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Discussion Starter #1
So my local car-sharing cooperative now offers some Civic hybrids, and I got to go for my first test spin.

In case anyone cares:

1. (+) Linear braking -- no more "adjust as I decelerate" business. But to a hybrid novice, braking is still different because there's some regen breaking before you feel the hydraulic spongy thing.

2. (-) No creep -- When you let off the brake, the car sits there rather than rolling slightly forward. People complain that Prius creeps too much, but the complete absence of creep was more unsettling than I would have thought.

3. (+) Stability -- Civic felt more stable than Prius when cornering and changing speeds.

4. (-) Doesn't like to cut the engine at stoplights -- I keep telling myself that maybe it's a break-in issue (the Civic had 228mi on it), but nonetheless, Prius stops reliably at every stoplight. Civic stopped less than 1/4 of the time, even though A/C was off.

5. (-) Lugging -- The engine had a tendency to lug under low-load conditions, which is more of a psychological problem than anything else.
 
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I found your comment #1 interesting, unless there's something new I don't believe the Civic hybrid has regenerative braking...just standard ABS breaks...

http://www.hondacars.com/models/specifications.asp?ModelName=Civic+Hybrid

Let me know if I"m mistaken....

I've test driven a civic hybrid too, never got the gas motor to shut off, but it was a relatively short drive and relatively cold weather so I won't judge on that. I felt the handling b/w the two was comperable. I sort of felt like the Honda wanted to present a feeling of being a "normal" car without the driver being constantly aware it was a hybrid. Prius seems to like to push the 'ground up' concept and make the driver constantly aware of the hybrid technology. Not saying one concept is better than the other, but that it may appeal to different personalities/driver styles.
 

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The civic does indeed have regenerative braking, and the transition between regenerative and normal braking is almost unnoticeable. The regen works on accelerator pedal release, and with the brake pedal. A gage on the dash shows the level of regen you are getting. It is possible to use regen without the normal brakes engaging by lightly pressing on the brake pedal. Regenerative braking is also used when descending a hill (where the engine shuts down all but one cylinder).

For autostop to work in the Civic, the "Econ" button next to the HVAC controls must be engaged. The autostop will not reengage if it engages and then you creep forward(causing the engine to restart) without exceeding 10MPH.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
pete said:
For autostop to work in the Civic, the "Econ" button next to the HVAC controls must be engaged.
Thanks Pete... are ECON and A/C mutually exclusive?
 

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mho said:
Thanks Pete... are ECON and A/C mutually exclusive?
Nope...AC works fine when ECON is enabled. Basically all Econ does is enable Autostop. The reason for this button is to enable you to keep your AC running while stoped. When the Civic HVAC system fan speed is set to Auto, the fan will also stop with the engine making it completely silent which is quite erie the first time it happens. If the fan speed is set manually, it will keep blowing with the engine stopped.
 

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mho said:
2. (-) No creep -- When you let off the brake, the car sits there rather than rolling slightly forward. People complain that Prius creeps too much, but the complete absence of creep was more unsettling than I would have thought.

5. (-) Lugging -- The engine had a tendency to lug under low-load conditions, which is more of a psychological problem than anything else.
Manual or automatic transmission?

Lack of creep is normal in a car with a manual transmission. If the car has a manual transmission, the solution to lugging is to downshift whenever lugging is encountered.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
tjl said:
Manual or automatic transmission?
Automatic. I expect this behavior with a stick, but it's just unsettling (outside expectations) with an automatic.
 
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Also the on Econ the internal cabin temperture has to be close to the temp. setting on the dash for the autostop to kick. If their is a big difference between the two the autostop will not happen. Alot of times I leave the Heating/cooling off for the autostop to kick in.
 
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Anonymous said:
Let me know if I"m mistaken....

I've test driven a civic hybrid too, never got the gas motor to shut off, but it was a relatively short drive and relatively cold weather so I won't judge on that. I felt the handling b/w the two was comperable. I sort of felt like the Honda wanted to present a feeling of being a "normal" car without the driver being constantly aware it was a hybrid. Prius seems to like to push the 'ground up' concept and make the driver constantly aware of the hybrid technology. Not saying one concept is better than the other, but that it may appeal to different personalities/driver styles.
I've had mine for over a year. I've noticed that the "turn-off" usually does not happen until the car has warmed up a bit. It also depends on how the vehicle is brought to a halt. I've managed to slow down to a crawl and run on pure battery power. About a mile-an-hour though :)
 

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My Auto stop works 95% of the time.... sometimes the brake vaccum isn't enough for it to engage. I have to wait about 5-7 second for it to come up then it stops....
 
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LUGGING!

5. (-) Lugging -- The engine had a tendency to lug under low-load conditions, which is more of a psychological problem than anything else.


Hmm... so Damaged main crank bearings are a psychological problem??? This shouldn't be written off lightly. Lugging is an extreme engine damager, especially if it happens every time you stop...
 

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pete said:
... The autostop will not reengage if it engages and then you creep forward(causing the engine to restart) without exceeding 10MPH.
This is one of the things I prefer about the Prius: When stopped at a light with the ICE off, if you creep forward it will just use the electric motor. The engine does not need to start. - Also, the engine never needs to lug, because of the alternate path to the wheels via MG1 and MG2.
 

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yeah but if there's no creep, that means if you're stopped at an uphill, the car will not hold between the transition from the brake pedal to the accelerator.
 

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No Creep

That is not true. It is very common technology to have an electric motor HOLD zero motion with varying loads. It is accomplished with a rotational position encoder or resolver (that I am sure the Prius already uses) as a feedback mechanism to notify the system of extreamly tiny motions allowing the system to compensate for them.
Jim
 

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Tideland Prius said:
yeah but if there's no creep, that means if you're stopped at an uphill, the car will not hold between the transition from the brake pedal to the accelerator.
Yeah true and you drift 1-2 inches backwards, but that just like a manual car. You adjust to it.

If the hill is really steep, even a "normal" car will drift backwards.



mho said:
4. (-) Doesn't like to cut the engine at stoplights --
5. (-) Lugging -- The engine had a tendency to lug under low-load conditions, which is more of a psychological problem than anything else.
(4) If you let off the brake (i.e. to creep) the engine will not shut off. This feature was mandated by the U.S. DOT who was concerned about safety. So keep your foot on the brake.

(5) Why do you think it's "lugging"? If it's above 1500 rpm, it's not lugging. Also, the load is split between engine & motor, so there's ~half as much stress as a normal car's engine.
 
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