Hybrid model not part of the 2025 Honda Pilot range

  • Honda's only 3-row SUV in the U.S. continues in 7- and 8-seat versions
  • Unlikely to be offered with hybrid technology anytime soon
  • Gas model priced from $39,990 (excl. USD 1,395 destination charge) with Black Edition introduced for MY2025.

Update (March 5, 2024): The story has been updated to reflect the changes in the MY2025 Pilot. Note that the pictures in the story are of the 2024 model.

Introduced in June 2002 as a 2003 model, the Honda Pilot has lived through three generations. After over two million units sold worldwide, “the Ultimate American Family Adventure Vehicle,” developed on a car-like unibody platform, was reinvented for its fourth generation with the 2023 model year update in 2022.

The fourth-gen Honda Pilot was expected to hit dealer showrooms with an optional hybrid variant. The first-ever Honda Pilot Hybrid would’ve made the midsize SUV appealing to fuel economy- and environment-conscious customers. However, Honda released the fourth-gen Pilot as a gas-only model, and the just-announced MY2025 update hasn’t introduced hybrid technology to the SUV either.


The Pilot is designed primarily for North American customers. Compared to the third-gen, the fourth-gen model has a bolder and more striking design, which is carried over into the 2024 and 2025 model years.

2024 Honda Pilot Trailsport
This shift away from the minivan-like design of the previous Pilot could be driven by the customer preference for tough and rugged SUVs.

The fourth-gen Pilot features an upright front-end with a flatter hood. It has a new, hexagonal radiator grille with a honeycomb mesh pattern, more assertive multi-reflector all-LED headlamps, a wider lower air intake, and new, squarish fog lamps. At the rear, the all-new Pilot features a tailgate applique with the model’s name inscribed in block letters and chunky tail lamps. The new tailgate offers a wider license plate area as well. Here, too, the bumper is a new piece.

As for the dimensional changes, fourth-gen Pilot is 3.4 in. longer and has a 2.8-in. longer wheelbase. Depending on the trim, it measures 199.9 or 200.2 in. in length, 78.5 in. in width, and 70.9, 71.0, or 72.0 in. in height. The redesigned model has a 113.8 in. wheelbase.

2024 Honda Pilot Trailsport rear
The fourth-gen Honda Pilot is 3.4 in. longer than the third-gen model and has a 2.8-in. longer wheelbase.

Pilot TrailSport

The Honda Pilot is the brand’s most rugged and capable SUV. It is available in a TrailSport trim (red model shown in this article) designed and engineered for customers who prefer extra ruggedness, both aesthetically and performance-wise.

The TrailSport trim puts on black grille ORVMs, and tailgate applique, skid plates, roof rails, and roof crossbars. It has larger tires, increased track width, an off-road-tuned suspension, higher ground clearance, and unique stabilizer bars that make it more capable off the road.

The Pilot TrailSport is for families who occasionally drive to places with rough terrain. A hardcore SUV like the Jeep Wrangler would be an overkill, not to mention a compromise on seating capacity and comfort, for this application. Nevertheless, Honda is able to attract a different type of buyer with the rugged TrailSport line.

Pilot Black Edition

For MY2025, the Pilot comes in a new Black Edition, based on the AWD variant. Slotting above the Trailsport and Elite, it features a more aggressive appearance with gloss black 20-inch alloy wheels, grille bar, and upper side mirror enclosures. Blackout treatments extend to the front fascia ducts, window trim, door garnishes, and rear bumper garnish, complemented by Black Edition badges on the grille and rear.

The interior of the Black Edition stands out as the only Pilot trim featuring red-accented perforated leather seating and red contrast stitching across the steering wheel, seats, and door panels, alongside red accent lighting around the dashboard, doors, and center console. The package is completed with Black Edition logos embossed on the front seats and floor mats.


The interior of the Honda Pilot continues embodying the design philosophy that debuted in the new Civic – Simplicity and Something. It has a clean interior styling with a slimmer and simplified dashboard that frees the cabin of visual clutter. It’s roomier than the third-gen model, offering 2.4 in. more legroom in the second row and 0.6 in. more legroom in the third row.

2024 Honda Pilot interior
The 2024 Honda Pilot doesn’t have any visual changes on the inside when compared to MY2023. For MY2025, it receives the Black Edition variant that adds unique accessories and badges.

The steering wheel and the center console have a neat design and are in line with the minimalist theme of the interior. A configurable 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make the midsize SUV attractive for tech-savvy customers.


The fourth-gen Honda Pilot comes has an updated Honda Sensing safety suite, which uses a new camera with a wider, 90-degree field of view and a wide-angle radar with a 120-degree field of view. The increased field of view improves the vehicle’s ability to recognize attributes of objects as well as white lines and road boundaries.

Unlike the third-gen Pilot, the fourth-gen model comes with Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) and Traffic Sign Recognition, both part of standard safety features. Also new in the fourth generation are standard Rear Seatbelt Reminder and Rear Seat Reminder systems. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS) works better in the redesigned model, offering more natural responses. The Blind Spot Information (BSI) system is also an improved one, with an increased, 82 feet of radar range.

First impressions

TrailSport is a mid-level trim and packs off-road wheels, Continental Terrain Contact all-terrain tires, steel skid plates, full-size spare wheel, recovery hooks, and an off-road suspension. There are seven drive modes, including a new ‘Trail’ mode. Engaging the Trail mode enables a new feature called ‘Trail Watch’ that shows a live feed from the front and side cameras on the touchscreen infotainment system.

It’s not possible to disengage the Pilot TrailSport’s stabilizer bars completely, although Honda has optimized it for greater articulation and comfort. The ride on off-road trails is reportedly pretty comfortable, thanks to the specially tuned suspension. In the case of wheelspin at the front, the brake-based torque vectoring system presses into action instantly. The AWD system is more advanced and allows directing 75% of the torque to the rear wheel with more traction and is quite responsive.

Electrification on the fourth-gen Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot has traditionally come with a large gasoline engine, but there’s no evading electrification this decade. The midsize SUV should gain a hybrid powertrain (self-charging) as an option in the future. Honda has promised hybrid variants of core models in the near term but has not spelled out plans for the new Pilot.

For now, the new 3.5-liter V6 gas engine is as close as the Pilot gets to being clean. Tom Sladek, powertrain and TrailSport leader, Honda Development and Manufacturing, has said that with the newly developed engine, the company achieved a SULEV (Super Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle) 30 designation and reduced PM (Particulate Matter) emissions by 50%, The Globe And Mail reported on January 24, 2023.

Pilot Hybrid could follow the CR-V, Accord and Civic Hybrids

Honda has successfully introduced the all-new CR-V Hybrid and all-new Accord Hybrid in the U.S. On January 24, 2023, it announced that it plans to bring the Civic Hybrid to the country in hatchback and sedan versions this year. A Pilot Hybrid could follow in this sequence.

Our strategy is focused on introducing a higher percentage of hybrids in core models in the near term, making a committed effort to achieve higher volume leading to the introduction of our Honda Prologue.

Dave Gardner, former executive vice president of National Operations, American Honda, announcing the Honda Prologue in June 2021

Hybrids should account for at least 50% of sales where they are available Mamadou Diallo, senior vice president of Auto Sales at American Honda, told media, The Detroit Bureau reported on January 25, 2023. Diallo said that he is bullish for 2023, with the expansion of the HEV line-up being one of the main reasons. Hybrid models will be an important “bridge” to EVs, he added.

AutoPacific President and chief analyst Ed Kim is also expecting Honda to electrify the Pilot. Speaking to Newsweek in January 2023, Kim suggested that the company has seen delays in achieving its electrification milestones. The Civic Hybrid won’t come to the U.S. until 2024, and hybrid variants of other core models like the Pilot and Odyssey are yet to appear, Kim noted.

Key rivals have better mpg

The Pilot competes with the Toyota Highlander, Kia Telluride, VW Atlas, Hyundai Palisade, Ford Explorer, and the Chevrolet Traverse. It has an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 19 city/27 highway/22 combined in FWD configurations and up to 19 city/25 highway/21 combined in AWD configurations. The Toyota Highlander AWD and the Ford Explorer AWD achieve better fuel economy, thanks to the availability of a hybrid. EPA estimates the hybrid variants to deliver 35 city/35 highway/35 combined and 23 city/26 highway/25 combined, respectively.

Honda not pursuing a Pilot Plug-in Hybrid

Dave Gardner, former executive vice president of National Operations, American Honda, talked about the planned Honda and Acura launches with the media (via The Detroit Bureau) in January 2022. Gardner stated that the company will move from internal combustion engine vehicles to hybrid electric vehicles, but then, it will “jump directly” to battery electric vehicles. The first of these BEVs is the 2024 Honda Prologue. This can be construed as a confirmation that a Honda Pilot Plug-in Hybrid is not in the pipeline.

Pure-electric alternative to the Pilot arriving in 2025

While Honda has not officially announced plans for a fully-electric Pilot, it has indicated that an EV alternative is being developed for this SUV segment. The company has confirmed that a mid- to large-size Honda EV will go on sale in North America in 2025. This model will be based on an in-house developed bespoke EV platform and use a new electrical/electronic (E/E) architecture. Seeing the market trend, it’s possible that the Japanese automaker is plotting a three-row model that rivals the Kia EV9, the Hyundai Ioniq 7 that’s officially scheduled to debut in 2024, and the Ford Explorer/Expedition Electric that’s rumored to arrive in 2025.


On December 15, 2022, Honda’s Alabama Auto Plant (AAP) commenced mass production of the all-new Honda Pilot. This vast facility in Lincoln is the brand’s exclusive global production source for the Pilot, with more than 2 million units having been rolled out since the model’s introduction way back in 2006. It’s one of five Honda manufacturing plants in the U.S., with an annual production capacity of 680,000 vehicles.

Honda Pilot 2023 production
The Pilot is produced at Honda’s Alabama Auto Plant where more than 2 million units have rolled out since 2006. Image: Honda

Since its new platform boasts a wider frame, the production of the fourth-gen Pilot required the Alabama plant to expand its welding operations. Moreover, while the front-end module (FEM) concept is found on most Honda models, it’s new for this plant. Therefore, a new crescent-shaped sub-assembly process was created for the module, before it was moved to the main assembly line for installation on each vehicle. In a first for the Pilot’s production line, the application of acoustic spray foam has been introduced for improved cabin insulation from road noise.

Price & Release Date

The prices of the 2025 Honda Pilot in the U.S. start at USD 39,990 and top out at USD 54,280 for the newly introduced Black Edition. A USD 1,395 destination charge is applicable over the MSRP across the range.

Honda Pilot sales in the U.S.

In 2022, the YoY Pilot sales fell 30.4%, to 99,567 units. With the redesigned model on sale, and supply issues easing, 2023 was a year of increase for the SUV. Honda sold 110,298 units of the Pilot last year, 10.8% more than in 2022.

Honda’s electrification strategy

Honda, which sold the most electrified vehicles in its history in the United States in 2021 (topping 100,000 units), aims for a 40% EV/FCV unit sales ratio in North America by 2030. The company has said that it will increase this number to 80% by 2035, and by 2040, it would discontinue gas-powered vehicles to become a 100% zero-emission brand. A strong performer like the Pilot, which sells around 100,000 units/year usually, should be among the cars to be electrified in the foreseeable future for Honda to reach its interim emissions target.

Hybrid-electric vehicles are effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and are a critical pathway toward Honda’s vision for 100% zero-emission vehicle sales in North America by 2040.

Mamadou Diallo, vice president of Auto Sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc, on April 14, 2022

TopElectricSUV says

What can we say? An electrified powertrain isn’t currently available for the Honda Pilot, which is disappointing given that many automakers are switching to hybrid and pure-electric powertrains at large.

2025 Honda Pilot FAQs

What is the 2025 Honda Pilot release date?

The gas-powered 2025 Honda Pilot is now heading to U.S. dealers. The Hybrid model is expected within a few years.

What is the 2025 Honda Pilot price?

The 2025 Honda Pilot starts at USD 39,990 (excl. USD 1,395 destination charge).

Which models are the Honda Pilot rivals?

The 2025 Pilot competes with the Toyota Highlander, Kia Telluride, Ford Explorer, Hyundai Palisade, and Chevrolet Traverse.