2024 Honda Pilot: Continuation of 7- and 8-Seat Versions, Potential Equipment Changes, No Hybrid Option Expected Update: ‘Honda Pilot Sales in the U.S.’ Section Revised and ‘Pure-Electric Alternative to the Pilot Arriving in 2025’ Section Added.
Since its introduction in June 2002 as a 2003 model, the Honda Pilot has enjoyed a successful journey spanning three generations and over two decades in the market. With more than two million units sold globally, this ‘Ultimate American Family Adventure Vehicle’ was reimagined for its fourth generation, receiving a car-like unibody platform update in the 2023 model year.
2024 Honda Pilot Design
Designed primarily to cater to North American customers, the Honda Pilot boasts a bold and striking design in its fourth-generation model, a characteristic that carries over into the anticipated 2024 model year.
The fourth-generation Pilot showcases a more upright front-end, characterized by a flatter hood. It introduces a new hexagonal radiator grille adorned with a honeycomb mesh pattern, complemented by assertive multi-reflector all-LED headlamps, a broader lower air intake, and distinctive squarish fog lamps.
This departure from the minivan-like appearance of its predecessor appears to align with a growing customer preference for robust and rugged SUVs, indicative of changing market tastes. The rear of the all-new Pilot is marked by a tailgate applique featuring the model’s name in block letters, along with substantial tail lamps. The redesigned tailgate design incorporates a wider license plate area and a fresh bumper design.
The Honda Pilot stands as the brand’s most resilient and capable SUV, offering the TrailSport trim tailored for customers seeking a heightened sense of ruggedness in both aesthetics and performance. The TrailSport variant features black grille ORVMs, tailgate applique, skid plates, roof rails, and roof crossbars. It also boasts larger tires, a widened track width, an off-road-tuned suspension, elevated ground clearance, and distinct stabilizer bars, all of which enhance its off-road capabilities.
Catering to families venturing into occasional rough terrains, the Pilot TrailSport caters to a specific niche, offering a balance between rugged utility and everyday comfort. This distinguishes it from more hardcore SUVs like the Jeep Wrangler, which could prove excessive and less accommodating in terms of seating capacity and comfort for similar purposes. Honda’s TrailSport line captures a unique set of buyers seeking a rugged yet versatile driving experience.
In terms of dimensions, the fourth-gen Honda Pilot extends its length by 3.4 inches and features a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase compared to its third-generation counterpart. Depending on the trim, its measurements range from 199.9 to 200.2 inches in length, 78.5 inches in width, and a height varying between 70.9, 71.0, and 72.0 inches. The redesigned model boasts a wheelbase of 113.8 inches.
2024 Honda Pilot Interior
Continuing the trend set by its predecessor, the interior of the 2024 Honda Pilot is set to embody the new design philosophy introduced in the latest Civic – characterized by the principles of Simplicity and Something. This approach translates into a clean and uncluttered interior styling, featuring a sleeker and more simplified dashboard that promotes a sense of visual clarity and openness within the cabin.
The upcoming model is expected to provide a more spacious environment compared to the third-generation version. Notably, the second row will offer an additional 2.4 inches of legroom, while the third row gains an extra 0.6 inches of legroom – enhancing overall passenger comfort.
Adhering to the minimalist interior theme, the steering wheel and center console are designed with a clean and organized aesthetic. An important technological aspect, the 2024 Pilot is anticipated to feature a configurable 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, seamlessly integrated with a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. This system is set to offer wireless connectivity for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, appealing to tech-savvy consumers.
While there might be a few equipment updates, the interior’s overall look is not expected to deviate significantly from the outgoing model, as depicted in the accompanying image sourced from Honda.
2024 Honda Pilot Safety
The 2024 Honda Pilot is expected to feature the same comprehensive Honda Sensing safety suite found in the outgoing model. This advanced safety suite incorporates an updated camera with an expanded 90-degree field of view, coupled with a wide-angle radar boasting a 120-degree field of view. This enhanced field of vision contributes to the vehicle’s improved capability in recognizing object attributes, white lines, and road boundaries.
Distinguishing itself from its third-generation predecessor, the fourth-gen Pilot introduces standard safety components such as Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) and Traffic Sign Recognition. Additionally, the latest model incorporates standard Rear Seatbelt Reminder and Rear Seat Reminder systems for added peace of mind. Notably, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS) exhibit more natural responses and improved performance in the redesigned iteration.
Further augmenting safety measures, the Blind Spot Information (BSI) system has undergone enhancement, encompassing a broader radar range of 82 feet – contributing to heightened awareness and accident prevention. These advancements collectively reinforce the 2024 Honda Pilot’s commitment to delivering a safer and more intuitive driving experience compared to its predecessors.
2024 Honda Pilot First impressions
Positioned as a mid-level trim, the TrailSport variant of the Honda Pilot boasts a range of off-road-oriented features. These encompass off-road wheels, Continental Terrain Contact all-terrain tires, robust steel skid plates, a full-size spare wheel, recovery hooks, and an adept off-road suspension system. With seven distinct drive modes at its disposal, including the novel ‘Trail’ mode, the TrailSport trim introduces an innovative feature dubbed ‘Trail Watch.’ Upon activating Trail mode, this function provides a live feed from both front and side cameras, accessible through the touchscreen infotainment system.
While full disengagement of the Pilot TrailSport’s stabilizer bars isn’t feasible, Honda has meticulously optimized them to enhance articulation and ride comfort. Notably, the specifically tuned suspension contributes to a comfortable and composed ride on off-road trails. In instances of potential wheelspin at the front, the brake-integrated torque vectoring system promptly intervenes, mitigating any adverse effects. Bolstering its off-road prowess, the advanced all-wheel-drive system facilitates the allocation of up to 75% of torque to the rear wheels, favoring those with optimal traction. The system’s responsiveness further enhances the Pilot TrailSport’s capability to conquer diverse terrains with confidence.
Electrification on the fourth-gen Honda Pilot
The Honda Pilot has traditionally been equipped with a sizable gasoline engine, yet the era of electrification is inevitable in this decade. It’s anticipated that the midsize SUV will embrace a self-charging hybrid powertrain option in the near future. Honda has committed to introducing hybrid versions of its core models in the coming years, although specific plans for the new Pilot have not been explicitly outlined.
Presently, the recently developed 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine represents the closest step towards a cleaner Pilot. According to Tom Sladek, the leader of powertrain and TrailSport at Honda Development and Manufacturing, the company has achieved a SULEV (Super Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle) 30 classification and has managed to reduce PM (Particulate Matter) emissions by 50% with this newly engineered engine. This information was reported by The Globe And Mail on January 24, 2023.
Pilot Hybrid could follow the CR-V, Accord and Civic Hybrids
Honda has recently introduced the all-new CR-V Hybrid and Accord Hybrid in the U.S. Furthermore, on January 24, 2023, the company revealed its plans to bring the Civic Hybrid to the American market in both hatchback and sedan versions by 2024, with the possibility of a Pilot Hybrid following suit.
The company’s strategic focus is centered on progressively introducing a higher proportion of hybrid models in their core lineup in the near future. This approach aims to drive increased volume, ultimately leading to the debut of the Honda Prologue, as announced by Dave Gardner, former executive vice president of National Operations, American Honda, in June 2021.
According to Mamadou Diallo, senior vice president of Auto Sales at American Honda, hybrid models are expected to constitute at least 50% of sales wherever they are available. Diallo expressed optimism for 2023, citing the expansion of the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) lineup as a significant contributing factor. He emphasized that hybrid models are a pivotal “bridge” toward the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
AutoPacific President and chief analyst Ed Kim also anticipates Honda’s electrification efforts extending to the Pilot. In a conversation with Newsweek in January 2023, Kim indicated that the company has encountered delays in achieving its electrification milestones. The Civic Hybrid’s arrival in the U.S. is slated for 2024, and hybrid variants of other core models like the Pilot and Odyssey are still in the pipeline.
Competing against vehicles like the Toyota Highlander, Kia Telluride, VW Atlas, Hyundai Palisade, Ford Explorer, and Chevrolet Traverse, the Pilot boasts EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 19 city/27 highway/22 combined for FWD configurations, and up to 19 city/25 highway/21 combined for AWD configurations. Notably, the Toyota Highlander AWD and Ford Explorer AWD achieve superior fuel efficiency due to the availability of hybrid variants, with EPA estimates projecting 35 city/35 highway/35 combined and 23 city/26 highway/25 combined, respectively.
Honda not pursuing a Pilot Plug-in Hybrid
In January 2022, Dave Gardner, the former executive vice president of National Operations at American Honda, discussed the forthcoming Honda and Acura releases with the media, as reported by The Detroit Bureau. Gardner outlined the company’s trajectory, revealing its transition from internal combustion engine vehicles to hybrid electric vehicles, followed by a direct progression to battery electric vehicles. The initial manifestation of this electric shift is exemplified by the 2024 Honda Prologue. This declaration can be interpreted as an affirmation that there are no plans for the development of a Honda Pilot Plug-in Hybrid.
Pure-electric alternative to the Pilot arriving in 2025
Although Honda has not yet issued an official statement regarding a fully-electric iteration of the Pilot, it has alluded to the ongoing development of an electric vehicle alternative within the SUV segment. The company has affirmed its intention to introduce a mid- to large-size Honda EV in North America by 2025. This forthcoming model will be underpinned by a proprietary in-house electric vehicle platform and incorporate an innovative electrical/electronic (E/E) architecture. In light of prevailing market trends, it is conceivable that the Japanese automaker is formulating plans for a three-row model poised to compete with counterparts like the Kia EV9, the Hyundai Ioniq 7 (slated for an official debut in 2024), and the rumored electric variants of the Ford Explorer/Expedition expected to potentially arrive in 2025.
2024 Honda Pilot Production
Starting on December 15, 2022, Honda’s Alabama Auto Plant (AAP) initiated large-scale manufacturing of the all-new Honda Pilot. This expansive facility located in Lincoln holds the distinction of being the exclusive global production hub for the Pilot, having produced over 2 million units since the model’s inception back in 2006. Among Honda’s five manufacturing plants in the U.S., this plant boasts an annual production capacity of 680,000 vehicles.
With its broader framework stemming from the new platform, the production process for the fourth-generation Pilot necessitated the expansion of welding operations at the Alabama plant. Notably, while the front-end module (FEM) concept is a common feature across many Honda models, it represents a novel addition for this particular plant. Consequently, a fresh crescent-shaped sub-assembly procedure was established for the module, which is then transferred to the primary assembly line for installation in each vehicle. Pioneering a first on the Pilot’s production line, the incorporation of acoustic spray foam has been introduced to enhance cabin insulation, minimizing road noise for an improved driving experience.
2024 Honda Pilot Price & Release Date
Anticipated to debut in the third quarter of 2023 (between July and September), the cost of the 2024 Honda Pilot in the United States is projected to commence at approximately $37,000, with the upper echelon reaching nearly $53,000. An official confirmation regarding these pricing details is eagerly anticipated.
Honda Pilot sales in the U.S.
The Honda Pilot experienced a decline in U.S. sales from 135,008 units in 2019 to 123,813 units in 2020, a year that was marked by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the automotive market. Despite semiconductor chip shortages, sales rebounded in 2021, surpassing the figures from 2019. American Honda achieved a notable 15.5% year-over-year growth by selling 143,062 units of the midsize SUV during that year.
However, in 2022, the Pilot faced another setback with a 30.4% decrease in sales, amounting to 99,567 units. With the introduction of the redesigned model and improvements in the supply chain, 2023 holds potential for a sales recovery. Recent sales data indicates an upward trend, as Honda recorded a 20.1% increase, selling 55,783 units from January to June 2023. This figure marks a significant rise from the same period in 2022, which saw sales of 46,435 units. The prevailing gas prices, exceeding $3 in most areas of the U.S., are likely to contribute to a higher demand for hybrids and an increased share of hybrid vehicles in overall mainstream brand sales in the American market.
Honda’s electrification strategy
In 2021, Honda achieved a historic milestone in the United States by selling over 100,000 electrified vehicles, reflecting the company’s commitment to electrification. Looking ahead, Honda has set ambitious goals for its EV/FCV unit sales ratio in North America. By 2030, the aim is to achieve a 40% ratio, which is expected to rise to an impressive 80% by 2035. Furthermore, Honda has a bold vision for the future – by 2040, it intends to discontinue gas-powered vehicles entirely and transition into a 100% zero-emission brand.
Even models with a strong track record like the Pilot, which consistently sells over 10,000 units per year, are likely candidates for electrification as Honda strives to meet its incremental emissions targets.
Mamadou Diallo, the Vice President of Auto Sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc., highlighted the importance of hybrid-electric vehicles in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These vehicles play a crucial role in Honda’s roadmap toward achieving the ultimate goal of 100% zero-emission vehicle sales in North America by 2040.
This strategic focus on electrification underscores Honda’s commitment to sustainability and aligns with the broader industry shift toward cleaner and more environmentally friendly transportation solutions.
2024 Honda Pilot FAQs
When can we expect the 2024 Honda Pilot to be released?
The anticipated release window for the gas-powered 2024 Honda Pilot in U.S. dealerships is projected to be in the third quarter of 2023 (between July and September). As for the Hybrid model, it is anticipated to become available within the next few years.
What is the expected price range for the 2024 Honda Pilot?
The starting prices for the 2024 Honda Pilot are estimated to begin around USD 37,000.
Which vehicles will be direct competitors to the 2024 Honda Pilot?
The 2024 Honda Pilot is set to enter the market and face competition from prominent rivals such as the Toyota Highlander, Kia Telluride, Ford Explorer, Hyundai Palisade, and Chevrolet Traverse.
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