Honda's mid-sized, three-row SUV gets a boxy refresh for 2023 with a new transmission and various other upgrades.

The venerable three-row Honda Pilot which is responsible for around two decades

reliable and rugged service to families and more just got a much-needed revamp.

It competes in a crowded field of other capable and desirable mid-sized SUVs and brings a raft of tech and convenience to the table

in addition to the overdue styling overhaul that makes it look more truck-like and masculine-looking.

No vehicle is perfect however, and as we will see, the badge and Japanese perceived-quality come at the expense of other qualities inherent in its rivals.

We pick apart the new 2023 Honda Pilot and examine the contents to see if it has the makings of a reliable-yet-desirable Japanese Swiss-army knife.

Honda plays it safe with the refreshed new Pilot, once again supplying a naturally aspirated V6 engine.

The 3.5-liter block is mostly the same as the unit in the 2022 Honda Pilot, with direct fuel injection, 24 valves, and no turbo or hybrid assistance - though

it now has dual overhead camshafts in place of the single cam shaft from before and power is very marginally higher at 285 hp and 262 lb-ft.

The all-aluminum engine isn’t ground-breaking or highly competitive in terms of performance

but should offer enough performance for day-to-day duties as well as undemanding adventures further off the beaten track.

Other brands such as key rival Toyota offer the Highlander with a turbocharged inline-4 that makes 265 hp and a useful 310 lb-ft, and for those with more cash to spare

no need for 3 rows of seats, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has the option of the 4xe turbocharged hybrid that offers 375 hp and 470 lb-ft.