The Honda Pilot is all-new for 2023, with all-new styling inside and out. It’s safe to say that this hot SUV will be in short supply at dealerships for a while. But there are several excellent alternatives to the Honda Pilot that seat seven or eight people, with peppy engines and comfortable interiors. What are some great Honda Pilot alternatives under $45,000?
The Honda Pilot is all new for 2023
The base price of the new Pilot is about $40,000. The driver you’ll want the most, the slightly upgraded EX-L, should cost around $45,000, depending on options and seating. You can order the new Pilot in a seven or eight seat configuration. The Honda has ample rear-seat room, tough new styling, and various driver aids.
Honda made the new Pilot bigger, more powerful, and stronger. You now have a frame designed for off-road use in the $48,350 all-wheel-drive TrailSport package. The new V6 is also five horsepower more powerful than last year’s, at 295 hp. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option on any Pilot.
Kia Telluride is the obvious driver alternative
The Kia Telluride is the spectrum. It’s won tons of awards, including 2022 MotorBiscuit SUV of the Year, for many of the same reasons the Pilot is in demand. The Telluride is roughly the same size, can be similarly equipped, has similar driver aids, and has all-new styling for 2023. The Kia Telluride starts at around $36,000, though, which leaves plenty of room. for options like one of their special models. editing decorations.
It has a 291-horsepower V6, and all-wheel drive is also a $2,000 option. For around $45,000, you can buy an upgraded EX version with the X-Line Off-Road Package, which adds a slight lift to the suspension, tires and downhill brake control, as well as special seats and trim. The SX version, however, adds niceties like heated seats, more charging ports, and a power liftgate.
The Toyota Highlander is another great Honda Pilot alternative
Toyota’s large seven- or eight-passenger SUV, the Highlander, is super popular because it offers several features, good looks, and Toyota reliability. For around $44,000, you can pick up the mid-level Highlander XSE model, which comes with many of the same options as the others on the list, like heated seats and more USB outlets than you’ll probably need. Although the Highlander stacks well, the rear seat is kid- or rider-only, with just 28 inches of legroom.
For 2023, the Highlander is updated with a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine that, while making less horsepower, packs more torque than the outgoing engine and doesn’t hurt acceleration. However, we’re waiting on the new Grand Highlander, which will be a long-wheelbase version of the Highlander and should improve that third-row space.
The Ford Explorer is the American alternative
The Ford Explorer seems to be sailing under the radar. In 2020, Ford updated the Explorer and for around $40,000 you can find an upgraded XLT version of the Explorer that comes standard with heated seats, rear parking sensors, and Ford stain-resistant ActiveX leather seats. The Explorer doesn’t stand out like other SUVs, and for some that’s an advantage. It comes with Ford’s new 305-horsepower version of the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine.
Or stretch that budget a bit and try the high-performance version, the ST-Line, which comes with a 400-horsepower engine, stiffer suspension, and an appearance package for $46,005.
Subaru Ascent is an unlikely alternative for the Honda driver
The Subaru Ascent, the brand’s first three-row SUV, impresses with its low (for the segment) base price of $33,895. Unlike the others on this list, all-wheel drive is standard on the Subie, and its wagon-like proportions pay dividends in parking lots. It has useful rear legroom, three inches more than the 32 Highlander, and comes in seven- or eight-passenger configurations. It’s a little less powerful than the others, with a 260-horsepower engine, and its cargo space isn’t nearly as generous.
However, for our $45,000 target price, the Subaru can come very well equipped. It’s getting a bit old and hasn’t been updated since 2019 according to motor tendency. The Limited trim starts at $41,595 and the only option is the $3,550 Technology Package that adds multimedia navigation, a surround-view camera, and a moonroof, topped off with leather seats and trim. It represents a lot of value.