2016 Honda Pilot: Monthly Update for November 2016
by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Honda Pilot soldiered on this month amid an unseasonable smattering of cold and rain. The Pilot's all-wheel-drive system gave Copy Chief Kathleen Clonts peace of mind during a surprise downpour in Palm Springs, of all places, while its seat heaters came in handy on her chilly (we use the term loosely) morning commutes to the office. Meanwhile, Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds took our Honda into the twisting mountain roads above Glendora, reporting that the big crossover handled them well enough. He also encountered some rodent footprints in the engine compartment; thankfully, no damage done.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The Pilot's lifetime average remains closer to the EPA city rating than the combined estimate, and we still haven't seen a better tank than the one Dan notched on his trip to Oregon back in July.
Average lifetime mpg: 20.1 mpg
EPA mpg rating: 22 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway)
Best fill mpg: 28.8 mpg
Best range: 506.5 miles
Current odometer: 24,238 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
None, unless you count the unscheduled inspection by our muroid friends (more below).
"A quick day trip to Palm Springs to see a play on a quiet Sunday turned more eventful with rain (a big deal to Southern Californians, and the most rain I could remember in one day during the past three years). The Pilot was an unflappable performer, the all-wheel drive a comfort on the slick roads." — Kathleen Clonts, Copy Chief
"The sinuous mountain roads above Glendora attract all sorts. You'll find motorcycles in abundance, cyclists looking for a workout, and if you get there early enough, you might even come across a squadron of crazy-pants downhill skateboarders. It's that kind of road. The whole area is bristling with blind turns that are interspersed with squirts of acceleration and braking. The Honda Pilot is by no means optimized for roads like this, but the curves don't flummox it, either. Of course, Honda doesn't need its Pilot to excel up here, because there are other products in its inventory that do — some with four wheels and many others with just two." — Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing
"When the temps dipped below 60, the seat heated up in a flash. It felt noticeably toasty in less than a minute, making the drive home much cozier." — Kathleen Clonts
"I opened the hood of our 2016 Pilot to help my daughter jump-start her car and was greeted by the remnants of what looked like a varmint dance party. The usual thin film of underhood dust was dotted with rat footprints. Or maybe large mice. I'm not sure where the mouse/rat zoological cutoff is.
"I'd seen this before, but only after my old minivan had stumbled and died to the accompaniment of a check engine light. In that case, mice had holed up under the engine cover and gnawed on some fairly important wires. Insurance covered about half of it, and it returned to the road, but it was a lesson learned.
"With that in mind, I tore off the Pilot's engine cover and examined all the wires I could see. No signs of gnawing anywhere at all. I guess they were just passing through. The fact that this car doesn't follow an established pattern and stay in the same driveway every night may be why these varmints didn't set up shop under there." — Dan Edmunds