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2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport Review: The Rugged, Adventurous Family SUV

2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport | Photo: K.Soltani
  • EPA Category: Midsize SUV
  • Price: 59972 $ - 59972 $
  • Consumption: 9,8 - 13,4 L/100km
  • Warranty: 3 years / 60000 km

strong / weak points

  • Versatility
  • Advanced safety technologies
  • Spacious, comfortable interior
  • Enhanced off-road capabilities

  • Lack of hybrid or electric powertrains
  • Austere interior
  • High price
  • High fuel consumption
Results80 %
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Khatir Soltani
The Pilot quickly established itself as a mainstay in the family SUV segment, and it has remained so; the TrailSport is an adventurous evolution for the model.

•    Auto123 reviews the 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport.

Since its introduction in 2002, the Honda Pilot has firmly established itself as a mainstay in the family SUV segment, earning the trust of consumers with its reliability, versatility and comfort. Over the years, each new generation of the Pilot has brought significant improvements in design, technology and performance, aimed of course at meeting the changing needs of modern families.

The 2024 Pilot TrailSport is the newest variant to join the range and it marks an adventurous evolution for those who want to take their families off the beaten track. It retains the fundamental qualities that have made the Pilot such a success, while adding an adventurous dimension.

To this end, Honda has endowed the TrailSport version with a host of technical and aesthetic enhancements that make it more rugged, more capable and more attractive than ever.

2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport - What's new?

The 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, while sharing the same base as the redesigned 2023 edition of the SUV, gets improvements specifically conceived for those who love adventure. It’s thus equipped with a higher suspension and special tires to better cope with difficult terrain. Underbody skid plates protect the SUV during off-road escapades.

The TrailSport version also gets a unique grille, special bumpers and black wheels. The interior features wear-resistant seats and orange detailing to reflect the model’s hardier persona. But while it's made for adventure, it's still comfortable with heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel and decent audio system.

Performance,-wise, the TrailSport has an enhanced all-wheel drive system with a special trail mode. It also has hill descent control to help on steep inclines.

2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, in profile
2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, in profile | Photo: K.Soltani

Design of the 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport - 8,0/10

The 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport is distinct from the standard Pilot via exterior modifications that reinforce its off-road character. Those include the exclusive black grille, a suspension raised by 25 mm to increase ground clearance and steel skid plates under the vehicle to protect mechanical components during off-road driving.

No surprise, there are larger wheels around the unique 18-inch rims. The TrailSport is equipped with more robust off-road tires, designed to offer better grip on loose and slippery surfaces. The 265/60R18 TerrainContact AT tires feature an aggressive tread pattern, with blocks that are wider and deeper than those on standard tires. This design provides better grip on loose, slippery surfaces such as mud, sand, snow and gravel, improving traction and stability off paved roads.

In fact, these tires are approved for winter driving where that’s required in Canada, as evidenced by the mountain pictogram with snowflake, indicating that they meet the snow and ice performance standards set by Transport Canada.

On the road, we found these tires extremely comfortable and quiet. They absorb all the imperfections of our damaged roads. We hope to drive the model later in the year to see how they do in winter.

2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, interior
2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, interior | Photo: K.Soltani
2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, seats
2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, seats | Photo: K.Soltani

Inside
The interior is designed with a focus on comfort and functionality. The seats are covered in wear-resistant, easy-to-clean leatherette and offer good support for long journeys. The only drawback is that the seats are not ventilated and things can get very hot in summer.

The second row of seats (captain’s chairs on our model) slides and reclines, maximizing legroom for third-row passengers if need be. The trunk is equally spacious for a three-row model, with 524 litres available behind the third row of seats.

Technology in the 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport - 8.5/10

The 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport is equipped with a range of technologies that have been modernized since the previous version. Notable features include an updated touchscreen infotainment system, premium audio system and wireless phone charger.

Infotainment and connectivity
The 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport features a customizable 10.2-inch digital instrument panel. The 9-inch central touchscreen serves as the main interface for the infotainment system, which provides access to music, calls and other features. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility enhance its use. The 12-speaker Bose audio system ensures a high-quality sound experience for all occupants.

Safety and driving aids
The 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite, which includes drive assist technologies such as automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. It also features a multi-angle backup camera to make maneuvering easier, and a blind spot monitoring system to warn the driver of vehicles in hard-to-see areas.

But, there's no automatic windshield wiper. A shortcoming, in our opinion, especially at the asking price.

2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, front
2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, front | Photo: K.Soltani

Powertrain of the 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport - 8.0/10

Under the hood of the TrailSport we find a 3.5L V6 engine producing 285 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Although front-wheel drive is preferred, the TrailSport comes standard with Honda's i-VTM4 all-wheel drive system, specially designed to enhance off-road performance. It features a dynamic torque distribution known as “torque vectoring”, which can send up to 70 percent of engine power to the rear axle, with the option of directing 100 percent of that power to a single wheel - excellent for optimizing traction on difficult surfaces.

2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, three-quarters rear
2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, three-quarters rear | Photo: K.Soltani

Driving the 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport - 8.0/10

The Pilot TrailSport offers a pleasant and safe ride, even off the beaten track. Thanks to its raised suspension and all-terrain tires, it absorbs uneven terrain well and maintains good stability, even on bumpy roads.

On the road, the Pilot TrailSport maintains a healthy, predictable ride, with relatively little roll to report and highly effective braking. The 3.5L V6 engine provides ample power for overtaking and acceleration, and is well supported by the 10-speed transmission.

Although the off-road tires may slightly reduce steering precision and emergency braking on asphalt, driving comfort is not compromised. We were surprised at how the Pilot TrailSport remains quiet and pleasant to drive, even on long freeway journeys.

Fuel consumption
The 2024 Pilot Trailsport has a fuel consumption rating of 13.0L/100 km city and 9.8L/100 km highway. For our part, we noted a fuel consumption of 13.4L/100 km city and 9.8L/100 km highway.

2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, TrailSport badging
2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, TrailSport badging | Photo: K.Soltani

2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport pricing in Canada

The 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport has an MSRP of at $59,972, making it the middle child of the Pilot lineup. For the Pilot model range as a whole, here's the pricing structure:

  • - Pilot Sport - $53,350 CAD
  • - Pilot EX-L - $56,850
  • - Pilot TrailSport - $59,972
  • - Pilot Touring - $63,600
  • - Pilot Black Edition - $65,100

Some of your questions about the 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport

Is the 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport a good family vehicle?
Yes, the overall package makes this SUV an excellent family vehicle. It offers ample and comfortable space for passengers and cargo, as well as numerous safety and convenience features. The Pilot in general is also much improved compared to its predecessor, gaining in engine flexibility and driving pleasure.

Is the 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport capable of off-roading?
Yes, you can definitely take this model for light to moderate off-roading. It features a raised suspension, off-road tires and an all-wheel drive system. Although not designed for the most extreme terrain, it nevertheless offers surprising off-road capability for a family SUV, making it possible to reach hiking trails without difficulty. But again, note that this version is not intended for intensive off-road use.

2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, rear
2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, rear | Photo: K.Soltani

The final word
The 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport is a wise choice for families in search of adventure. The SUV displays remarkable versatility, offering the day-to-day comfort required of a three-row family vehicle but also decent off-road capabilities. Its engine, transmission and high-performance all-wheel drive system guarantee a pleasant and safe ride in all circumstances.

To be clear, the TrailSport remains a family SUV and has no pretensions of rivaling extreme off-road vehicles. It offers a good balance between the ruggedness needed for cross-country trails and the comfort required for everyday city driving. What's more, the suspension system ensures that, even when fitted with off-road tires, driving comfort and noise levels remain pleasant for passengers.

The pricing is relatively high, that’s true, but the Pilot TrailSport offers good value for money, given its many qualities and comprehensive equipment. It represents an attractive option for those seeking its particular qualities.

Competitors of the 2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport

- Ford Explorer Timberline: also offers enhanced off-road capabilities, a spacious interior and a varied engine range.
- Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland: More luxurious than the Pilot TrailSport, it nevertheless offers limited off-road capabilities while offering a refined interior.
- Kia Telluride X-Pro: Attractive design, spacious, comfortable interior and enhanced off-road capabilities.
- Subaru Outback Wilderness: Although smaller than the Pilot, it offers excellent ground clearance, standard all-wheel drive and a reputation for reliability.
- Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro: Renowned for its ruggedness and off-road performance, it's a popular choice for adventure seekers.

2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, profile
2024 Honda Pilot TrailSport, profile | Photo: K.Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada