries to get to its larger gears as rapidly as potential on acceleration, which helps with gasoline economic system; however on the down aspect, that eager-to-upshift can typically really feel jerky. On this case, I believe it is likely to be extra gears than this engine actually wants.

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All trims include all-wheel drive (AWD) and Honda calls the system i-VTM4, for clever variable torque administration. It primarily drives the entrance wheels, however when additional traction is required, it will probably ship as much as 70% of the engine’s energy to the rear wheels. From there, it will probably then prioritize energy to the left or proper rear wheel as wanted – some and even all of it, if one again wheel is on a slippery floor and might’t make use of it. This all occurs routinely, working with sensors that monitor such elements as wheel pace, steering angle, and yaw fee, which may decide if the car isn’t going within the course you propose and is sliding as an alternative.

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So, what’s a Pilot “Trailsport”?

All Pilot fashions can take you moderately off-road, however the TrailSport is meant to be “extra off-roady,” a minimum of to a sure diploma. Its AWD system is tweaked to maximise how rapidly it strikes engine energy to or from a tire that isn’t gripping; and it has an additional 25 mm (1 inch) of floor clearance. It additionally has a smaller entrance stabilizer bar; its suspension is tuned for off-asphalt; it has extra trail-friendly method and departure angles (19.8 levels entrance and 19.0 rear); and it has metal skid plates to guard the underbody must you attempt to go over one thing that’s taller than the 210 mm (8.2 inches) between the bottom and the TrailSport’s stomach.

It wears 18-inch wheels, as does the EX-L, whereas all others are 20-inch. However the TrailSport completely wraps these rims with all-terrain tires, which have a extra aggressive tread. All of that does give the TrailSport some benefit if you wish to take it a bit past a median cottage path – however remember that there’s at all times some compromise when any car’s designed for that. Within the Pilot’s case, the TrailSport’s softer suspension can wallow a bit on pavement, with extra side-to-side motion over asphalt imperfections. It’s definitely not insufferable, however if you happen to by no means plan to enter the rougher stuff, you may need to take into account one of many Pilot’s different trims.

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What’s the Honda Pilot like on the within?

All Pilot fashions have three rows of seats, however the TrailSport is the one one with second-row captain’s chairs as an alternative of a three-passenger bench. The entrance seats are supportive and comfy, with 10-way driver and four-way passenger energy adjustment on all trims. These entrance chairs are heated, after all; and on all however the base Sport, so are the second-row seats. Whereas some trims have leather-based upholstery, the TrailSport has fake “leatherette” with orange accent stitching.

As with most midsize sport-utes on this phase, the Pilot’s third row is difficult and flat, though it does have sufficient house for many adults to tolerate it again there on shorter journeys. The captain’s chairs are useful as a result of you’ll be able to enter that row after which step between them into the again, relatively than squeezing previous them after they’re flipped forward. Whereas the opposite trims have that second-row bench, the center place is definitely a separate small seat that may be eliminated on all however the Sport, and it may be saved underneath the cargo flooring.

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With the third row in place, cargo quantity is 618 litres; and people seats fold flat for 1,685 litres. The second row additionally folds flat for carrying even longer gadgets.

The Sport has a seven-inch centre touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, whereas all the things else will get a nine-inch model and wi-fi connection. I just like the simplicity of the methods: The display screen icons are giant and intuitive; there are arduous buttons to carry up the menus or return; and there’s a quantity dial for the stereo.

Tri-zone local weather management is commonplace, and on all however the base Sport, the second-row passengers can decide their very own temperature and fan pace utilizing controls on the again of the centre console. The motive force also can alter that rear local weather from the entrance, which is useful if passengers again there are too younger to do it themselves. All the driver’s controls are simple to make use of, with local weather and drive modes dealt with by dials and buttons. That stated, I’m nonetheless not a fan of Honda’s button-and-toggle gearshift selector, but it surely doesn’t seem like it’s going to go away in favour of a lever.

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2025 Honda Pilot Trailsport
2025 Honda Pilot Trailsport Photograph by Jil McIntosh

What about options on the Honda Pilot?

All Pilot trims include driver-assist applied sciences together with adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep help, emergency entrance braking, multi-angle rearview digicam, and tire stress monitoring system (TPMS) with fill help – if you’re placing air in a tire, the car lets if you’ve reached the really helpful stress.

All trims even have an influence liftgate, auto up-down home windows, distant starter, and heated steering wheel. The TrailSport contains an auto-dimming mirror, entrance and rear parking sensors, second-row sunshades, and CabinTalk, which broadcasts the motive force’s voice by the stereo audio system so these in behind can hear you (with no assure they gained’t ignore you anyway, after all). You need to transfer as much as the Touring or Black Version to get such gadgets as a head-up show, ventilated entrance seats, Bose audio, and a hands-free liftgate that closes routinely if you stroll away from the car.

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What are the Honda Pilot’s opponents?

Amongst its three-row opponents with AWD, the Honda Pilot could be cross-shopped with these rivals listed under. Costs are the MSRP earlier than supply charges, and we’ve famous the place the 2025 costs haven’t but been introduced. The costs are for gasoline solely, as some are additionally out there as hybrids.

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2025 Honda Pilot Trailsport grille
2025 Honda Pilot Trailsport Photograph by Jil McIntosh

Ultimate Ideas

The Pilot is a cushty car that does job of doing the job it’s purported to do. Its largest problem is that it has a whole lot of opponents that additionally do job, and the Pilot holds its personal however doesn’t stand head-and-shoulders above them. You’ll need to test-drive it and its rivals to see what matches your wants. As talked about, if you happen to by no means go off-road, chances are you’ll need to have a look at trims apart from the TrailSport; but when the nice outside is your factor, this might doubtlessly be the Pilot that you simply need to pilot to get on the market.


Comfy seats
Engine efficiency
 Subtle AWD


Transmission could be jerky
TrailSport’s experience is healthier off-road than on
 Pricier than many rivals

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Jil McIntosh picture

Jil McIntosh

Jil McIntosh focuses on new-car evaluations, auto know-how and vintage vehicles, together with the 2 Nineteen Forties automobiles in her storage. She is presently a contract Author at Driving.ca since 2016


· Skilled author for greater than 35 years, showing in a few of the high publications in Canada and the U.S.

· Specialties embrace new-vehicle evaluations, previous vehicles and automotive historical past, automotive information, and “How It Works” columns that designate car options and know-how

· Member of the Car Journalists Affiliation of Canada (AJAC) since 2003; voting member for AJAC Canadian Automobile of the 12 months Awards; juror on the Girls’s World Automobile of the 12 months Awards


Jil McIntosh graduated from East York Collegiate in Toronto, after which continued her training on the College of Arduous Knocks. Her early jobs together with driving a taxi in Toronto; and guarantee administration in a new-vehicle dealership, the place she additionally held data courses for patrons, explaining the inside mechanical workings of automobiles and their options.


Jil McIntosh is a contract author who has been writing for Driving.ca since 2016, however she’s been knowledgeable author beginning when most vehicles nonetheless had carburetors. On the age of 11, she had a narrative printed within the defunct Toronto Telegram newspaper, for which she was paid $25; given the quick size of the story and the greenback’s shopping for energy on the time, which may have been the comparatively best-paid piece she’s ever written.

An old-car fanatic who owns a 1947 Cadillac and 1949 Studebaker truck, she started her writing profession crafting tales for antique-car and hot-rod automobile membership magazines. When the Ontario-based newspaper Outdated Autos began up in 1987, devoted to the antique-car interest, she grew to become a columnist beginning with its second problem; the newspaper remains to be round and he or she nonetheless writes for it. Not lengthy after the Toronto Star launched its Wheels part in 1986 – the primary Canadian newspaper to incorporate an auto part – she grew to become certainly one of its common writers. She began out writing function tales, after which added “new-vehicle reviewer” to her resume in 1999. She stayed with Wheels, in print and later digital as effectively, till the publication made a cost-cutting resolution to shed its freelance writers. She joined Driving.ca the very subsequent day.

Along with Driving.ca, she writes for industry-focused publications, together with Automotive Information Canada and Autosphere. Through the years, her automotive work additionally appeared in such publications as Automobiles & Components, Road Rodder, Canadian Scorching Rods, AutoTrader, Sharp, Taxi Information, Maclean’s, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes Wheels, Canadian Driver, Sympatico Autos, and Reader’s Digest. Her non-automotive work, masking such subjects as journey, food and drinks, rural dwelling, fountain pen gathering, and superstar interviews, has appeared in publications together with Harrowsmith, The place New Orleans, Pen World, The Ebook for Males, Rural Supply, and Gambit.

Main awards gained by the writer

2016 AJAC Journalist of the 12 months; Automobile Care Canada / CAA Security Journalism award winner in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013, runner-up in 2021; Pirelli Images Award 2015; Environmental Journalism Award 2019; Technical Writing Award 2020; Car Testing Overview award 2020, runner-up in 2022; Function Story award winner 2020; inducted into the Road Rodding Corridor of Fame in 1994.

Contact information

E mail: jil@ca.inter.web

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jilmcintosh/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JilMcIntosh




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