Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you purchased a new car in the last year and had it delivered to your home/office from a dealership? If so, a reporter would like to talk to you about it. Please reach out to [email protected] by end of day Sunday, December 9, and the Edmunds PR team may connect you with the journalist.
If you experience loading issues with the login/register form, please completely disable ad blocker or use an incognito or in-private window to log in.

Honda Pilot Real World MPG



  • Thanks! There's one literally down the street. Only available in 91 octane. Who knew?!? I may just have to do a bit of experimenting...
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576

    I agree with Steve. (Gasp) ;) Generally speaking higher octane fuel is not a "Treat" for cars designed to run on 87 octane.

    Here is my take on it.
    The only purpose for Octane is to slow down the speed of the explosion of the gas as it is ignited.

    Note: It is not actually an explosion. More like an ignition on steroids.

    Without getting into the necessity to supply extra gas to a cold engine, lets concentrate on an engine at operating temps. The gas/air mixture is hot from entering the hot environment of the combustion chamber. The piston compressed that fuel, and at the proper moment the spark plug fires and the fuel ignites to its fullest potential as the piston reaches top of it's travel. The fuel's ingnition drives the piston back down for its "Power" stroke.
    In reality the plug fires slightly before the piston reached the top to give the fuel a head start, because that piston is moving fast. The higher the RPM, the faster the piston and the sooner the spark.
    Computers do all that stuff now. In days of yore, we depended on engine vacuum, springs and weights, rpm slinging those weights. Sometimes , smoke and mirrors and luck helped.

    High octane gas that we buy for our cars has the same energy as the lower octane gas does. No more.

    For an engine designed and tuned for 87 octane, it runs best on that.
    Higher octane COULD result in poorer mileage because the full force of the ignition was slowed/delayed by the excessive octane.

    But there are exceptions. An engine being stressed, such as carrying heavy loads up a mountain on a hot day, towing a heavy trailer, sitting in super heavy traffic on hot days can result in the cylinder temps rising. The fuel mixture wanting to ignite quicker. The modern car's computer "Listens" for noises known as "Knock". If it hears it, it backs off the timing a bit. Yep modern engines actually have a "Knock" sensor. If you should hear"KNOCK" inside the car, it will sound more like a "Ping" or rattle.

    There again, it gets even more complicated.

    Suffice to say Most mfg suggest using high octane gas when towing or some other stressfull situations. It helps curtail knock and helps ignition timing to stay where it does best.

    Otherwise use 87. Under normal everyday driving, higher octane cost you more and does nothing for you car.

    We do get better fuel mileage with 93 octane when towing our camper, with the Ridgeline.

    High performance cars and those with turbo/super chargers are another subject.

  • bbb99bbb99 Posts: 58
    I'm looking at getting an 08 pilot with 4wd, but I live in S. Texas. I will almost never have to drive in snow. Anyone with experience here with 4wd and 2wd piolts and the difference in mpg?
  • bobncbobnc Posts: 12
    I have a Honda, new in 09, 4x4 Pilot. One of the best cars I have had of about 23 in the past 50 years. I live in NC and have a home in FL and drive a lot on the interstate with average MPG of 23.0 to 25. Overall in town and road milage( I live in the mountains in NC), I average milage 21.5. Great car.
    I have 44,000 + miles as of now on the Honda.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    4WD will cost you about 1-2 miles per gallon if you drive fairly conservative.
    I had an 03 Pilot 4wd and traded it for an 09 Ridgeline 4wd, cause I needed a truck more than an SUV.

    The Ridgeline gets 25+ mpg at 65 mph, around 22 at 70 mph.
    Wife and I took a trip to Indiana in the Ridgeline from Atlanta area. Drove the posted speed limits. Not 5 or 10 mph over. POSTED.
    Mileage was 23.6 going north and 24.9 returning south.

    In the Pilot the same trip yielded 27+. Drove the posted limits with a top limit of 65 mph. Took that same Pilot to Myrtle beach at 80 mph most of the time in a light rain and got 18 mpg.

    Coming back, the AC ac wasn't needed and I drove 65. That return trip yielded 26+/- 2/10ths.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,173
    edited June 2015
    stever said:

    This post is old but I think it's still valid.

    To quote Mr Shiftright, premium gas isn't a doggie treat for your car. :)

    Since you're experimenting, check out and see if you can find some ethanol free gas in your area. The price difference may still make it a wash but most people report better mpg with the "100% gas" stuff.

    A new Ethanol Free station opened new me outside of Hershey. Now granted they run about 5-10 cents higher, but I tried it and notice a slight increase in MPG. I'm still running around 13-15 City / 17-18 Hwy in my '06.

    Now remember I'm also running the Off-Road Package that was available on the first half year of the '06 Pilot. It adds a lot of extra weight over the stock EX with a heavier suspension system, ORV Tires, and the breather box / underhood snorkel (similar to the FJ Cruiser).


    This is a test video I shot for a new dash cam set-up. The road is a very twisty up/down hilly drive. You will hear the groan of the tires on the pavement.

Sign In or Register to comment.