2016 Honda Pilot Seven-Seat SUV Rated At 22 Or 23 MPG Combined


2016 Honda Pilot

2016 Honda Pilot

The 2016 Honda Pilot gets a slight bump in fuel efficiency as part of a ground-up redesign.

The new Pilot was unveiled back in February at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, and we now know that it will achieve an EPA-rated 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive and the optional nine-speed automatic transmission.

That's an improvement of 2 mpg in each category compared to the 2015 Pilot with front-wheel drive.

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With the same transmission and optional all-wheel drive, the 2016 Pilot will return 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway)--also an improvement of 2 mpg in each category over a comparable 2015 model.

The nine-speed automatic is offered in the upper-level Touring and Elite models. The lower-level LX, EX, and EX-L continue with a six-speed automatic.

With the six-speed transmission, the Pilot is rated at 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive. That number falls to 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city, 21 mpg highway) with all-wheel drive.

2016 Honda Pilot

2016 Honda Pilot

The sole engine available on the 2016 Pilot is a 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.

It features cylinder deactivation, as well as the i-VTEC variable-valve timing system available in most Honda models.

Honda claims to have cut nearly 300 pounds from the new Pilot's weight compared to the outgoing generation, which no doubt helps with fuel economy.

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On the inside, the Pilot has enough available tech to keep even the most inconsolable children quiet, including an HDMI port for gaming consoles, two headphone jacks, and an available 8-inch touchscreen.

There's also an equally-extensive suite of safety tech, including adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, automatic braking, lane-keep assist, and road-departure mitigation.

With that all-important nine-speed transmission, the 2016 Pilot is near the top of the mid-size crossover class for fuel economy.

2016 Honda Pilot

2016 Honda Pilot

Despite its larger engine, the Pilot essentially matches the 2016 Ford Explorer 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder.

That's the most fuel-efficient Explorer available, and it gets 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive, and 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway) with all-wheel drive.

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It also matches the 3.5-liter V-6 2015 Nissan Pathfinder (the only engine available), in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations.

The Pilot also boasts better gas mileage than all non-hybrid versions of the 2015 Toyota Highlander, although the all-wheel drive Highlander Hybrid achieves a best of 28 mpg combined (28 mpg city, 28 mpg highway).

2016 Honda Pilot

2016 Honda Pilot

Two other likely rivals--the 2015 Chevrolet Traverse and 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe--also can't match the Pilot's fuel economy.

The Hyundai is offered only with a 3.3-liter V-6, which gets 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive and 20 mpg combined (18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway) with all-wheel drive.

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With its sole engine option--a 3.6-liter V-6--the Chevy gets 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive, and loses 1 mpg in the city and highway categories with all-wheel drive.

The 2016 Honda Pilot is now on sale.

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