Video Review: Can the 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport Work As a Road-Trip Machine And a Go-Anywhere Adventure Rig?

(Images: TFL Studios)

We got this opportunity to overland a Honda Pilot TrailSport over 1,600 miles: Here’s how it went.

Take a 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport, and “overland” it to the 2023 Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, AZ. On the way there, I was to head off-road, camp inside and road-trip the Pilot. Yup, I slept in it for three days in (or at least near) the wild. To me, when you overland a vehicle, you are headed to places that are off the grid, have limited or no cell service, and you have to rely on yourself for survival. No outside power, limited human contact – etc. I guess you could say, I was camping with a hint of overlanding.

More on the Honda Pilot TrailSport

The Honda Pilot TrailSport is an example of what an automaker can do with a family hauler, to make it mighty off-road capable – if they put their mind to it. Sure, other automakers like Ford, Nissan and Kia (among others) have made some of their family crossovers appear more off-road-capable. I would argue that few have matched Honda’s efforts with the Pilot TrailSport.

Among other improvements over the standard Honda Pilot, the TrailSport has beefed up suspension, tires, wheels, armor and that awesome i-VTM4 system. As all-wheel drive (AWD) systems go, i-VTM4 is right up there with the very best. It can take up to 75% of the torque and shifts it to the rear, when needed. Then, up to 100-percent of that torque can be shifted side to side. In addition, the traction control and ABS work together to minimize wheel spin.

In the rough, very few crossovers can match the traction of the Pilot TrailSport.

I laid out some of the first few day’s challenges in an earlier post, but to encapsulate the who adventure… I would say it was challenging. Nearly drowned the poor car, got soaked for days, sat through an intense lightning and hailstorm, and waded through three feet of mud – on the first two days. A week later, after over 1,600 miles on and off-road, I can say – it was a blast!

One quick note: In this video, I misspoke when I mentioned the transmission. I mistakenly said it was a nine-speed, when it’s actually a 10-speed. Sorry about that!