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Discussion Starter #1
I didn't see any posts about this, but I test drove the 2010 Insight yesterday and the CVT was VERY "rachety" during initial acceleration. It reminded me of driving a car (from 30 years ago) with a carburetor - that wasn't warmed up yet. It hesitated and lurched, hesitated and lurched until I was up to 25 or 30 MPH. I tried with both the ECO and non-ECO mode with the same results. After talking to the dealer I test drove the other Insight they had on the lot (one was an EX and one an LX). It felt exactly the same. It seems that Honda hasn't figured out how to have smooth acceleration with their CVT. Am I the only one that has noticed this? Is this a problem with all CVT cars? Tomorrow I'm planning on test-driving the 2010 Prius - curious to see if it does the same thing.
 

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I have a Gen1 Insight CVT and once the start clutch is engaged (from a stop), it is smooth accelleration. Not sure why you would feel it to rachety since that defeats one of the advantages of a CVT design transmission.

Are you using steady pressure on the gas pedal?

The Prius design is a lot different. There are no "gear" ratios changing by a steel belt and two changeable pulleys. It is just electric motor torque and horsepower combined with the gas engine to provide accelleratiion.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, of course I used steady pressure on the gas pedal. After it happened the first time I was very careful to pay attention to the acceleration each time I came to a stop and started again. I guess it could be a coincidence that my local dealer received 2 Insights with defective transmissions, but that seems unlikely. Curious to see if there are any owners of the new Insight that noticed this 'lurching' feeling while accelerating...
 

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Yes, of course I used steady pressure on the gas pedal. After it happened the first time I was very careful to pay attention to the acceleration each time I came to a stop and started again.
I wasn't trying to be a wise guy making a crack at your driving skills. My only thought was if you let up on the gas quickly, it will go into regen then if you mash the pedal down again, it will go into assist. This would cause a lurching feeling when togling back and forth between assist and regen. Not saying that a person would normally drive like this but it was a test drive.

Good luck - perhaps others may ask you questions or suggest other possibilities that you feel are more logical.

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

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Never had this "hesitated and lurched, hesitated and lurched" issue...

Does not jerk when I apply the gas with light pressure after taking my foot off the break pedal. Even with the Econ mode off and driving normally as I would with any other car, there was no hesitation and lurching.

If however on a hot day, with the air conditioner on coming to a stop, but not fully, and applying the gas again quickly, I would notice a slight jerkyness, not lurching.

Hope this helps a bit..... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No offense taken Joe. We did talk about the possibility that the engine was transitioning between gas and electric, but according to the dash display it was not doing that.
SR45 mentioned the AC being on - this may be what happened. It is summer here and the AC was definitely on.
I used the word, "lurching" to try to describe the sensation...maybe "jerkyness" is more accurate. In any case - it took me off-guard. I guess I was expecting "perfection"... :)
Tomorrow is the Prius test-drive, then we make the big decision. I'll let you know.
:confused::rolleyes:
 

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Mine used to do this. Now I have over 8000 miles on it and unless I am really rough with it I can't get it to do that under acceleration anymore. I'm guessing things are just "tight" since its new.

As for stopping, this is usually caused by a transition from regenerative braking to "neutral" when the autostop kicks in. Or a transition from fuel cut to ICE power (This usually happens with A/C on and the engine doesn't want to autostop). Its a common complaint (one more reason I WISH that Honda would offer a manual option).
 

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I use to drive a 3 cylinder metro and man, it jerked when the ac kicked on or off. I still feel it inthe insight as it goes from gas, electric, both or none and regen, with the ac compressor engaging on and off

What I hate is the incosistant braking. Sometimes I brake its strong til 7mph, then it vanishes and I have to floor it. Other times it brakes hard til 12mph, then lets up, then reapplies and lets up again at 7mph. When the battery is full it brakes as normal, no changing effort or petal pressure.

I normally try to over come this with engine braking by upshifting, but been lazy this week and seeing how it runs otherwise. Engine braking seems to be a great way to ensure you have enough umph to take back off without the assist wimping out to recharge mode. I have gotten into the habit to check my battery screen before merging to make sure I have enough or if I am going to wing it.

Sometimes on a hill I get a delay when going from auto stop to go, one day I chirpped tires.
 

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You may notice a drop-off in brake pressure at 7 because that is the speed when auto-stop engages (between 7 and 6 mph), so the vacuum pressure drops when the egine shuts off.

I do not have a jerky transmission, the only time I get a jerky response is if I'm breaking and then need to begin accelerating again before stopping. Perhaps transmission fluid levels are off from the factory for some people?
 

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I dunno about during acceleration, but I felt a slight shudder when pulling away from auto-stop at lights a couple of times on my test drive. I just put this down to the car starting to roll forwards on electric only and the ICE firing up once road speed got to the idle speed of the engine to allow it to fire up "smoothly".

If it tried to fire up while at a near stand-still but with the clutch fully engaged it would possibly kangaroo. My Accord has a traditional torque converter so stalling speed isn't an issue, as the transmission never really engages much below 1000 RPM anyway.

If the CVT has a start clutch, does that mean it can wear out? How long should it last? Provided you keep to the schedule for replacing the fluid in a torque converter, they last forever. My Accord has done almost 150,000 miles on the same transmission with only two ATF oil changes. It does have a lock-up clutch and a gear change clutch pack but they seem indestructible compared to all the manuals I owned where the clutches gave out after 70,000 miles or less.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Couldn't compare

We test drove the Prius today, but I soon realized that I couldn't compare the smoothness of the CVT transmission (to the new Insight) during the initial acceleration because the Prius doesn't use its CVT transmission during initial acceleration. The electric motor pushes the car up to 25/30 MPH before the gas engine even turns on. And at that point I couldn't feel any transitions or "jerks".
It was a tough decision, but we ended up only paying $1000 more for the Prius (base model) and they threw in some discounts on the extended warranty and alarm system that more than made up for the extra $1000.
Anyway - thanks for the info and happy hypermiling!
:)
 

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True once its at operating temp, before that its burning dino juice below 35mph unless you stomp it. The prius does have better gas and brake feel, but it has this strange upside down boat feeling when going over bumps, ruts and off/on ramps. Never mind the squeal from the electronics at low speeds. Also when you start and stop it it pumps the engine coolant back and forth from the insulated bottle in the fender area.

With careful driving you can get upwards to and above 100mpg.

The electric motor pushes the car up to 25/30 MPH before the gas engine even turns on.
I almost got a prius, but the toy dealer was not interested in taking a tacoma in trade like the honda dealer. The honda dealer told me they sent the truck to auction at that and had given me more than blue book for it.
 
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