Road Trip season is officially upon us and after my recent trip out west for some much needed rest, I think I may have found us all a great vehicle option for future adventures. Perfect for families, girlfriend getaways and solo excursions that ticks all the safety and amenity boxes, the 2023 Honda Pilot Trail Sport has entered the chat.
Full disclosure, this isn’t my first time behind the wheel of a Honda Pilot. My rendezvous with the full bodied SUV began earlier this year when the Honda company hosted me on a trip celebrating the Battle of the Bands and HBCU culture. Hitting the beltway from Atlanta to Alabama I tested the Honda Pilot’s torque, maneuverability and indulged in its style and space first hand. And after touring the Honda factory in Lincoln, Alabama, I learned the incredible story behind the brand and their dedication to the communities they serve. For more on that, click here.
My initial experience with the vehicle was enjoyable but I wanted to venture out and give the buzzworthy and rugged version of the Honda Pilot (the Trail Sport) a drive to compare. In true VJ fashion, I curated a road trip retreat (of course) with a relaxed itinerary to really kick back and explore The Grand Canyon State.
The Road Trip experience with the Honda Pilot Trail Sport..
Windows down, open-roads and extraordinary views ahead, we kicked off the trip from Phoenix where we picked up the Pilot Trail Sport before heading north. I chose PHX instead of Las Vegas because the traffic was easier and the route is about 2-hours shorter to Sedona giving you access to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim and more. Immediately, I noticed the vehicle’s inviting color; Diffused Sky Blue. Quite eye-catching at first glance, the soft blue hues matched the clear desert skies surrounding us on our drive through Scottsdale en route to our final destination.
Entering the vehicle, you can’t help but appreciate the amount of space and seating available too (in this case accommodating up to seven passengers comfortably, which is definitely a plus for a road trip). Ample storage spaces, plug-ins and charging stations as well as multiple locations for a purse or laptop were fantastic to get a bit of work done while en route. The ultra quiet cabin space and extended second row came in handy for voiceover on the go, which I managed to pull off for a few stations in need of quick promos. One small but important touch that I also appreciated was the drop-down screens in the second row to help curb that Arizona heat. I can now attest that scorching temperatures on average were over 90 degrees daily and even higher in PHX, so if you do have a trip to the area planned, sunblock, hats and sleeves are a must.
Revved and ready for the journey, the maneuverability and handling is noticeable from the moment you take the wheel. With impressive safety elements that immediately engaged on the highway, including automatic high beam adjustments when incoming traffic was approaching, the Pilot Trail Sport held her own. We encountered multiple terrains from gravel in the Grand Canyon, the steep and unpredictable hillsides of Sedona and even sand in the Navajo Nation on our way to the iconic Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.
A few additional touch points that I enjoyed: the expansive windshield view made both the driver and the passenger seats feel elevated and in command of the road, the 9.0 inch touchscreen with integrated navigation, Apple CarPlay and more was easily accessible so you never needed to look away from the road, and the expansive sunroof was a great bonus making the drive feel more exciting especially with Arizona’s gorgeous mountain views at every turn. And after clocking almost 1000 miles throughout the state and touching the Utah border, I can absolutely attest to the Honda Pilot Trail Sport’s reputation for quality, safety and durability for the road ahead.
For all things Sedona, the Grand Canyon and the Antelope Canyon experience, Visit Arizona has a wealth of options to explore. If you’re interested in learning more about the Honda Pilot Trail Sport and other Honda vehicles that may be right for your family and next adventure, head to Honda.com to explore the packages and offers available.
Written by Vanessa James. All opinions are my own.