"blame" the bleating of the auto "journalists" [who only really
regurgitate what they're paid to regurgitate]. and follow the money.
"fixed ratios" on cvt's reduce fuel efficiency. the very smart people
in the oil industry know this. that's why they go out of their way to,
um, "influence" crash test regs - so cars get heavier and heavier and
suck more gas. modern highly efficient engines aren't giving better gas
mileage, they're giving worse because of the huge increases in vehicle
weights. cvt's are another direct threat to continuing high national
gas consumption, so whip up a ferment of "consumer demand" for something
that nixes their efficiency, and you kick the consumption can down the
road for another 20 years.
Does that answer the question about paddle shifters? It could just
translate to a fixed shift of 1,000 RPM or something from the current
speed rather than from one fixed ratio to another, that might make
sense. Guess I can go to the Nissan dealer today and ask, or wait a
week or so and ask them right at Honda.
I'm as pissed as you about the regs that apparently make it impossible
to field a car however small much under 3,000 pounds. Absurd.
Another factor that hurts mileage apparently is the extraordinary high
power ratios we expect of even (our 3,000 pound!) economy cars. In
1970 a 10-second 0 to 60 speed was "sporty", now the car mags rate it
clearly unacceptable even for mommy cars. Power on tap costs money,
costs mileage even when driven gently. And my observation is that a
lot of drivers don't use it anyway, mommy drives like mommy even when
she's got 350hp under the hood. Perhaps we should be glad, but maybe
we can get her a smaller engine?
good observations. and this is a point where i can't decide whether
it's simply gross incompetence, or another part of the spectacular and
fine grained degree with which the oil industry assaults the consumer's
wallet. here in kalifornistan, there are countless examples of exit and
on-ramps using the same stretch of road, often only 100yds long. it's
insane to safely slow from freeway speed in that distance, and even more
insane to merge. now, add two conflicting streams, one slowing and one
trying to accelerate in the same lane, in the same short distance, at
the same time, and suddenly, having a 0-60 5.3 second car [with
associate gas consumption] makes for a lot "safer" driving.
in europe, the land of the lightweight eco-car, such freeway merge
ramping is illegal and design regulations determine that both off and on
ramps have to be separated by substantially more than 100 yds, and
they're not allowed to share the same lane. hence you can safely drive
a vehicle with a much smaller engine because you can safely enter and
exit a freeway without having to floor the thing all the time.
The biggest problem with my 1987 Accord was that the 100hp 2-liter
engine didn't have the oomph to cruise safely at 80mph, which by about
2000 became the prevailing speed anytime a SoCal freeway happens not
to be jammed solid. One of the last carbureted cars on the road!
Also the last time I drove a manual shift from Honda.
maybe it needed some love to bring it to top form. my civic cruises at
80 with /loads/ of pedal left. i drove back up grapevine headed north
this morning at about 3am, and its 1.5 automatic hauled 80 even up that
grade no problems.
I thought it had the same zip it had always had, fwiw. Traffic just
got faster, on good days. It would *go* faster but had very weak
acceleration at that point, and frankly the suspension and tires
didn't feel very stable at speed, either. Back in the day it didn't
have *much* torque steer or understeer, but certainly much more of
both than anything from Honda today. I don't think the new Accords
carry much less weight on the front wheels, but if it's 3%-5% better,
on top of better geometry that seems to make a big difference.
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