After the facelift for 2019 MY, Honda is preparing the mid-cycle refresh of its flagship model. A three-row SUV made a strong performance ever since it entered the market with the new generation in 2016, and it is considered as one of the best mid-size SUVs. Honda manages to maintain its status, but the arrival of the all-new Ford Explorer sets up some challenges to the entire class. The 2020 Honda Pilot is about to respond with the redesign, interior changes, and plug-in hybrid engine.

Fans are not surprised by the new model not debuting yet. The Japanese company recently added the new SUV to its lineup, Passport, and the focus is currently on this model. However, soon we will shift our sights to the 2020 Honda Pilot. The second half of the year is the time when most of the new arrivals are coming out. The SUV will have a lot of things to show, so there are no worries it will be compatible to fight with Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander.

2020 honda pilot elite redesign

2020 Honda Pilot Specs

Honda Pilot eight-seat SUV is using a single drivetrain. But, a V6 is one of the most reliable and durable units you will find on the market. The Japanese carmaker is pairing it with either six- or nine-speed transmission. Both gearboxes are sending power to front wheels by default. Of course, if you need more traction, all-wheel drive is available for only $2,000 and it is ideal for off-road fun. The new SUV will also get extra ground clearance. The 3.5-liter unit is delivering 280 hp and 262 pound-feet of torque. The 2020 Honda Pilot specs sheet is about to suffer some serious changes when the hybrid model arrives. Until then, depending on drive mode and transmission type, the SUV will return 22-23 mpg combined.

Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid Specifications

Ever since the new Pilot hit the market, we can hear rumors about the hybrid drivetrain. Well, it seems the time is now, mostly because its main rivals are out with such drivetrains. Honda will build the 2020 Honda Pilot hybrid on the existing V6 engine. The electric motor would create even more powerful drivetrain with the AWD system. On the other hand, we can also expect the new SUV to add the plug-in hybrid version and include some electric range as well. With the minimum 30 miles in its batteries, the new Pilot could make a strong impact on the entire segment. It is not going to match Toyota’s and Ford’s offers, but also top them.

2020 honda pilot specs
A 3.5-liter engine delivers 280 horsepower

Changes, Interior

Honda will redesign its new Pilot three-row SUV in the hope it will revive the interest among buyers as it did in 2016. However, the competition is bigger and it is always harder to maintain the top position or make new steps than to get there without any big expectations. But, if any company got us used to surprises, that is Honda. The Japanese giant is going to introduce changes outside and inside the vehicle.

With facelift launched for 2019 season, the focus will be on the interior. Honda is modernizing the SUV, although it is one of the most comfortable and reliable on the market. Inside, there is a room for eight passengers. Upper trim levels cut one spot in the middle row by offering captain’s chairs instead of a bench for three persons.

2020 Honda Pilot Elite

The top of the line model for the upcoming season will be the 2020 Honda Pilot Elite. All-wheel drive is standard for this package. You are also getting a panoramic sunroof to boost the overall impression and riding comfort. Advanced technologies are getting a few updates. Definitely, the Elite suite will bring wireless charging spot, connectivity options for smartphone (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), and premium audio multi-zone system. Leather seats are standard. The first row is getting heating and cooling, while the second row comes with captain’s chairs.

2020 honda pilot interior changes

2020 Honda Pilot vs 2020 Toyota Highlander

The new 2020 Ford Explorer is already out. But, the battle 2020 Honda Pilot vs 2020 Toyota Highlander might be more interesting because two carmakers are coming from the same country. Highlander is bringing the new hybrid drivetrain, and Pilot must response. Well, the specs of both SUVs in the standard offer are the same. Toyota offers 10 hp more. But, the fuel economy, towing capacity, and torque are absolutely the same. So, small details will be decisive. One of them is an extra seat in Pilot, since 2020 Toyota Highlander will be a seven-seat SUV. Buyers won’t probably look at the price difference since both models will be available around $33,000.


2020 Toyota Highlander Full Review

2020 Ford Explorer Full Review

Release Date

We are going back to the question from the title – when does the 2020 Honda Pilot come out? The redesign of the new model is ongoing and the development is not going to last for too long. However, Honda is choosing the right moment to deliver the new SUV. It also depends on its fierce rival, Toyota Highlander. The new 2020 Ford Explorer is out, and it unveiled its upgrades, leaving both Japanese companies time to respond. The new Pilot will be ready by 2020 and its debut is expected late this year, probably at LA Auto Show.


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