Fans and owners of the Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD are attracted to the model because it is a green vehicle with outstanding fuel efficiency. There are only a handful of crossovers its size that can deliver the fuel economy the CR-V Hybrid does. Many owners of all vehicles like to trust the in-dash display showing the fuel economy of the vehicle. In our testing, the in-dash MPG display read 36.3. However, our more accurate miles per gallon calculation shows a much higher number.
Dash Displays Are Unreliable
We know from testing vehicles that in-dash displays are often very optimistic about the fuel economy the vehicle has achieved. These MPG averages per tank of fuel, or zeroed out when the driver wishes to re-start the MPG calculations generally run about 5% higher than the actual fuel efficiency of the trip or of the log being kept. We know this from testing hundreds of vehicles and checking the miles per gallon and then comparing it to the dash display.
Here's just one example. In 2014 we tested a VW Golf TDI (diesel). The in-dash display told us the MPG was 56 MPG. However, by our calculations dividing miles by gallons, we came up with 50.2 MPG. That is a 10% lower MPG than the car showed us.
How We Calculate Miles Per Gallon
The way we calculate MPG is this: We insert the fuel nozzle and fill the tank. When the nozzle clicks off, we do not add any more fuel. We then zero the trip odometer. Next, we record the miles we travel. FInally, we re-fill the tank the same way and we then divide the miles traveled by the gallons used. It's not rocket science. We should note, that this only has any real meaning when the vehicle is driven over a reasonable distance. In the case of the CR-V Hybrid AWD, we drove it 250.2 miles and we put in 6.4 gallons of gas. The image was taken across the parking lot from the pump. Which is why the odometer has an added 0.1 miles on it.
How Much Better Was the Mileage of the CR-V Hybrid?
We recorded a 39.09375 MPG number. Let's just round that to 39 MPG. This number is interesting to us for a few reasons. First, it is about 8% better than the car told us our MPG was. Second, it bumped our observed MPG to higher than the EPA estimates shown above. We only drove the CR-V Hybrid AWD on the highway and on some rural back roads. So, the CR-V Hybrid delivered better than promised MPG during our use of it. Which included constant AC usage due to high heat.
Summary- Kudos To Honda For Outstanding MPG
So congratulations to Honda for creating a great new green crossover for Honda fans and anyone who wants to drive green and still have all-wheel drive, great space, and an a very affordable price point. And if you own a CR-V Hybrid AWD, maybe you could compare your dash MPG to the MPG you get using our method at the pump. Just be sure to hit your trip odometer zero when you fill up the first time.
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career to chase his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on the Torque News Facebook Page, and view his credentials at Linkedin
Honda CR-V Hybrid image by John Goreham. Chart courtesy of www.fueleconomy.gov