The growing competition in the mid-size three-row segment will make the 2020 Honda Pilot present some new features. One of them must be a hybrid engine. Its main rivals, Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander are already in the business. It will push Pilot SUV to the mid-cycle refresh and the hybrid drivetrain is the priority. Also, the vehicle will bring modified front fascia to update its look for the first time since the new generation came out. Plenty of options remain available, with the Elite trim level sitting at the top of the offer sheet.
The new model’s release date will heavily depend on the new Honda Passport SUV. It is still fresh, and the company will give it some time to show its performance. Furthermore, at the debut, we will see the 2020 Honda Pilot Hybrid, for sure. Since it is the headliner for the upcoming season, the Japanese carmaker is not going to miss to bring it for some of the big shows. The price of the new Pilot will start at $33,000.
We can compare the new 2020 Honda Pilot with the latest addition to the SUV lineup. Honda Passport was very similar to the flagship model, but it also brought some unique upgrades. Nevertheless, the new Pilot will use it to carry over some of the solutions for the interior and infotainment system. The SUV will support the latest versions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Outside, the front fascia will get new headlights and fog lamps. Bumper and grille should be slightly smaller, according to rumors. Still, we can’t see spy photos on the streets to compare it to the current version. As soon as the first test mules appear, we will know the redesign is in the final phases.
2020 Honda Pilot Specs
Under the bonnet of the 2020 Honda Pilot will be a 3.5-liter V6 engine. This is the largest unit the Japanese company is offering in the US market. The reliable drivetrain is capable to produce 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It will also serve as the base for the hybrid drivetrain. We will discuss this later. Well, Pilot lacks some power compared to its archrival – Toyota Highlander. Honda will deliver the three-row SUV with front-wheel drive. Optionally, you can pick power distribution to all four corners. Another choice is the transmission and the number of paces. The basic one is a six-speed automatic. A nine-speed gearbox will improve the fuel economy and acceleration. Don’t take this for good, but Honda could drop the first one next season. The Towing capacity of the new 2020 Pilot remains at 5,000 pounds.
Hybrid and PHEV Drivetrains
Toyota Highlander had it and now Ford Explorer is getting a hybrid engine. To stay competitive and keep the pace with main rivals, the 2020 Honda Pilot Hybrid must be the priority for the automotive giant. Well, for a quite long we are hearing rumors about this model. And Honda is still silent. Now, they have two big reasons to speed up the entire process and deliver the hybrid unit as soon as possible.
Competition – Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer
We already mentioned the two biggest rivals to the 2020 Honda Pilot. Ford Explorer is on its home ground and it has a special treatment. Now, with the new model on the way for the next season, including a hybrid engine, Explorer SUV will get more buyers. Toyota is preparing the response. The redesign of Highlander is near the end. But, the new Pilot will have to keep a tab to other mid-size SUVs with seven or eight seating spots. Chevrolet Traverse is another US-built favorite, while the Jeep Grand Cherokee is among the best-sellers, and it gets the three-row version in 2020. The new arrival to the segment is Hyundai Palisade, and we expect more news from Nissan Pathfinder.
2020 Honda Pilot Type R?
Civic is currently the only Honda Type R model. However, if you listen to rumors, fans of all other nameplates would like to see their favorites with the Type R badge. So it is with Pilot SUV. But, there is another reason why we believe in this model. While presenting the new Civic, chiefs unveiled new ideas. Among others, we could hear about Project P, which will install the Type R package to pickup trucks and big SUVs. Besides Pilot, there is also the Ridgeline truck to get the same treatment if the project goes through.
Prices, Release Date
The base price of the 2020 Honda Pilot will remain the same although the model comes with numerous upgrades. On the other hand, upper trim levels will increase their cost a bit. The most exclusive offer is the Elite package. It will cost $50,000. That is the most expensive model, at least until the Type R shows up. Also, the price of the hybrid version will probably start at $40,000. It will easily jump over $50k with other trim levels.
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