The 2013 Honda Pilots actually had quite a decent towing capacity attached to them, if you had the required equipment. You might be surprised to find out that the four-wheel drive models had a higher capacity than the two-wheel drive models, in some cases a lot more capacity.
You will need to know a couple of things in order to get an accurate maximum trailer weight rating for your 2013 Pilot, but this is easy to figure out and I've listed everything you need to know in this article, which should make things it's a lot easier. I hope it helps!
I do recommend that you read through your owner's manual to get familiar with your vehicle and be sure to abide by all of Honda's recommendations.
2013 Pilot Overview
Overall Towing Capacity: The overall towing capacity for the 2013 Honda Pilots range from 0-4,500 lbs. and this depended on three main factors which were: the number of occupants in the vehicle, whether you had a two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive model and if you had the automatic transmission fluid cooler installed on your vehicle.
Engine Options: There was only one engine option for the 2013 models and this was a 3.5 L engine that came in a V6 configuration. This is why the chart did not have many variables when it came to the overall trailer weight ratings, which I tend to prefer because it makes the charts a lot easier to decipher.
Trim Levels: For The 2013 models, you had the choice between four different trim level options that were listed as the: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring models. On your vehicle did not affect the maximum trailer weight ratings that were listed in the chart.
Assumed Weight: Honda does assume that each occupant in the vehicle weighs approximately 150 lbs. and will have 15 lbs. of cargo for each passenger, giving us a grand total of 165 lbs. per occupant.
Here's The Chart:
The chart for the 2013 Honda Pilots were arranged based on the number of occupants in the vehicle, which gave different maximum trailer weight rating specs, as you can see from the image I was able to find in the owner's manual below.
There are three additional columns to the right of the number of occupants column and this is for four-wheel drive models, two-wheel drive models that have the optional automatic transmission fluid cooler installed and the last column was reserved for the two-wheel drive models that did not have the cooler installed.
If you had the four-wheel drive model, then you had the highest ratings listed on the chart and if you had the two-wheel drive model without the cooler, you were pretty limited when it came to your maximum trailer weight rating.
Tongue Weight Rating:
I was also able to find the tongue weight rating chart that is listed in the owner's manual and they give example figures based on the maximum trailer weight ratings that were specified in the chart above.
In the example that used 10% of the maximum trailer weight ratings, probably just because the math is a lot easier to show this, but if you read the text above the chart, you can see that you can have anywhere from 5-10% of the total trailer weight on the hitch of your vehicle, if you're pulling a boat trailer behind you and 8-15% for any other types of trailers.
Trailer brakes are also a requirement for the 2013 model year Pilots and Honda specifies that if your trailer weighs 1,000 pounds or more, you will have to have trailer brakes equipped on your trailer, that are independent of your vehicle's brakes. This is pretty standard for all model year Pilots, from what I've research so far.
On a side note, you will want to check your local laws to see if Honda's requirements meet their expectations or if you have to modify anything.
There were four different trim levels listed in the brochure for the 2013 Pilots and these were listed as the: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring models.
The trim level you had equipped on your vehicle did not affect the overall maximum trailer weight ratings at all, instead the number of occupants you had in the vehicle, whether you had the optional ATF cooler and whether you had a four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive model were really the three main factors that contributed to what you can haul.
GVWR, GCWR and GAWR Figures:
All of the other important weight metrics for these 2013 SUVs were listed in the owner's manual in a chart, that I have posted at the bottom of the section for reference.
Honda divided up all of the gross combined weight ratings, the gross vehicle weight rating and both of the gross axle weight ratings by two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models, which makes it a little bit easier to read.
GCWR: The GCWR was listed at a maximum of 8,466 lbs. for two-wheel drive models and 9,579 lbs. for four-wheel drive models. Remember, the gross combined weight rating is how much weight the vehicle and trailer combined can handle.
GVWR: The GVWR is how much weight the vehicle itself can handle, safely and if we look at the chart, we can see that the gross vehicle rating was listed at 5,952 lbs. for two-wheel drive models and 6,096 lbs. for four-wheel drive models.
GAWRs: The gross axle weight ratings were listed for both the front and rear axles and according to the chart, we can see that the front axle weight rating was the same for both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models, listed at 2,921 lbs.
The rear gross axle did have different ratings and it ranged between 3,196-3,362 lbs., depending on two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive configuration and there was also a rating for LX models that differed from other 4WD models.
Do I Have A Transmission Cooler On My Vehicle?
From what I understand, four-wheel drive models had the automatic transmission fluid cooler as a standard option, but if you had a two-wheel drive version, then you had the option of having one of these installed to get those higher capacity ratings.
Knowing whether you had one installed on your vehicle is a little bit harder to figure out, unless you are mechanically inclined, in which case you would have to climb under the vehicle and see if you could find any transmission lines that go to the radiator or somewhere around the radiator to an auxiliary cooler.
For everybody else, I would recommend taking your vehicle into the dealership to see if they can confirm whether you have one of these ATF coolers installed on your SUV.
Other Notes I Found:
I was doing a little bit more research in the owner's manual and I was able to find a couple of tidbits of information that I thought was worth mentioning that might get overlooked by most people.
I took two different screenshots that I posted below and these talk about the octane rating of gas when you're pulling more than 3,500 lbs. and how the performance of the vehicle can be affected by certain things like higher outside temperatures, steep uphill grades and higher altitudes.
The other bit of information talks a little bit about weight distribution hitches and how these model year SUVs are not suited to have one of these hitches installed. I do know that some model year Pilots can actually have these installed but not the 2013 models.
All of the information in this article was gathered from two main sources, which I have mentioned many times already in this article, but these two sources were the owner's manual and the 2013 brochure. I posted links to these two resources below for those of you out there that want a quick way to navigate your way there, so you can check them out for yourself.