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Honda Pilot 2024 Trail Sport |  In search of what is necessary

Honda Pilot 2024 Trail Sport | In search of what is necessary

Special Collaboration: Marc Bouchard, motoring journalist

The 2024 Honda Pilot Trailsport is a bit like that cozy old sweater you throw on to face a busy day. It may not have the glamor of the latest electric SUVs, but it knows exactly what it is and what it offers. No frills, no extravagant pretensions. Just the essentials.

You quickly realize this when you look at the exterior. Although it was completely redesigned last year, it adopts circular lines and a front grille that is less prominent than the rest of the family.

In fact, the design of the Honda Pilot Trail Sport is a tribute to simplicity. It does not seek to impress with futuristic curves or aggressive lines. On the contrary, it relies on an elongated hood, setback A-pillars and a beefy beltline. It almost feels like a return to basics, to a time when SUVs had less elaborate shapes.

But let us point out that the bright blue color called Dynamic Pearl, exclusive to the Trailsport version, makes it less discreet, which is excellent.

Practical and practical

Inside, the Honda Pilot Trailsport continues its minimalist momentum. Neutral shades soften the horizontal display. To be sure, the quality of materials doesn't rival that of luxury SUVs or even more bespoke versions like the Mazda CX-90, but the assembly is solid and the practicality is there.

The storage spaces in the front and rear doors are there to prove it. The rear seats are comfortable, even if the seats remain a little low. Up front, I'll admit it took me a few long minutes to find the perfect driving position, but once installed, the comfort was there.

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Because the Honda Pilot seats seven passengers, we are happy that Honda thought of an ingenious mechanism to access the third row with a simple push of a button. Simply practical.

under the cover

The Honda Pilot Trailsport's 3.5-liter V6 produces 285 horsepower at 6,100 rpm, barely more than the outgoing engine. No frills here either. Honda has updated this naturally aspirated engine that has been with the Pilot since its beginnings. The VTEC system is gone, in favor of the more traditional double overhead camshaft configuration. There's no fuss, but proven reliability and enough power to move the imposing frame of an SUV. A 10-speed automatic transmission completes the picture, providing smooth and efficient gear changes.

All-wheel drive and a choice of driving modes add to the car's characteristics. But, due to the presence of a but, somewhat like the relative anonymity of its design, the pilot's steering does not display the required precision or communication with the road. We feel compelled to insist more to obtain a certain accuracy.

As for the suspension, one might think that it is better suited to rougher trails, making it a little soft on the road. Therefore, the weight transfer is felt when cornering continuously, just as it is during sudden braking.

I have to say it: I highly recommend the Honda Pilot. They are reliable, durable, well assembled and have undeniable resale value. Unfortunately, the ride is a bit dull, even for an SUV of this size. You won't get a thrill or a big smile while driving the test car. On the other hand, you will reach your destination easily and without worry.

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And sometimes, that's exactly what you need: an SUV that gets the job done without any fuss, with consistent reliability. So, put on your old jacket, hop aboard the Honda Pilot Trailsport and go on an adventure. You will not be disappointed.

In the podcast

There's a short break for this week, but we still invite you to take a look at our video about the Toyota Camry!