2016 Honda Pilot: Fuel Economy Update for December — Early Disappointment
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 5, 2016
We were hanging out with my parents on the Oregon coast during that quiet week between Christmas and New Year's Day and our 2016 Honda Pilot wasn't going much of anywhere. I added the Pilot's last fill-up of 2015 while still on the California side of the border so I could pump it myself.
Oregon is one of two states where you can't pump your own fuel, and I've always been turned off by how the so-called "professionals" routinely top-up a tank mercilessly with several clicks in order to round the total to an even dollar — even when they know I'm paying with a credit card.
It screws up my MPG record-keeping and I have no doubt this kind of thing cost Dad several hundred dollars a few weeks ago when his 2007 Tacoma's evaporative emissions canister finally gave up the ghost after years of such abuse.
But I digress.
Our half-finished trip has added 778 miles of pure road trip fuel economy to the Pilot's total. Drum roll, please.
Our trio of northbound highway tanks ranged between 20.9 and 22.1 mpg, with an overall average of 21.3 mpg. Not good. Our all-wheel-drive Pilot with its nine-speed automatic transmission is EPA-rated at 26 highway mpg. We didn't even manage to equal its EPA combined rating of 22 mpg.
Including other routine December driving miles added before our road trip, our new Pilot's lifetime average sits at a piddling 18.9 mpg.
It is early days for this engine, but I'm pointing a tentative finger at the nine-speed transmission. No one likes how it behaves and I'm coming to believe that such overly-cogged gearboxes only serve the interests of the automaker on the fuel economy test dyno.
Yes there were four of us, and yes we had luggage and presents aboard. But come on. We missed the rated mpg by a mile in reasonably good conditions.
Worst Fill MPG: 13.1
Best Fill MPG: 24.2
Average Lifetime MPG: 18.9 (5.3 gallons per 100 miles)
EPA MPG Rating: 22 Combined (19 City/26 Highway)
Best Range: 364.8 miles
Current Odometer: 4,378 miles
At least I know one thing: January's fuel economy update will include still more road trip miles from our return trip.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing