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Honda Pilot 2024 vs. 2023

Comparison of Honda Pilot 2024 and 2023 models

1. Exterior Design

Finally, the 2024 Pilot should have a range of new wheels to browse, giving customers an opportunity to further differentiate their vehicle from previous generation Pilots and across trim levels. This should bring more vibrancy to the overall styling package of the new Pilot. [1][2]

The product development for the new model is in the early stages, making it difficult to gather specific information about the lighting assemblies, but it is suggested that the core design of the 2023 headlamp will be modified and have a separate 2024 design. The new taillights are expected to have a similar follow-on from the outer design of the new headlamps. A progressive design, making a departure from the vertical orientation of the past lights.

1.1. The 2024 Honda Pilot is expected to showcase significant changes in body styling progression from the 2023 model. Closed sources have suggested increased angularity of the body's lines with less overall height. This is expected to include a more sharply raked windshield. A new grille design and front lighting assemblies are expected to complement the new design theme.

1.1. Changes in body styling

The 2024 Honda Pilot builds upon the already successful formula of the 2023 model. Although the underlying structure is largely the same, the skin is all new and features a more upright and substantial look. The redesign is focused primarily around the front of the vehicle with a broader shoulder line that flows more naturally into the hood. This flows down to a fresh style of grill and front fascia. The intended look was to give the vehicle a more rugged and capable appearance. The 2024 model is still longer than the older generational Pilots and it comes in at 0.1 inches taller and is also 0.8 inches wider. The roof and hood are more boxy than the 2023 model and this theme is continued into the rear end with the back glass being less raked. There is good reasoning for this change in styling as the Pilot's primary competition comes from the Toyota Highlander and 4Runner, both vehicles that offer customers more than just a mild off-road capability. By giving the Pilot a tougher truck look, Honda is trying to keep its customers from leaving to seek a more rugged SUV from a different manufacturer. The intention of new body styling is to help keep the Honda Pilot its current customer base and hopefully attract new customers. Beyond these broad statements, little is known as to what caused Honda to make the substantial changes in styling. The changes do not seem to be a direct result of customer feedback or criticism about the 2023 model. Nonetheless, this change in styling does offer a unique look for the 2024 Pilot.

1.2. Upgraded headlights and taillights

Redesigned stylish LED headlamps will be added to the new Honda Pilot. The 2023 model has a low beam lens with a projector and high beam halogen bulb, while the 2024 model will use LED lights to improve visibility during driving. The LED lights are much brighter than the halogen lights. On top trims, Honda will add a High Beam support system which can automatically switch from high and low beams when it detects oncoming or following vehicles. Taillights also receive some improvement. The halogen lights on the old model have become outdated, so in the 2024 model, it will also use LED lights. These changes are not really major, but they will definitely make the car look more modern. LED lights are the standard for all trims now and have advantages such as a longer lifespan, using much less power, and having faster lighting. They are also more reliable compared to the halogen bulbs. Besides the lights, there will also be improvements on the turn signal light, hazard light, and daytime driving light, which will make the new Honda Pilot safer to drive. Although it is quite minor, it shows that Honda cares about the smallest details of the car.

1.3. New wheel options

The new 2024 Honda Pilot is going to launch with a total of thirteen different wheel designs. These are incredibly impressive and varied, and we can go as far as saying it is the biggest range of wheel designs on any single product in the automotive market. These wheels will be offered in 18-, 20-, and 22-inch varieties, and provide a very wide range of choice. These smaller wheels will come as standard on most trim levels, with only the Elite and Black Edition getting 20-inchers as standard. It's very rare to see such an extensive range of original wheels on just one car, and it's great to see a manufacturer offering so much choice to consumers. It's quite handy for customizing a car to your own tastes, and being able to select a specific wheel design you like and upgrading in size to a 20- or 22-inch version will be ideal for those wanting to make their Pilot stand out from the crowd. Considering that aftermarket wheels are often quite expensive, being able to get your ideal wheel choice as a factory option will likely save consumers some money too.

2. Interior Features

Honda has traditionally been known for their state-of-the-art technology, so it's no surprise the 2024 Honda Pilot has an enhanced infotainment system. Radios can get overbearing when you're in an unfamiliar area and it's all you can do to keep your eyes on the road and not frantically look around for a road sign making sure you're still going in the right direction. This infotainment system still consists of a good old-fashioned radio, and if you still need to look at a road map it has that, too. However, it also has controls to tell you where to go. The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation system uses offline maps, so you'll never have to worry about a bad connection, and the built-in voice recognition might just make you feel like you have your own personal co-pilot. And that's not all! This system even has a Highway Driver Assist feature designed to guide you along the highways with lane, speed limit, and traffic sign assist. When finding just the right model for your Pilot, now you'll be able to find the right upholstery to match. The 2024 Pilot features some new upholstery and trim options, with the lower trims getting a comfortable fabric seat, and the Touring and Elite trims getting premium contrast stitching and door panels. The Elite trim steps it up even further with perforated leather seats with heating and ventilation. This vehicle has always been a great choice for families with its spacious interior, and the new and improving driver-assist technologies take that a step further. For added safety and convenience, every 2024 Pilot comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistive and safety technologies. This includes a Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, and a Rear Seat Reminder designed to alert the driver to check the backseats after the vehicle is turned off. The EX and above trims get a Blind Spot Information System and a Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, and the Elite trim tops it all off with a 360 camera and parking sensors. Now there will be no more white-knuckling the drive to little Timmy's soccer game. Last but not least, with all the necessary gear for those family outings and carpools, additional cargo space is always a plus. The 2024 Pilot has increased cargo space behind the third row, and Elite trims even get a new hands-free power tailgate. Because after carrying all that equipment you might just appreciate not having to use your energy for anything else! And who thought sitting in the driver's seat could be so overrated?

2.1. Enhanced infotainment system

The 2024 Honda Pilot has an enhanced infotainment system. It has a user-friendly 8-inch touchscreen that is easy to see and easy to use. The 2023 model has a 5-inch LCD screen that is hard to navigate and is outdated. Another feature is that the 2024 model has a new wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The user's phone will automatically pair with the car so the driver can call, message, use maps, and listen to music without using the phone. The 2023 model needs the user to plug in their phone for it to work. Another feature for the 2024 model is a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. With this feature, your Honda can become a Wi-Fi hotspot so your kids can stay entertained with their devices on road trips. The 2023 model lacks this feature. The 2024 model also has a new rear seat entertainment system. There is a 10.2-inch ceiling-mounted screen that is Blu-Ray compatible and comes with built-in streaming apps. There is also an HDMI and RCA input. The 2023 model does have a rear seat entertainment system, but only has a 10.2-inch fold-down screen and DVD/Blu-Ray capability. Built-in streaming apps are not included, and there is no HDMI or RCA input. Both models come with CabinTalk and CabinControl. With CabinTalk, the driver can talk to the passengers through the speakers or headphones. With CabinControl, passengers can download an app and use their phone to control various things in the car. [3][4]

2.2. Upgraded upholstery and trim options

The 2024 Pilot has taken seat style to the next level with perforation in the same crosshatch pattern, but with contrast stitching on most of the available colors. Elite trims feature both a unique color contrast and a unique material contrast, with smooth leather in the 1st and 2nd row seats that varies in color from beige to black in conjunction with the door panels and dashboard. The captain's chairs offer a similar style with a matching look between the front and middle-row seats.

For the Elite trim styles, an appealing contrast is available by having the perforated leather in the 1st and 2nd row seats with the choice of a black or beige interior with matching door panels and dashboard. Second-row captain's seats are designed in a consistent style for perfect symmetry.

The 2023 Honda Pilot has high-quality leather seats with a perforated middle row. The Pilot is available in beige, grey, black, and mocha. These colors look as good as they feel, with an innovative soft-touch material that adds a sense of luxury to the entire cabin.

2.3. Additional driver-assist technologies

The Pilot 2024 will come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of active safety features. This suite works with a combination of cameras and sensors that can prompt the driver to act when the vehicle is approaching a critical situation. If the system does not sense a driver's input when the vehicle is approaching a detected lane or road departure without signaling, it can apply up to 80 pounds of pressure on the steering to keep the vehicle from leaving the lane with the ability to toggle the pressure level. If the vehicle senses that a collision is imminent, it will apply the brakes to hopefully avoid an accident. This system comes with pedestrian and cyclist detection, which both apply additional warnings and automatic braking. This will also be available with the oncoming vehicle and a new one-way road system which applies to the left and right-hand side of the road. Honda Sensing will also include adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, which can further reduce the driver's effort in stop-and-go traffic. A new feature to Honda Sensing, Traffic Jam Assist incorporates the ACC and LSF systems along with lane keeping. This feature can keep the vehicle in the middle of a detected lane and maintain a set following interval behind detected vehicles. It will completely stop the vehicle in traffic and start it up again with no driver input. This system will only be available on Touring and Elite trims. Rounding out the improvements to Honda Sensing is an all-new parking sensor which can help determine whether an area is open for parallel parking and provide a useful visual guide in the instrument cluster.

2.4. Improved cargo space

Improving upon the interior design of previous Pilot models, the 2023-2024 Honda Pilot showcases a plethora of changes, focusing on increasing the cargo space and storage capacity throughout the vehicle. While many of the clothing and equipment testing was initially done in the 2023 pilot, shown above, these improvements should be applicable to both the 2023 and 2024 models. The most significant change to the vehicle's interior storage capacity can be found in the cargo area. Previously, both the 2016-2022 Honda Pilots had utilized a bulky 3-across seating setup which made for an awkward underfloor cargo storage compartment. In order to add more cargo space, the underfloor cargo compartment has been removed in favor of a flat bottomed floor and a larger cargo area. This greatly increases the Pilot's capability of carrying bulky items, and allows for greater customizability in terms of rear seating setups. While both the 2023 and 2024 models have had excellent results in cargo cube testing, these changes allowed for an 8.3% increase from the previous model in cargo capacity measured using the VDA method at 5099.4 in³ for the 2024 and 4714.7 in³ for the 2023. H-points and seating dimensions have been kept constant, so this increase in cargo space is not at the expense of second or third row passenger comfort. Additionally, both Pilots will have an easy to use one motion rear seat fold down level to further increase rear cargo area customizability. This embodies the Pilot's core values for great storage and seating versatility, and exceeds in comparability with the storage capacity of the 2016-2018 Toyota Pilot.

3. Performance and Engine

For the 2023 model, the Honda Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, and the identical engine is found in the 2024 model. The 2024 model's V6 engine has been revisited and remodeled. Now with a 9-speed automatic transmission to substitute the prior 6-speed, the revamped transmission has made the engine quieter and more mixable with the cylinder's vibrating diminishing technology causing a smoother ride. The productivity of the 2024 engine is still the same as its previous year's model with 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. The new transmission gives the 2024 model an accelerated response and more poise. A result of additional towing capacity being able to tow 3500 lbs on FWD and an overwhelming 5000 lbs on AWD configurations this gives the powertrain in the 2024 model the best value in its class. For every 2023 Pilot model, fuel efficiency is attained with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive; a special redesign in terms of engine and transmission reaps the 2024 model on a vast progression. With the supplemental 3rd gear in relation to the 2023 model, the 9-speed automatic in the 2024 model has improved shift performance at higher and lower throttle openings, this consequently fuels the engine on a wider range of circumstances and continuing to elevate fuel economy. Step Shift Logic has been installed to decide the most efficient shift pattern for the driving environment and refines shift scheduling. This feature has given an immediate impact with a fuel economy rise of 1-2 MPG across all driving modes for a combined total of 23 MPG on the 2024 AWD model. An additional feature of paddle shifters equips the driver with manual override ability and on-demand flexibility, this marks a significant transition in Honda's pursuit of higher class execution in their vehicles. Aforementioned VCM technology, direct injection, and i-VTEC which are investigations of the 2024 model further amplify fuel efficiency with a robust and more efficient combustion process. This performance is echoed with an emissions improved ULEV-2 vehicle classification. Low viscosity engine oil has been used to drop energy losses and to further reinforce fuel economy, all these features combined mean the 2024 model has the best-in-class fuel efficiency.

3.1. Upgraded engine specifications

In addition to the platform upgrades, the new Pilot will also gain the Type S performance-oriented trim level. The Type S trim will have an exclusive 3rd gen super handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) system and a standard 10-speed automatic transmission. We can expect the powertrain to be based on the J35 V6 engine, which will provide another decent improvement in drivability and off-road performance, but this is still unconfirmed at the time of this article's publication.

The same upgrades we can expect to see in the MDX will also be utilized in the upcoming Pilot. The modern global light truck platform underpins the 2015+ Acura TLX, 2018+ Honda Accord and the aforementioned 4th gen MDX and will now be present under the skin of the 2023 Pilot. This will provide high levels of chassis rigidity and help improve noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels, ultimately making the Pilot much smoother and more comfortable to drive in comparison to older models. Specifically, the 2023 Pilot will have a 17% increase in static bending rigidity and a 10% improvement in dynamic bending rigidity. Static bending rigidity is a good indicator of a vehicle's handling performance and predictability, and dynamic bending rigidity is a good indicator of ride comfort. These improvements in rigidity are key for improving overall driving performance and is something that wasn't highlighted enough by Honda.

In addition to the revisions to the bodywork and interior, Honda has confirmed that the 2024 Honda Pilot's performance figures will also outclass the 2nd and 3rd gen models by some margin. The news comes just weeks after Honda confirmed that their Alabama plant would be upgraded to produce the new light truck based on a $70 million dollar investment. This is in addition to the $85 million dollar development in Mississippi where the Acura MDX will be produced. Acura released the prototype of their 4th generation MDX only weeks ago on the 14th of October. This suggests that parent company Honda has a very strong plan to invest and improve development of the light truck platform for both Honda and Acura branded models.

3.2. Enhanced fuel efficiency

The previous Honda Pilot operated with a 3.5-liter V6, providing an average fuel economy of 16 miles per gallon. For the 2024 Honda Pilot, it is expected that a new 2.0 turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine will be running the vehicle. This engine is the same engine that is in the new Honda Accord. EPA fuel economy ratings for this engine in the Accord are 22 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on the highway for a FWD model. With that in mind, it is expected that the 2024 Honda Pilot will be able to achieve a fuel economy rating above 20 miles per gallon. In addition to the improved fuel economy, the new 2.0 turbocharged engine creates more horsepower and torque than the previous V6. Similar to the last generation of the Honda Pilot, the AWD model will be the preferred configuration. The 2.0 turbocharged engine in Honda's Accord Sport 2.0 produces 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the 2019 Honda Pilot's 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft torque ratings, it is expected that the new 2024 Pilot model will have similar power ratings. This will provide a sufficient amount of power for acceleration and hill-climbing maneuvers while being able to achieve better fuel economy. In order to achieve higher fuel economy, the 2024 Honda Pilot is expected to have an automatic start/stop feature. Since the driving force of an engine comes from burning fuel, this system will automatically shut off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop. The engine will then automatically restart when the driver releases the brake pedal. This helps to save fuel as the engine is not idling while the vehicle is stationary. The start/stop feature is a function of the vehicle's computer and wiring system, and the actual item is a highly compact gear reduction starter. This is a significant change from earlier start/stop systems where the engine was shut off at a stop and restarted when the gas pedal was pressed. This caused excessive wear on the engine as the engine would mandatorily stop and restart at each stop, and wear on the starter motor. This system functioned well for its intended purpose; however, a large and heavy 12-volt battery with high CCA ratings was required. This is not in line with modern vehicle development as hybrids and electric vehicles are becoming more of a standard. The new compact starters for these modern start/stop systems are highly efficient and reliable. This makes it practical and cost-effective to install the system in a conventional gasoline vehicle or light truck.

3.3. Improved handling and suspension

The suspension in the 2024 model is designed to run cooler, which is done by repositioning the front and rear suspension mounts. While this may seem trivial, it has a large impact because it reduces fade (the loss of damping force due to suspension fluid overheating) by 15%. The reduced fade prolongs the effectiveness of the dampers, which maintains the choosing damping force even after extended periods of operation. In contrast, the 2023 Honda Pilot does not have suspension mounts that are specifically designed to reduce fade. This results in less effective dampers over an extended period of time due to more fade. The front wheel bearings have also been widened in the 2024 model to increase rigidity and reduce the noise and vibration brought into the cabin. While there is no information on the 2023 model, typically noise can be caused by the oscillation of the bearings and the widening bearings is generally a strategy to reduce this. Increased rigidity can also impact handling by allowing the wheel to stay in vertical alignment with the road surface more often, providing better traction and improved control. This upgrade allows the 2024 model to experience better handling with increased front traction. The comparison to the 2023 model is provided to give an understanding to the consumer how Honda has improved features or outperformed previous models. This provides a prediction for future third-party comparisons in addition to providing understanding of how the vehicle has evolved. In general, the widened bearings would allow the 2024 model to outperform the 2023 model with regard to handling and traction.

4. Safety and Technology

The Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies is standard on every 2023 Pilot. For the 2023 model year, the Honda Sensing system helps provide greater awareness of the driving environment. The 2023 Pilot includes several advanced safety and driver-assistive features, such as a Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) incorporating Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) incorporating Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and a Pedestrian Safety system. The 2023 Pilot also features Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and a Honda LaneWatch display. In crash testing conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2023 Pilot received an Overall Vehicle Score of 5 stars. The 2023 Pilot followed this achievement with a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The TOP SAFETY PICK designation is given to vehicles that have good performance in crash tests, including front, side, roof strength, and rear crash protection, and have Electronic Stability Control (ESC). For the 2024 model year, the Honda Sensing system has been improved to help provide enhanced protection, better vehicle control, and added convenience. These improvements include a new windscreen-mounted camera and front grille radar unit, providing enhanced coverage and collision detection. Honda has also introduced Low Speed Follow, which extends the adaptive cruise control functionality to lower speeds. The low-speed function is also tied in with the new Collision Mitigation Braking System with headlight capability, which is designed to better protect pedestrians who are in the vehicle's path at night by using new headlight technology and an improved brake system. The new features continue with Pedestrian Path Prediction, which can detect the likelihood of a pedestrian stepping into the vehicle's path. The 2024 Pilot has received a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score in crash testing by NHTSA, as well as good ratings in all six IIHS crashworthiness tests, resulting in a TOP SAFETY PICK rating, showcasing Honda's clear commitment to safety.

4.1. Advanced safety features

The new Honda Pilot has arrived with exceptional advanced safety features. New to the 2023 model was the introduction of Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering Body Structure which enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal collisions. The 2023 Honda Pilot also came standard with a full array of airbags along with Anti-Lock Brakes, Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Most notably, the 2023 Honda Pilot became the first Honda model to apply the Honda Sensing safety system, which is a suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies designed to help avoid a collision or lessen its severity. Honda Sensing is comprised of the following features: Lane Keep Assist, which is intended to return the car back to its lane when detected drifting; Road Departure Mitigation System, which is integrated with a lane departure warning and uses a small angle maneuver to help the car avoid a detected. Now, the 2024 Honda Pilot has improved upon these features with the new Honda Sensing Elite safety system. This new system comes with a world premiere front seat airbag designed to help reduce instances of brain injury in frontal collisions, which can occur when an occupant's head rotates sharply in contact with an inflated frontal airbag. The airbag uses a fabric in the helmets. The new Honda Sensing Elite system is also comprised of several new or improved features: Low-Speed Braking Control, Pedestrian Emergency Drive, Traffic Jam Assist, Pick Up Following, Collision Mitigation Throttle Control, Evasive Steering Assist, and Roundabout Simulation. This new system will come standard with the 2024 Honda Pilot, and the 2023 Honda Pilot still has the standard Honda Sensing system with no option to upgrade, thus proving a significant advancement in advanced safety features from the 2023 model Pilot up to the 2024 model.

4.2. Upgraded connectivity options

Upon connecting their phone to the display audio via Bluetooth, the HondaLink feature will allow the driver to search for points of interest, navigation, service appointments, and more. This feature is often easier to utilize on the display audio touchscreen than it is on a mobile device. Push notifications can remind the driver of service dates and aid in service scheduling. HondaLink services are supported by the data plan of the owner's phone or an available Wi-Fi connection. This contrast from the previous HondaLink compatibility with CabinControl, which utilized the phone's data package, is likely to nullify cost concerns for utilizing remote HondaLink services. The key advantage to the current and previous HondaLink features is the ability to personal navigation to the Pilot prior to driving, and then switch to the phone for continued navigation upon leaving the car. The feature's touch to car and car to phone route exchange and simplification of complex routes is one of the key benefits to integrating phone and vehicle.

The upgraded display audio system of the 2024 Honda Pilot is the central focus of its new connectivity features. The 8-inch touchscreen now includes Apple CarPlay, wireless capability, and is now standard beginning with the EX trim, whereas it was previously only included in the RTL and above trims. The 2024 Pilot display audio also now includes Android Auto and integration of HondaLink features. Wireless integration of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a new feature to Honda vehicles and speaks strongly to the advancements in connectivity for the 2024 Pilot. The wireless capabilities mean that the driver will no longer need to plug their phone into the USB port. Wireless Apple CarPlay requires a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection to link the phone to the car. Wireless Android Auto requires a compatible phone and a data plan utilizing a Wi-Fi connection or a cellular connection with mobile hotspot.

4.3. New entertainment and convenience features

The new 2024 model does not offer many upgrades in terms of the entertainment system, but there are additional charging options and wider compatibility. USB-C charging ports are now available, which are up to 10x faster than previous ports and becoming more common in modern electronics. The rear seat entertainment system is now available on all trims, even the base Special Edition trim, and can play video stored on a USB device. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now available on all trims except the base Special Edition, to go along with the wireless phone charging pad. These connectivity options will be more convenient, but some buyers may not be happy about having to spend more money on higher trims to get them. The remote functions provided by the HondaLink app are discontinued in the new model, which is not a notable loss.


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