Honda is in the process of revealing its all-new 2023 Pilot SUV. The Pilot is one of our favorite three-row SUVs, and we hope Honda fans won't object to our poking a little fun at the brand for dubbing the new Pilot "the King of the Car Pool Lane."
We're not sure if the folks at Honda have been in a Car Pool Lane lately, a.k.a. HOV lane. If Honda's (excellent) marketing team had been in an HOV lane, they would know that the lanes are now filled with EVs
States opened up their "carpool lanes" to electrified vehicles long ago. As early as 2005, the rules in some states (California for example) changed to not just allow vehicles with multiple individuals into the special lanes, but also hybrids, plug-in hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell hybrid-electric vehicles, and battery-electric vehicles with just one occupant. There has never been a Honda Pilot offered with an electrified powertrain, and in 2023 the only engine is a 3.5-liter gas engine.
Honda says that the Pilot's flexible seating and more spacious second and third rows make it the King of the Car Pool Lane, but actually, even the smallest four-passenger vehicle for sale in America is just as welcome in the carpool lane as the Pilot is. Massachusetts welcomes 2-passenger vehicles, like, say, a Miata, with both seats occupied in its HOV lanes.
Interestingly, the Honda Pilot was not shown in the press release carrying three rows of passengers in a carpool lane. Honda's press release says the new Pilot "belongs on the trail. In fact, all of the images show the new Pilot on dirt paths. "The Honda Pilot has been a family favorite for two decades, and now we've made it even better with more space and refinement inside, cool new rugged styling outside, and substantially increased off-road performance to back it up," said Mamadou Diallo, vice president of Auto Sales, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Topping it off, the new Pilot TrailSport is an authentic, off-road-capable SUV for true weekend adventures, without sacrificing comfort and on-road dynamics for daily driving."
Kidding aside, if we were going to carpool in the age of social distancing with up to six other vehicle occupants, we'd want two things; A window we could roll down and a reservation on the cheapest possible battery-electric vehicle we could find. So we could get out of the carpool.
The new 2023 Honda Pilot looks to be an excellent three-row SUV with many great features. Watch Torque News for more updates when the vehicle begins to be delivered to consumers.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin
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