Paddle Shifters + CVT versus Automatic - Honda CR-Z Hybrid Sport Car Forums - CRZ–Craze.com
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Paddle Shifters + CVT versus Automatic

I'm not trying to be a buzzkill guys about a manual tranny...

I just happen to be a bit more pessimistic than some about Honda actually giving us in North America what we all really want, a manual 6 or 7-speed tranny. In addition I have fallen head over heels for the body design and really, really want of these cars! So, I have been trying really hard to warm up to the idea of an automatic and paddle shifters, or more specifically an SVT and paddle shifters because as the Insight has that, I'm thinking that is most likely what we will end up getting.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed doing the research. Last Saturday I went out and drove 2 vehicles, my first exposure to paddle shifters. Now keep in mind, my 2005 Titan (no manual tranny offered, had to buy the Titan) is the 1st auto tranny I have owned since my 1972 Dodge Dart Demon, so it is safe to say, I like manuals.

Ok guys, here is my review...
-----------------------------------------------

Maxima, FWD
6-step SVT with paddle shifters
PADDLES
- Very long as in about 6"
- Stationary on steering column, do not move with the steering wheel
- Both paddles exactly the same feel
- Seemed strange at first to not have them move with the wheel, but after a while I started to like them because you never lost the orientation of where up and down were
- Gear selection displayed in dash, LCD display easy to read
SHIFTS
- Super fast, no ugly weight transfers forward on downshifts
- Very smooth, as in felt like perfect rev-matching downshifts, and sharp upshifts
- Really felt like a manual tranny being controlled by paddles and no clutch
STACKING
- Perfect, could stack all the way down to 1st gear and it would get down there as soon as it could


RDX, AWD
5-speed automatic with paddle shifters
PADDLES
- Short as in about 2"
- Stationary on steering wheel, move with the steering wheel
- Up-shift paddle had a unique texture on the back where your fingers touched to help you keep track of what paddle was where
- Seemed totally logical to have them move with the wheel, but if moving your hands on the wheel because of a slow steering ration it was easy to loose your orientation on what paddle is up-shift and which one is down-shift
- Gear selection displayed in dash, LCD display easy to read
SHIFTS
- Slow, delayed, ugly weight transfers forward on downshifts
- Felt totally un-satisfying, like nothing more than a cool shifting method connected to a 1960's slushbox transmission
- Really felt like a manual tranny being controlled by paddles and no clutch
STACKING
- Only fair, stacking down to 2nd was not a problem, but if you stacked all the way down to 1st while going too fast and the vehicle had time to think, it would change 1 to 2 so you only downshifted to 2nd, so to stack all the way down to 1 you had to keep an eye on the thing and downshift again into one after it changed your first attempt to get 1st gear into its selection of 2nd gear, extremely frustrating

OVERALL
- Stacking is when you can select way more downshifts that you can make right at the time of the shifting because the vehicle is going too fast/the engine can not rev up high enough to get those lower gears. Stacking allows you to select the gear you want to be in at the apex, way before the apex, it allows you to do a whole bunch of downshifting at once, and the on-board brain will keep downshifting as the vehicle slows enough for the next lower gear, until the vehicle gets down to the lowest gear that was selected
- The speed of the steering ratio effects the situation a lot, the slower the ratio and the more you have to move your hands on the wheel the harder it is to keep track of the paddle you want next if paddles are connected to the steering wheel
- The difference between the paddles on the wheel or on the column is something I think you could get adjusted to one way or the other, I think the issue would become much less of an issue as you got more used to the system because in all honesty, you really should not be making shifts wit the steering wheel so dramatically off of center
- My overall impression is not one system was fun and the other system was lame because one was Nissan and one was Honda, I believe the real difference between the two of them boils down to the CVT versus a plain old automatic transmission.
- A CVT added to paddles is a really fantastic "automatic" setup for someone who lives to drive a standard transmission.

CONCLUSION
- I can't wait to test drive an Insight
- I'm now overjoyed the Insight and probably the CR-Z will come to market with a CVT
- I hope one of the things Honda gives the CR-Z is a fast steering ration, I'm sure they will never provide something as fast as the early S2000's rations, but it had darn well better be faster than that RDX




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Old 02-11-2009, 05:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
hargert
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Default Re: Paddle Shifters + CVT versus Automatic

Great write up! I too am planning on taking the Insight out for a spin to see how the paddles feel on it as I feel that is what the CRZ will have even if the ratios are a little different. Also glad to see that having a manual is not a buy/no buy option for you. I know it is not for me even if I would like a MT version.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Paddle Shifters + CVT versus Automatic

Thanks about the write up.

I think the no buy for me would be a regular automatic with a column shifter; that's just asking too much, I can't go that low...

I had a lot of apprehension going into this test because back in '05 I had a Mirano with CVT for a week, and I hated it, just plain hated it. It was too smooth, it always left me waiting for a shift, and the total lack of ratio between the tach and the speedo was un-nerving. I was totally overjoyed to walk away from these two vehicle tests liking the CVT better than the regular automatic.



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Old 02-12-2009, 01:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Paddle Shifters + CVT versus Automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple-H

I think the no buy for me would be a regular automatic with a column shifter

how about column shifter MT Remember those?


H, your thread name will make Honda company spies think we prefer semiauto over the 3 pedal MT.



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Old 02-12-2009, 02:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Paddle Shifters + CVT versus Automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by crz1nsider
how about column shifter MT Remember those?
Remember?
My 1st car was a 1964 Ford Falcon, 170 ci., inline-6, and back then we called that tranny type a 3-in the tree.
BTW- I loved that car...



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Old 02-12-2009, 05:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Paddle Shifters + CVT versus Automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple-H
Quote:
Originally Posted by crz1nsider
how about column shifter MT Remember those?
Remember?
My 1st car was a 1964 Ford Falcon, 170 ci., inline-6, and back then we called that tranny type a 3-in the tree.
BTW- I loved that car...
I like to call MT '3 pedals on the floor' not including the left foot rest which some auto sports cars have.



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"It must be fun to drive, must remind you of the original CRX....and a manual gearbox will be offered....but we are Honda! WE MUST HAVE MANUAL!"
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Paddle Shifters + CVT versus Automatic

The 1st vehicle I drove has 5 "pedals" on the floor.
From left to right they went in this order
- headlight dimmer
- clutch
- brake
- throttle
- starter

To start the vehicle you had to put the key in and turn it to on, then pull out the choke cable on the dash, push in the brake, push in the clutch and take it out of gear, let out the clutch and change feet on the brake so the brake was held by your left foot. Then with your right foot pump the gas pedal a bunch of times, and then bridge between the gas and the starter pedal with your right foot so you can push in the starter with your toes while still being able to pump the gas with your heel. If all went right the thing would fire up. 1953 Chevy 3100 Pickup, do I wish I had that thing today!







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Old 04-02-2009, 11:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Paddle Shifters + CVT versus Automatic

The CRZ should have a performance variant with only the K series motor, manual transmission and no hybrid powertrain. That way the car will be lighter, faster and yet have gas mileage on par with the Hybrid.

Im saying this because if the only tranny choice is a CVT, I may be turned off. Honda needs to give us a manual.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
hargert
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Default Re: Paddle Shifters + CVT versus Automatic

I am sure there will be a MT hybrid version availble, now it may not be in the US market on launch day but we will see it at some point. I think all of the people hoping to see a motor powered only version of the car and pie in the sky wishing. Also as the Insight has a version with paddles they are a given that the CRZ will have them with the CVT on at least one version.
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Paddle Shifters + CVT versus Automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by hargert
I am sure there will be a MT hybrid version availble, now it may not be in the US market on launch day but we will see it at some point. I think all of the people hoping to see a motor powered only version of the car and pie in the sky wishing. Also as the Insight has a version with paddles they are a given that the CRZ will have them with the CVT on at least one version.
If they delay bringing the MT here, then I'll just have to make do with my Si sedan and possibly buy a used S2000.
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